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’re talking with Julia Celtnieks ’13, media and communication studies, one of our 50th anniversary program assistants.
Name: Julia Celtnieks
Job Title: 50th Anniversary Program Assistant
Focus Area: Alumni and Development Communications
Years at UMBC: 4 and change (3.5 as a student and 9 months, so far, as a staff member)
Grad Year: 2013
Where are you from originally? I’m an Army brat. I was born in D.C. and lived in Maryland, Georgia, Virginia, Germany, and Kansas before coming back here as a teenager.
What do you love most about UMBC? The sense of community is one of my favorite things about UMBC, because we’re all able to bond over how unique this place is. Sure, we don’t have a football team, but there are so many quirks and common threads running through the UMBC fabric that unite us all. I’ve met some of my best friends here, and now I’m working for the university. In an odd but not unpleasant way, it feels like I never left.
What’s your favorite thing about your job? I really like writing for this blog and doing the Alumni Association’s social media. It gives me a chance not only to represent the institution, but to hear all kinds of stories from many different corners of the community. The Retriever Love Week feature, for instance, was a lot of fun to do. There was also that day we had a bunch of wiggly, squiggly Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppies over for a photo shoot. But that’s a story for another time.
Who do you admire and why? All the women in my family are wonderful and witty and strong and smart and they inspire me every single day.
Have you ever done anything crazy or out of the ordinary? I was going to tell you I won the Homecoming pancake-eating contest my freshman year, which I did, but anyone who’s actually seen me eat pancakes can tell you that’s not really out of the ordinary at all. I did get a T-shirt for it, which doesn’t normally happen when I eat pancakes, so that’s something, right?