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This year, UMBC awards undergraduate and graduate degrees to over 1400 students in disciplines ranging from physics to visual arts, biological sciences to political science. UMBC's Class of 2007 includes students headed to prestigious graduate programs at Auburn, Cambridge, Columbia, Cornell, Emory, Georgetown, George Washington, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, MIT, University of Michigan, the New School, University of St. Andrews (Scotland), Southern Methodist University, University of Wisconsin and Yale.

Other students have secured jobs across a wide spectrum of corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, colleges and universities, including Berlin Technical University of Art, Constellation Energy, DuPont, GE, IBM, Grace Davison, Lentigen Corp. (a techcenter@UMBC company), Lockheed Martin, Mercantile Bank, NASA, Northrup Grumman, Retirement Living TV, Sogetti, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. Many will teach at public schools across Maryland.

Meet just a few of our exceptional undergraduate and graduate students, and find out why we’re confident we’ll be reading about the Class of 2007 for years to come.



UNDERGRADUATES

 

Stephanie Núñez
Valedictorian
Plans: D.D.S./Ph.D., University of Michigan School of Dentistry
B.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Hometown: Bowie, Maryland

Stephanie Núñez exemplified excellence while at UMBC, as evidenced by her scholarship support from the Meyerhoff, Goldwater, MARC U*STAR, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Maryland Distinguished Scholar programs. She also served as the community service officer for the Golden Key International Honor Society and won the 2006 UMBC Alumni Association Award for outstanding student in biochemistry. Núñez developed an interest in the science of teeth after a childhood softball accident led to several dental surgeries. She gained hands-on laboratory experience through UMBC research partnerships with the University of Maryland, Baltimore Dental School and Stanford University. While at Stanford she worked with Habla la Noche (“The Night Speaks”), a student organization dedicated to teaching English to Stanford’s hourly staff workers. Núñez played bass clarinet in the UMBC Chamber Players and hopes to join the Life Sciences Orchestra at the University of Michigan, where she will begin her doctoral studies and pursue a career teaching professional dentistry.

“One of UMBC's greatest strengths is the diverse background of its faculty and student body. Not only is it something that enriches both the academic and social experiences of everyone that becomes part of UMBC, but it also strengthens us as an academic community.”

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Erin Voss
Salutatorian
Plans: M.D., University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
B.S., Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Brookfield, Wisconsin

Phi Beta Kappa member and former women’s basketball team captain Erin Voss found time to serve others during her busy years at UMBC. Her academic honors included being named to the National College Athlete Honor Society, a PDA Scholar Award, membership in the Golden Key International Honor Society, a Collegiate All-American Scholar Award, an Outstanding Senior in Chemical Engineering Award and memberships in Phi Kappa Phi honor society and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. Voss also volunteered at a local hospital, refereed and coached youth basketball, participated in charity distance running events and helped with many other community outreach activities.

"UMBC has helped me become a well-rounded person and see the importance of balance in my life. During my five years at UMBC, I have grown as a student and discovered who I want to be."

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Michael Aaron
Plans: Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

B.S.E., Mechanical Engineering
B.S., Biological Sciences
Hometown: Frederick, Maryland

A leader academically (he was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist and a MARC, Meyerhoff, Goldwater and McNair Scholar) and athletically (captain of the UMBC Men’s Rugby team), Michael Aaron is poised for a bright future. After taking part in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Summer Research Program, he accompanied the MIT Rugby Team overseas for a match in Paris, France. He worked in labs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and at Case Western Reserve University. Aaron is also an active member in Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, and a Learning Resource Center tutor.

“At the end of it all, I have an overwhelming sense of institutional pride and identity among my fellow students, faculty and staff. I truly believe in and have contributed in what way I can to UMBC, a university that is more than just a storehouse of knowledge or a community of scholars, but a boundless source of human potential.”

