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.
Name: 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.