Student Scholarship Q&A: Jonathon Brewster, computer science

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 Jonathon Brewster ‘15, computer science, who is an Alumni Association Scholarship recipient.

Name: Jonathon Brewster
Major: Computer Science
Extra Curricular Activities: Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 355
Scholarship received: Alumni Association Scholarshipphoto-3

Q: Why did you decide to attend UMBC?
I decided to attend UMBC because of UMBC’s reputation for having one of the best STEM programs. I had discovered this because my brother, who also attended UMBC, had told me about these programs and how UMBC would be a great school for me to attend.

Q: What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here?
Computer programming and what I can do with it.

Q: Tell us about a class or club that has really opened your mind.
Introduction to Computer Science for beginners (CMSC 104) changed my life. Before that class I did not know what I was going to do with my life, and I had no major. Then Mr. John Park, professor of CMSC 104, showed me many great ideas with programming a computer. After completing this course, I now have a major and a dream to be the best programmer I can be.

Q: How important is it to you as a student to get scholarship support?
It is very important. Students don’t have a lot of money, and it’s hard to pay for college when you have little time for a job from all the classes you are taking. With scholarship support, I am able to keep paying my way to a better job through quality education.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC?
Finding my career path and getting good grades.

Q: What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship?
I would like to say thank you for helping support my future and keeping my dreams of being a great programmer alive.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
I hope to go to graduate school to get my Master of Science degree in Computer Science. After completing my masters degree, I would like to work for Google to help with projects like the Google car.

Donate to our alumni scholarships today!

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Meet Your Student Callers: Tauqir, Class of 2016

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

Tauqir is from Owings Mills, MD and is working toward his degree in biology and Psychology. We sat down with Tauqir to get to know him a little better and here’s what we learned:

_DSC7075Q: Why did you choose to come to UMBC? What do you enjoy most now that you’re here?

A: [UMBC] had a wonderful pre-med program and I particularly love the diversity on campus.

Q: What activities do you enjoy outside of class?

A: When I’m not calling at UMBC Phonathon, I enjoy playing badminton, reading, socializing with friends, and spending time with my family.

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

A: I love being able to talk to a wide variety of alumni and hearing about their experience at UMBC. It is also very interesting to hear about how the campus has changed throughout the years.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I plan on going to medical school, focusing on neuroscience and ultimately practicing neurosurgery. Eventually I want to study autism in children and how the brain is affected.

Learn more about the UMBC Phonathon!

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Meet the Staff: Caroline Baker

Here in the Office of Alumni Relations, we spend a lot of time telling stories about and talking with our wonderfully supportive alums. However, we’ve decided to turn the tables and take time to get to know the people behind the scenes – the advancement and alumni relations staff members who are hard at work on behalf of our alumni. Today we’ll be hearing from Caroline Baker, the Assistant Vice President for Careers and Corporate Partnerships.

Name: Caroline Bakercaroline_baker-02
Job Title: Assistant Vice President for Careers and Corporate Partnerships
Focus Area: I raise money for student support and academic programs and oversee the Career Services Center at UMBC.
Years at UMBC: Almost 9 years

Q: Where are you from originally?
Baltimore, MD. I grew up in Pikesville, MD.

Q: What do you love most about UMBC?
I love the people and the fact that faculty and students appreciate the work that we do to help them be successful. And I love the fact that people hold doors open for each other on this campus.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your job?
Creating win-win relationships for the University. It feels really good when our partners are happy to give us resources, and our faculty and students are happy to be receiving the resources.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to support UMBC?
Our President says “Education transforms lives,” and as a public university we have a very special role to play in helping people be successful and productive citizens.

Q: When you were a child, what/who did you aspire to be?
I have documentation to prove that when I was a young girl I aspired to be the first female president.

Q: If you could visit any place in the world, where would you pick?
One of my favorite places in the world is Venice, where I can eat some of the most of amazing food. Italian food is unbelievable.

Q: What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
Playing with my puppy, who is 10 months old. She is already an expert in water retrieval.