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Joba Adekanmbi
Plans: Full-time consultant, techcenter@UMBC biotechnology company Lentigen Corp. and a producer for Green Passport, Inc., a television production firm he started while at UMBC
B.S., Financial Economics
Hometown: Owings Mills, Maryland

Joba Adekanmbi’s passion for entrepreneurship found a good fit at UMBC. He was president of the UMBC Collegiate Entrepreneur’s Organization (CEO) club, turned an internship with techcenter@UMBC biotech firm Lentigen Corp. into a full-time job and honed his business skills through the advice and resources of the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. He is a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and received the first Eli Eisenberg Scholarship for Entrepreneurship. Adekanmbi was also active in the Student Judicial Board, President’s Student Advisory Board and Habitat for Humanity.

“My experience at UMBC has been very unique and rewarding. The UMBC community embraces all cultures and religions which explains why many local and international students see UMBC as their preferred community. Above all, my experience gave me the opportunity to contribute to the development of entrepreneurship within the campus through the CEO club and my involvement with the Alex Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. I will be a proud alumnus.”

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William Chewning
Plans: Teaching and developing instructional systems to support college-level writing
B.A., English, Communication and Technology Track
Minor in Writing, Rhetoric and Communication
Certificate in Communication and Media Studies
Hometown: Hanover, Maryland

A member of the UMBC Honors College, William Chewning created and piloted an online tutoring program for the University’s Writing Center to extend the center’s ability to assist students beyond the physical boundaries of the center itself. He received the Philip J. Landon Award for Outstanding Achievement in New Media. Chewning worked with UMBC students as a writing tutor, and is a National Society of Collegiate Scholars Merit Award winner. He plans to continue exploring the intersections of technology and the teaching of writing.

“My experience at UMBC has reinforced my belief that diversity, in all its forms, is an asset that we should all embrace, not an obstacle for us to overcome. UMBC students are a very diverse group of people in terms of age, ethnicity, backgrounds and academic and career goals, yet we work together so effectively as a learning community. The cooperative nature of our diverse student body reflects the fact that people are at their best when we allow our differences as individuals to become the foundation of our strength as a community."

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Andrew Engel
Plans: Working in hospital or nursing home administration and pursuing an M.B.A.
B.A., Health Administration and Public Policy
Hometown: Ellicott City, Maryland

Andrew Engel overcame seemingly insurmountable odds after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 1995, two weeks into his freshman year at Rutgers University. Removal and treatment of the tumor controlled his cancer but also destroyed his short term memory and he was told by doctors he would never hold a job or resume his college education. But Engel was determined to beat the odds. He convinced neuropsychologists at Johns Hopkins Hospital to use him in a one-year experiment to teach him tools to help improve his short term memory. After intense therapy, Engel made medical history by learning how to convert new information into long-term memory. Engel re-enrolled at a local community college in 1997 and transferred to UMBC in 1999. His short term memory disability required he read his notes and every chapter in his text books at least five times. As a result, he could only take one or two classes per semester and had to study 10-12 hours a day, seven days a week. With extra credits earned from completing six internships in health care administration, Engel earned his B.A. in Health Administration and Policy after 10 years of school. Engel credits his family, UMBC faculty and support services and his own dogged determination for helping him achieve his dream of graduating from college.

“I wish to thank Professor Joyce Riley, assistant director of UMBC’s Health Administration Policy Program, for investing the time in helping me organize my class load (which classes would work best for me given my short term memory disability) in a way that helped speed my goal of graduating. Also, I greatly appreciate everything Student Support Services provides to assist students with disabilities, such as supplemental note-takers and arranging extended time for exams.”

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Christina Finn
Plans: Master of Music Degree, Southern Methodist University
B.A., Music, Vocal Performance
Minor in Modern Languages and Linguistics, French
Hometown: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Linehan Artist Scholar Christina Finn has studied at The International Lyric Academy and the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, Institut Linguistique Adenet in France and The Wesley Balk Institute in Minnesota. She performs work by John Cage and UMBC professor Stuart Saunders Smith on a recording by Sonic Art Editions, released in spring 2007. Finn was an Undergraduate Research Award recipient for the last three years; she presented independent research and performed at the last three Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Days. She has been a member of the UMBC Honors College, soprano section leader for the Maryland Camerata, music theory tutor and New Music Ensemble coach, as well as a student speaker at UMBC Orientation and vice president of the UMBC Students for Life Club.

