Student Scholarship Q&A: Danielle Bouchard, social work

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 Danielle Bouchard ‘15, social work, who is an Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship recipient.

Name: Danielle Bouchard
Major: Social work and print media minor
Extra Curricular Activities: NASW Member, BSW Representative for NASW, Meals on Wheels Volunteer, President of the Social Work Student Association, Vice President of Phi Alpha Honor Society, and avid rock climber.
Scholarship received: Alumni Association Scholarship

Q: Why did you decide to attend UMBC?
I wanted to attend an institution that provided opportunities for research, had a diverse student population, and was in close proximity to Washington, D.C. I was also drawn to UMBC because of the reputation of its social work program.

Q: What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here?
I am able to interact and study with students from an array of different ethnicities, races, and cultures. I am able to have intellectual conversations with students who have opposing views on topics discussed in and outside of class.

Q: Tell us about a class or club that has really opened your mind.
My first semester at UMBC I enrolled in SOWK 200 taught by Dr. Guzman-Rae. She opened my mind to the vastness and versatility of a social work degree. I was introduced to the various types of roles social workers can play: macro, mezzo, and micro. We can be brokers, advocates, counselors, educators, facilitators, or a combination of them all.

Q: How important is it to you as a student to get scholarship support?
If I did not receive any scholarship support, I would have had to postpone attending school full-time and have work another job to offset the expenses of attending school. It is extremely important to me to receive these scholarships so I can focus on my education and my long-term career goals. In addition, without the Gilman Scholarship I would not have the resources to study abroad in Ecuador and Peru this past term.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC?
My involvement in the Social Work Student Association. A couple students and I reignited SWSA by increasing membership and providing monthly opportunities for all students to become involved on and off campus helping other individuals within the community.

Q: What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship?
I have been fortunate enough to meet with two of the donors of my scholarships and will hopefully meet with the third within the coming months. I expressed my gratitude for their generous donation and explained how the scholarship has helped me further my education.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
I hope to be accepted into the William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India. I want to work with victims of human trafficking in rural areas of India. After the program, I hope to attend UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy and School of Social Welfare.

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Making Year-End Giving Easy

You can quickly and easily make your year-end gift online. Gifts by credit card must be submitted no later than midnight EST on Wednesday, December 31.

Checks must be dated and postmarked by Wednesday, December 31, to be counted in the 2014 tax year. Please make checks payable to the UMBC Foundation and mail to the UMBC Foundation at 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250.

The gift of appreciated stock can be beneficial to UMBC and you. You may be eligible to take a charitable deduction for the market value of the securities, and could potentially benefit by avoiding capital gains tax and reducing your estate tax. You can request additional information about donating securities by visiting UMBC Foundation.

Planned gifts can be a significant benefit to you, your family, and UMBC. Bequests, charitable gift annuities, and charitable remainder trusts offer donors a variety of ways to support the university. For more information, visit our Planned Giving website. You can also contact Kim Robinson, Senior Development Officer, by phone at 410-455-3700 or by email at

A gift of personal property includes equipment, inventory, books, works of art, or other tangible property. Gifts of personal property are accepted by UMBC. Gifts in kind can be used to benefit the university, an academic department, or program as designated by the donor. If you are interested in pursuing this type of gift, please call Kim Robinson, Senior Development Officer, at 410-455-3700 or email her at

You may reach Dayna Carpenter, Director of Annual Giving, at 410-455-3377 or

If you have already made your gift, thank you!

All contributions are administered by the UMBC Foundation for the benefit of UMBC.

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Leading the Way: Supporting Students Beyond the Classroom

Dr. Ana María Schwartz Caballero, associateschwartz
professor of Spanish and second language
education, is something of a fixture here at UMBC: she’s worked at the university in various capacities for the past 30 years, mostly bouncing between the Language and Education Departments, but always making sure to stay closely involved with students.

However, you won’t find her just on UMBC’s campus. Since Dr. Schwartz Caballero is heavily involved in Baltimore’s Hispanic and Latino community, you’re just as likely to find her running a meeting of the Latino/Hispanic Faculty Association. Or walking through City Hall with the rest of the members of Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s Hispanic Commission. Or presenting her research on language teaching and learning to the Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages.

So, it should come as no surprise that Dr. Schwartz Caballero was selected to receive the 2014 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award at a special presentation ceremony during the Ravens’ September 28 game.

It should also come as no surprise that she chose to donate the $2,000 grant that came with the award to UMBC’s Esperanza Scholarship Fund. “My heart has always been with the students I work with and the community here at UMBC,” says Dr. Schwartz Caballero. “I couldn’t think of giving money to anyone else.”

