Nine recent UMBC graduates and alumni will soon travel to the UK, El Salvador, Kuwait, France, Colombia, Taiwan, South Korea, and Germany as 2022 Fulbright U.S. Student scholars. They include emerging leaders in education, astrophysics, cybersecurity, human rights, and more, and they are excited to explore difficult questions through fresh perspectives.
Four UMBC faculty and staff members have received highly competitive Fulbright awards to conduct research and establish important connections around the world over the next year. UMBC’s new recipients of Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards are Shimei Pan, associate professor of information systems; Corrie Parks, assistant professor of visual arts; and Tiffany Thames Copeland, adjunct faculty in Africana studies. Nancy Young, vice president for Student Affairs, has received a Fulbright International Education Administrators Award. They will travel to Germany, Austria, Ghana, and France, respectively.
While working at Sodexo, a food services company, Tchuissi Mbu Nyamsi ’22 realized that there were data problems she wanted to solve. “I realized it was something I really wanted to have more knowledge in and I wanted to sharpen my skills,” she says. So she enrolled in UMBC’s master’s program in data science at the Universities at Shady Grove.
Kateryna Yakusheva ’22, global studies and economics, looks forward to working on the international stage, with an organization like the World Bank or International Monetary Fund. Wherever her career takes her, she knows she wants to help different groups come together to manage risks, address conflicts, and build new futures.
An aspiring polyglot, Caleb Ruck ’22, modern languages and linguistics, collected languages like Pokemon when he was young. No college felt right, however, until the day he toured UMBC. He knew right away that it was where he belonged. “I genuinely think that UMBC is the best possible fit that I could have gotten,” he says, “it has a very deliberate underdog spirit.”
As a child in Iran, Nastaran Azar ’22, biological science, was afraid when she saw her grandmother take out her dentures, but her brother’s explanation of what had happened to her grandmother’s original teeth gave Azar a life goal. “Teeth play a really important role in our lives,” she says. She plans to help others take care of theirs when she eventually becomes a dentist.
“When I arrived in Spain as a teenager, my teachers did not expect me to go to college because I was an immigrant and because I didn’t have the resources to access certain learning opportunities,” says Melisa Argañaraz Gomez, Ph.D. ’22, geography and environmental systems. “Now, as a graduate student in the U.S., remembering my experience as a teenager helps me connect with the students I support and empathize with their lives.”
Praise Lasekan ‘25 checked off two major items from his to-do list this academic year: he traveled over 6,000 miles from Nigeria to the U.S. for the first time and he became a Retriever. Learn about his experience in a conversation with Adam Julian, UMBC’s director of international student and scholar services.
“Monitoring a natural resource or an institution can generate valuable information that will improve governance, but it is necessary to engage decision-makers and the community,” says UMBC’s Maria Bernedo Del Carpio, assistant professor of economics. She and colleagues at other research institutions have conducted a field experiment to isolate one feature of local common pool resource governance: externally supported, technology-facilitated community monitoring.
Based on a decade of archival research, “Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast” tells the story of a nearly successful rebellion of enslaved people just over 250 years ago. UMBC’s Amy Froide, professor and chair of history, shares that Kars is a notable example of the rigorous historical research that thrives at UMBC – meticulously researched and carefully argued scholarship that is beautifully written and accessible to a wide range of audiences.
UMBC is the only North American university to receive this prestigious Gold Award, affirming the collective, intentional work behind UMBC’s global engagement strategy. It reflects two years of work engaging over 400 members of the UMBC community, who together envisioned the future of UMBC’s global interconnections.