Campus Life

Net Achievements

When the number-one seed Denver Outlaws met the second-seed Chesapeake Bayhawks at Harvard University in the Major League Lacrosse championship game in August 2012, there was a Retriever reunion of sorts between the lines. Denver Outlaws player and league MVP Brendan Mundorf ’07, sociology, is perhaps the best-known UMBC men’s lacrosse player today, but two of his Outlaws teammates – Peet Poillon ’10, interdisciplinary studies, and Terry Kimener ’09, American studies – also played their lacrosse at UMBC. And lining up against that Retriever trio for the Chesapeake Bayhawks? Former UMBC standout Drew Westervelt ’09, economics. (Westervelt also plays professional… Continue Reading Net Achievements

At Play – Winter 2013

SMART WINS Aki Thomas, acting head coach of UMBC men’s basketball team, is a cool customer at courtside. He exudes calming reassurance in team huddles, and he’s more likely to remove his glasses and stare than bark at a referee after a bad call. Thomas became head coach in October – less than a month before the season opener – after the resignation of Randy Monroe. He has been coaching and recruiting at UMBC since 2007, after a playing career that included time at the University of Colorado and Howard University, as well as a stint playing professional basketball in… Continue Reading At Play – Winter 2013

The News – Fall 2012

FIRST IMPRESSIONS By the time you read this, the first phase of UMBC’s Performing Arts and Humanities Building will already be teeming with students and faculty eager to study, teach, work and play in the brand-new space. So what are they seeing as they walk into the building? UMBC Magazine managed to get a peek as the furniture arrived – and just before faculty and staff moved into the place in late July. One of the jewels of the new building is the 275- seat proscenium theater (1), which is a significant upgrade on the theatre department’s former performing space,… Continue Reading The News – Fall 2012

At Play – Fall 2012

PUZZLE POWER Marie desJardins, a professor of computer science at UMBC, specializes in research on artificial intelligence. But at the 2012 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in March, her research became downright competitive when desJardins crossed pencils with a crossword-solving computer program. The progam, dubbed “Dr. Fill,” was going up against one of the best crossword puzzle solvers in the country. DesJardins is the top-ranked female solver in the Mid-Atlantic region and she is the 44th best solver in the country. (Dr. Fill finished the same tournament in 141st place.) “I didn’t realize I could be this good at crossword puzzles,”… Continue Reading At Play – Fall 2012

From Aspiration to Achievement

Twenty years ago, UMBC sought a greater academic reputation and a deeper sense of community. It advanced both goals under the leadership of President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. By Richard Byrne ’86 Giving name to your aspirations is often the first step to achieving them. And back in 1995, the words that campus leaders summoned to encompass their hopes for UMBC were “An Honors University in Maryland.” The university was just shy of its 30th anniversary and only three years into the tenure of its fifth president, Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. UMBC already possessed institutional strengths, including its stellar faculty,… Continue Reading From Aspiration to Achievement

The News – Summer 2012

TAKE A SEAT The first phase of UMBC’s Performing Arts and Humanities Building is on schedule for its Fall 2012 opening. Soon, the departments of English and theatre will move into the building – along with the James T. and Virginia M. Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Linehan Artist Scholars Program and the Humanities Scholars Program. It’s a big event in UMBC’s history, but did you know that you can already put your personal stamp on the university’s newest building? UMBC is offering chances to name a seat in the building’s state-of-the-art proscenium theatre. The new theatre is the… Continue Reading The News – Summer 2012

At Play – Summer 2012

PERFECT BLEND The UMBC Gospel Choir started in 1976 as a small, student-run organization. These days, it’s a key part of the university’s musical community, performing on-campus and boasting more than 40 dedicated members under the direction of Janice Jackson ’79, music. The choir’s traditions give the group both continuity and a “family feel,” says Comfort Oke ’13, the group’s official historian. Members gather every Wednesday night at 8:45 p.m. in the Fine Arts Recital Hall. Each session begins with Bible study and then an hour of practice. As rehearsals draw to a close, students link arms and share things… Continue Reading At Play – Summer 2012

The News – Winter 2012

CENTER OF ATTENTION When the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) opened in Montgomery County in the fall of 2000, the project was an innovative concept in higher education: a place where part-time students could attend classes offered by a variety of public institutions. UMBC has been a key part of Shady Grove from the beginning, and this fall, UMBC celebrated its 10th anniversary as part of the endeavor, which has grown now into a state-of-the-art center offering more than 60 degree programs in partnership with nine University System of Maryland schools and serving more than 3,650 undergraduate and graduate students.… Continue Reading The News – Winter 2012

The Coolest Jobs (You Never Knew Existed) at UMBC

It takes a lot of hands to keep UMBC running. Fingers typing in the information to get your transcript in the mail. Gloved hands that keep an experiment in a chemistry or biology lab on course. The fingers of a professor, grasping chalk or a dry-erase pen. Yet there is some work at UMBC that requires a special touch. We’d like you to meet five such employees – members of the university community with jobs that are both surprising and essential to making UMBC a better place. By Jenny O’Grady Photos by Chris Hartlove The Guru of Glass Name: Tony… Continue Reading The Coolest Jobs (You Never Knew Existed) at UMBC


At Play – Winter 2012

PUZZLE PAIR   When Marianne and Don Engel first met and started to date, they assembled a 1000 piece glow-in-the-dark neon jigsaw puzzle of the Eiffel Tower. Now almost three years later, Don, an assistant vice president for research at UMBC, and Marianne, a research scientist at the Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute at Fort Detrick, have moved on to assembling the mother of all puzzles – 10,000 pieces of paper from a shredder. The Engels recently completed the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Shredder Challenge, coming in second out of nearly 9,000 teams. The Challenge consisted… Continue Reading At Play – Winter 2012

The News – Fall 2011

WONDERFUL WORKPLACE UMBC’s reputation as an “honors university in Maryland” and as a place that revels in the diversity of its community have made it a destination for students. But what do the university’s faculty and staff members think about working at UMBC? If the Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual survey of “Great Colleges to Work For” is any indication, professor and staffers alike are finding UMBC to be a destination as well. The university was one of only 42 colleges and universities in the nation – and the only four-year institution in Maryland – to make the newspaper’s Honor… Continue Reading The News – Fall 2011

At Play – Fall 2011

WORDS AND MUSIC Open the door to Annapolis’ Rams Head Tavern and the sounds of upbeat banjo and guitar fly out into the warm night air, followed by closely by the gruff voice of Adam Trice ’04, English – who’s in the middle of a 45-minute set with his band, Red Sammy. “It ain’t you, it ain’t her,” Trice growls tunefully in a song called “It Ain’t You (Carolina Road Anthem).” “I’m heading south, but I’m not sure. You got me high, it’s kind of funny. I’m playing bars for gas money.” Trice dubs Red Sammy’s music as “graveyard country”… Continue Reading At Play – Fall 2011

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