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Power of 10
10 Achievements
Creating an Honors University
Building Strength as a Research Institution
Achieving Excellence and Diversity
Raising National Visibility
Funding Success
Serving Others
Building a Campus Community
Educating Teachers, Teaching Educators
Working with Business
Knowing Success is Never Final
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Questions or comments? Please contact Sandra Dzija in the Office of Institutional Advancement at or (410) 455-2210. 
UMBC Alumni: 10 Powerful Outcomes
Stephen Vicchio ’73

Stephen Vicchio ’73
Professor, College
of Notre Dame of Maryland

At some point during his years as an ancient studies major at UMBC, Steve Vicchio got the teaching bug. “I was not a very good student until I got to college,” he admits. “But there I was constantly shown models of good teaching. A handful of fine teachers coaxed and pulled what they suspected was a scholar cleverly hidden in my soul.” Today Vicchio is a well-known and highly regarded writer, a popular teacher, and a philosopher with a degree from the Yale Divinity School. And, like his former professor Jay Freyman at UMBC, he’s also a Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year in Maryland.

Paula (Noeth) Grabowski ’76 and Joseph Grabowski ’78Grabowski ’76 and Joseph Grabowski ’78

Paula (Noeth)
Grabowski ’76
Joseph Grabowski ’78
Professors at the University of Pittsburgh

Paula Grabowski, like UMBC’s Michael Summers, is a member of science’s elite—she is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and professor of biological sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Grabowski made her mark on the research world as a contributor to her mentor Thomas Cech’s Nobel Prize-winning discovery about the important role RNA plays in the transmission of genetic information. Paula’s husband, Joseph, a professor of chemistry at Pitt, directs the university’s National Science Foundation- Research Experience for Undergraduates program, which gives a select group of students the opportunity to work side-by-side with faculty on cutting-edge research.

The Ordóñez Family: José ’85, Claudia ’87, Mauricio ’89, Sonia ’89, and Juan ’91

The Ordóñez Family:
José ’85, Claudia ’87, Mauricio ’89, Sonia ’89, and Juan ’91

As the parents of five UMBC graduates, José and Sonia Ordóñez have given UMBC much to be proud of since leaving their native Guatemala in 1981. During the course of almost 10 years, all five of their children attended UMBC, most on Scholastic Achievement Awards—full scholarships for minority students. After active and academically successful careers at UMBC, the Ordóñez siblings continue to pursue challenging careers in such diverse fields as information technology (Mauricio), investment banking (José), law (Juan), and medicine (Claudia and Sonia), amassing advanced degrees from Stanford, Harvard, and the University of California-San Francisco, among other places.

Richard Chisolm ’82 and William Whiteford ’80

Richard Chisolm ’82 and William Whiteford ’80

These two award-winning filmmakers credit UMBC’s interdisciplinary studies program for helping them to achieve success. Richard Chisolm ’82 won an Emmy Award in 1998 for his National Geographic special about endangered species and worked on ABC’s “Hopkins: 24/7” and NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Streets.” William Whiteford ’80, best known for his 1999 Oscar-winning documentary, “King Gimp,” also had a documentary series on Discovery Health called “Med School.” “Developing my own major at UMBC helped me become a filmmaker,” says Chisolm, “and I’ve continued a lifestyle of interdisciplinary learning.”

David Oros ’85 and Marla Oros

David Oros ’85 and
Marla Oros

UMBC was the launchpad for this math major who now heads a multimillion-dollar corporation, Aether Systems, Inc., a leader in wireless data services for business and government. David Oros, Aether’s founder and CEO, and his wife, Marla, assistant dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, met as students at UMBC and now are counted among the Baltimore region’s top business leaders and philanthropists. Their commitment to UMBC includes a long-term $500,000 research and education partnership in wireless and mobile computing and support for other initiatives in information technology.

Deborah Thompson Eisenberg ’91

Deborah Thompson Eisenberg ’91
Partner, Brown, Goldstein & Levy

As an attorney at the Public Justice Center in Baltimore, Deborah Thompson Eisenberg won $1.7 million in overtime wages for chicken catchers at a major poultry producer, forced the Baltimore City Circuit Court to be accessible to the disabled, and helped the needy with housing, civil rights, and employment issues. “UMBC courses refined my writing and critical thinking skills—skills that I use every day as a lawyer,” she says. A graduate of the Yale University School of Law, Eisenberg is now a partner with Brown, Goldstein & Levy.

Yvette Mozie-Ross ’88

Yvette Mozie-Ross ’88
Director of Admissions, UMBC

Yvette Mozie-Ross ’88 talks to hundreds of prospective students and parents throughout the year—at recruiting events on and off campus, in her office, by email, and on the phone. “I make time to meet with as many students as I can,” says Mozie-Ross. “I want them to feel a personal connection with UMBC. It was exciting to be here as a student, and it’s an even more exciting place today. It feels good to represent something you truly believe in. There’s no better job.”

Ed Cozzolino ’73

Ed Cozzolino ’73
Principal, Brehms Lane Elementary School, Baltimore City

In a career of nearly 30 years as a teacher and a principal, Ed Cozzolino has faced his share of challenges—and worked a few near-miracles, including turning one of Baltimore County’s most troubled schools into a National Blue Ribbon School. He’s now one of three area principals hand-picked by State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick to bring new leadership to Baltimore’s inner-city schools. The guiding principle that has served him throughout his career: “All children can learn, regardless of zip code,” he says. “There are too many schools out there that have come to believe failure is an option. Failure is not an option.”

Rob Baruch ’89

Rob Baruch ’89
President, Capita Technologies

“Techpreneur” Rob Baruch began working with computers in 1979 when he bought his first computer, a Tandy TRS-80, and became a software developer while still in high school. Now the president of a fast-growing Columbia, Md.-based consulting and professional services company, Baruch was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2000. Rob and his wife, Kathy, also support a Baruch Meyerhoff Scholar at UMBC.

Leslie Walker Wilson ’74, ’76

Leslie Walker Wilson ’74, ’76
Director of Student Assessment and Program Evaluation, Howard County (Md.) Public Schools.

With undergraduate and graduate degrees from UMBC, Leslie Wilson brings a special insight into supporting the University as president of the Alumni Association. “UMBC alumni are an impressive group,” she says. “Our continued involvement and support ensures that UMBC will continue its legacy of excellence for future generations. All of society will benefit. As an educator, nothing is more important to me.”

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