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.
A growing list of programs and partnerships is positioning UMBC as a leader in developing Maryland’s biotech and biomanufacturing workforce. “We are driven by the vision that Maryland can be a leader in biotech,” Dean Bill LaCourse says. “We’re establishing strong pathways to develop the workforce, where students and professionals have an array of choices about how to get to the biotech career they want and that the region needs.”
On the back of every UMBC black and gold ID card is a guide to essential emergency resources, including numbers for health, counseling, sexual assault, and suicide prevention helplines. The new card design was the result of student advocacy through UMBC’s Retriever Courage initiative, seeking to better prevent and respond to sexual assault and violence. And the person who suggested that change is Autumn Cook, graduating this week, a tireless advocate for fellow UMBC students.
While some industries have lost jobs during the pandemic, the biotech industry has seen explosive growth. This new program seeks to address a mismatch between available workers and available jobs. Setting people up to succeed in well-paying new jobs and simultaneously filling the gap in the biotech workforce “is a win-win that we’re really excited to be a part of,” Annica Wayman says.
The new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Facility at The Universities at Shady Grove is a big piece of the expansion. “This building symbolizes an opportunity to bring the disciplines together to address societal problems,” Annica Wayman says, “and to discover how they can work together to address the biggest challenges.” With state-of-the-art scientific equipment and ample opportunity for interaction among students, faculty, and biotech professionals, the facility will enhance programming at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Wayman and Dasgupta are the first members of the UMBC community to be selected since the program’s inception in 1990, an indication of UMBC’s growing presence in Montgomery County through the Universities at Shady Grove. Christopher Steele shares, “These two remarkable leaders perfectly reflect the fact that UMBC offers its very best to Montgomery County.”