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May 11, 2000

SPRING 2000 COMMENCEMENT STORY TIPS

Former Bosnian Refugee on His Way to MIT With a Full Scholarship
In the spring of 1994, Ivan Skopovi's family left Bosnia as refugees on their way to America. Skopovi, unfamiliar with the English language and the American educational system, enrolled at Annapolis (Md.) Senior High School and began to prepare for college. He took intensive English as a Second Language (ESOL) classes and studied with a passion. Skopovi, who had honed his interest in engineering while in Bosnia, was admitted to UMBC to begin his baccalaureate work and continue intensive courses in English. In his sophomore year, he earned UMBC's prestigious Danaher scholarship, the highest award given to a student in mechanical engineering, and now he is headed to the top-rated engineering program in the nation at MIT with a full scholarship.

High-Paying Local Jobs Plentiful for Talented UMBC Seniors
Gone are the times when college seniors would lie awake at night worrying about where, or if, they will work after graduation. Thanks to a booming economy and the lowest unemployment rate ever in Maryland (3% in March), UMBC seniors are turning down job offers -- some for better jobs and some for graduate school. Computer engineering major Michael Madison was offered nearly $250,000 by a top consulting firm but turned it down for a full fellowship at Stanford University to study computer engineering. "My guess is that I'll get a top-notch education in the engineering arena and meet the some of best business students in the world -- the possibilities for collaboration are endless," says Madison. "If I didn't believe that, I'd be a consultant right now." UMBC produces more information technology bachelor's degrees than any other research university in the nation, aside from Johns Hopkins.

30 Taiwanese Air Force Officers Graduating from UMBC
Thirty high-ranking Taiwanese Air Force officers will set foot on the UMBC campus for the first time on May 24 -- to receive their diplomas. The group, ranking from major to general, has been taking courses in Taiwan for the past year and a half in pursuit of their Masters of Science in Engineering Management. Courses in the program, a joint effort between UMBC and the University of Baltimore, lasted seven weeks and were held at either the Taiwanese Air Force Academy at Kang Shun, or a training center in Taipei. The courses and tests were all in English, and were identical to similar programs offered in the U.S. "These students performed their military duties full-time during the day and attended class for three hours at night," says program director and UMBC visiting professor of computer science Issa Khozeime, P.E. "We are proud to have brought this program to UMBC and the State of Maryland," continues Khozeime, "these are the future leaders of Taiwan."

Posted by dwinds1 at May 11, 2000 12:00 AM