Meet a Retriever – Emily Faber, Ph.D. student in atmospheric physics

Published: Sep 30, 2022

A woman stands in front of a large NASA sign.
Atmospheric physics Ph.D. student Emily Faber poses in front of the NASA Langley campus during her internship there. Image courtesy of Faber.
Meet Emily Faber, M.S. ’21, atmospheric physics, who is currently pursuing her doctorate in the same at UMBC. Emily is a first-generation college student who is also very involved as a student leader in the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. Take it away, Emily!

Q: What brought you to UMBC in the first place?

A: I came to UMBC for the department I am in. I knew I wanted to study Earth Science and I had a physics background so Atmospheric Physics is where I thought I could do the most good in the world. UMBC is also really well connected with the NASA and NOAA centers in the DMV area and I knew that is where I want to work, so it was a perfect match!

Female student in graduation garb stands with statue of man in sunglasses
Faber poses with UMBC’s statue of Baltimore changemaker Walter Sondheim while celebrating the completion of her master’s degree in atmospheric physics. Photo courtesy of Faber.

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: It’s here! sometimes it seems hidden but there are people here that I’ve found that would do whatever they could to help me if I needed it. And I’ve seen them pull off some pretty amazing things for other students too! PROMISE, GSA (Graduate Student Association), individual faculty, and the deans are all great and supportive people!

“I knew I wanted to study Earth Science and I had a physics background so Atmospheric Physics is where I thought I could do the most good in the world. UMBC is also really well connected with the NASA and NOAA centers in the DMV area and I knew that is where I want to work, so it was a perfect match!”

Emily Faber, M.S. ’21, atmospheric physics

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

A: I know, cheesy, but my advisor, Dr. Adriana Rocha Lima is a really great supporter of mine. They say you should find a mentor, a sponsor, and a coach, and Dr. Rocha Lima is really great at being all three for me! She explains things when I don’t understand without judgment, connects me with people and conferences in our field, and gives me advice when I need it. Find a great advisor; they are out there!

A woman in front of a computer
Faber shares an Instagram selfie from when she planned and hosted the first international Earth Day Symposium with the UMBC atmospheric physics department.

Q: Tell us about what you love about the atmospheric physics program or an organization you’re involved in.

A: I love how my program works with outside researchers and is really committed to Earth science as a whole. We routinely work with people from national lab offices that will hire our students one day and it really makes an impact in the skill sets we as students learn!

Q: What clubs and orgs are you a part of and why?

A: I’m a Graduate Student Association senator and Graduate Student Success Committee (GSSC) co-chair. I also help run the Graduate Gender-minorities in Physics group. In both of these I get to help people through their graduate school experience and help lift the graduate community up! I love seeing students succeed and hate seeing them struggle because they don’t find a resource that they need. These roles help me plug people in when they need help and that is incredibly rewarding for me!

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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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