Meet a Retriever—Madelyn “Maddy” Pollack ’24, Humanities Scholar and Honors College member   

Published: Mar 12, 2024

four students in UMBC black and gold attire stand behind a poster that reads "Tour Registration". Two hold yellow foam thumbs-ups.
Maddy Pollack, right, is ready to lead a campus tour as a Grit Guide. (Image courtesy of Pollack)

Madelyn (“Maddy”) Pollack ’24, history, is a Humanities Scholar and a member of the Honors College. She is pursuing minors in public history and Judaic studies, and she is active in Hillel and Chabad on campus. Maddy works in Undergraduate Admissions as a Grit Guide and in the UMBC Office of the President as a student archivist. When she isn’t studying or spending time with friends, she enjoys reading. Here Maddy shares the many ways she is involved on campus and why she values all of her sources of support at UMBC.

Q: Tell us what you love about your academic program or another organization you are involved in.

A: I love being part of the Honors College because it’s my home on campus. They give us all the resources we might need, like a study lounge in the library and free printing, and support us beyond that with learning opportunities, free food, and amazing interdisciplinary excursions (did someone say Hamilton at the Hippodrome?). I’m currently taking an Honors Seminar on Star Wars and puppetry, and I think it’s fantastic that we have such an amazing variety of courses. I know that I will stay connected even after I graduate, because Honors College staff have helped me grow so much academically, professionally, and personally. Plus, it’s fun to say that I’m in the Honors College at an honors university! 

group photo of four students on the UMBC campus, spring greenery in the background
Maddy Pollack, second from left, with fellow members of the UMBC Hillel executive board for the 2022 – 2023 academic year. (Image courtesy of Pollack)

Q: Why did you choose UMBC?? 

A: I came to UMBC because I wanted to have the resources of a large university and the feel of a small university. We have the best of both worlds—not too big, but not too small. I love that I can see people I know everywhere I go on campus, but I also feel so lucky to have connections with professors and mentors who can help me do anything I want after graduation.

Q: Since you’ve been a part of the UMBC community, what sources of support have you found to help you reach your goals? 

A: My professors in the history department have been the biggest help in jump-starting my future. They’ve not only provided important skills training in the classroom, but also career planning and networking advice. I even got to intern at NASA—not something you’d expect of someone so far removed from STEM disciplines!

I know that I will stay connected even after I graduate, because Honors College staff have helped me grow so much academically, professionally, and personally.

Maddy Pollack ’24

Q: Are you currently part of a scholars program at UMBC? Tell us what you enjoy about it!

A: Being part of the Humanities Scholars Program means I get extra enrichment as a UMBC student. First, we are lucky to have multiple excursions each semester that bring us to local arts events and theatrical performances. Each spring, we get to go on a trip to New York City to visit a museum and see a show on Broadway. (I’m especially excited about this year’s tickets to Six!)

Finally, each Humanities Scholar is encouraged to study abroad, and our scholarships are transferable to our institutions abroad. We can also apply for additional study abroad scholarships to fund our experiences as we become global citizens. I just got back from a semester in London this past fall, and you can see my blogs as an ambassador for our Education Abroad office.

Maddy and another UMBC Humanities Scholar bundled in warm clothes stand in front of a frozen cirque with steep rock walls on all sides.
Maddy Pollack, right, and Humanities Scholar Evan Royston ’25, history, visited Iceland while both of them were studying abroad in Europe. Here they stand in front of the Kerid Volcanic Crater. (Image courtesy of Pollack)

Q: What’s the one thing you’d want someone who is new to the UMBC community to know?

A: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Everyone remembers what it was like to be new to UMBC, and although the first few times you ask for help might be scary, our community is dedicated to being a family, and you’ll find your place soon!

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.

Learn more about how UMBC can help you achieve your goals.

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