Meet Nate Dissmeyer ’07, information systems, a program manager with Galapagos Federal Systems, providing Army IT support at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Dissmeyer finds fulfillment in helping to develop IT professionals and supporting the Department of Defense community. And UMBC really gave him the skills to succeed in his position, he says. Dissmeyer, who is a recurring donor and a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors (AABoD), found his way at UMBC through involvement with the Habitat for Humanity chapter and as a member of Triangle Fraternity.
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 is simply a beacon of greatness. We attract some of the best minds, people, staff, leaders, and professors. Support is always present, always available even if you don’t necessarily seek it. There is a sense of if you succeed, we all succeed. Greatness doesn’t always come easy and there are times you’re going to struggle, but with a little grit and help from those around you, you will persevere and succeed.
Q: What brought you to UMBC in the first place?
A: I first came to UMBC for an Odyssey of the Mind competition in middle school. I remember walking around campus and just being amazed with the setting. When it was time to apply to colleges, UMBC was the only one I wanted to attend. It was the perfect size, not too small but not so large that I would be lost in the crowd or just a number on paper. UMBC was rising in the ranks as one of the best schools in the area, and I knew I was going to be challenged in my academic endeavors. Doing well here would help me succeed down the road.
Q: Tell us about the people who helped you grow at UMBC, and why their HOW made such a difference to you.
A: UMBC provided me much more than a place to get a degree. UMBC surrounded me with amazing people who have continued to influence me. My academic adviser encouraged me to make a degree change when I was struggling my sophomore year. A professor of my project management class who saw something in me to recommend Jim Collins’ Good to Great, which cultivated my management style.
I’ve gotten to see first hand how the money raised for the Alumni Endowment Scholarship helps our current students… Whether a semester’s worth of books, or one less job shift so they can spend more time at home raising their family; being able to help is rewarding.
Through my involvement with the Habitat for Humanity chapter, I had the opportunity to help several families in West Baltimore and annually in Florida for our Spring Break build trip. I would have never dreamt that my Greek Life family would introduce me to my amazing wife (Sena Dissmeyer ’08, biochemistry and molecular biology), jump start my professional career, and form some of the most meaningful friendships I have. I am forever grateful for the impact, influence, and experiences UMBC has and will continue to give me.
Q: Tell us what you love about your role as an alumni leader.
A: Participating in the alumni organizations has been very special. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the efforts to recognize amazing alumni and hearing their stories at the Alumni Awards. I would highly recommend current students to attend at least one event. I’ve also been so pleased to help award scholarships to students, whether raising money through the Chapter of Young Alumni or being part of the selection committee on the AABoD.
Q: What drives you to support UMBC?
A: As a recurring donor, it’s easy to set up my monthly automatic donation, and I’ve gotten to see first hand how the money raised for the Alumni Endowment Scholarship helps our current students from all walks of life continue to achieve their academic success by removing some of the financial stress. Whether a semester’s worth of books, or one less job shift so they can spend more time at home raising their family; being able to help is rewarding.
Q: Who in the community has inspired you or supported you, and how?
A: Honestly, a huge shoutout to Greg Simmons (M.P.P. ’04, vice president for Institutional Advancement) and his Office of Institutional Advancement team. Since joining the alumni groups, I’ve had the privilege of working with amazing staff and leaders. I never quite understood the depths of their work, but they do so much both visibly and behind the scenes. Now in my tenth year of consecutive giving, their hard work truly inspires me to participate and continue to contribute my skills and abilities for the betterment of UMBC.
Q: What’s your favorite part of being a part of Retriever Nation?
A: I love how passionate we are about UMBC and how supportive we are of one another. The strong passion leads to some great connections within the group, and my circle of friends and professional network connections continue to grow.
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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.