Campus Life

umbc in autumn, filled with colorful trees

Top 6 ways to celebrate (a slightly spine-chilling) autumn at UMBC

The leaves of the trees on campus are turning red, orange, and gold as the temperature finally starts to cool down. The semester is halfway over now as the autumn weather settles in, but there are still many great events to look forward to. So take a sip of your apple crisp oat milk macchiato and let’s look at six of the best ways to get in the spirit of the season at UMBC. Peek “Beyond the Veil” Throughout the months of October and November, online “Beyond the Veil” lectures will take a look at the ways different cultural histories… Continue Reading Top 6 ways to celebrate (a slightly spine-chilling) autumn at UMBC

musicians play in front of a carnival at homecoming

Celebrate Your Retriever Spirit at Homecoming 2023

Homecoming this year is full of fun events for canine and human Retrievers alike, whether they’re students, staff, faculty, alumni or friends and family. The week kicks off with the women’s soccer game on October 8, followed by a Maryland-themed dinner event and the Homecoming Bonfire.  Homecoming Saturday on October 14 has something for all the good pups on and off campus. While dogs have always been a large part of UMBC’s culture, UMBC has been creating new traditions with its furry friends in the past few years, like the RAC’s new Laps with Officer Chip and the now annual… Continue Reading Celebrate Your Retriever Spirit at Homecoming 2023

Printed text on yellow background as a word cloud, including words "Retriever Essentials. Community partnerships. Save-a-swipe"

Retriever Essentials student team is runner-up in a nationwide competition to address world hunger

Retriever Essentials, represented by student volunteers Nhi Nguyen ’25, biochemistry and bioinformatics, and Ben Bhattarai ’23, biology and psychology, is a second place finalist in the 2023 Wilbur Ellis Innovation Award. Announced at the end of September, the honorable mention award—given to only four schools—recognizes the student teams with the most innovative strategies for providing food for a growing world population. Continue Reading Retriever Essentials student team is runner-up in a nationwide competition to address world hunger

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

a UMBC student poses with True Grit, the live mascot with festive black and gold balloons around

Meet a Retriever—Anna Jones, peer tutor

Meet Anna Jones, a first-generation psychology major on the pre-med track at UMBC. What started as a “nudge” by one of her professors wound up leading Anna to becoming a peer tutor with UMBC’s SI (supplemental instruction) PASS (peer-assisted study sessions) program—an experience that has changed her life and defined her experience as a Retriever. We can’t wait to hear all about it! Q: What brought you to UMBC in the first place? A: Hello! I am a psychology B.S. major with a minor in biological sciences on the pre-med track. I transferred to UMBC after my first year of college… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Anna Jones, peer tutor

pep band director Corbett-Wilson leads the band outside of the Event Center

Alum Bentley Corbett-Wilson trumpets the pep band and school spirit

Bentley Corbett-Wilson ’17, music education, M.A. ’20, teaching, is UMBC’s director of athletic bands, leading the school pep ensemble, the Down and Dirty Dawg Band. He is a musician (trumpet is his main instrument), band director at Lake Elkhorn Middle School, and faculty member at the International School of Music. But he introduces himself as UMBC’s pep band director first. Q: How long have you been involved in music and performance? A: I think I officially became a “musician” in middle school band in sixth grade. I joined the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra Philharmonic and traveled to China, then I… Continue Reading Alum Bentley Corbett-Wilson trumpets the pep band and school spirit

group photo of three women in overalls holding plants, indoors

Sustainability Fellow Isabel Dastvan ’22 grows her career and invasive species management at UMBC

Throughout the 2022 – 2023 academic year, Isabel Dastvan completed on-the-ground surveys, created maps of invasive species on campus, identified the most urgent invasive threats, and determined the best ways to combat their spread. The end result is a 187-page, comprehensive Invasive Species Management Plan for UMBC. Continue Reading Sustainability Fellow Isabel Dastvan ’22 grows her career and invasive species management at UMBC

a group of young people gather around a garden plot, working the soil

Growing Fruitful Campus Connections

The occasional clang of a shovel rings through the chilly spring air amid the chatter of a small group of cheerful students at the UMBC Community Garden. The students and Ariel Barbosa, program coordinator for Retriever Essentials at UMBC and a master’s student in community leadership, are working hard to ready seven garden plots for crop production the growing season. Already, cold-hardy greens are on their way in one bed, and cucumbers and eggplant are growing indoors awaiting transplant. The gardening effort is a new initiative of Retriever Essentials, a faculty, staff, and student partnership to tackle food insecurity within… Continue Reading Growing Fruitful Campus Connections

Hope Weismann smiles at camera.

Meet a Retriever—Hope Weisman ’14, M.A. ’18, transfer student advocate

Meet Hope Weisman ’14, psychology, M.A. ’18, applied sociology, a Transfer Academic Advocate and member of the UMBC community for 10 years and counting. As a transfer to UMBC herself, Hope has found the perfect professional role for herself at UMBC’s Academic Success Center. Thanks for sharing your story, Hope! Q: Tell us about your primary why, and how it led you to UMBC. A: I came to UMBC as an undergraduate student because it felt like it was the right fit for me. I was transferring from a local community college and I had never even been to UMBC.… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Hope Weisman ’14, M.A. ’18, transfer student advocate

two women in professional clothes stand in front of large windows

Office Hours

Each week, UMBC President Valerie Sheares Ashby invites students to her office hours to chat about their lives and their experiences at UMBC. Today, she’s speaking with Viridiana Colosio-Martinez ’22, modern languages, linguistics, and intercultural communication, and M.A. ’24, intercultural communication, who emigrated from Mexico and is currently working on community-engaged research with immigrant communities in Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood. Read more about Colosio-Martinez’s life and work in Shared Stories, Shared Purpose. UMBC Magazine: Viridiana, you have such a compelling personal story. When you first met Dr. Sheares Ashby, what was the most important thing you wanted to convey to her… Continue Reading Office Hours

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