In 2021, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) awarded UMBC more than $1 million over five years to create a program specifically for undergraduate scholars interested in research on substance abuse and addiction. A year after the program’s launch, it is thriving as students in fields as diverse as economics, computer science, and chemical engineering find ways to connect their interests to this important topic.
Students from across all three UMBC colleges are graduating this week having taken advantage of the unique undergraduate research opportunities and supportive mentorship UMBC offers. They’re poised to take their research to the next level and move on to new challenges through graduate school and careers.
“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.”
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.
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.
The Research Experience for Undergraduates in Smart Computing and Communications will bring together a cohort of 10 undergraduate students to participate in a paid 10-week, full-time research experience from June 7 to August 13. While the summer 2021 program will be remote, each student will work closely with a research group and mentor.
On a low-lying island in the Caribbean, the future of the critically endangered Bahama Oriole just got a shade brighter. A new study co-led by Michael Rowley estimates that there are at least 10 times as many Bahama Orioles as scientists previously thought. Rowley’s results are the latest in a string of important discoveries led by undergraduates mentored by Kevin Omland.