“UMBC provided me the opportunities I needed to move on to the next stage of my career. I have been inspired by the genuine care that the faculty has for the students, and I have truly enjoyed my four years at UMBC—singing, learning, making connections and becoming a well-rounded human being.”

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Hadi Gharabaghi
Plans: M.A. in Cinema Studies, New York University Tisch School of the Arts
B.A., Visual Arts, Art History Concentration
Hometown: Laurel, Maryland

Originally from Iran where he studied math and physics in high school, Hadi Gharabaghi became interested in the arts and humanities while at Montgomery College, and later transferred to UMBC. His work has been exhibited at Caladan Gallery, Current Gallery, Iranian.com, the Middle East Institute, Montgomery College and UMBC. He interned at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Gharabaghi received a 2007 Academic Excellence award from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. After receiving his master’s degree, he plans to obtain a Ph.D. in media studies and teach at the university level.

“At UMBC, I was able to grow intellectually and artistically and to find my true passion and drive both as an artist and a future art scholar. UMBC offered me both theoretical and practical grounds for exploring the cutting edge topics of concern in film, photography, media, art theory and history. I will always remember UMBC as an institution that challenged and nurtured me.”

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Jordan Hadfield
Plans: Continue working at the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation and obtain Master and Ph.D. degrees in Public Policy, UMBC
B.A., Political Science
Minor in Ancient Studies
Hometown: Dundalk, Maryland

Jordan Hadfield was president of UMBC’s Student Government Association for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years. In the spring of 2007, he resigned from the presidency to become main street manager of the Dundalk, Maryland Historic Main Street, and is most likely the youngest person in the U.S. to manage a “main street.” Hadfield was the first-ever student chair of both the University Steering Committee and UMBC Maryland Charities Campaign. He co-founded the UMBC Mama’s Boys A capella group and First-Year Council. Hadfield has received numerous awards and scholarships, including the Kaplan Student Affairs Leadership Award, UMBC Alumni Association Student Leader Scholarship and the Greek Leader of the Year Award.

“Attending UMBC has been the most engaging experience of my life. I have made lifelong connections that will never break, experimented with ideas and projects that I never would have given a shot and made differences on campus with other students that will be felt for UMBC’s next 40 years. This place is special because it changes every day. Citizens of the UMBC community have a chance to make their mark, learn from people who are different from themselves and experience the renaissance that is UMBC.”

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Brian Hodges
Plans: M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis, UMBC
B.S., Financial Economics
Minor in American Studies
Certificate in Management Science
Hometown: Upper Marlboro, Maryland

As a scholar and an athlete, Brian Hodges played for the men’s basketball team and is a two-time winner of the UMBC Scholar-Athlete Award and a member of the National College Athlete Honor Society. He made the America East All-Academic Team, the NACDA 1-AAA Scholar-Athlete All-Academic Team and was a First Team Arthur Ashe Jr. Scholar Athlete. He also is a member of several honors societies, including the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Sigma Alpha Lamda, Omicron Delta Epsilon and Omicron Delta Kappa. Hodges was named in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and volunteered for the Shriver Center’s CHOICE Program to tutor and mentor at-risk youth.

“UMBC was the ideal place for me to excel both in academics and athletics. UMBC has an environment that encourages students to want to excel. I am glad that I chose UMBC and am grateful for all that it has taught me.”

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Louis Leibowitz
Plans: Level II Teacher at the New England Center for Children, Boston, MA
B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies and Sociology
Hometown: Reisterstown, Maryland

A University Scholar, Louis Leibowitz began working with autistic children two years ago as an intern with Children Achieving Maximum Potential, a home therapy service, and developed a passion for helping these children. He presented his research on the “Fiscal Effects of Same-sex Marriage” – which he hopes to publish in the near future – at Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day. Leibowitz participated in several University student groups, including the Anti-war Coalition, Oxfam, Students for Environmental Awareness and UMBC PIRG. He also performed as a tenor in the UMBC Camerata, and as a trombonist in the New Music Ensemble and the UMBC Orchestra. In the spring of 2006 he participated in a study abroad program in Turku, Finland.

