two women outdoors

UMBC’s Mercedes Burns to explore spider glues and silks with new $900K NSF grant

Spider silks and glues are incredibly difficult to produce synthetically, but could have important medical or industrial applications. Mercedes Burns and Sarah Stellwagen will study sticky substances produced by other animals, which are “sticky like spider silk glues, but maybe their genetic architecture is easier for us to duplicate,” Burns says. Continue reading UMBC’s Mercedes Burns to explore spider glues and silks with new $900K NSF grant

Two women wearing black masks, glasses, white lab coats, and blue globes, working together in a science lab.

Ocean exploration to environmental justice: UMBC students seize on unique summer opportunities

When COVID struck, students, families, and educators nationwide worried about the impact it would have on learning experiences and career opportunities. Throughout summer 2021, UMBC students have proven that with tenacity and support they can still access meaningful internships. Continue reading Ocean exploration to environmental justice: UMBC students seize on unique summer opportunities

Graduating Retrievers find joy and career inspiration in supporting K-12 students and families

“I was able to access excellent research opportunities in the humanities that I never thought would be available at the undergraduate level,” says Emily Rose Paul ‘21, global studies. “UMBC is known as a STEM school, but I have received the most amazing humanities education as a global studies student. You will be surprised at all that you can find here.” Continue reading Graduating Retrievers find joy and career inspiration in supporting K-12 students and families

Six people stand in the sunshine, posing with a statue of a dog.

UMBC together: Graduating Retrievers reflect on building community through conversations

When listeners tune in to the Retriever Tales podcast hosted by Tirzah Khan ‘21, information systems, who is graduating this week, they’ll hear UMBC voices sharing their journeys of finding and creating community. Moving, inspiring, funny, and thought-provoking, the show is a testament to Khan’s own UMBC experience and a broader culture of co-creating community at UMBC. Continue reading UMBC together: Graduating Retrievers reflect on building community through conversations

Strong finish: UMBC student-athletes discuss support and resilience in “one of the toughest years”

Due to the pandemic, the NCAA has offered senior college athletes around the country a waiver to compete for an extra year. Many fourth-year student-athletes at UMBC and around the country will take advantage of this opportunity, but others decided to press forward with making the most of an unusual senior year before shifting gears to the next phase of their lives. Continue reading Strong finish: UMBC student-athletes discuss support and resilience in “one of the toughest years”

An animation still of a character dressed in a bright yellow rain jacket and holding a yellow umbrella while standing at the summit of dark purple and blue mountain with dark purple clouds behind the mountain.

UMBC celebrates 25th Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day with an expanded global audience

“While we are eager to get back to the live event, there are definitely aspects of the online event that have widened the scope of URCAD,” says April Householder, director of undergraduate research and prestigious scholarships. “Presenters were able to invite friends and family members from other countries to view their presentations, and invite international scholars as potential future collaborators.” Continue reading UMBC celebrates 25th Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day with an expanded global audience

A group of eleven young men and women huddling together in front of a mural.

UMBC’s Faith Davis is named a 2021 Newman Civic Fellow for work on healthcare, food, and housing insecurity

Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic has named Faith Davis a 2021 Newman Civic Fellow. “My greatest hope for this fellowship is to connect with a large network of change-makers who I can learn from and be inspired by throughout my life,” says Davis. “I hope to eventually work together to create a better world.” Continue reading UMBC’s Faith Davis is named a 2021 Newman Civic Fellow for work on healthcare, food, and housing insecurity

Kizzmekia Corbett ’08 talks to CNN about Meyerhoff Scholars, vaccine hesitancy

“Had I not been exposed to Dr. Hrabowski and the Meyerhoff Program…I’m not even so sure that I would be a scientist. It’s really about exposure and resources given to people,” Kizzmekia Corbett told CNN. In particular, encounters at UMBC that led her to double major in biological sciences and sociology uniquely prepared her for this moment. Continue reading Kizzmekia Corbett ’08 talks to CNN about Meyerhoff Scholars, vaccine hesitancy

UMBC student research offers hope for critically endangered Bahama Oriole

On a low-lying island in the Caribbean, the future of the critically endangered Bahama Oriole just got a shade brighter. A new study co-led by Michael Rowley estimates that there are at least 10 times as many Bahama Orioles as scientists previously thought. Rowley’s results are the latest in a string of important discoveries led by undergraduates mentored by Kevin Omland. Continue reading UMBC student research offers hope for critically endangered Bahama Oriole

woman faculty member in front of glass wall and modern tables and chairs

UMBC’s Tara LeGates is first runner-up for prestigious international neurobiology prize

“I’m really interested in how the brain integrates a lot of different kinds of information to regulate complex behaviors, such as seeking rewards,” LeGates says. Her findings published in Nature, and her lab’s continuing work, pave the way for new treatments for disorders such as addiction and depression. Continue reading UMBC’s Tara LeGates is first runner-up for prestigious international neurobiology prize

Goldfinch at a backyard birdfeeder

UMBC engages Howard Community College students with environmental science—online and in their own backyards

