Meet a Retriever

Ron Pettie and his family at Homecoming 2022.

Meet a Retriever—Ron Pettie ’82, retired police officer and true Retriever Believer

Meet Ron Pettie. Ron is a retired Baltimore City police officer and a loyal Retriever alumnus, graduating with a B.A. in English in 1982. When he’s not writing postcards to incoming UMBC students, commenting on UMBC Alumni Association Facebook posts, or attending alumni events, Ron can be found spending time with his wife Christine. Ron’s path in life may not have always gone according to plan, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. Take it away, Ron! Q: What’s one essential thing you’d want another Retriever to know about you? A: I am a true believer that education is… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Ron Pettie ’82, retired police officer and true Retriever Believer

a woman in sleeveless shirt and glasses

Meet a Retriever—Camilla Sandoval ’17, M.A. ’19, program coordinator for Maryland Humanities

Meet Camilla Sandoval ’17, history, M.A. ’19, historical studies, a first-generation student who spent part of her time on each of UMBC’s campuses before graduating and putting her studies to work. Today, she spends her days as the program coordinator for grants with Maryland Humanities, where she still employs lessons learned from her time as a Retriever. Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Camilla Sandoval ’17, M.A. ’19, program coordinator for Maryland Humanities

Man standing behind UMBC podium, smiling.

Meet a Retriever—Christian Jassani ’27, a first-year ambassador and active student leader

Meet Christian Jassani, a first-year political science and global studies major. Christian is a member of the Honors College, Susquehanna Community Council, Honors Council, and SGA. He has taken advantage of the many opportunities UMBC offers, which has helped him to grow, both socially, and academically. From these opportunities, he has been able to gain confidence in himself, find a family at UMBC, and make connections with staff who are there to support his academic journey every step of the way. Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Christian Jassani ’27, a first-year ambassador and active student leader

All photos courtesy of Monroe Kennedy.

Meet a Retriever—Monroe Kennedy, III, ’12, mechanical engineering professor at Stanford University

Meet Monroe Kennedy, III, a Meyerhoff Scholar (M20) who earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from UMBC in 2012 before earning his M.S. in robotics and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania. Monroe is now an assistant professor in the mechanical engineering department at Stanford University. His work is in collaborative robotics, building systems capable of extending robotic autonomy to scenarios where robots work closely around humans and must anticipate their needs to be effective teammates. Outside of his role as a professor, Monroe serves as a national director for Black in Robotics, a… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Monroe Kennedy, III, ’12, mechanical engineering professor at Stanford University

Meet a Retriever—Hyojin Choi, psychology and social work major and student leader

Meet Hyojin Choi, a double major in psychology and social work at UMBC at The Universities at Shady Grove. A transfer student, Hyojin is an active member of the peer advisory team and president of the Psychology Student Association—all while also serving as a social work intern at the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, Maryland. In fact, he looks forward to working there after graduation. Take it away, Hyojin! Q: What do you love about your internship? A: As an intern at HOC, I have learned much about how housing works in the United States and the many challenges… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Hyojin Choi, psychology and social work major and student leader

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

three woman walk together smiling, wearing black and gold

Meet a Retriever—Ciomara Matamoros, mom of three and aspiring school psychologist

Meet Ciomara Matamoros ’24, psychology, who is a first-generation college student pursuing her dream of becoming a school psychologist while raising three kids. She’s a member of the Peer Advisory Team at The Universities at Shady Grove and part of the Psychology Student Association. After graduation, she plans on getting her master’s in psychology. Here, Ciomara shares how she gets it all done.  Q: Briefly introduce yourself. What’s one thing you’d want another Retriever to know about you? A: I am a senior psychology major at UMBC. I am also a mother of three and my favorite activities include watching… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Ciomara Matamoros, mom of three and aspiring school psychologist

Poulomi Banerjee '16, M.P.P. '21, and Emma Hagen '14, high five while holding a sign that reads Welcome to Our Community of Inquiring Minds. (Marlayna Demond '11/UMBC)

Meet a Retriever—Poulomi Banerjee ’16, M.P.P. ’21, annual donor and advocate of the UMBC community

Meet Poulomi Banerjee, a double alumna—earning her degree in health administration and policy in 2016 and her M.P.P. in 2021—and current public policy Ph.D. student at UMBC who believes in the power of this community! She has her sights set on becoming just the 141st triple alum in UMBC history (bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. from UMBC). When she’s not working toward Retriever history, Poulomi works as the associate director of annual giving and alumni communications at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In her spare time (we’re just as surprised as you that she has any), you can… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Poulomi Banerjee ’16, M.P.P. ’21, annual donor and advocate of the UMBC community

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

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