Biochemistry researcher and award-winning figure skater Arissa Falat  to pursue Pharm.D./J.D.

Arissa Falat
B.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Summa Cum Laude
Hometown: Columbia, Maryland
Plans: Pharm.D./J.D., University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

UMBC is peerless regarding the interest faculty members take in the well-being of students across academic and extracurricular endeavors. Naturally, this gives rise to a tight-knit community of highly motivated individuals.

Arissa Falat is a University Scholar and member of the Honors College who has received numerous scholarships in her time at UMBC, including the 2017 Smithsonian Earth Optimism Summit Student Scholarship, 2017 Lise Satterfield Scholarship, and UMBC Undergraduate Research Award for her work in Kathy Seley-Radtke’s chemistry lab. She was invited to join the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honour Society, and Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Beyond her own studies and research, Falat serves as a teaching assistant for courses in molecular and general genetics and cell biology, including teaching discussion sections, writing exams and quizzes, conducting review sessions, grading, and more. She has also counseled, hosted, and welcomed to campus on visit days prospective and admitted students as a UMBC Office of Undergraduate Admissions Student Ambassador.

On top of her academic accomplishments, Falat has performed in more than 100 figure skating shows and participated in even more competitions. She passed the senior level test in three figure skating disciplines, making her a triple gold medalist in U.S. Figure Skating.

Arissa Falat performing solo at the Pandora Ice Rink at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Photo courtesy Arissa Falat.

Falat became a professional in 2017, and she shares her skating skills by volunteering to teach lessons in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and performing in benefit shows. “For me, figure skating provides the essential balance between the rigors of a demanding academic schedule and the relief of that mental tension,” she says.

With so many interests, Falat had a difficult time choosing a particular path forward. “Deciding on which graduate path to pursue used to eat me alive, but UMBC nurtured my passions and made me realize that I don’t have to pick just one interest,” she says. She plans to pursue a dual Pharm.D./J.D. degree.

Portrait by Marlayna Demond ‘11 for UMBC.