Meet a Retriever – Evangeline Kirigua ’21, political science

Published: Oct 26, 2022

a woman in a yellow dress
Kirigua attending the Women's Legislative Briefing held at USG. Photo courtesy of Kirigua.
Meet Evangeline Kirigua ’21, political science, who transferred from Montgomery College and is now working as an intake officer with the Maryland Department of Transportation. Evangeline, who returned to school in her 50s, recently created a scholarship in honor of her parents to give assistance to students studying political science at UMBC at The Universities at Shady Grove. Thanks for sharing your story, Evangeline!

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

A: Procrastination is a dream killer. Don’t do tomorrow what you can do today. As long as there is a minute in your day, use it. Tomorrow is not promised.

Q: What brought you to UMBC at The Universities at Shady Grove and what you love about the political science department, in particular?

A: I came to UMBC because when I was taking a class in International Studies at Montgomery College, the professor spoke highly about UMBC’s Political Science program. Political Science just speaks my language. I am passionate about civic engagement. I do not get it when people tell me that they do not vote: at the same time complaining about things in their community that are going wrong or not done. This led me to start a forum called Diaspora Initiative for Civic Engagement, to encourage voter registration.

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

A: My forever guardian angel is Dr. Brigid Starkey, Head of Global Studies. I thoroughly enjoyed her class, American Foreign Policy. Dr. Starkey believed in me and encouraged me to do an independent study. Her support unleashed in me a tenacity that I never knew I had.

At right, Kirigua (center) poses with classmates Ketsia Muteba (left) and Tatiana Mendez after they complete a class project. Photo courtesy of Kirigua.

Q: We understand you’re a donor. What do you support and why?

A: I have founded a scholarship in honor of my parents: the Ernest & Adelina Kirigua Scholarship. It is to benefit minority students pursuing Political Science at UMBC/USG.

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: The Retriever spirit is real. I chose UMBC over other schools that had promised me almost 100 percent free tuition. I have never doubted my decision. Bring your dream: UMBC will help you build it, or help you dream.

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