Alumni association

Laura with House Speaker Adrienne Jones ‘76, and fellow Alumni Association board member Lisa Nissley ‘01, after all three women spoke at the 2024 UMBC Annapolis Reception: Saluting Women Leaders.

Meet a Retriever—Laura Howell ’86, disability advocate and Alumni Association governance committee chair

Meet Laura Howell; she graduated from UMBC in 1986 with a B.A. in political science. She is an advocate for those with developmental disabilities and the CEO of the Maryland Association of Community Services, having recently celebrated her 20th anniversary in the position. Laura is also an active member of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors, serving as chair of the governance committee. She credits her time at UMBC and the support she received here for preparing her for a career of advocacy and service. Take it away, Laura! Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. A. I… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Laura Howell ’86, disability advocate and Alumni Association governance committee chair

Alumni Awards 2022. Pictured left to right: Kevin Yang ’07, Katelyn Niu ’05, Christina McWilliams, Sean McWilliams M.S. '16, and Brian Frazee ’11, M.P.P. ’12

Meet a Retriever—Sean McWilliams, M.S. ’16, Alumni Association Alumni Awards Committee Co-Chair

Meet Sean McWilliams, M.S. ‘16, applied mathematics. Sean is a portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price and an active member of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors, serving as one of the co-chairs of the Alumni Awards committee. Sean was a non-traditional student who found his way to UMBC as a part-time graduate student while working full-time at T. Rowe Price. Take it away, Sean! Q: What is your WHY? What brought you to UMBC? A: After working for a few years I deeply missed the academic rigor of studying mathematics. I wanted to study more math at the graduate… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Sean McWilliams, M.S. ’16, Alumni Association Alumni Awards Committee Co-Chair

Kisha Parker standing at the UMBC Alumni Awards podium.

Meet a Retriever—Kisha Parker ’00, Alumni Association PR Committee Chair

Meet Kisha Parker ’00. Kisha is a dual-degree alumna with a B.S. in biological sciences and a B.A. in psychology, and an active member of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors, serving as Chair of the Public Relations Committee. As a student, she was very active, taking leadership roles in several organizations, including the Student Government Association (SGA) as the director of state and national affairs, and the Lambda Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., as president. UMBC is also where Kisha found love–meeting her future husband, Kevin Parker ’99, mechanical engineering, who was also involved in… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Kisha Parker ’00, Alumni Association PR Committee Chair

Lisa Nissley and her family at a UMBC ice hockey game during homecoming in 2023.

Meet a Retriever—Lisa Nissley ’01, Alumni Association Nominating Committee Chair

Meet Lisa Nissley ‘01, political science. Lisa is a legislative liaison at the Department of General Services, as well as the chair of the mominating committee on the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors. In her spare time, you can find her at the ice rink (her two children are involved in figure skating and ice hockey), the pool (swim team), or the lacrosse field. Lisa also enjoys reading, cooking (when it’s not required), walking, and being creative. Take it away, Lisa! Q: What’s the one thing you’d want someone who hasn’t joined the UMBC community to know about the… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Lisa Nissley ’01, Alumni Association Nominating Committee Chair

Tracie Cox, Nichole Richmond, Sue Wellington, Anne Wellington Goldsmith, and Monique Cephas celebrating their 25th anniversary of becoming a member of the Lambda Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Meet a Retriever—Monique Cephas ’92, Alumni Association scholarship committee chair

Meet Monique Jones Cephas ‘92, information systems management. Monique is the Deputy Associate Commissioner for the Office of Electronic Services and Systems Integration at the Social Security Administration and the current Scholarship Committee Chair of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors. Monique credits her time at UMBC and participation in the university’s cooperative education program—along with a lot of hard work, perseverance, and dedication—for her career success. “Each one, reach one” is one of Monique’s favorite mantras. This is why she gives back to UMBC as an active member of the Alumni Association. Take it away, Monique! Q: What’s… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Monique Cephas ’92, Alumni Association scholarship committee chair

Kevin Yang '07, Katelyn Niu '05, and their son holding up their Homecoming 2023 nametags.

Meet a Retriever—Kevin Yang ’07, Alumni Association Executive Vice President

Meet Kevin Yang ’07, computer science and financial economics. Kevin is a real estate entrepreneur, the current executive vice president and vice president of finance of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors, and one half of an alumni power couple. Kevin met his wife, Katelyn Niu ’05, biochemistry, when the pair found themselves in the same physics study group as undergrads (because where else do you find love at UMBC?). They both share a passion for UMBC that runs deep. Take it away, Kevin! Q: What is your WHY? What brought you to UMBC?  A. I grew up in… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Kevin Yang ’07, Alumni Association Executive Vice President

A family embraces and smiles at the camera. The father has a foam UMBC paw.

Meet a Retriever—Jennifer Herson ’99, Alumni Association Vice President

Meet Jennifer Herson ’99, interdisciplinary studies. Jen is an executive at Data Canopy, a data center and cloud company, and the current Vice President of Operations of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors. As a board member, Jen believes deeply in the mission of UMBC and the sense of community and belonging this institution fosters. She helps perpetuate these values through her work on the board and as a donor. Take it away, Jen! 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: Everyone can… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Jennifer Herson ’99, Alumni Association Vice President

A man and woman stand in front of a yellow backdrop

Meet a Retriever—Brian Frazee ’11, M.P.P. ’12, Alumni Association President

Meet Brian Frazee, the president and CEO of the Delaware Hospital Association. Brian is a double alum—earning his political science degree in 2011 and his M.P.P. in health policy in 2012—a former resident assistant (RA), and the current president of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors. But most importantly, he would say, Brian is married to Angela Frazee ‘11, psychology, whom he met during his time at UMBC, and the couple have three daughters. Take it away, Brian! Q: What’s one essential thing you’d want another Retriever to know about you? A: I am an alumnus who met his… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Brian Frazee ’11, M.P.P. ’12, Alumni Association President

Headshot of Nate Dissmeyer in a grey suit with a yellow tie and pocket square.

Meet a Retriever—Nate Dissmeyer ’07, alumni leader and recurring donor

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… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Nate Dissmeyer ’07, alumni leader and recurring donor

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