Meet a Retriever—Christian Jassani ’27, a first-year ambassador and active student leader

Published: May 3, 2024

Man standing behind UMBC podium, smiling.
Christian Jassani delivering his speech at UMBC's 2023 Fall Opening.
Meet Christian Jassani, a first-year political science and global studies major. Christian is a member of the Honors College, Susquehanna Community Council, Honors Council, and SGA. He has taken advantage of the many opportunities UMBC offers, which has helped him to grow, both socially, and academically. From these opportunities, he has been able to gain confidence in himself, find a family at UMBC, and make connections with staff who are there to support his academic journey every step of the way. Take it away, Christian.  

Q: What’s one essential thing you’d want another Retriever to know about you? 

A: I love learning! It sounds very cliché, but I truly love learning about all different kinds of topics. Whether it be history, politics, or any other areas, I really do find learning to be very fun.

Q: Tell us about someone in the community who has inspired you or supported you, and how they did it. 

A: Dr. Brigid Starkey, the director of global studies. I had her my first semester and continue to stay in contact. She is always there to help guide me academically, but also reminds me to step back and enjoy college.

Q: Tell us what you love about your academic program or an organization you’re involved in.

A: I love everyone and everything about the Honors College. The staff truly care for all their students. You are also surrounded by a group of other students who love learning. The best thing about the Honors College is everyone supports each other because we are one big family.

Christian, second from left, with his roommate and suitemate posing with True Grit at UMBC’s 2023 Homecoming carnival.

Q: What’s the one thing you’d want someone to know about the support you find here?

A: Connect! There are so many great opportunities as UMBC available to students. To get these opportunities you have to be willing to put your name out there. So even though I know it seems scary, send out those emails!

Q: Tell us what brought you to UMBC in the first place.

A: I chose UMBC because when I stepped on campus for my tour I truly felt like this was the place for me. I was looking for colleges where I would be challenged academically, but also be surrounded by a supportive environment. I automatically knew this was the place for me when on my tour my Grit Guide said something along the lines of, “Here at UMBC, students are not pitted against each other, but rather the students help each other grow.”

As soon as I heard that, in my head, I was committed to UMBC. I knew UMBC was a place that could give not only a great education, but also be in a supportive community that cares about me and help me flourish both academically and socially.

Three women and a man dressed in black pose in front of a stage and beside a UMBC podium surrounded by flowers.
Christian with President Valerie Sheares Ashby and other student speakers at UMBC’s 2023 Fall Opening.

Q: Your HOW. Since you’ve been a part of the UMBC community, how have you found support?

A: Since I have been at UMBC I have grown so much both socially and in my academics. I am a rather shy person, but my being here has allowed me to gain more confidence in myself. I have a huge fear of presenting, so when I was chosen to be the first-year speaker for the 2023 Fall Opening, I was terrified. But through that speech, I made connections with many faculty members on campus. That kid who was terrified to speak, is now a Grit Guide and is involved in multiple clubs.

I automatically knew this was the place for me when on my tour my Grit Guide said something along the lines of, “Here at UMBC, students are not pitted against each other, but rather the students help each other grow.”

Christian Jassani ’27

Besides helping me grow socially, UMBC has also been extremely supportive in my academic journey. I frequently meet with my professor who gives me guidance and advice on how to navigate the different academic departments. The staff at UMBC have also helped me find different internships and scholarships. Here at UMBC, it is evident you are more than just a number, the staff really do have your best interest at heart and want to see you grow as an individual.

Q: What clubs, teams, or organizations are you a part of? What do you love about them?

A: I am currently the Residential Student Life representative for Susquehanna Community Council, first-year rep for the Honors College Council, a First-Year Ambassador for SGA, and a Grit Guide. What I love about all of these groups are the people I get to work with. We all share a common purpose of wanting to create a better space for everyone at UMBC.

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

A: I am a member of the Honors College and live in the Honors LLC. My favorite thing about this is that I have a big family here at UMBC. The Honors College is an extremely supportive environment. What I especially love about the LLC in particular, is that I am surrounded by people who have similar experiences to me, and can directly relate to problems I may encounter.

Christian and his friends from the Honors LLC in the Harbor Courtyard making s’mores on Valentine’s Day 2024.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a student leader?

A: The best part about my leadership roles are that I have the platform to actively execute the ideas of the students I represent. I love hearing from my fellow peers about concerns they have, and being able to bring those issues to the table. But the absolute best thing about these roles is getting to plan fun events and see students take a break from academics to just enjoy college.

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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.

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

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