A Legacy Continued: Planned gift helps ensure future of teaching award


Catherine Weber ( center)) with Dean William LaCourse and Carl Weber Excellence in Teaching Award recipients

Each year at UMBC, a faculty member is chosen to receive the Carl Weber Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching Award. It honors a faculty member from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics for exceptional dedication to teaching as demonstrated by his or her enthusiasm, up-to-date teaching materials, effective mentoring, community service in the teaching area, approachability, rigorous learning requirements, coherent teaching philosophy and inspirational teaching style.

The award was established in 2006 by his family in memory of Dr. Weber, Assistant Professor Emeritus and founding faculty member in the UMBC Department of Biological Sciences, as a tribute to his passion for teaching.

“Carl’s enthusiasm for his teaching was infectious,” says Mrs. Weber. She adds that it’s plain to see why each award winner has been chosen throughout the years. “They’re very inspiring enthusiastic teachers. Each one has been doing something innovative as teachers.”

The award has now been given for eight years. In addition to the endowment, a number of people, including Mrs. Weber, have continued to provide annual support for the award. It has successfully created a lasting legacy for Dr. Weber, and it has also given Mrs. Weber an ongoing connection to the UMBC community.

Each year, she has a chance to meet the award recipients. “That has been very nice for me,” she explained. “It keeps his memory fresh, and it’s very gratifying to see the wonderful people who are being honored.”

Now, Mrs. Weber has taken another step to continue support for the award through a trust she created in her estate plans. It’s a contribution that will play an important role in ensuring that Dr. Weber’s passion for teaching continues at UMBC, as the award encourages and honors new and innovative approaches in the classroom for years to come.

For Mrs. Weber, it’s not only another measure of support in memory of her husband, it’s also a very practical matter of planning ahead. “I established the trust to support the ongoing recognition enabled by the award,” says Weber.

Learn more about planned giving.

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Meet the Staff: Kim Robinson

Here in the Office of Institutional Advancement, we are always working hard to support the university and connect our donors with causes they care most about. We would like to introduce our donors — to whom we are so grateful — to the people who help make those things happen. Today, we’ll be hearing from Kim Robinson, the Senior Director of Development.

kimName: Kim Robinson
Job Title: Senior Director of Development
Focus Area: I enjoy meeting with alumni, retired faculty & staff, and friends to reconnect them back to UMBC.  It is very rewarding to show the all the exciting things that are happening at UMBC and providing them with opportunity for them to make a difference in students’ lives and faculty research. I also oversee the planned giving program at UMBC.
Years at UMBC: 24 years

Q: Where are you from originally?

Q: What do you love most about UMBC?
I love working with amazing, smart, diverse group of people to create new programs and events. I have always been encouraged to think out of the box and try new things to advance the mission of the University.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I enjoy providing opportunities for people to financially give back to UMBC and to see the impact of their giving by meeting their scholars or seeing how their support is making a difference at UMBC.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to support UMBC?
We are educating the next generation of leaders in science, technology, education, arts, social science, and math. UMBC is making a difference. It is a great investment.

Q: What is your favorite food?

Q: What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
I spend a lot of time at athletic facilities. I enjoy watching my children play sports (soccer, lacrosse, baseball, volleyball, and basketball) and spending quality time with family and friends. I love the beach and water activities.

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Thank you for supporting Homecoming 2014!

Thank you for supporting UMBC during Homecoming! Thanks to events like the Alpha Kappa Alpha Reunion, the 5th Annual RATT Reunion, and the Alumni Awards Ceremony, we were able to raise nearly $8,000 toward our student scholarships as of October 16.

Your continuous commitment to the university – whether it’s through donations, sponsorships, or volunteer efforts – helps make UMBC the innovative institution it is today. Not to mention the support it gives students to continue their education without a financial burden holding them back.

Thank you from all of us here at UMBC!

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Student Scholarship Q&A: Kristina Higgins, chemical engineering

Every so often, we highlight the importance of student scholarships by introducing you to the very students they help to succeed. Today, we’re featuring Kristina Higgins ‘16, chemical engineering, who is an Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship recipient. This scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student who is a child or grandchild of a UMBC graduate, and who shows great community involvement.

Name: Kristina Higgins
Major: Chemical Engineering
Extra Curricular Activities: Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority and club soccer
Scholarship received: Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship

Q: Why did you decide to attend UMBC? Picture
I chose to attend UMBC because of its outstanding STEM program and the recognition it receives throughout the country. I also love that at UMBC I can walk around campus and see familiar faces, instead of being drowned out in the population of a very large school.

Q: What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here?
The most amazing discovery I have made as a student at UMBC is the amount that I have in common with so many people from different backgrounds. UMBC is very diverse and I have had a chance to meet people from all different cultures.

Q: Tell us about a class or club that has really opened your mind.
Delta Phi Epsilon sorority has shown me how to be a well-rounded person. I consistently take part in a variety of activities including community service events, philanthropy events, and different workshops that build skills such as resume builders and study habit tips.

Q: How important is it to you as a student to get scholarship support?
It is very important to me to get scholarship support. My college education is very important to me and I am very thankful to receive support on something that is such an integral part of my life.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC?
I am most proud of continuing to complete all of my classes to the best of my ability in such a challenging field of study. I continue to surprise myself on what I can accomplish.

