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Katie DiBlasi

Katie DiBlasi
Plans: Civil engineer intern, Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore district
M.S., Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering focus
Hometown: Gwynn Oak, Md.

“My favorite place on campus is the office I shared with fellow civil and environmental engineering graduate students in the Technology Research Center. The friendship and support I found in that office enabled me to get through difficult courses and challenging research with hard work, laughter and a positive attitude.”
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Kayleigh Somers

Kayleigh Somers
Plans: Ph.D., Ecology, Duke University
B.A., English Literature; B.S, Environmental Science
Minor in Writing
Baltimore, Md.

“My favorite place on campus would have to be the basement of Sondheim Hall, which houses the GIS and Cart Labs, the Environmental Science Lab and many of the GES professor's own labs. I have learned so much about ecology and the research process there...”
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Debora Lin

Debora W. Lin
Plans: Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
B.S., Chemical Engineering
Minor in Biological Sciences
Hometown: Rockville, Md.

“A place I will miss most about UMBC is the tables on the 3rd floor of the Engineering building by the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering. It’s a place I have grown a love-hate relationship with. As many of my fellow chemical engineers know, I can be found here working late nights...”
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Simon Gray

Simon Gray
Valedictorian
Plans: M.Phil., Advanced Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge, on a Gates Cambridge Scholarship
B.S., Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Towson, Md.

“My favorite place at UMBC is the desks on the 1st floor of the Math building. It's a quiet place to work without feeling isolated from the rest of the world.”
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Elyse Grossman

Elyse Grossman
Plans: J.D., University of Maryland Law School, and Ph.D., Public Policy, UMBC
Master of Public Policy
Hometown: Rockville, Md.

“My favorite spot on campus is the patio area in front of the Public Policy building. It is a place that has accommodated my every need. It provides me with a place to read when I am feeling studious, a place to relax and sun-bathe when I am feeling stressed and a place to mingle with friends...”
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Tawny Barin

Tawny Barin
Plans: Information Management Leadership Program, G.E. Energy, Atlanta, Georgia
B.S., Information Systems
Certificate, Web Development
Hometown: Columbia, S.C.

“The outdoor track is my favorite place. There's just been so much time, hard work and growth that I associate it with. It's been my favorite and dreaded place at various points, but I guess that's why it will have such a special place in my heart.”
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Joan Kang Shin

Joan Kang Shin
Plans: Director of TESOL professional training, English Language Center, UMBC, and project director of the STEP T for ELLs Program, Department of Education, UMBC
Ph.D., Language, Literacy and Culture
Hometown: Ellicott City, Md.

“My favorite spot on campus is the LLC Reading Room on the fourth floor of Academic IV. Since it opened a few years ago, it has been a wonderful place to meet with my fellow LLC Ph.D. students and have discussions about our research and our lives...”
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Christianna Stavroudis

Christianna Stavroudis
Plans: Studying in the Erasmus Mundus European Master’s Programme in Clinical Linguistics on a full scholarship
B.A., Modern Languages and Linguistics, Applied Linguistics
Hometown: Austin, Texas

“My favorite spot on campus is the fourth floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, which is where all the linguistics and foreign language books are housed...”
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Carly Engelke

Carly Engelke
Plans: Moving to New York to teach, audition and study dance
B.A., Dance
Hometown: Glen Burnie, Md.

“My favorite place on campus is what the dance department calls ‘The Red Carpet.’ There is a patch of carpet right outside of Fine Arts Studio 317 that serves as a bed for quick naps between classes and rehearsals, a great place to stretch after class...”
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Ivy Flores

Ivy Flores
Plans: Pursuing a career in the broadcast/film animation industry focusing on content for young children and their families
B.A., Visual Arts (Animation) and Psychology
Hometown: Silver Spring, Md.

“More often than not, you can always find me hanging around the Imaging Research Center in the ITE building. Whether I'm working on a faculty project, school project or spending time between classes, it's a great place to meet knowledgeable students and staff who are passionate about art and technology...”
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Katie Gibson

Katie Gibson
Plans: Interning at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., then Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Pennsylvania
B.S., Computer Science
Hometown: Fairfax, Va.