“UMBC has truly helped me develop both as an academic and as an artist. I have gained so much insight on how the world works, and will never forget my experiences here or the opportunities UMBC has offered me.”

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Morgan Little
Plans: M.A. in Museum Studies, George Washington University, on a Career Development Fellowship and working on a Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History online exhibition
B.A., Ancient Studies
Minor in Political Science
Hometown: Churchville, Maryland

A Humanities Scholar, member of the Honors College and captain of the cross country and track and field teams, Morgan Little was recently elected for membership to the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. She studied abroad at the Arcadia Center for Hellenic, Mediterranean and Balkan Studies in Athens, Greece; presented research at Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day; and was honored with the Ancient Studies Most Outstanding Senior award. Little co-curated an exhibit titled, "The Glory of Ruins," in UMBC’s Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, served as a representative on the Athletic Advisory Council, volunteered as a conversation partner at the English Language Center and played in the UMBC Brass Quintet. She received the Maryland Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies. Most recently, Little placed 4th in the 10,000 meter at the America East championships.

“UMBC is not just a school; it’s a lifestyle! The potential for growth and achievement intellectually, culturally and athletically is without limits. I was able to engage with leading scholars at the Humanities Forum lecture series, study abroad in Athens, Greece, and intern at a Smithsonian Institution all because I am a UMBC Retriever.”

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Matthew Loftus
Plans: M.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine
B.S. in Chemistry
Hometown: Bel Air, Maryland

A Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholar, Matt Loftus spent summers doing volunteer work in Africa and was vice president of Students Taking Action Now in Darfur (STAND). He received the William Donald Schaefer Award for the best applicant to the Maryland International Education Association scholarship when he studied abroad in Cairo, Egypt. He hopes to work as a doctor in developing countries after medical school.

"UMBC has helped me succeed by placing me in an environment where I could learn from others and grow with them. I have been blessed to come to a school where thoughtful study and intense community are both highly valued."

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Joseph Maher
Plans: Researching sustainable development policies in Santiago, Chile for 10 months on a Fulbright scholarship before pursuing a graduate degree
B.A., Political Science/Environmental Studies
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland

Joseph Maher is a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar, member of Gamma Theta Upsilon and Phi Beta Kappa honors societies, and recipient of the Department of Geography's Outstanding Senior Award. Maher currently works as a research assistant at Resources for the Future, a D.C.-based environmental economics think tank, and has previously interned as a land preservation assistant with the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection. At UMBC, Maher served as Secretary General of the Model United Nations team, competed on the UMBC crew team and reported for the Retriever Weekly. As a volunteer for the R.I.C.A. school in Baltimore, Maher worked as a peer mediator for youth with emotional disturbances.

"UMBC provides a close-knit academic community devoted to undergraduate research and professional advancement. My professors have extended their efforts beyond the classroom to help develop my research interests and arrange meaningful internships. Moreover, my work with extracurricular organizations has helped me to develop my academic interests and assume character-building leadership roles."

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Allen McFarland
Plans: Researching Canada’s pension plan in Toronto on a Fulbright scholarship before pursing a master’s degree in public policy
B.A., Political Science/Economics
Hometown: Bel Air, Maryland

Allen McFarland was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honors society and was named Outstanding Graduating Senior in Economics and Outstanding Scholar Leader in Political Science. He served as president of the UMBC College Democrats and interned for U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Congressman John Dingell. He volunteered to work with grade-school students at the YMCA College Gardens after-school program.

“UMBC has provided me with the skills to analyze public policy, the chance to further my career goals through internships in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and the opportunity to meet a wealth of faculty and students who have helped me to develop both professionally and personally. I feel well prepared for graduate school and the ‘real world’ thanks to my experience at UMBC.”

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Isaac Matthews
Plans: M.S./Ph.D., nuclear engineering; M.S., technology and public policy, MIT
B.S., Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Oxon Hill, Maryland

The third Meyerhoff Scholar in his family and a member of the UMBC track team, Isaac Matthews was recently named the 2007 Arthur Ashe Jr. Male Sports Scholar of the Year by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. He was treasurer of UMBC’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, a motivational speaker for NASA Sharp Students and participated in a NAACP outreach program to encourage and motivate minority youth.

