Meet the Staff: Arooj Rana ’06, 50th Anniversary Program Assistant

Here in the Office of Alumni Relations, we spend a lot of time telling stories about and talking with our wonderfully supportive alums. However, we’ve decided to turn the tables and take time to get to know the people behind the scenes – the  advancement and alumni relations staff members who are hard at work on behalf of our alumni. Today we’ll be hearing from Arooj Rana ’06, psychology, who is one of the 50th anniversary program assistants in the Office of Alumni Relations. She is also working towards a master’s degree in public policy at UMBC.

arooj.jpgName: Arooj Rana

Job Title: 50th Anniversary Program Assistant

Focus Area: Alumni Engagement and Outreach

Years at UMBC: 8.5 total, with a break in the middle

Grad Year: 2006 and 2016 hopefully!

Where are you from originally? Maryland via Pakistan

What do you love most about UMBC? I love that it always feels like home. I had been on campus for eight years [,as both a student and an employee,] and then left for five. When I came back, the campus was just as inviting and comfortable as I left it. I was glad to see so many familiar faces that were just as welcoming now as when I started at UMBC so many years ago.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?  My favorite thing about my job is hearing stories from alums about what things were like “back in the day.” It humanizes the campus in a way that makes it easier to understand and to appreciate all the great things that have happened here. Hearing those stories helps you understand the soul of the campus and why “grit” is a talent.

Who do you admire and why? I admire [UMBC’s Vice President for Student Affairs] Dr. Nancy Young because she is an excellent representation of what a strong independent woman is, [and] her story makes you appreciate her accomplishments even more. She is one of the most open-minded, intelligent, and thoughtful people on campus. Her actions and decisions show that she cares about the soul of the campus.

If you could be another staff member for a day, who would it be and why? If I could be any other staff member for a day, I’d be the Chief of Police at UMBC. I feel like this job generates good stories, and I could ride around in the UMBC police cars or segways. I’d flash my badge around a bit for that day.

Link Roundup: UMBC in the News

Here’s just a sampling of how UMBC made the news this week:

For more campus community updates, head to UMBC News!

Freedom of Expression: Majid, Alexander

Every so often, we shine a spotlight on alumni who have made the news recently, in Baltimore and beyond. Today, we’re featuring two alums who are making an impact through creative expression, whether through storytelling or visual art.

asif majid
Asif Majid ’13.

Asif Majid ’13, interdisciplinary studies, former class valedictorian and current instructor at UMBC, will relay his tale of getting lost on a pilgrimage to Mecca at the February 10 Stoop Storytelling event at the Senator Theatre in Baltimore. Stoop Storytelling is now in its 10th year, and was created to “foster empathy and build a community” in Baltimore, both by empowering citizens to tell their own unique stories and give audiences a different perspective on other people’s lives.

Photo by John Alexander ’98.

John Alexander ’98, visual arts, has mounted a solo photography exhibit at the Savannah (Ga.) Jewish Educational Alliance art gallery called “Connecting with Nature.” As an artist, Alexander is inspired by Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Mary Cassatt, and says that being out in nature is his “great escape.” The Columbia native has established himself as a wedding, portrait, and commercial photographer since graduating from UMBC.

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Link Roundup: UMBC in the News

Here’s who (and how much snow) made the news this week:

For more campus community happenings, head to UMBC News.

Link Roundup: UMBC in the News

Here’s how we made the news this week:

For more UMBC community news, head to our news site!

Alums in the Community: Vitale, Barbosa

UMBC is proud of all that our alumni go on to achieve, and we’re especially proud that we’ve graduated so many people who bring their talents and skills back to their communities. Today, we recognize Clolita Vitale ’75, theatre, a former UMBC employee who has just been appointed to the USM Foundation Board of Directors, and Ray Barbosa ’09, a former Retriever basketball player who, after playing professionally for several years, has been honored by his high school, and is now coaching in his home state of Pennsylvania.


Vitale on a recent visit to UMBC.

Clolita Vitale ’75, theatre, has been named to the University System of Maryland (USM) Foundation Board of Directors, after over thirty years of USM experience. In addition to her degree from UMBC, she holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland University College and a J.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She worked at UMBC as a director of procurement before becoming University Counsel, a position she held until she moved on to Constellation Energy (later Exelon) in 2008. Now retired, she continues to volunteer with Senior Legal Services and the Esperanza Center in Baltimore.


Barbosa as a high school basketball player.

Ray Barbosa ’09, American studies, has been inducted into the Allentown-William Allen Hall of Fame for basketball. As a Retriever, he helped the men’s basketball team to an NCAA tournament berth, and played basketball professionally in Puerto Rico for five years after graduating. He is now head coach at Bethlehem Catholic High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


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Link Roundup: UMBC in the News

One of the things that makes UMBC great is how wonderful our alumni, students, faculty, and staff are. Because of these amazing people, UMBC often finds itself “in the news,” so each week, we’ll be sharing with you a round-up of the most newsworthy achievements from our community.

For more on what’s happening in our community, head to UMBC News.