“My favorite place on campus is the ITE building, specifically room 201B. It is where I go to study, and where I have spent many weekends working on homework and projects with my friends.”
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Christopher Sims

Christopher Sims
Plans: Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Maryland College Park, on a Dolphus E. Milligan Fellowship
B.S., Chemistry
Minor in Music
Hometown: Reisterstown, Md.

“One of my favorite places on campus is the top floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library. Sometimes I’ll just stand by a window and take in my surroundings. You can see downtown Baltimore, the Key Bridge and most of UMBC. It’s a great view!”
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Cheryl Jaworski

Cheryl Lynn Jaworski
Plans: Ph.D, English Literature, University of California, Santa Barbara on a Humanities Special Fellowship
B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, “Evolution and Literary Theory”
Minor in Modern Languages and Linguistics Certificate in Human Context of Science and Technology
Hometown: Fallston, Md.

“My favorite place is the seventh floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library—it’s quiet, has nice chairs and the best view on campus.”
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William Becker

William Becker
Plans: Industrial sales engineer, ExxonMobil Corporation
B.S., Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Frederick, Md.

“My favorite place to study has been those tiny florescent lit cubicles on the third floor of the Engineering building. The building is always open and aside from the occasional janitor, the floor is devoid of noise and distraction, allowing for ideal cramming conditions.”
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Richard Hardesty

Richard Hardesty
Plans: Ph.D., History, and publishing articles on Maryland history
M.A., Historical Studies
Hometown: Apollo Beach, Fla.

“The seventh floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library often provided me with a quiet place to study.  More importantly, I loved to look out at the Baltimore skyline, especially during the evening.  It provided a nice diversion for me, especially when faced with important deadlines.”
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Ashley Leonard

Ashley Leonard
Plans: Teach foreign languages in the Howard County Public Schools System while pursuing an M.A. in Latin at the University of Maryland College Park
B.A., Ancient Studies and Modern Languages and Linguistics, French and German
Hometown: Columbia, Md.

“My favorite spot on campus would probably be the sixth floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library.  I spent a lot of time here researching, writing and studying. The chairs are comfortable...”
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Zachary Rayfield

Zachary Rayfield
Plans: Ph.D., Operations Research and Information Engineering, Cornell University on a Cornell/Sloan Fellowship
B.S., Mathematics
Hometown: Ellicott City, Md.

“The third floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library is my favorite spot on campus. Since my sophomore year, it's been the place where I go whenever I really need to focus on my work or just collect my thoughts.”
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Phillip Graff

Phillip Graff
Plans: Ph.D., Astrophysics, University of Cambridge, on a Gates Cambridge Scholarship
B.S., Physics
B.S., Mathematics
Hometown:  Manalapan, N.J.

“My favorite place on campus has always been my bed, despite being under-utilized many times in the past four years. In all types of weather and no matter how much work I have, my bed has always been there for me as a place to relax and forget all other stresses.”
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Michael Atamas

Michael Atamas
Plans: Teaching 9th grade algebra at Edmondson Westside High in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Teach for America program
B.S., Mathematics; B.A., Philosophy
Hometown: Ellicott City, Md.

“My favorite place is the math lounge in the Mathematics/Psychology building. It really embodied what UMBC was to me. It was a place where I could work with other students and faculty would often drop by and just talk to us. I always felt at home there.”
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Sarah Oberlander

Sarah Oberlander
Plans: Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland Baltimore
Ph.D., Human Services Psychology
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.

“My favorite place at UMBC is one of the windows in the psychology department that overlooks the campus. I found myself returning to that window during pivotal points in my career as a student...”
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Felicita Russo

Felicita Russo
Plans: Researcher, National Research Council, Potenza, Italy
Ph.D., Atmospheric Physics
Hometown: Naples, Italy

“If I think about the happiest times at UMBC for sure the Commons come first to mind. Having lunch with my friends is one of the nicest memories I have of UMBC. It was also in this building that they used to have all the graduate students happy hour events, where I had a chance of feeling like part of a family.”
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Jay Lagorio

Jay Lagorio
Plans: Starting a job with the Department of Defense
B.S., Computer Science
Hometown: Salem, Mass.