“My goal for the students was to capture what I think is the most important part of scientific research—curiosity through observation,” Chris Hawn says. By training their eyes and learning to see in new ways, Hawn says, “People were making discoveries literally inside their houses, or on a walk, or in their yard. It was really wonderful to see that transformation.” Continue reading UMBC engages Howard Community College students with environmental science—online and in their own backyards

Man standing in front of biology mural

UMBC’s Daniel Lobo receives $1.9 million NIH grant to explore genetic control of development and regeneration

Salamanders regenerate their tails. Sea stars regenerate their arms. Most species of planaria, a type of flatworm, can regenerate everything from their brains to their digestive organs. But if you lose part of a finger in a shop class accident, or while chopping vegetables for dinner, you’re out of luck—for now. “Why can the worm do it, and we cannot?” asks Daniel Lobo, assistant professor of biological sciences. That’s not really the question, though, he explains. Continue reading UMBC’s Daniel Lobo receives $1.9 million NIH grant to explore genetic control of development and regeneration

UMBC study reveals gender bias in bird song research and impact of women on science

“I believe this paper is a great example of how diversity expands the type of research scientists are doing,” says Casey Haines ’19. “A diverse pool of researchers may result in new questions being asked and new approaches to answering those questions. I would love to see this type of research applied in other areas of STEM.” Continue reading UMBC study reveals gender bias in bird song research and impact of women on science

UMBC students complete internships virtually amid COVID-19 pandemic

Each summer, hundreds of UMBC students complete summer internships to get hands-on experience related to their majors and career goals. The COVID-19 pandemic has moved many networking opportunities and jobs online, including some internships. Still, undergraduate and graduate students from across the University have spent the summer developing their skills and connections virtually. Continue reading UMBC students complete internships virtually amid COVID-19 pandemic

UMBC develops future STEM teachers, researchers through pilot program pairing high school and college students

Now one of the high school participants, Kimani Reed, is starting at UMBC this fall. “The warm welcome I felt when I walked through the doors on the first day already made UMBC feel like home,” she says. Continue reading UMBC develops future STEM teachers, researchers through pilot program pairing high school and college students

Mantis shrimp eyes get even wilder: UMBC team finds twice the expected number of light-detecting proteins

“One of the reasons I love science is that we took this animal with an exceptional visual system, and it’s become even more complex,” Megan Porter says. “Every level that we look at adds another layer of complexity to how the visual system is working.” Continue reading Mantis shrimp eyes get even wilder: UMBC team finds twice the expected number of light-detecting proteins

two men seine fishing in a stream

How the darter got its stripes: New UMBC research expands on sexual selection theory to explain complicated animal patterns

“Quantitatively describing visual patterns is a big challenge, and there’s not one easy way to do that,” Sam Hulse says. By integrating their skills in math and biology, he and colleagues figured out a method to do it for the first time. The new results pave the way for a great deal of new research. Continue reading How the darter got its stripes: New UMBC research expands on sexual selection theory to explain complicated animal patterns

Large group of men and women dressed in traditional Polish clothing standing together at an outdoor Polish folk festival in Poland.

Acting locally and globally: Four UMBC students embark on community-engaged careers

Community-engaged work has been integral to the UMBC experience for so many Retrievers, including the four featured here. Despite coming from such different academic programs, they have all been able to connect in meaningful ways with local and international communities. And after graduating this week, they’ll each apply their talents, skills, and sense of commitment to community-engaged careers. Continue reading Acting locally and globally: Four UMBC students embark on community-engaged careers

Five people on a rooftop at UMBC.

Support comes full circle: When students become mentors

“I love to help people succeed, so for me, if others have put time into my career and my future, I feel that it’s only right to reciprocate that love to other students,” says Cherie Tebah ’20. She and other UMBC students have found ways to support their classmates while still pursuing their own degrees. Continue reading Support comes full circle: When students become mentors

Two swimmers look at a paper together, wearing UMBC t-shirts next to a pool

Scholar-athlete grads draw on resilience forged in challenging times

On the surface, Kennedy Lamb ‘20, English, and Jethro Ssengonzi ‘20, mechanical engineering, didn’t have much in common when they arrived on campus. Today, these two accomplished scholar-athletes are coping with the challenges of graduating during a pandemic by drawing on stores of resilience and communities of support. Continue reading Scholar-athlete grads draw on resilience forged in challenging times

UMBC’s Tagide deCarvalho wins Olympus Image of the Year contest with striking portrait of a “water bear”

“I knew the moment I saw this colorful specimen that it was going to be a remarkable image,” Tagide deCarvalho says. “I love sharing the fascinating things I see in the microscope with other people.” Continue reading UMBC’s Tagide deCarvalho wins Olympus Image of the Year contest with striking portrait of a “water bear”