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Student Scholarship Q&A: Randi Lindsay ’16, media and communications, American studies

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 Randi Lindsay ‘16, media and communications and American studies, 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 demonstrates great community involvement.

Name: Randi Lindsay
Major: Media and communications studies, American studies
Extra Curricular Activities: Student Events Board, Baltimore Collegetown Leadershape, TOMS Representative
Scholarship received: Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship

Q: Why did you decide to attend UMBC?unnamed
I chose to attend UMBC after one visit to the campus. It is so open and so welcoming that I fell in love with it instantly. UMBC is also a fantastic school that is only improving as time goes on. I knew from day one that going to UMBC would be something that I was proud of for the rest of my life and I was right.

Q: What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here?
As a student at UMBC, the most amazing discovery I have made has been a concrete idea of what my future would be. I came to UMBC expecting to major in English and receive a teaching certificate, but that sentiment didn’t last long. Almost as soon as I started taking classes in this major I realized that interest in a subject is not the same as passion.

So there I was, 18 and unsure about what the future would hold. I decided to get involved in something: get a job, join a student org, anything. That’s when I found the Student Events Board (seb). I loved everything about the organization, from the people to the planning. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I wanted a career planning events that would make someone happy. I changed my major to media and communications studies and American studies so that I could begin the journey to my future career in Special Event Programming. I may have never known this if it weren’t for my attendance at UMBC.

Q: Tell us about a class or club that has really opened your mind.
Well, I’ve already mentioned the UMBC Student Events Board (seb) and how it has guided me through the crisis that is changing one’s major, but this organization was not the only thing that has influenced me. In 2013 I was one of 70 lucky Baltimore-area college students to participate in the Baltimore Collegetown Leadershape program. This program is dedicated to enhancing the leadership skills of college students and teaching them how they can work to improve their community. At this program’s week-long retreat, I learned more about what I can do to create the change I want to see. It opened my eyes to different areas of need in the Baltimore community and opened my mind to different methods of aid. Before this program, I was supportive of nonprofit work but not likely to participate, and now I am very interested in volunteering and hands-on action.

Q: How important is it to you as a student to get scholarship support?
I come from a single-income household, so paying for my college education is not something that I can just have my parents do. Getting the scholarship support makes it easier for me to attend school as it lightens the load of debt I will be paying off in the future.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC?
I feel that I have accomplished a lot in my first two years at UMBC. I have a wonderful job, a 3.67 GPA, internship experience, and have found two majors that I am passionate about; but since I have to choose one thing I’ll say I’m the most proud of my position at (seb). There was almost never a time that I was not involved with this organization as I applied for their volunteer committee as soon as I heard what it was. I worked hard to be a productive member of the organization, to always be helpful, and to always exceed expectations. Every semester I found myself more involved in the organization than the one previous, and eventually I was hired to be an event programmer. I worked hard to get where I am now, and it’s not every day that you find a part-time job that really fulfills you.

Q: What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship?
I would say that I cannot thank them enough for their contribution. I’m doing what I love and getting a great education all at the same time, and they’re now a part of that. I know that I make my parents proud with what I do and the people who provided my scholarship are helping make that possible.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
I want to keep planning events! More specifically I want to plan special events and milestone celebrations like weddings and retirements. Eventually though, I want to plan events like galas for local non profits. I want to plan events that will make people happy, may it be because they are moving into a new chapter of life or because it is helping someone in need.

Donate to our Alumni Scholarships today!

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Meet Your Student Callers: Irum, Class of 2016

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

Irum is from Baltimore, MD and is working toward a degree in biology and psychology with a minor in English. We sat down with Irum to get to know her a little better and here’s what we learned:_DSC7078

Q: Why did you choose to come to UMBC? What do you enjoy most now that you’re here?

A: UMBC, as a #1 up-and-coming school, is the school of the future. I chose to come to UMBC because of the smaller class sizes, as I feel a bond with your professors is important as an undergrad. I love that everyone at UMBC is so nice, but most importantly, I love that I found my home at Phonathon!

