Meet a Retriever—Kisha Parker ’00, Alumni Association PR Committee Chair

Published: Mar 8, 2024

Kisha Parker standing at the UMBC Alumni Awards podium.
Kisha Parker standing at the UMBC Alumni Awards podium.
Meet Kisha Parker ’00. Kisha is a dual-degree alumna with a B.S. in biological sciences and a B.A. in psychology, and an active member of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors, serving as Chair of the Public Relations Committee. As a student, she was very active, taking leadership roles in several organizations, including the Student Government Association (SGA) as the director of state and national affairs, and the Lambda Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., as president. UMBC is also where Kisha found love–meeting her future husband, Kevin Parker ’99, mechanical engineering, who was also involved in Greek Life as president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Nu Kappa Chapter, and served on the SGA executive board. This alumni power couple is now married with three children and is forever grateful that their paths crossed at UMBC–their forever home. Take it away, Kisha!
Two sorority sisters dressed in red stand in front of a crowd of students.
Kisha Parker and her Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. sorority sister at the Greek preview outside the University Center.

Q: What is your WHY? What brought you to UMBC?

A: What led me to UMBC was the size of the classes, academic reputation, and affordability. The bonus was the amazing avenues of support and opportunities to grow once I became a student. My experience at UMBC has led to an amazing circle of friendships, partnerships, resources, and career opportunities.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. sorority sisters over 25 years

Q: What’s your favorite part of being a part of Retriever Nation?

A: Retriever Nation is diverse and multi-faceted. I love bragging about our chess team and mock trial championships, just as much as sports and academic entities. I love celebrating the wide net of accomplishments our alumni are doing around the world and the history we are making with UMBC roots.

Q: Where have you found support in the UMBC community?

A: I had a mentor in LaMont Toliver of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, lived with inspiring, smart, and motivated roommates as consistent models of achievement, and became a part of a legacy of like-minded, multifaceted women in my sorority. These relationships have led to many experiences (too numerous to count…and still ongoing!) that helped me grow mentally, academically, professionally, and as a public service enthusiast.

(On the left, Kisha Parker and her Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. sisters over a 25-year span.)

Q: What’s the one thing you’d want someone who hasn’t joined the UMBC community to know about the support you find here?

A: UMBC has a bit of everything. While strong academic programming is already established, our inclusive culture is invaluable. The support to be successful is here and in multiple forms. Whether it is in the form of day-one-ready mentorship, financial support opportunities, well-thought-out facilities to enhance the student experience and future studies, or administrative planning with students, staff, and alumni in mind, the avenues of support are multifaceted.

Q: Tell us about what you love about an organization you’re involved in.

A: I am a member of the Board of Directors of the UMBC Alumni Association. What I love about this organization is being able to further engage alumni in different ways, contribute to efforts to keep our community connected and aware, and promote UMBC’s brand. I have been able to see UMBC through a very different lens as an alum than I was as a busy and active student, and it has been integral to happily volunteering my time, financial support, and event support.

(On the right, Kisha Parker in her cap and gown on graduation day.)

Kisha Parker in her cap and gown on graduation day.

Q: What drives you to support UMBC?

A: Over the years, I have supported many programs financially, but the Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund is one I make sure to always support. It allows an avenue for the Alumni Association to award current, deserving students an opportunity to continue their education in ways they need. I have been able to see the impact of these scholarships through the personal testimonies of the recipients, witness the process of awarding these scholarships, and am confident that this donation (and many others!) is going to good and immediate use!

Kisha Parker and three other women at the UMBC Alumni Awards.
Members of UMBC’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, Kisha Parker ’00, Vanita Murray ’95, Monique Jones Cephas ‘92, and Karen Woodard ’90, at the Alumni Awards ceremony.

About the Alumni Association Board of Directors

UMBC’s Alumni Association is a non ­dues-paying organization and is led by a volunteer Board of Directors—volunteer graduates, like Lisa, who support advancing the mission and vision of the association and, by extension, UMBC, through their visibility as alumni leaders and active participants in the ongoing work of the board and its committees.

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UMBC’s greatest strength is its people. When people meet Retrievers and hear about the passion they bring, the relationships they create, the ways they support each other, and the commitment they have to inclusive excellence, they truly get a sense of our community. That’s what “Meet a Retriever” is all about.

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