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.
Charles Harris ‘22 is graduating this month at the age of 80, after beginning his college journey and his military career in the 1970s. Reaching this lifelong goal is such an important occasion for him and his family that he and his wife postponed their 50th wedding anniversary plans to celebrate the achievement.
“UMBC’s commitment to continue the Postdoctoral Fellowship for Faculty Diversity through the pandemic is one of the reasons I decided to come to UMBC,” says Mercedez Dunn, sociology, anthropology, and public health. Dunn is one of two fellows to join UMBC’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences through the high-impact program this fall.
“This experienced team of diverse senior leaders has an opportunity to create a structural answer to elevate diverse leaders from the arts and humanities,” says project PI Kimberly Moffitt, UMBC’s interim dean of CAHSS. “This will enable faculty to apply distinct knowledge, skills, and perspectives to address our communities’ needs as leaders at their respective institutions.”
Persistent. Innovative. Determined. These are the words UMBC’s commencement speakers returned to again and again to describe the Class of 2021. And despite a year of challenges—missing family and friends, technological frustrations, life lived through the computer screen—one of the resounding themes of this year’s Commencement ceremonies was gratitude.
“While we are eager to get back to the live event, there are definitely aspects of the online event that have widened the scope of URCAD,” says April Householder, director of undergraduate research and prestigious scholarships. “Presenters were able to invite friends and family members from other countries to view their presentations, and invite international scholars as potential future collaborators.”
Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic has named Faith Davis a 2021 Newman Civic Fellow. “My greatest hope for this fellowship is to connect with a large network of change-makers who I can learn from and be inspired by throughout my life,” says Davis. “I hope to eventually work together to create a better world.”
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.
“Dr. Hrabowski has been at the forefront of creating and promoting a vision of how we think and talk about aging and longevity,” shares Dana Bradley, dean of UMBC’s Erickson School of Aging Studies. And the inclusive, forward-looking vision that he and the Erickson School emphasize has had notable impacts, including on the student experience.