All posts by: Kait McCaffrey

A woman smiles for a headshot with shoulder-length light brown hair, wearing a white sweater over a blue collared shirt

Charlotte Keniston, Ph.D. ’24—staff member, student, mentor, and a lifelong learner

For most people, obtaining a Ph.D. is a means to an end—authorship, professorship, a career destination. For Charlotte Keniston, it’s about the journey as a lifelong learner. After joining UMBC as a Peaceworker Fellow, Keniston received her M.F.A. in imaging and digital media in 2014. She continued her work in Baltimore and eventually rejoined the Shriver Center Peaceworker Program as a staff member with the intention to work towards her Ph.D. in language, literacy, and culture (LLC). And she did just that. Continue Reading Charlotte Keniston, Ph.D. ’24—staff member, student, mentor, and a lifelong learner

students in commencement regalia look up as glitter falls

Going the distance—virtual classrooms allow 300 former students to earn their degrees

Finish Line began as an outreach program in the fall of 2020, targeting former Retrievers who had 60 or more credits but hadn’t completed their degree before leaving the university. And while these students  might not have had the opportunity to return physically to campus, the sudden availability of a virtual classroom offered them a new pathway to their degree goals. Continue Reading Going the distance—virtual classrooms allow 300 former students to earn their degrees

A graduate processes out among other studies smiling

The best is yet to come for 2023 graduates

“It is in times of great conflict and great challenge that higher education’s purpose is most revealed.” UMBC president Valerie Sheares Ashby addressed the crowd at the 2023 winter Commencement ceremonies by acknowledging the turbulence of this past year and noting the importance of the degrees this year’s graduates received. Then nearly 1,000 Retrievers donned robes and mortarboards and made their way across the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena stage this week to become the latest members of the UMBC alumni community. Representing the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents, Anwer Hasan offered advice to the graduates saying, “As you… Continue Reading The best is yet to come for 2023 graduates

UMBC volleyball wins fourth-consecutive America East championship

They may say the best things come in threes, but that’s not good enough for UMBC volleyball. Over the weekend, the number one-seeded Retrievers captured their fourth-straight America East championship. After outright winning the season title, they went on to topple Bryant University in the America East semifinals, and they sealed their victory with a sweep of third-seeded Binghamton University on Saturday.  Continue Reading UMBC volleyball wins fourth-consecutive America East championship

Fever dream, a band, practices in a lecture hall

Biology department members create an experiment of note—a band called Fever Dream

Before you let your imagination run wild, we’re going to go ahead and temper whatever expectations you may have upon hearing the phrase “biology band.” Nobody is banging on a centrifuge in lieu of drums. Test tubes aren’t lined up as a makeshift xylophone. The final rock flourish is not a shattering of beakers. In fact, when the band members of Fever Dream get together, they leave biology in the lab and concentrate on what matters—the music.  “We are incredibly lucky to be able to do important research on the topics that we are interested in while at the same… Continue Reading Biology department members create an experiment of note—a band called Fever Dream

a compilation of three headshots

Welcoming new campus leaders

Renique Kersh might not have been able to spend her first few days physically on campus, but the new vice president for student affairs wanted her students and colleagues to know they were on her mind. So, in late August, as she juggled dropping her sons off at school and navigating a move from Boston, Kersh sent along photos as a travel diary on social media so that the UMBC community could take this journey with her.  “To say it’s been a blur is an understatement, but as I shared with my team, I am all in,” said Kersh, previously… Continue Reading Welcoming new campus leaders

Three pamphlets with illustrations of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and school materials, fanned out on a table

School’s in Session

The feel of a pen as it clicks open and closed, pointed for note taking (or probably more likely the feel of an electronic stylus). The sound of pages rustling in a notebook during the first class of the day (or more likely the sound of keys clacking on a laptop). The smell of a new textbook as it opens for the first time (or probably more likely still the laptop thing). No matter what it looks like, the start of a new school year is officially here! This year, UMBC welcomes a pack of new Retrievers as they embark on the black and gold journey of a lifetime.  Continue Reading School’s in Session

in a behind the scenes shot on a film set, a man fends off a pretend bear with a door

Grin and Bear It

When asked to describe the cinematic masterpiece that is Cocaine Bear, Scott Seiss ’16, media and communication studies, didn’t mince any words to deliver his thoughts on the hit film based on true events. “I think ‘cocaine’ and ‘bear,’ just those two words pretty much sum it up. A wild rollercoaster ride of gore and jokes.” What started as a Facebook message to then-agentless Seiss’ spam folder with the suspicious but apt subject line “COCAINE” has led to a debut on the silver screen and launched this Retriever from Dundalk onto the national comedy stage. Bear for now, dog for… Continue Reading Grin and Bear It

Black and gold flags sway in the wind on a summer day in front of a large library and pond in the sunlight.

UMBC’s Top Stories of 2022

Just like the people that are part of our community, UMBC experienced a year of change, growth, and opportunity in 2022. Exciting achievements, transformative leadership, and groundbreaking research made this another year for the record books. Looking back at 2022, we’re reminded of all the reasons we’re proud to call UMBC home. Continue Reading UMBC’s Top Stories of 2022

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