With You, We Can Send Students to National Conferences

Editor’s note: Here at UMBC, our students are the heartbeat of campus, and we are committed to providing them the best possible education. So, for the month of March, we will be highlighting our amazing academic departments, some of their recent achievements, and ways that you can help fund their continued excellence.

Your gift is extremely important and many of our students are depending on you. Please show your support and make an impact today. With you we can make a difference.


EconomicsThe Economics Department is proud to announce that professor Scott Farrow was named economics coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security’s National Center on the Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE). The department would also like to announce that professor Dennis Coates was chosen as editor of the Journal of Sports Economics, effective summer of 2015.

With your help, the Economics department can provide scholarships for economics and financial economics majors and supply new computers with the latest version of Stata, an econometric software.

Click here to donate.


MCSThe Media and Communication Studies Department is excited to share that last year the department awarded student scholarships and provided state-of-the-art equipment for classrooms.

With your help, the Media and Communication Studies Department can continue supporting these worthwhile initiatives and continue providing students a top-rate education.

To donate, click here.


Political ScienceThe Political Science Department is thrilled to share that in the past year, the department funded student trips to national conferences and supported undergraduate and graduate research.

With your help, the Political Science department can continue supporting these worthwhile initiatives and providing students a top-rate education.

Click here to donate.

Student Scholarship Q&A: Samantha Carestia, visual arts

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 Samantha Carestia ‘15, visual arts (animation), who is a UMBC Grant recipient.

Name: Samantha N. CarestiaSamantha Carestia
Major: Visual arts (animation / interactive media concentration)
Extra Curricular Activities: March of Dimes Walks, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, creating digital ads for a local restaurant
Scholarships received: UMBC Grant

Q: Why did you decide to attend UMBC?
I decided to attend UMBC because of the Visual Arts degree program, which contains many of the aspects that I find desirable in my major. The visual arts program with the animation/interactive media concentration allows me to focus on both 2D and 3D artwork, made both physically and electronically, and extend the range of tasks I can perform in my desired field. I was also attracted to UMBC because it is an “in-state” school with a very high academic rating. I had looked at other institutions, even attending a different one in my freshman year that offered a large scholarship. I transferred to UMBC when I realized that UMBC had a program that better suited my educational needs.

Q: What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here?
I think that the most amazing thing I discovered at UMBC is the instructors. They are very compassionate about what they are teaching and do so in a way that draws you into the subject. They are also so very helpful and accessible when I have a question or a problem. I am also amazed at how kind and active the UMBC community is.

Q: Tell us about a class or club that has really opened your mind.
I feel that [the] course ART 384 — Introduction to 3D Computer Animation — was the class that most opened my mind. This class let me work with 3D modeling, which is something I have always wanted to do. I found I have a knack for it, which is great!

Q: How important is it to you as a student to get scholarship support?
I am the daughter of what some may call “older parents.” My father is retired on Social Security, and my mother’s job is their only other income. They have sacrificed a lot to assist in my college tuition and expenses as best they can so I won’t be saddled with a huge amount of loans when I graduate.With the economy as it is today, there are challenges obtaining employment. A large amount of school loans may make it very difficult to concentrate on my employment search. This scholarship also means a lot to me because it means my parents won’t have to struggle as much in their efforts to help me achieve my goal of a college education.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC?
I am most proud of my high GPA. I am especially proud of the past two semesters with 6 courses each, and obtaining and maintaining a 4.0 GPA both semesters.

Q: What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship?
I feel it is my obligation to continue doing my very best in my studies to prove not just to myself and my parents, but also to those that believe in me and have helped me that their faith and assistance are not in vain.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
After achieving my goal of a degree from UMBC, I hope to obtain employment at a nearby game-making studio, such as Bethesda, or find a job making web pages for a local firm. I will probably have to prove myself and start from the bottom and work my way up to my ultimate goal.

 Support UMBC student scholarships today!

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.

Photo12_16AName: 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.

Student Scholarship Q&A: Ariana Seidman, music performance with vocal emphasis

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 Ariana Seidman ‘17, music performance, who is an Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship and Linehan Artist Scholarship recipient. This scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student who is a child or grandchild of a UMBC graduate, with great community involvement.

Name: Ariana SeidmanAriana Seidman Headshot
Major: Music Performance (Vocal Emphasis)
Extra Curricular Activities: UMBC Stilettos and Musical Theater Club
Scholarships received: Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship and Linehan Artist Scholar

Q: Why did you decide to attend UMBC?
I liked the warm and welcoming music department and the benefits of the Linehan Artists Scholars program. Additionally, my father and older sister attended UMBC and had great experiences.

Q: What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here?
I have been amazed by the students at UMBC and the friendships I have made. I love the diversity of the student population and the sense of community throughout the university.

Q: Tell us about a class or club that has really opened your mind.
I have loved being a part of the Stilettos (UMBC’s all-female a cappella group). The a cappella environment is very friendly at UMBC and all the groups are very supportive of each other. I look forward to leading the Stilettos as music director this year.

Q: How important is it to you as a student to get scholarship support?
It is very important to me to receive scholarship support. After graduation I hope to continue my education in graduate school, so support now can help me to go further later.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at UMBC?
I was very proud to be elected Music Director of the Stilettos. It is a position with a lot of responsibility and I’m flattered that the members trust me to do the job.

Q: What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship?
I would thank them repeatedly for supporting my education and allowing me to continue to study what I love both now and in the future.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
I hope to continue on to graduate school to study music therapy, speech therapy/pathology, or vocal pedagogy.

Support UMBC’s scholarships today!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

You can make a difference today!

UMBC is an incredible and diverse community of thinkers, creators, and innovators. When we work together, we can accomplish great things.

ITE-AlumniHappyHour14-2930

Alums enjoy the IT & Engineering Happy Hour and Fundraiser

Case in point? Just today, a group of our Information Technology and Engineering alumni raised enough money to fund a student scholarship. They decided to shoot for $1,600, and they raised 105% of that goal with two days left in their campaign.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding. This is one story among many of the generosity of our alumni and the ways in which they change UMBC for the better each year.

As our fiscal year comes to a close today, this demonstration of support is especially timely. Gifts made now will have the most immediate impact on our students as we get to work planning for an amazing new school year.

Give today and watch your gift go to work immediately
for our students.