All posts by: Adriana Fraser


UMBC students (community builders), some standing and some kneeling and sitting, holding a stuffed dog toy. In the center of the photo is a brown dog, Chip, UMBC's campus comfort dog.

Leading through service: Meet the community builders in UMBC’s Class of 2023

When the impacts of COVID-19 had the world on pause in March 2020, like many others, Ify Jacob spent time sheltered at home thinking of what he would do once it was safe enough to return to life as he knew it. One of the first decisions that he made was to become more active on UMBC’s campus. His experience of approaching leadership through the lens of service is shared by many community builders in UMBC’s Class of 2023.  Continue Reading Leading through service: Meet the community builders in UMBC’s Class of 2023

Headshot of a UMBC grad student who has a beard and wears glasses on campus.

Helping English language learners gain confidence through community

For Grant Clifton, teaching English effectively requires a combination of intensive technical training in English language instruction and a passion for building community. Clifton was a Peace Corps volunteer in Indonesia from 2017 to 2019, where he taught English to high school students. After returning to the U.S., Clifton continued his combined focus on learning and community impact through UMBC’s Shriver Peaceworker Fellows program. Continue Reading Helping English language learners gain confidence through community

Headshot of student who is wearing glasses on UMBC's campus.

McNair Scholar reflects on the power of research mentorship and leadership through supporting others

McNair Scholar Joana Hernandez is a research enthusiast who found her interest in scientific exploration and mentorship while at UMBC. Since 2019, Hernandez has worked as a research assistant in the lab of Fernando Vonhoff, biological sciences. It was in Vonhoff’s lab where she realized that there were opportunities to turn her love of learning into a career in research. Continue Reading McNair Scholar reflects on the power of research mentorship and leadership through supporting others

UMBC student Ify Jacob on campus, looking into the camera.

An engineer builds community in student housing, with an impact campus-wide

Ify Jacob’s mentors describe him as someone who has worked tirelessly to create community among Retrievers in on-campus student housin particularly as they dealt with the challenges and traumas of COVID-19. Jacob currently serves as vice president of UMBC’s Residential Student Association, but his journey of leadership through service has taken place over the course of years at UMBC. Continue Reading An engineer builds community in student housing, with an impact campus-wide

Student on UMBC campus smiling for photo

Learning and leading through equity-focused music education

Tim Edwards is a student leader who serves his community through music, making an impact one note at a time. In addition to performing in UMBC’s Jazz Ensemble, Musical Theatre Club pit orchestra, and Wind Ensemble—including leading the arrangement, rehearsal, and conducting of an original composition last fall—he has focused his energy on music education. Continue Reading Learning and leading through equity-focused music education

Large smoke clouds emitting from the Zaca forest wildfire in California

New UMBC/Los Alamos research on megafire smoke plumes clarifies what they contain, how they move, and their potential impacts

In recent years, large, intense wildfires, known as megafires, have increasingly caused severe damage to forests, homes, and crops. In addition to megafires fatally impacting humans and wildlife alike, they may also be impacting climate change. New research led by UMBC’s Stephen Guimond provides insight into how the large smoke plumes produced by megafires can be more accurately modeled and characterized to improve our understanding of how they might impact the earth. Continue Reading New UMBC/Los Alamos research on megafire smoke plumes clarifies what they contain, how they move, and their potential impacts

UMBC student smiling while presenting research at URCAD 2023. (Marlayna Demond '11/UMBC)

Lighting design to flu treatment: UMBC students share research and creative work at URCAD 2023

In 2020, Renata Taylor-Smith ‘24, theatre, eagerly prepared for her first trip to Munich, Germany to study theatrical lighting design, but a week before she was meant to fly to Germany, her trip was canceled due to COVID-19. She learned that the show she was working on would be postponed indefinitely. Discover how she pivoted to have a valuable research experience, recently shared at UMBC’s annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD 23023), where hundreds of students presented their work. Continue Reading Lighting design to flu treatment: UMBC students share research and creative work at URCAD 2023

A nursing home resident using a wheelchair receives an injection from a health professional

CIDER program supports new approach to measuring nursing home quality, plus more research collaborations

Assessing the quality of nursing home care has historically been a challenging and complex process that considers only a portion of the factors involved—generally, clinical indicators reported by the nursing homes themselves. UMBC researchers are collaborating on a new measure of nursing home quality that combines care experiences with clinical data. And they are doing it with funding from a new UMBC program designed to support novel research across different teams.  Continue Reading CIDER program supports new approach to measuring nursing home quality, plus more research collaborations

An artist's computer generated drawing of the STAR X space craft in space

UMBC partners on STAR-X, a $3M NASA mission concept study through the CRESST II research consortium

UMBC researchers are partnering on STAR-X, a nine-month mission concept study investigating black holes, galaxy clusters, and often-elusive transient cosmic events like supernova explosions. STAR-X is one of two Explorer missions to receive $3 million from NASA for this concept phase, before NASA selects one in 2024 to proceed with implementation, targeted for launch in 2028. Continue Reading UMBC partners on STAR-X, a $3M NASA mission concept study through the CRESST II research consortium

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