Alums in the News: Mayhew, Giardino, Merki, and VanDyke

By: UMBC News Staff
Sep 27, 2014

(Aaron Merki headshot)

Here at UMBC, we take pride in what our alums accomplish after graduation. Take a moment to see which Retrievers have been on the move and making news!

photo via

Alumnus Jaimes Mayhew ‘10, imaging and digital arts, Icelandic Fulbright Scholar and IMDA MFA, will participate in an imaging and digital arts event along with Neja Tomšič, taking place on Thursday, November 6, from noon to 1 p.m. In 2008, Tomšič founded the Museum of Transitory Art in Solvenia. She deals with creating open platform media, public art projects, along with publications and interviews with international artists. Her goal is to bring more engagement with this genre of art forms to the U.S. Read more.

Shelli Giardino
photo via

With almost 20 years of human resources experience in the senior living and healthcare industry, Shelli Giardino ’94, political science, has recently been recognized as the new Director of Human Resources at Devonshire at PGA National. She began working for Erickson Living in September 2003 as a senior human resources manager at Charlestown in Catonsville, Md. Over the years she worked her way up to becoming Director of Human Resources. At Devonshire she will be focused on improving the community’s employee environment. Read the full article.

Aaron Merki
photo via The Baltimore Sun

Recently deciding to depart as executive director of Free State Legal, Aaron Merki ’05, political science, has taken on the role to work with the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. As a co-founder of Free State Legal, Merki has been involved with numerous accomplishments relating to legal services of low-income Baltimore residents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. At the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Merki will focus on improving living for the city’s aging population. Read more.

photo via

In an interview with the U.K.’s Mirror, Matthew VanDyke ’02, political science, speaks about the tragic story of his friend, journalist James Foley. Foley went missing near Aleppo, Syria, in November 2012 where he was pursuing his passion as a conflicts journalist, and was tragically killed after being held captive. VanDyke pays tribute to his friend, while also discussing the danger and risks that come along with being a journalist in a country such as Syria or Iraq, even when taking all possible precautions. Read VanDyke’s full story.

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