“What I find most exciting about UMBC is being immersed in an environment where everyone has a drive and is focused on achieving a goal, whether it is going on to the top M.D./Ph.D. program in the nation or breaking a school record in track.”

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Lidiya Mishchenko
Plans: Ph.D. in Physics, Harvard University
B.S., Physics
Hometown: Ellicott City, Maryland

University Scholar Lidiya Mishchenko was named Outstanding Graduating Senior in Physics. She completed summer physics internships at Stony Brook University, University of Bordeaux and University of Rochester. Mishchenko is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the UMBC Honors College, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honor Society, Society of Physics Students and the American Physical Society. Her additional scholarships and awards include: Outstanding Undergraduate in Physics, Maryland Distinguished Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction. She also served the Baltimore community in numerous ways. With the UMBC Jewish Student Union, she planned community service events such as bingo night at a nursing home and played with young patients at the Hackerman Patz House of Sinai Hospital. She was active in the Jewish Big Brother, Big Sister League’s Close Connections program, working with young adults who have Down’s Syndrome.

“UMBC gave me a full scholarship, without which I might not have been able to go to college. The physics department is amazing, the faculty are extremely supportive and I learned a lot during my experience here.”

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Safiya Mojerie
Plans: Master in Public Health, Yale School of Public Health, on a full-tuition scholarship

B.A., Health Administration and Policy
B.A., Africana Studies
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland

Safiya Mojerie received UMBC’s W.E.B. Dubois Award, Barbara E. Burkman Scholarship Award and Alumni Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. She helped establish the Africana Studies Council of Majors and served as president her senior year. She was a fellow in the UMBC Center for Women in Information Technology and ESTEEM program, treasurer of the Health Administration and Policy Council of Majors and mentored and tutored at-risk youth in the Shriver Center’s CHOICE program. Mojerie helped organize numerous civic activities, including visits to the Children's Home in Catonsville for their annual Christmas celebration, St. Martin’s nursing home and a Thanksgiving food drive.

“UMBC challenged me to be exceptional in thought, deed and action. My experience here has taught me the true value of leadership, character and perseverance. I would not be the woman I am today without having passed through the halls of this institution.”

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Aaron Moss
Plans: M.F.A. in Acting, Yale University
B.F.A., Theatre
Hometown: Owings Mills, Maryland

Aaron Moss is just one of 16 students accepted out of 1300 who applied to Yale’s M.F.A. in Acting program. He received rave reviews from BroadwayWorld.com for his leading performance in UMBC’s production of “The Faulkner Project,” during which he worked with internationally known director Robert Allen. A transfer student from Bowie State University, Moss appeared on the television series “The Wire” and had a radio show on Baltimore’s WEAA 88.9 FM. He has studied piano since the age of eight.

“UMBC’s theatre faculty take a real interest in you as an individual. As an artist, they inspire you to be your very best. My professors often meet with me outside of class to discuss my future, and give solid insights into the world of theatre. And I've found a strong community of students in the Theatre Council of Majors, who are a constant source of support.”

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Pamela Mulè
Plans: Continue working at Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust this summer, applying to M.B.A. programs
B.A., Economics

Certificate in M.B.A. Preparatory Studies
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

A member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Pamela Mulè was an orientation peer advisor and ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She has interned with Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust since January 2006. Among other awards, she received the Maryland Delegate Scholarship for four years and the Maryland Senatorial Scholarship for two years. Mulè volunteered with Maryland Special Olympics, Catholic Charities’ Dragon Boat Races and the Maryland State Police’s annual Polar Bear Plunge.

“UMBC has been instrumental in preparing me for my future career in business. The quality of education at UMBC is stellar and one that I’ve seen all employers be impressed by. UMBC also helped me get a very beneficial internship with Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co., which has helped accelerate my career.”

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Jason Reid
Plans: M.S./Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, MIT
B.S., Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Columbia, Maryland

A Meyerhoff Scholar, Jason Reid also received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Society of Automotive Engineers Scholarship, the UMBC Mechanical Engineering Alumni Award and the Hillel of Greater Baltimore President’s Award. Reid served as a teaching assistant, tutored his fellow students and local high schoolers, and in his spare time played drums in the UMBC Pep Band and several original rock bands.

