Scholarship Q&A: Nicole Shah, Newcombe Scholar

Published: May 13, 2013

Every so often, we highlight the importance of student scholarships by introducing you to the very students they help to succeed. Today, we’re speaking with Nicole Shah, a senior social work major who is also a Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation Scholarship recipient. This scholarship is given to returning female students over the age of 25. If you’re interested in learning more about the Returning Women’s meetings or scholarships, contact the Women’s Center at

nicoleshahName: Nicole Shah, married mom of 4
Grad Year/Major:  Social Work major, senior year
Affiliations:  Mosaic Center DEI Fall 2012, Conversation Partner ELI Spring 2012

Q:  What benefits have you experienced as a Newcombe Scholar?

A:  Formal connection to the Women’s Center and all of the support the center offers. Monthly returning student’s meetings and having a network of students similar to me in my age and life situation(s) to lean on for support.

Q:  What do you wish traditional students knew about being a non-traditional student?

A:  That age ain’t nothing but a number. Younger students and mature students have a lot to offer one another, don’t be hesitant to reach out in class and on campus. The common denominator is that we are all students at UMBC so choose to focus on that. Once we graduate, we will be working with diverse groups of people so take advantage of learning how to do that now while in college.

Q:  What do you wish the University and Professors knew about being a non-traditional student?

A:  That returning students do not want special treatment, if we choose to tell you some of our extra responsibilities outside of campus it is because we need your support not your pity. There is a difference. No two people are alike therefore keep in mind no two students are alike; there is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

Q:  What is one piece of advice you would offer to new non-traditional students at UMBC?

A:  It is in your best interest to get involved on campus. With families and work responsibilities it does make it more challenging, but it is possible. Campus involvement definitely made my time at UMBC more rich and enjoyable.

Read more about the Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship here.

This interview originally appeared on the UMBC Women’s Center website.

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