Woman smiling for headshot outside

Social work graduate invests in herself and others

Jane De Hitta ‘22 was initially drawn to UMBC by its strong academic reputation and she quickly fell in love with the university. As a social work major who had long worked with adults with disabilities, she wanted to invest in the lives and stories of those around her. But when faced with a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy, she knew she needed a break to focus on herself. She also knew UMBC would be there to welcome her back when she was ready.

Young adult with long, curly hair smiles for a portrait, wearing graduation regalia and a bow tie.

UMBC’s newest grads leave a legacy of advocacy, inclusion, and support for fellow students

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.

Woman wearing "Take Back the Night" t-shirt speaks into a microphone at the center of a group.

Graduating UMBC student advocates keep building community in an unprecedented time

For Nadia BenAissa and Sam Hertl, UMBC has been a place to grow as leaders and advocates. Their college experiences have been defined by their work to educate, speak out, and create resources for survivors of sexual assault and LGBTQIA+ students at UMBC. As the university community has responded to COVID-19 and transitioned to a virtual environment, they have held steadfast in their commitments.

Five UMBC students see their degrees as a step toward community impact

“Being a valedictorian for me is about honoring South Asian women feminists whose achievements were not as visible when I was growing up. It is also about the need to transform research and community service skills into direct activism.”—Samiksha Manjani

Petasis ‘19 at UMBC’s fall Senior Dance Concert. Photo by Marlayna Demond ‘11.

Laser focus without limits: UMBC’s newest grads choose their own adventures

He’s a bassoonist and chemical engineer. She’s a dancer and social justice advocate. UMBC students have a lot of focus, but that doesn’t mean they have to focus on one thing. For many, the UMBC experience is about figuring out how to combine their passions, not chose one or the other. Here, four UMBC students graduating this spring share how they have found their own unique balance.

UMBC’s newest grads share what inspired their unique paths

When students come to UMBC, they bring with them life experiences that shape the program they choose, the mentors they find, the research questions they ask, and the communities they build on campus. Here, five UMBC students earning their degrees this month share experiences that shaped their paths.

A woman speaks at a microphone in front of a group of seated students. Behind her is a backdrop of t-shirts in different colors and a sign that reads "Take Back the Night."

Retriever Courage partners take stock of community work to prevent and respond to sexual assault

Six months into the Retriever Courage initiative, this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month programming at UMBC is especially meaningful for the University community. “Our efforts to support survivors and cultivate a survivor-responsive campus need to be a 365-days-a-year undertaking,” says Jess Myers, director of UMBC’s Women’s Center. “We all are responsible for this work.”

Student trainer in UMBC t-shirt (at right) chats with a small group of other UMBC students (at left).

UMBC’s newest grads leave a legacy of community-building and support

Meet a few of the many UMBC students graduating this December who exemplify the Retriever spirit of building connections and community by offering a compassionate ear, a helping hand, and a voice of support when it is most needed. Together, these students have created a more inclusive, accessible, and supportive UMBC for everyone, and they continue to reach together to help UMBC grow.

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