Q: What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship?
I would want to express my gratitude and make sure they know that I will be using that scholarship to continue to work hard at UMBC and pursue my future goals.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
I hope to work for an environmental engineering firm in order to help maintain and improve the sustainability of the watersheds around us.

Give back through our alumni scholarships today!

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Photo Gallery: UMBC Hosts Fourth Annual 1966 Society Dinner

Dr. Freeman Hrabowski hosted the fourth annual 1966 Society dinner on September 15 in the University Center Ballroom Lounge at UMBC.  The 1966 Society celebrates those individual members who have identified the UMBC Foundation in their estate plans.

Before dinner, guests walked over to the Meyerhoff Building and toured the labs with Dr. William LaCourse, Dean of CNMS, and Zeev Rosenzweig, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where they learned about the exciting research being done by UMBC faculty.

Some of the faculty — Dr. Marie-Christine Onuta, Dr. Marcin Ptaszek, and Dr. Ryan White — then joined 1966 Society members for dinner.

Please contact Kim Robinson at kim.robinson@umbc.edu if you would like information about estate planning.

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Student Scholarship Q&A: Bria Hamlet, health administration and policy program

Every so often, we highlight the importance of student scholarships by introducing you to the very students they help to succeed. Today, we’re featuring Bria Hamlet ‘15, who is an Alumni Association Scholarship recipient.

Name: Bria Hamlet
Major: Health Administration & Policy Program, Track II – Health Policy
Extra Curricular Activities: Peer Health Educator, President of the Women of Color Coalition
Scholarship received: Alumni Association Scholarship

bria1Q: Why did you decide to attend UMBC?
My decision to attend UMBC was not an easy one, as I initially had my heart set on going out of state for college. I quickly learned that UMBC was not only a great place to study, but a perfect fit for me. I love being a Retriever and making the most of every day on campus. I fell in love with our school spirit, academic strength, and comfortable community. I can honestly say I would not want to be anywhere else.

Q: What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here?
The most amazing discovery I’ve made so far as a student at UMBC is my sense of unity with my fellow students. We’re all in this together, whether it’s overcoming our hefty workloads or bonding over a power outage on campus. I feel very at home here and hope many other students feel the same.

Q: Tell us about a class or club that has really opened your mind.
I have been a Peer Health Educator through University Health Services for three semesters. I am quickly approaching my fourth and final semester, as I am aging out. This program has really shaped both my experience at UMBC, but also my career aspirations and goals. I LOVE health education. I love helping other students feel empowered to take care of themselves, but also understand risk and make informed decisions. We put a lot of time and effort into creating fun and engaging programs for our classmates; we would not show them anything we wouldn’t sit through ourselves. I take so much pride in being a part of this amazing, elite group of students and I am grateful for every moment spent with them.

Q: How important is it to you as a student to get scholarship support?
Right before I chose a college, my parents and I had the talk about making wise financial choices. While there was never any doubt that I was destined to attend college, my parents had the foresight to avoid mountains of debt through going out-of-state. My decision to attend UMBC was the smartest choice financially, but that did not mean there were not struggles. I still have loans, I still worry about how I’m going to pay for graduate school, and I wonder why it costs so much to help people grow scholastically. However, this scholarship support shows me that their are great people out there who want me, as well as other students, to [succeed] too! It’s a great feeling and I plan to pay it forward someday.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC?
I am very, very proud of the work I put into building my GPA this past school year. Out of 10 classes, I received A’s in eight. I have always been studious, but I hit bumps in the road that no longer made my GPA a reflection of me. I have worked hard to pull it up, and will continue to do so in my final semesters here.

Q: What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship?
Thank you so much for seeing in me a student worthy of your support and kindness. I have never received a scholarship before and I am thrilled that you changed that for me. I will try my hardest to make you proud, and represent your alma mater in the best way I possibly can.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
I plan to attend graduate school to obtain my Masters in public health. Afterwards I will gain my PhD in population, family and reproductive health. My short-term goal is to become a health educator, and my long-term goal is to open up my own non-profit healthcare center. I also hope to donate back to UMBC.

Support the UMBC Alumni Scholarships today!

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Meet Your Student Callers: Nate, Class of 2016

Bhursi, NateOnce a month, we’ll profile one of the amazing Phonathon students working in UMBC’s call center. This week, say hello to student caller Nate, class of 2016.

Nate is from Silver Spring, MD, and is working toward his degree in biochemistry. We sat down with Nate to get to know him a little better and here’s what we learned:

Q: Why did you choose to come to UMBC? 

A: UMBC is very diverse and its STEM courses are challenging.

Q: What activities do you enjoy outside of class?

A: I enjoy hanging out with my friends that I made here at UMBC and participating in the activities that are held on campus.

Q: What do you like best about being a student caller?

A: Being a student caller gives me the chance to talk with more people and also gain experience and knowledge from the alumni that I call.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: After graduation, I plan to go into research or go toward forensics.

Q: What do you enjoy most about UMBC?

A: I like attending class and getting to know my department professors.

Learn more about the UMBC Phonathon!

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