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.
“As a first generation college student … I didn’t know if going to graduate school would be possible for me, but people believed in me, saw my potential, and gave me the ability to succeed,” Kaitlynn says Kaitlynn Lilly ’22, mathematics and physics. “Being able to give that back to other people has been really powerful for me and has made my UMBC experience very fulfilling.”
Articles on The Conversation offer context to current events, explain natural phenomena, introduce new research in an accessible way, and more. “The Conversation helps us contribute to our public service mission as a public university,” says Vice President for Research Karl Steiner. “This milestone underscores the importance of academic researchers actively participating in the public discourse of complex issues.”
Two new papers from Can Ataca’s research group at UMBC set the stage for further advances in solar power and other renewable energy technologies. Graduate students Daniel Wines and Gracie Chaney led the projects. Ataca’s group’s work is theory- and computation-based, but these projects took advantage of collaboration with experimental researchers. As work in this field develops from theory to implementation in devices, “There’s a need for both kinds of research at every stage,” Wines says.
“These results are important because spatial variation of dust around the globe can help determine whether dust is cooling or warming the planet overall,” which is still unknown, Qianqian Song says. Using new techniques to identify dust among all atmospheric particles opens up new avenues for research in this area.
Physicist Steve Guimond and collaborators have received a new $682,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop, run, and analyze complex hurricane models on supercomputers. However, Guimond might never have received the grant if he hadn’t received a UMBC Strategic Award for Research Transitions (START) first. A new cohort of START funding recipients begins their projects this summer.
Noah Sienkiewicz, the NASA recipient, says UMBC’s partnerships with the agency helped set him up for success. “I’ve gotten to be more exposed to actual NASA work, and sit in meetings with NASA officials,” he says. “So, as far as the childhood dream of ‘I want to work for NASA,’ I feel like it’s been a great stepping stone to doing that.”
Being elected as a member of the Academy is one of the highest honors a scholar can receive. Founded in 1780, its members, who come from every field of study, “examine new ideas [and] address issues of importance to the nation and the world.” Anthony Johnson has spent his career dedicated equally to creative applications of ultrashort pulse lasers and to teaching and mentorship.
Four UMBC students have been named 2021-2022 Goldwater Scholars, setting a new university record for the most Retrievers to earn this prestigious undergraduate award in a single year. “The impact that these students will have in their respective fields is immense, and they are ready for the challenge,” says April Householder, director of undergraduate research and prestigious scholarships.