UMD: A Globally Connected University

Global Spotlight Program

Global Spotlight Program


What is the Global Spotlight Program?

Global Spotlight gives visiting international scholars at UMD the chance to give a short (~20 minute) presentation about your research to UMD students, staff, and faculty. The program is designed to give our diverse international scholar community an opportunity to practice presenting in front of non-specialist audiences their complex research. Participants receive one-on-one coaching and constructive feedback both in advance of and following their presentation.

OK. You’re interested in learning more but you're not ready to commit? No problem! We would love to discuss this opportunity in greater detail, and can also put you in touch with past participants to learn more about their experiences.  

“Having spent more than three decades in academia, I know how much I benefited from opportunities early in my career to present my work for constructive advice from my peers.  I was particularly lucky to be able to do so as a visiting international scholar, first in Greece and later in Germany.  We hope that you will find this opportunity equally welcome and valuable.   We look forward to your response!”
- Dr. Joseph Scholten, Global Spotlight Mentor

Please fill out this google form if you’re interested.

Upcoming Presenters - Fall 2021

Behind the Banhammer: An Ethnographic Exploration of Online Community Moderation
Presented by Sarah Gilbert, November 17, 12 pm
Register here:

As we've turned online to work, socialize, and access information, we find ourselves grappling with issues that now feel endemic to online life, such as discrimination and abuse, mis/disinformation, polarization and extremism. To contend with (and sometimes exacerbate) issues such as these, platforms are increasingly relying on content moderation. My work provides an in-depth exploration of people who do moderation work voluntarily and highlights impacts of this work on individuals, communities, and (hopefully!) platforms. 

Dr. Sarah Gilbert (she/her/hers) is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Maryland College Park and holds a PhD in Library and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia. She studies policies and practices that make online communities healthier, including topics like what influences participation, how people learn in online communities, and how volunteer moderators’ labor impacts community governance. 


Former Global Spotlight Presenters

Quantum Computing and Its Value In Multiple Disciplines
Presented by Niklas Mueller, May 5th, 2021
Quantum technology is rapidly advancing, providing us with new paradigms to solve problems that could not be solved before, with UMD being a world leader in these efforts. In this short presentation, I will explain what quantum computing actually is and why much of the progress is actually driven by fundamental science research in physics, chemistry, computer science and mathematics.
Watch here

Snow in the Context of Climate Change
Presented by Lisa Milani, April 14th, 2021

Precipitation represents the first important component of the Earth's water cycle. Accurately estimating rainfall and snowfall is crucial to understand the availability of water resources and ultimately to help decision makers. Within a changing climate it is important to be able to globally quantify the amount of precipitation reaching the ground to provide reliable inputs for numerical weather prediction models as well as hydrological models. Within the remote sensing of precipitation, I specifically work on snowfall and its variety of systems to help improve precipitation algorithms. From synoptic scale events to lake effect snowfall, each system shows its own signature from space sensors and my job is to help understand this signature and its uncertainties to improve snowfall retrievals.
(No Recording)