“UMBC has provided me with many opportunities to mature as a scientist and as a person. While I look forward to embarking on the new experiences and challenges of the future, I will always appreciate my time spent at UMBC.”

 

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Joseph Stevens
Plans: M.A. in Asian Studies, Cornell University, on a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship

B.A., Modern Languages and Linguistics
Minor in History
Hometown: Odenton, Maryland

Joseph Stevens, a University Scholar, studied abroad for five months in Costa Rica and eight months in Quebec, mastering Spanish and French, respectively. Recently elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he was active with the Modern Languages and Linguistics Council of Majors, Spanish Club and Freedom Alliance. For the past two years, he served as a SAT/ACT/MCAT verbal prep teacher for the Princeton Review. At Cornell, Stevens’ thesis research will focus on terrorism and national security threats.

“UMBC provided me with an incredible environment in which to learn and thrive. I was able to study abroad in Costa Rica and Quebec, something that would have never come about without the support of UMBC’s Study Abroad office, scholarship office and Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. The international component that I was able to add so easily undoubtedly helped me secure a full fellowship to the graduate school and program of my choosing. It truly has been an amazing experience.”

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Drew Westervelt
Plans: Pursuing a career in sales and marketing, playing professional lacrosse with the Denver Outlaws

B.A., Economics
Hometown: Bel Air, Maryland

Senior Athlete of the Year Drew Westervelt was tri-captain of the UMBC’s men’s lacrosse team which recently advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships. He was named to the America East Second Team All-Conference, Westervelt’s fourth award in four years from the conference, as he earned All Rookie Team honors in 2004 and Second Team honors in 2005 and 2006. This year, Westervelt became the fourth player in school history to record 200 points and stands in third place all-time with 206. He also became the fourth player in school history to amass 70 points (35 goals, 36 assists for 71 points) in a single season. Off the field, Westervelt completed a sales/marketing internship with Stuart Amos, CEO of Fillmaster, a pharmaceutical water purification, dispensing and measuring system created to ensure accuracy in filling prescriptions. He also participated in UMBC’s Athletic Community Outreach program, mentoring middle school students and working with a horseback riding program for children with disabilities.

“I feel very fortunate to have attended UMBC, and am especially grateful to President Hrabowski for his support and the many opportunities he has given me.”

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Shanae Williams
Plans: Information Management Leadership Program (IMLP) Trainee, General Electric

B.S., Information Systems
Hometown: Fort Washington, Maryland

A Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) Scholar, Shanae Williams also received a Computer Science, Engineering and Math Scholarship. She was a member of the UMBC Gospel Choir and co-founded Perfected Praise Dance Ministry. Williams was a member of the Black Student Union and was chair of the 2005 Black Student Orientation.

"Because of CWIT and UMBC's passion for increasing the number of women in information technology, I feel encouraged to make a difference. UMBC has provided me with the tools, leadership skills and support to make me a success."

 

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Shannan Williams
Plans: Master in Public Policy, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, on a full-tuition scholarship and stipend

B.A., Political Science
Minors in Writing and Africana Studies
Hometown: Jersey City, New Jersey

Shannan Williams is a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar and has been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and the Golden Key International Honor Society. She was named Outstanding Scholar in Political Science and is a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow. Her senior year she worked at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. She also served as a Governor’s Summer Intern for the state Department of Education. Williams testified on behalf of a bill passed by the Maryland Assembly this spring creating the Walter Sondheim Jr. Public Service Summer Internship Scholarship Program at UMBC. William’s experience volunteering for an after-school program in Baltimore City, tutoring for Upward Bound and working for UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholarship program helped her develop interests in education policy, economic inequality and race relations.

“For me, the networks and opportunities here at UMBC created an environment where my potential was cultivated and nurtured, my personal needs as a student where considered and my accomplishments mattered. The support that I had from my peers and advisors through the Sondheim program and the political science department have been invaluable. I feel extremely lucky to have attended this great institution.”

