As the Class of 2017 prepares for commencement, the UMBC community honors all our graduates have achieved in their time as Retrievers, and the legacies they will leave as they take their next steps. Continue reading Congrats, Class of 2017! Meet some of UMBC’s exceptional new graduates.
Class of 2017
“I have received so much support from faculty and my peers to pursue endeavors that could not have been accomplished without a strong support network,” says Ocasio. Continue reading Daniel Ocasio, UMBC’s 2017 valedictorian, to pursue environmental engineering Ph.D.
“I felt that I had a community of fellow graduate students and mentors who understood my journey and pushed me to finish the program,” says Opoku-Boateng. Continue reading Gloria Opoku-Boateng becomes a user experience researcher after Ph.D. on gaming and mental acuity
“UMBC gave me opportunities I don’t think I could have gotten from any other university,” says Geisler. Continue reading Isabel Geisler, Reach Initiative founder, to pursue Ph.D. in sociology
“The UMBC Career Center, in particular, has opened many doors for me in the business world,” says Barrera. Continue reading Hector Barrera to focus on business management at Northrop Grumman
“My favorite thing about UMBC is that I believe, ‘It is cool to be smart at UMBC,’ is true…The students here are extremely bright, which pushes me even harder to be the best person and student I can be,” says Furman. Continue reading Samantha Furman pursues math solutions to medical problems in unique dual Ph.D. program
“UMBC prepared me for a future in astronomy research by allowing me to get hands on experience with amazing mentors,” says DeNigris. Continue reading Natalie DeNigris continues work with NASA while completing astronomy Ph.D.
“In my time here, I have been pushed beyond my comfort zone and I have been challenged to perform beyond by perceived capabilities,” says Kamei. Continue reading Faith Kamei, committed to community, prepares for Peace Corps service in Peru
“Dr. Brewster and other lab members have helped encourage and teach me to become a confident scientist over the past four years,” says Gabel. Continue reading Austin Gabel to continue developmental biology research through M.D./Ph.D.
“The most rewarding aspect of Take Flight Robotics was realizing the potential of many gifted students. When given the chance, they are very quick to learn,” says Lee. Continue reading Andrew Lee, engineer who enjoys teaching robotics, pursues Ph.D. at University of Guelph
On the UMBC swim team, “I always had something and someone to work for…I had to succeed for my team. And I would not have succeeded without each and every member of the team,” says Escobedo. Continue reading Emily Escobedo, record-setting swimmer, to pursue career in special education
“The amazing mentorship I have received at UMBC has brought me the courage and confidence I needed to apply to competitive graduate programs and pursue my Ph.D.,” says Frank. Continue reading Heather Frank to pursue Ph.D. at Harvard after Summers Lab nurtured her passion for HIV research
“Iron sharpens iron, and at UMBC I have been given the space to interact with and learn from people who challenge me and push me to be my best,” says Smith. Continue reading Kayla Smith, student health advocate, to attend Brooklyn Law School
“During orientation, all incoming students were encouraged to be involved…in civic agency as students who could have an impact on the direction of UMBC’s culture and policies,” says Allison. “This all sounded too good to be true at the time. Yet my experiences at UMBC proved it to be true.” Continue reading Danielle Allison advocates for student veterans on campus
“I decided to find new ways to help other students to succeed,” says Ngea, who became a tutor and mentor to pass along knowledge she gained from courses, conferences, and internships. Continue reading Natacha Ngea, future software engineer, reflects on the impact of mentorship
“I am convinced that UMBC has given me unique opportunities no other university would have, and for that I am incredibly grateful,” says Mujica-Martorell. Continue reading Daniela Mujica-Martorell, undergraduate researcher and polyglot, studies design across cultures
“UMBC has taught me the value of and need for collaboration. The world is currently faced with complex problems which cannot be solved by one individual,” says Landen. Continue reading Matthew Landen, peer mentor, pursues security-focused computer science Ph.D.