“My favorite place is Market Street in The Commons. There's always someone you know when you walk by on the way to class, and it makes it much easier to catch up with people you haven't seen in a few days.”
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Linsday Morrell

Linsday Morrell
Plans: University of Maryland School of Medicine
B.S., Biological Sciences
Hometown: Perry Hall, Md.

“The Commons during free hour is always an exciting place to be. There always seems to be an event taking place on Main Street and it’s great to catch up with friends and have lunch...”
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Casey Smith

Casey Smith
Plans: Taking the CPA exam and working as a staff auditor at Deloitte and Touche
B.S., Financial Economics
Certificate in Accounting, Management and MBA Prep
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.

“My favorite spot on campus is The Commons in the early morning. Drinking coffee and doing a crossword puzzle was a great way to start my day."
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Alexandra Urrutia-Comas

Alexandra Urrutia-Comas
Plans: Master of Health Services Administration, University of Michigan, School of Public Health
B.A., Health Administration and Policy
Double Concentration: Health Services Administration and Health Policy
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico

“My favorite spot on campus would have to be The Commons, simply because at a glance, you can see how diverse the UMBC community is...”
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Brady Walker

Brady Walker
Plans: J.D., University of Baltimore, School of Law
B.A., Political Science
Hometown: Snow Hill, Md.

“My favorite spot on campus is Market Street in The Commons.  This is a lively place where thousands of students gather everyday to socialize and study.  What is most unique about this space is that, on any given day, the students at the tables reflect the kind of diversity that the more than 100 flags hanging above Market Street represent.”
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Lisette Abreu

Lisette Abreu
Plans: Obtain a Master of Music degree and continue performing locally
B.A., Music, Vocal Performance
Hometown: Rosedale, Md.

“The Commons is one of my favorite places on the UMBC campus.  It is a great place to unwind, have a cappucino, catch up with friends and meet new people.  I also am reminded of UMBC's rich diversity when I look at the international flags overhead.”
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Clare Wickman

Clare Wickman
Plans: Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, University of Maryland, College Park on Flagship and Brin Fellowships
B.S., Mathematics
B.A., Modern Languages and Linguistics, Spanish
Hometown: Ellicott City, Md.

“My favorite place on campus is the Honors College Floor in Susquehanna Hall. Where else could you find a group of chemists, engineers, linguists and who-knows-what-elses making a music video at 2 a.m.? Each year the group of students changes...”
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Christopher Borg

Christopher Borg
Plans: Working at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre as the production assistant for its upcoming production, Art, then begining work in August as the stage management intern at Baltimore’s Centerstage
B.A., Theatre
Minor in Spanish
Hometown: Washington Township, N.J.

“The most lively and energetic place on campus is the costume shop in the Theatre building.  It is a space that inspires creativity and allows students to be themselves...” 
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Matthew Poland

Matthew Poland
Plans: M.A., English Literary Studies, University of York (United Kingdom)
B.A., English, Literature Track
Minor in History
Hometown: LaVale, Md.

 “My favorite spot on campus has become the Information Desk in The Commons, where I have worked for the past year. When I'm not working, it's the quietest place in The Commons to get work done, and when I am working it's where I see practically everyone I know walking by...”
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Matthew Page

Matthew Page
Plans: Pursuing clinical psychology research positions and applying to Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology
B.A., Mathematics; B.S., Psychology
Minors in Philosophy and Modern Languages and Linguistics, French
Hometown: Hagerstown, Md.

“My favorite spot on campus is the Ida B. Wells Social Justice Theatre.  My friends and I like to catch up in this quiet corner of The Commons to eat lunch and relax in between classes...”
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Jack Mullee

Jack Mullee
Plans: Spending nine months in Buenos Aires, Argentina on a Fulbright Research Grant
B.A., American Studies; B.A., Sociology
Minor in Spanish
Hometown: Ashburn, Va.

“There's this grassy little hill that sits between the Terrace and Hillside apartments, just behind the Wicomico and Patuxent apartments. It's one of the few areas of the apartments that's thickly lined with vegetation and visited by a lot of wildlife...”
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Liwei Dei

Liwei Dei
Plans: Usability Specialist, Industrial Design and Human Interface Group, Xerox Corp., Rochester, N.Y.
Ph.D., Information Systems
Hometown: Nanjing, China

“My favorite place on campus is my office in the Information Technology/Engineering building where I spent most of my time. I like my office not because I am a workaholic, but because of my lovely officemates, who have shared so much fun with me.”
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Christina Hawkins

Christina Hawkins
Plans: M.A., Georgetown University, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, “Political and Economics Affairs in Latin America”
Hometown: Thurmont, Md.

