Choosing Public Service: Kaliope Parthemos ’93, Psychology

Back in 2001, Kaliope Parthemos ’93, psychology, got some career advice that has resonated with her over a decade of public service.

Parthemos was clerking for Baltimore Judge John C. Themelis at the time, and she recalls that he turned to her one day and said: “You belong in the courtroom and you belong as an advocate. Don’t be one of those people who talks about how things should be done, but has never actually worked it and lived it. You know the people. You understand the people. Go fight for the people.”

As Baltimore City Deputy Mayor of Economic and Neighborhood Development, Parthemos is now engaged in that advocacy every day. She oversees 17 city agencies, addressing issues from transportation to tourism to the arts – a great fit given her keen appreciation of Baltimore’s cultural institutions and its underground art and music scene. Some of her current projects – including a “Vacants to Value” housing initiative and a push for “healthy food zones” to transform some of Baltimore’s food deserts – have tackled deep-rooted challenges to Baltimore’s public health and safety.

Read the full article in the Winter 2011 issue of UMBC Magazine.

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