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GRADUATES

 

Radhakrishnan Balu
Plans: Launching a business based on the computational biochemistry software he developed

Ph.D., Chemistry
Hometown: Columbia, Maryland

Rad Balu brought over 10 years of software development experience to UMBC as he worked to sharpen his entrepreneurial and academic skills. His Ph.D. thesis work was published in high profile scientific journals and presented at top research conferences. Balu’s business plan recently placed third out of 16 regional participants in the MIT enterprise forum competition, made it to the second round in the Greater Baltimore Technology Council’s Mosh Pit competition and was selected for presentation at the Nano Science and Technology Institute’s annual meeting.

“The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UMBC provided me with an excellent start to graduate school. The Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, led by Vivian Armor, has provided tremendous help in making me business savvy and supported my participation in various business plan competitions.”

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Stefanie Chaillou
Plans: Pre-kindergarten special education teacher

Combined B.A./M.A., Sociology
Certificate in Education
Hometown: West Friendship, Maryland

Stefanie Chaillou spent her summers as a pre-kindergarten teacher’s aide in Howard County with special needs children. Her experience working with autistic children prompted her to conduct her master’s research project on “Treatment Modalities in Autism.” Chaillou also was a graduate assistant at the Shriver Center for the past year and worked as an internal evaluator for the Vertically Integrated Partnership (VIP) K-16 Project. She was invited to attend and present her research on VIP K-16 at the Lilly West Conference in California this spring. Chaillou also is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta and the Kappa Delta Phi honor societies for sociology and education. She received the Howard County Delegates Scholarship as an undergraduate and graduate student and the B.A./M.A. Scholarship from the UMBC Graduate School.

“UMBC has been a wonderful place for learning, fellowship and success. Through my exposure to dynamic educators, I have been given countless personal and educational opportunities that have shaped me into a confident and knowledgeable woman."

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Michael Guarraia
Plans: 6th grade science teacher at Windsor Mill Middle School, Baltimore County

M.A., Teaching
Hometown: East Lyme, Connecticut

Throughout his schooling and career as a senior engineer at Lockheed Martin, Michael Guarraia felt a sense of responsibility to help influence the lives of young people in a positive way, from working with special needs students and assisting with a summer band program to mentoring two young boys as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters. After six years in the engineering industry, he decided his part-time endeavors were not enough, and decided to embark on a career as a science teacher. Guarraia, who received a National Science Foundation STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) grant to attend UMBC, recently completed student teaching fourth grade at Hebville Elementary School in Baltimore County.

“The professors in the education department at UMBC exceeded my expectations. They are committed to the personal and professional growth of the students, and were instrumental in my success in the program.”

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Daniel Hall
Plans: Event Manager, Retirement Living TV

M.A., Intercultural Communication
Hometown: Long Beach, California
A returned Peace Corps volunteer, Daniel Hall was president and founder of the UMBC student organization, Music for World Peace, leading a group of students in organizing and implementing concerts from classical to rock, and then donating all proceeds to humanitarian organizations. Most notably, he was event manager for a campuswide fundraising endeavor for victims of the devastated Gulf Coast. In addition to his volunteer work, Hall was the graduate coordinator for undergraduate parent programs and services in the Office of Student Affairs. As part of the Shriver Peaceworker Program, he conducted research on “The Reverse Acculturation of Peace Corps Volunteers.” During his final semester, he interned as an event manager with Erickson’s new Retirement Living TV (RLTV) network, which resides on UMBC’s campus. He is now following his passion by accepting a full-time position with the RLTV marketing team.

“In the scorching summer of 2005, I drove for six days from California to Baltimore to be a part of the only master’s program in the U.S. to combine intercultural communication studies with a focus in a target language (Spanish). During these last two years, I have made lifelong friendships with faculty, staff and students; participated in a study abroad program in Salamanca, Spain; and found a potential lifelong career through a UMBC-sponsored internship. Thanks UMBC!”