“By far my favorite place on campus is the Retriever Activities Center (RAC). Not only did I work here for three of my four semesters here at UMBC, but I also re-started the club volleyball program here after a few years of being inactive due to lack of participation...”
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Shirley Guerrier

Shirley Guerrier
Plans: Middle school science teacher, Baltimore County Public Schools
M.A.T., Elementary Education; Specialization: STEM Education

“Without a doubt, my favorite place on campus is the place I felt the most at home. That place is the Center for Excellence in Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics Education in Academic IV. Not only did the Center provide me with a dynamic staff of educators and resources that were vital to my success at UMBC...”
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Devin Burns

Devin Burns
Plans: Ph.D., Mechanics and Materials, Johns Hopkins University
B.S., Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Smithsburg, Md.

“I enjoy walking and running UMBC's CERA trail. It's where I go to put things in perspective.”
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Sarah Blusiewicz

Sarah Blusiewicz
Plans: To pursue a doctorate degree and work in labor policy at the state or federal level with a government or non-governmental organization
B.A. History
Minor in Geography
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.

“My favorite spot is the Commuter Lounge in The Commons because it provides a space for students to study, eat and socialize. It is also the place where I have met most of my UMBC friends.”
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Melissa Minogue

Melissa Minogue
Plans: M.A., International Relations, University of Chicago
B.A., Political Science
Minor in Creative Writing
Hometown: Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.

“My favorite place on campus is the third floor of the Public Policy building, Department of Political Science. At least this year, it's probably where I've spent most of my time on campus! Even when I'm not there for a meeting or class...”
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LaTese Briggs

LaTese Briggs
Plans: Post doctoral appointment, the Broad Institute, Harvard University/MIT
Ph.D., Chemistry
Hometown: Temple Hills, Md.

“Hilltop Circle (“The Loop”) is my favorite place on campus. It is nice to go for a walk or run around the perimeter of campus to clear my head and prepare for the remainder of the day.”
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Marquis Walker

Marquis Walker
Plans: Post-doctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Ph.D., Biological Sciences
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.

“One of my favorite places on campus has been in the research lab. As sad as it might sound, the lab has been a place where I have spent a lot of my time and it has been a place for insightful, instructive and often humorous discussion...”
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Derek Smith

Derek Smith
Plans: Dissertation work as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate, National Institutes of Standards and Technology
Ph.D., Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.

”My favorite place on campus is room 240 in the TRC building where most of my research was conducted. As much of my work was performed alone in the dark, it was a place where I could sit quietly and reflect on life without a loss in research time.”
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Sujan Shrestha

Sujan Shrestha
Plans: Assistant professor (tenure track) at Towson University, teaching courses in digital art and design
M.F.A., Imaging and Digital Arts
Hometown: Germantown, Md.

“My favorite place on campus is Special Collections at the Albin O. Kuhn Library. They have a phenomenal archive that I used for my research. I am very thankful to the library staff for their all of their help.”
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Matthew Levy

Matthew Levy
Plans: Chief resident in Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
M.S., Emergency Health Services
Hometown: Fair Lawn, N.J.

“My favorite spot on campus will always be top floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library. On a clear day you can see for miles, yet at the same time still be in the center of everything on campus.”
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Kristin Drabyn

Kristin Drabyn
Plans: Graduate assistant coach for the women's basketball team and M.S. in Exercise Science, Texas Tech University
B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, “Exercise, Physiology and Communications”
Hometown: Avon, Ind.

“My favorite place on campus was the gym on game days, when the bleachers were out and everyone was getting ready for tip-off. Nobody was there early, so the floor was clear to shoot with no distractions...”
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Jessica Young

Jessica Young
Plans: M.S., Health Promotion, American University, on a full fellowship
B.A., Political Science
Minor in History
Hometown: Waldorf, Md.

“My favorite place on campus is the wooden bridge that takes you to the stadium field. I love hearing the babble of Herbert Run stream because it relaxes me and helps me gain my focus before practices and games.”
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