Which is exactly why she chose the Esperanza Scholarship: it supports undergraduate and graduate students of Latino or Hispanic ancestry and/or students committed to the advancement of minorities, especially of Latino or Hispanic descent. And, as faculty advisor for the Hispanic/Latino Student Union, as well as a member of the UMBC Hispanic and Latino Student Admissions Advisory Group, Dr. Schwartz Caballero knows that students need all the support they can get. “I know that students struggle. They work hard, juggling jobs and schoolwork, and that can be very stressful.”

For students of immigrant families, though, it can be even more difficult. “Students from families that are just beginning to be established here often lack the financial support available to others,” explains Dr. Schwartz Caballero. “And, in many cases, the students themselves, on top of working and going to school, are also supporting their families however they can.”

And Dr. Schwartz Caballero is doing what she can to help, too. “It takes a long time to build up the funds for something like that [the Esperanza Scholarship], and any donation can help build that base. I just hope it makes someone’s life a little easier.”

Support the Esperanza Scholarship Fund.

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Meet Your Student Callers: Shannon, Class of 2016

Phonathon 3

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 Shannon, class of 2016.

Shannon is from Montgomery County, MD, and is working toward a degree in political science with a minor in psychology. We sat down with Shannon to get to know her a little better and here’s what we learned:

Q: Why did you choose to come to UMBC?

A: I chose UMBC because I believe it is an academically strong campus. Also, when I visited for the first time I automatically fell in love with the campus and believed that I could really see myself being a part of the UMBC community.

Q: What activities do you enjoy outside of class?

A: Outside of class I take advantage of many activities UMBC has to offer. One thing offered is volunteering opportunities such as BARCS. BARCS is an animal shelter located in Baltimore and I try to visit as much as I can on Sundays. I really enjoy being able to get away from schoolwork and being able to relax by walking/playing with dogs. I also enjoy the fact that I am helping bettering an animal’s life.

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

A: What I like best about being a student caller is talking with alumni and listening to their experiences here at UMBC. A lot has changed since some alumni have graduated and updating them on how much our campus has improved makes me proud to go to school here.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: Hopefully, I plan to continue on to law school and become a lawyer.

Q: What do you enjoy most now that you’re here?

A: I very much enjoy our school spirit and sense of community. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming and I feel right at home here.

Learn more about the UMBC Phonathon!

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UMBC Needs Your Help on #GivingTuesday

The Thanksgiving leftovers have dwindled away and many of us have put a significant dent in our holiday shopping lists, having bustled through Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Three years ago, Giving Tuesday was established to encourage us to to break away from the consumerism and chaos that has swallowed up our holiday season and return to a spirit of giving.

This year, there are a number of great causes to consider at UMBC for Giving Tuesday. Your commitment truly is a gift that will keep on giving, and our communities will benefit from the great work of the students this spring.

Support UMBC Students on #GivingTuesday!

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Meet the Staff: Allison Jones

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 Allison Jones, the Associate Director of Corporate Relations.

Allison-0174Name: Allison Jones
Job Title: Associate Director of Corporate Relations
Focus Area: I cultivate holistic and high-value relationships between UMBC and corporations.
Years at UMBC: 5

Q: Where are you from originally?

A: Towaco, NJ

Q: What do you love most about UMBC?

A: A strong work ethic is vital to a successful workplace and nearly everyone I encounter at UMBC produces top notch work, not just the bare minimum. I really appreciate this quality in my colleagues.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?

A: No one day is the same. Every corporate partnership evolves differently, so I have to constantly be thinking about unique and customized opportunities to engage my donors, all of whom have different goals and needs.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to support UMBC?

A: UMBC is doing amazing things: cutting-edge research, growing a pipeline of talented students who will be among the next generation of our country’s leaders and piloting innovative educational initiatives. The only way we can continue to do this critical work is through the support of our generous donors.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Well, I am from NJ, so I would have to say pizza. Of course, I am from NJ, so I am extremely picky about my pizza.

Q: When you were a child, what/who did you aspire to be?

A: I always wanted to be a teacher. I used to line up my dolls and give them a daily lesson. I can’t wait until I can start helping my kids with their homework.

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Men’s Soccer Heads Toward National Championship

NCAA Mens Soccer: Hartford vs UMBCAt UMBC, we’re busy celebrating the men’s soccer team and their America East Championship win over Hartford. This sets the Retrievers on the road to the NCAA tournament–their fourth tournament bid in five years.

The team is truly a “Fan Favorite” and Retriever Fever is catching across campus, from the dedicated supporters of Lot 17 to faculty and staff. In fact, The Baltimore Sun  reported that at the end of the America East Championship game, “UMBC fans and students stormed the field and celebrated with the players at midfield.”

The men’s soccer team is in Wake Forest today for the first round of the NCAA tournament–along with a bus full of dedicated supporters–in hopes of continuing their winning streak.

Do you have Retriever Fever? Support the team on the road to victory!

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