“I am driven by knowing that I can help future generations of my family explore what the world has to offer,” says Joshua Gray. “My work can open up opportunities for them and help them look at the world and their experiences in a different way.”
Due to the constraints of COVID, student researchers have become even more creative in using technology not just to display their research, but to pursue their research at a time when in-person interviews, fieldwork, and traditional performances aren’t possible. Students learned to do interviews online and navigated lab research within physical distancing guidelines. They also responded to the pandemic by examining the changes in society and in themselves.
Majoring in the arts requires intense levels of stamina and self-discipline — long hours rehearsing, creating, writing, designing, interpreting — coupled with an inner drive for inquiry and perfection. UMBC’s undergraduate and graduate students in the arts are no exception, reaching forward even in this era of social distancing.
On October 18 and 19, choreography by Ann Sofie Clemmensen, assistant professor of dance, will be presented at the new REACH expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Featuring 20 dancers, including UMBC students, Clemmensen’s three-part experience — In To and Out Of — transports audiences through different spaces of the REACH using the unique characteristics of each location to explore concepts in pattern and timing, light and dark, and limitation and transformation.
“CAHSS’s amazing students do it all: think and learn across boundaries and borders, develop their identities as scholars and citizens, and contribute their imagination and expertise to local and global communities,” says Scott Casper, dean of CAHSS. “Given all they’ve already accomplished, it’s exciting to envision what they’ll do next.”
He’s a bassoonist and chemical engineer. She’s a dancer and social justice advocate. UMBC students have a lot of focus, but that doesn’t mean they have to focus on one thing. For many, the UMBC experience is about figuring out how to combine their passions, not chose one or the other. Here, four UMBC students graduating this spring share how they have found their own unique balance.
On Saturday, June 9, the stage of Terrace Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., will be graced by the choreography of new UMBC alumna Maia Schechter, a Linehan Artist Scholar whose work was selected for the finals of the American College Dance Festival through a nationally competitive process.
“I am most proud of the kinds of questions these students are asking in their research and creative work,” says April Householder, director of undergraduate research and prestigious scholarships. “From developing clean air technologies or bringing awareness to human trafficking, to collaborating with local poets and creating meaningful art, UMBC undergrads are making change in the world.”