Class of 2019

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.

UMBC graduates create their own paths to excellence, focused on succeeding together

Each graduating student’s path looks different. For many Retrievers, UMBC offers an opportunity to develop not just knowledge and skills, but also self-awareness that enables them to pursue personal passions. That self-awareness often means understanding what kinds of support made an impact on their experiences, and how they can lend support to those coming up behind them. Excellence for these seniors is about more than accolades; it is about succeeding together. 

“Appreciate the differences”: How study abroad shaped four UMBC student experiences

Many students come to UMBC with the goal of leaving the familiar behind to take on new challenges and gain a fresh perspective. Once they’re on campus, that’s also what inspires some Retrievers to explore international learning opportunities. Balancing course requirements, activities, research, and other responsibilities, while also pursuing study abroad, can prove challenging. But for these four UMBC students earning undergraduate degrees this month, it’s also been transformative.

Five UMBC students see their degrees as a step toward community impact

“Being a valedictorian for me is about honoring South Asian women feminists whose achievements were not as visible when I was growing up. It is also about the need to transform research and community service skills into direct activism.”—Samiksha Manjani

Petasis ‘19 at UMBC’s fall Senior Dance Concert. Photo by Marlayna Demond ‘11.

Laser focus without limits: UMBC’s newest grads choose their own adventures

He’s a bassoonist and chemical engineer. She’s a dancer and social justice advocate. UMBC students have a lot of focus, but that doesn’t mean they have to focus on one thing. For many, the UMBC experience is about figuring out how to combine their passions, not chose one or the other. Here, four UMBC students graduating this spring share how they have found their own unique balance.

From dream to drive to degree: Five UMBC journeys

“My goal is to be a part of the change that I’d like to see,” says Vanessa Gonzalez ’19, American studies, sharing the vision of so many UMBC students graduating alongside her. “I want to be part of helping lift up a community that deserves more.”

Fourteen UMBC students and recent alumni receive Fulbright awards, setting new record

Since 1970, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program has chosen more than 70 UMBC students and recent alumni to represent the United States through conducting research, teaching English, or pursuing graduate studies internationally. This year’s recipients will pursue Fulbright experiences in Rwanda, Malaysia, Colombia, Uzbekistan, and more.

UMBC’s newest grads share what inspired their unique paths

When students come to UMBC, they bring with them life experiences that shape the program they choose, the mentors they find, the research questions they ask, and the communities they build on campus. Here, five UMBC students earning their degrees this month share experiences that shaped their paths.

Two women holding a plaque in between them with a banner behind them.

UMBC students Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman and Olusayo Adeleye co-create 1st U.S. conference for Black women economists

Reflecting on her inspiration, Sadie T.M. Alexander, Opoku-Agyeman says, “Similar to Dr. Alexander, people have projected their limitations onto me, often focusing on what I could not do because of my race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background, age, or all of the above. She taught me that there is absolutely nothing that I cannot do. If want to reach a goal, all I have to do is run towards it.”

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