Q: What activities do you enjoy outside of class?

A: Outside of class, I love being involved with community service work. I volunteer frequently at Head Start programs, and soup kitchens in my area. Being able to make a difference wherever I go is what I’m most passionate about!

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

A: What I love most about being a student caller is the connections I build with alumni and parents. I love sharing exciting news about UMBC, and getting the alumni excited about their alma mater. Giving back to a place that gave you so many opportunities is very important to me, and I love being able to share that passion with other callers as a supervisor.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: After graduation, I hope to pursue my passion in working with kids with developmental disorders. And let’s not forget, giving back to UMBC in any way that I can!

Learn more about the UMBC Phonathon!

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A Community of Supporters: UMBC Thanks You!

UMBC thank youUMBC’s fiscal year ended on June 30, 2014. As we pause to reflect on accomplishments of last year, we’d like to thank the generous alumni, faculty, staff, family, and friends who make our great work possible. Because of Retriever Believers like you, our students have fantastic opportunities here at UMBC.

Throughout this fiscal year, our alumni – including 456 first-time donors – pulled together to give back $396,415, surpassing the goal for alumni by over $46,000. Parents of our students and alumni donated $143,521.02, and our wonderful faculty and staff contributed $81,399.46. Thanks to every gift, big and small, UMBC received $621,335.48, which is over $55,000 more than the fiscal year for 2013.

Thank you to all those who supported UMBC – we’re excited for the 2015 fiscal year. Go Retrievers!

Give back to UMBC today!

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Student Scholarship Q&A: Kirley Silva, information systems

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 Kirley Silva ‘15, information systems, who is an Esperanza Scholarship recipient. This scholarship is awarded to a student of Latino or Hispanic ancestry who demonstrates commitment to the advancement of minorities, especially of Latino or Hispanic descent.

Name: Kirley Silva
Major: Information systemsKirleySilva-7275
Scholarship(s)
: Esperanza Scholarship

Q: Why did you decide to attend UMBC?
As an honors university, I chose UMBC for its challenging and prestigious academics, as well as for its amazing support system and endless opportunities for technology students in Baltimore. Also, as a transfer student, UMBC accepted the majority of my credits and provided me with guidance and support through the whole process, making the transition between community college and university seamless and easy.

Q: What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here?
I discovered that although UMBC is a big university, there is a very strong community atmosphere which makes going here a very pleasurable and rewarding experience. I work closely with my classmates and we help each other learn together, while the faculty and staff are extremely knowledgeable and resourceful.

Q: Tell us about a class or club that has really opened your mind.
I took a weekend adventure class for gym credit where I had to face many challenges and try new things out of my comfort zone. I learned the value of motivation, leadership, control, and courage. I gained appreciation for new things and pushed myself harder. As a result of this class, I appreciate the hard work and commitment needed to achieve a goal more than ever. This class and the values I took from it will serve as a driving factor as I continue my studies and become a professional.

Q: How important is it to you as a student to get scholarship support?
As an immigrant and being the first in my family to attend college, there have been many challenges along the way. Also, working while being a full-time student makes the journey much more challenging. Being fortunate to receive the financial help of a scholarship provides immense relief and allows me to continue my education by focusing on my goals and the future.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC?
As a woman in information technology and a Hispanic student, I am proud to represent the hardworking minority of our university and to enrich the school’s diversity. Being an Esperanza scholar allows me to be a role model to similar students, and well as give hope to those students.

Q: What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship?
Thank you for supporting and believing in me. Your help is not only valued but also empowering as I continue my education and reach my goals. Your support has made a world of difference and I will continue working hard to be the best that I can be and to help my community.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
Following graduation I plan to start a career in the fast growing technology sector of Baltimore as a database administrator. I also hope to, in the future, be able to attend officer candidate school and join the US Navy as an information warfare officer.

Support students like Kirley today!

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