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Erin Hood
Plans: Research impact study with Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore, career in non-profit sector as advocate for impoverished communities

Master of Public Policy
Hometown: Waterloo, Illinois

A returned Peace Corps volunteer and a Shriver Peaceworker Fellow, Erin Hood has served for the last two years as the graduate coordinator for service and volunteerism for the Office of Student Life. Hood organized the first UMBC Alternative Spring Break, where 25 students spent six days in New Orleans rebuilding homes, planting trees and providing volunteer support to local social service agencies, in conjunction with the non-profit organization Community Collaborations International. She also coordinated campus hurricane relief efforts.

“My experience at UMBC has truly helped shape me as a global citizen and assured me that practical idealism works. Not only have I gained valuable knowledge through my work and my academic program, and made lifelong friends, but I have been given the unique opportunity to engage in some of the most important and necessary conversations in my life so far. With a campus so rich with the spectrum of diversity I have been able to have raw, honest discussions about issues of inequality, peacemaking, race, spirituality and religion, ethics, the environment, and the list goes on. Even more importantly, some of these conversations have become stepping stones to ideas about how to address these issues. As I leave UMBC, I will take these lessons with me and spread them far beyond UMBC, always working for a more peaceful, equal world. Now that is practical idealism!”

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Brendan Howell
Plans: Teaching courses in web and new media this summer at the Berlin Technical University of Art, returning to teach in the U.S.

M.F.A., Imaging and Digital Arts
Hometown: East Granby, Connecticut

Last summer, Brendan Howell was selected from a large pool of applicants to participate in Google’s “Summer of Code,” where he developed an application for visually programming multimedia software. He exhibited his interactive artworks at galleries in Baltimore, New York and Washington, D.C., and, along with other UMBC students and faculty, participated in a collaborative art project with students and faculty at the University of Applied Science, Schwaebisch Hall in Germany. As a research assistant in the UMBC New Media Studio, Howell worked on numerous multimedia projects, including a large DVD research project for Professor David Schultz’s Early Childhood Development Lab.

“The small graduate program in imaging and digital arts at UMBC allowed me to develop close relationships with faculty who were always willing to give me support and helpful critique. That’s something that can be hard to find at other schools. My experience really made me feel like a member of a creative community.”

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Glynn Hulley
Plans: Research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Ph.D., Atmospheric Physics
Hometown: Port Alfred, South Africa

Glynn Hulley came to the U.S. on a tennis scholarship but wound up pursuing a graduate career in atmospheric physics at UMBC. For the past three years, he worked to improve the orbital accuracy of earth observing satellites for the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), a joint research center between NASA-Goddard and UMBC. In 2006, Hulley received the Outstanding Student Paper Award at the American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly in Baltimore. He was captain of the UMBC Club Cricket team.

“UMBC has provided a great stepping stone for me and my future career. I'm very grateful for to all the professors, colleagues and advisors who have given me invaluable experience over the past few years. I will always have fond memories of this area and the people I became friends with.”

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Angelica Marini
Plans: Ph.D. in History, Auburn University

M.A., Historical Studies
Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Angelica Marini was a Graduate Student Association representative for the M.A. in Historical Studies program and a teaching assistant for the Department of History. Her research at UMBC focused on gay and lesbian history in Baltimore, and in the future she plans to examine minority community building in the American South.

“Attending UMBC gave me the chance to grow and become a better historian. The guidance offered by my professors as mentors and friends is priceless. They have imparted a great passion in me to always learn and to always ask questions. I will always have great memories of my time here.”

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©2006 University of Maryland, Baltimore County • 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250 • 410-455-1000 • email questions/comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Aaron Glynn Hulley Hadi Gharabaghi Jason Reid Stephanie Núñez Louis Leibowitz Angelica Marini Erin Voss Brendan Howell Lidiya Mishchenko Isaac Matthews Joseph Stevens Erin Hood Safiya Mojerie William Chewning Michael Guarraia Radhakrishnan Balu Brian Hodges Allen McFarland Christina Finn Morgan Little Matthew Loftus Aaron Moss Andrew Engel Pamela Mulè Daniel Hall Shannon Williams Shanae Williams Stefanie Chaillou Drew Westervelt Jordan Hadfield Joba Adekanmbi Joseph Maher