UMBC researchers offer knowledge, innovation during the time of COVID-19

At a time when information and misinformation are coming at us from all directions, and everyone is looking for answers, UMBC researchers are stepping up. They’re working hard to answer pressing questions about COVID-19 and sharing their expertise to help the public stay healthy and make informed decisions. Continue reading UMBC researchers offer knowledge, innovation during the time of COVID-19

International team led by UMBC identifies new bird species in the South Pacific

“Even in this well-studied group of birds, that’s been a textbook example since 1942, we did not really know what the units of biodiversity were,” says Kevin Omland. He and postdoc Anna Kearns have now contributed significant new research to help answer that question, and their findings have major conservation implications. Continue reading International team led by UMBC identifies new bird species in the South Pacific

UMBC’s Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg recognized for 40-year career advancing cancer immunotherapy

After 41 years at UMBC, Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, professor emerita of biological sciences, retired in August 2018 and moved to Utah to enjoy the mountains with her spouse. But she couldn’t stay away from her research and mentoring for long. “I just can’t quit it,” Rosenberg says. “I realized I really did not want to stop.” Continue reading UMBC’s Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg recognized for 40-year career advancing cancer immunotherapy

The Carnegie Foundation honors UMBC as a leading community-engaged university

“Carnegie’s definition of community engagement emphasizes the importance of reciprocity and mutual benefits in the partnerships that are created,” explains Michele Wolff, director of the Shriver Center. “Shriver Center programs ask us to think about how we can make our partnerships more authentic, to effectively meet the needs of all involved. In this way, the longstanding approach of the Shriver Center also reflects the Carnegie Foundation’s principles of reciprocity and mutuality.” Continue reading The Carnegie Foundation honors UMBC as a leading community-engaged university

Preparing for impact: Four new UMBC grads share what drives their research

Cindy Chelius, Miranda Marvel, Naqiya Ghulamali, and Ryan Oliver study very different things, but they are all driven to contribute to positive change through their research. They also hope to carry forward the support they found at UMBC as mentors to a future generation of researchers. Continue reading Preparing for impact: Four new UMBC grads share what drives their research

UMBC broadens international learning opportunities: Stories from five continents

“It is one thing for international partners to hear how UMBC is diverse and inclusive, it is another to actually see how it works in person,” reflects Rashed. “The success of this program, one we hope to continue, depends on the continued committed of the entire campus to the preparation of teachers from all over the world. This is where the real-life implementation of diversity and inclusion is invaluable.” Continue reading UMBC broadens international learning opportunities: Stories from five continents

UMBC spotlights the power of collaboration and community in opening of new science building, GRIT-X talks

“Already there are research teams working in this building on such complex issues as age-related disease, environmental degradation, and health disparities,” says Dean Bill LaCourse. Solutions to our most complex challenges “are found through a convergence of talent and effort,” bringing together the perspectives of people from different fields and backgrounds. This is what the new building is designed to achieve. Continue reading UMBC spotlights the power of collaboration and community in opening of new science building, GRIT-X talks

three people walking

UMBC receives $2.8M from NSF for master’s program to prepare a diverse environmental science workforce

“The primary mission of UMBC is inclusive excellence, and our program applies that mission to the environmental sciences,” says Tamra Mendelson. “Our main objectives are to bring a diversity of backgrounds to the environmental workforce and to improve the way that scientific research is applied to environmental problems.” Continue reading UMBC receives $2.8M from NSF for master’s program to prepare a diverse environmental science workforce

Meet six Retrievers who went from internship to career success with UMBC Career Center support

Decades after the start of the internship boom, internships continue to be invaluable for both undergraduate and graduate students. As UMBC students demonstrate, gaining real-world experience and networking within an area of interest can have a lasting impact when it comes time to search for a full-time position. Continue reading Meet six Retrievers who went from internship to career success with UMBC Career Center support

National Institute on Aging funds UMBC’s Erin Green to investigate how cells do “quality control” as we age

The project will explore the function of an enzyme called Set6, about which little is known. Erin Green hopes to “break open a broader understanding in the field of what its role is, especially in the context of protein quality control,” which could inform pharmaceutical development for treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Continue reading National Institute on Aging funds UMBC’s Erin Green to investigate how cells do “quality control” as we age

Open spaces nurture open minds in UMBC’s new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building

“When you share a kitchenette with a biologist, a chemist, an engineer and somebody from public policy, it’s inevitable that new things will brew,” says Greg Szeto, who is moving in to the ILSB with the new Translational Center for Age-Related Disease and Disparities. The ILSB “is a total game-changer for me,” adds Chris Hawn. With its state-of-the-art instrumentation, “There are protocols where I can get ‘level unlocked.’ It just opens things up for me and my students.” Continue reading Open spaces nurture open minds in UMBC’s new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building

UMBC’s Stephen Freeland receives Trotter Prize for pioneering origins-of-life research

Freeland’s research has always centered on how and why living things evolved a system of genetic coding, which has taken him from biology to astrobiology and has inevitably led him to grapple with one of the big questions many people ask themselves: “Where do we come from?” Continue reading UMBC’s Stephen Freeland receives Trotter Prize for pioneering origins-of-life research