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Young woman with long dark hair wearing a grey blazer and light blue skirt, standing and holding twisted orange wire,

UMBC’s Sydney Gaskins competes in the final round of Trial by Combat, a national mock trial championship

UMBC Mock Trial continues to reach new heights at a national level, even with COVID-19 impacting the competition season. Sydney Gaskins ’22, political science, finished as a runner-up in the final round of the national Trial by Combat (TBC), a head-to-head individual mock trial championship hosted this summer by the UCLA School of Law and Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law.

UMBC’s Gloria Chuku is named the 2020 – 21 Lipitz Professor for her research on the Igbo people of Nigeria

Gloria Chuku, chair and professor of Africana studies, has been named UMBC’s Lipitz Professor for 2020 – 21. This distinguished professorship recognizes and supports innovative teaching and research. Chuku will carry out research for her new book project, “Becoming Igbo in Nigeria and the Diaspora: A History of Ethnic Identity Formation and Negotiation.”

Curating COVID-19

At times of momentous change, many take solace in creating — and the UMBC is no exception, adding to a long history of pandemic-inspired work.

Two swimmers look at a paper together, wearing UMBC t-shirts next to a pool

Scholar-athlete grads draw on resilience forged in challenging times

On the surface, Kennedy Lamb ‘20, English, and Jethro Ssengonzi ‘20, mechanical engineering, didn’t have much in common when they arrived on campus. Today, these two accomplished scholar-athletes are coping with the challenges of graduating during a pandemic by drawing on stores of resilience and communities of support.

UMBC graduates create their own paths to excellence, focused on succeeding together

Each graduating student’s path looks different. For many Retrievers, UMBC offers an opportunity to develop not just knowledge and skills, but also self-awareness that enables them to pursue personal passions. That self-awareness often means understanding what kinds of support made an impact on their experiences, and how they can lend support to those coming up behind them. Excellence for these seniors is about more than accolades; it is about succeeding together. 

UMBC’s newest Postdoctoral Fellows for Faculty Diversity explore who has a voice in literature, policy, and social movements

“UMBC is giving me the ultimate opportunity of time and support to think, write, and teach about what matters to me the most—conducting research about my community,” says Fernando Tormos-Aponte, political science. He shares the same enthusiasm that Emily Perez, English, and Blake Francis, philosophy, have about their new appointments as 2019-2020 Postdoctoral Fellows for Faculty Diversity.

UMBC’s Mejdulene B. Shomali receives Woodrow Wilson Foundation fellowship for research on gender and sexuality in transnational Arab culture

“Most people don’t know there are twenty-two countries in the Arab league. These countries share Arabic as the primary national language. Many are Muslim-majority nations,” shares Shomali. “Many, but not all.” She notes, “There is great linguistic, cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity within the Arab world.”

Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington’s Melodies Carried his Message of Social Justice

At a moment when there is a longstanding heated debate over how artists and pop culture figures should engage in social activism, the life and career of musical legend Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington offers a model of how to do it right.

Seven young women dressed-up in blazers, dresses, and skirts stand in a line holding a trophy with a gold star attached to a gold cup with two green bars on each side; and four young men in suits stand behind them; they are all standing facing the camera, smiling in a circular room on a beige and maroon carpet

UMBC Mock Trial takes 8th place at AMTA National Championship

“For me, this is like Division I sports,” team member Sydney Gaskins explains. “It’s extremely rigorous and competitive. Mock Trial demands a great deal of hard work, dedication, and commitment, to compete against some of the best teams and win. I always aim to win.”

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