“My experience at UMBC has been life changing. The social work faculty and staff are so supportive and encouraging,” said Callahan. Continue reading Erin Callahan to focus on intergenerational trauma in social work graduate studies
“Finding my place in college is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me,” says Smith. Continue reading Kaitlin Smith, leader in vibrant campus life, to pursue graduate study in student affairs
“My ‘weakness’ of coming from poverty, having a single mother, having a disability, and being a member of the LGBTQIA community have and always will be my strengths. UMBC helped me realize that,” says Klotz. Continue reading William Klotz, double alumnus of UMBC, earns Fulbright to teach in Mexico
“UMBC has provided the best environment for me to challenge myself, discover new passions, and grow both personally and academically,” says Maduka. Continue reading Austin Maduka, dedicated mentor, to pursue M.D./Ph.D. at Duke University
“I’ve learned the importance of critical feedback, community, and making my films an ‘us’ effort versus a ‘me’ effort,” says Eaglin. “All of these skills and lessons have…equipped me to achieve and exceed my goals.” Continue reading Emily Eaglin tackles complex social issues through creative film and TV projects
“My experiences with the Shriver Center were my most meaningful at UMBC, and they showed me how to incorporate social change into my future ambitions,” says Bos. “I appreciate how UMBC encourages and empowers students to create change on and off campus.” Continue reading Jaelyn Bos applies passion for ecology to teaching biology in Mozambique
“My experiences have shown me the importance of self-determination and the need for students to recognize their own power within their communities and beyond them,” says Melluso. Continue reading Emily Melluso to continue social justice work through applied sociology master’s at UMBC
“Playing hockey at UMBC has helped me grow so much as an individual and as a leader,” says Atkinson. “The people I encountered playing hockey are a huge reason why I am heading to medical school this fall.” Continue reading Ryan Atkinson, ice hockey MVP, to attend medical school on U.S. Air Force scholarship
“UMBC embodies students giving back to their peers,” says Johnson. “I spent my college career in a give and take relationship where older students provided guidance, and my classmates and I worked as a team to achieve success.” Continue reading Da’Kuawn Johnson, future M.D./Ph.D., combines commitments to research and peer mentorship
“My professors encouraged deeper exploration and learning than the material covered in class, and took a serious interest in my professional development,” says Wojcik, of the mentorship she found at UMBC. Continue reading Jacqueline Wojcik to combine animation and history through Fulbright research in Norway
“UMBC has prepared me to be a multi-faceted, problem-solving artist,” says Mueller. “The well-rounded liberal arts degree training has been a catalyst for both my academic and artistic accomplishments…in my field as a theatrical lighting designer.” Continue reading Jacob Mueller, Linehan Scholar, lights his way to a theatre career
“As a student coming from abroad to study at UMBC, I have had a great time in the multidisciplinary environment,” says Keshavarz. “The knowledgeable and experienced faculty in the visual arts department have helped me adjust to life and study in America.” Continue reading Iranian artist Ghazaleh Keshavarz explores the immigrant experience
“UMBC has presented me with opportunities that have led me to be more open-minded, think more critically, and take action within my community,” says Corbett-Wilson. Continue reading Bentley Corbett-Wilson, SGA president, prepares for career in music education
“UMBC has encouraged me to meet professionals who are already working in my fields of interest, to build relationships and gain insight and experience early in my career,” says Berbert. Continue reading Amy Berbert continues memorial photography project and begins work with Zinnia Films
“UMBC has helped me achieve my goals and prepared me for my next steps by providing me with a community that celebrates me in my unique interests and background,” says Salib. Continue reading Gabrielle Salib, inspired to boost STEM access, focuses on human-centered computing
“Attending UMBC alongside such a diverse group of students….exposed me to very different ways of thinking about the world,” says Elliott. Continue reading Dylan Rogers Elliott, leader of award-winning UMBC Mock Trial team, heads to law school
“I found the diversity innate to the UMBC community invaluable,” says Seas. “I have had the opportunity to participate and contribute as a student, a scientist, a musician, and a dancer.” Continue reading Andreas Seas pursues biomedical engineering M.D./Ph.D. while supporting next generation of diverse STEM students
“There are many talented and intelligent college graduates in the world against whom I must compete. My advantage comes through the support I receive from my school, through how I am pushed by mentors to be innovative and creative. UMBC provides that support,” says Enriquez. Continue reading Brandon Enriquez, USM student regent, heads to economics Ph.D. at MIT