Getting Connected: SAA and Alumni Board team up for Community Conversations

20170417_193939On April 17, about 25 students and five members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors got together for the first ever Community Conversation, an event where students living on campus had the opportunity to connect with alumni, build their network, learn valuable skills, and ask for advice in regards to professional school, career options, and more.

Two members of the Student Alumni Association (SAA), Aamin Haroon and Karndeep Singh, wanted to create a relationship building opportunity with students living on campus, since many SAA networking events attract a higher number of commuter students.

Alumni were stationed at tables with signs indicating the topic they wanted to talk about, and students rotated between tables throughout the course of the event. The alumni started off talking about themselves and their topic, and provided the students the opportunity to ask any questions that they had. We had the students complete a survey before they left to receive feedback for the event. Many students enjoyed it, and the alumni definitely enjoyed spending time with a very engaged group of students.

— Jessica Wyatt, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, and Karndeep Singh ’18, Co-President of the UMBC Student Alumni Association

Alumni in Attendance:
Andrea Thomson ’11, Economics and Political
Budget and Policy Analyst, Maryland Department of Budget and Management

Brian Frazee ’11, Political Science
Director of Government Relations, Maryland Hospital Association

Curtis Schickner ’12, Economics
Senior Investment Analyst, Constellation Energy

Arsham Mirshah ’08, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Co-Founder, WebMechanix and Outbound Ops

Danielle Burnett ’00, Information Systems, and M.S. ’05, Information Systems
Founder and President, Applied Technology Services

Greg Kostrikin ’06, Financial Economics
Vice President, Poverni Sheikh Group
President, Premira Property Management

Meet the Alumni Leadership: John Becker ’01

Name: John Becker ‘01, information systems management
Employer: SigInt Technologies, LLC.
Alumni leadership role: Vice President of Operations for the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors

Q: Where are you from originally?IMG_6164
Annapolis, MD.

Q: What’s your favorite UMBC memory?
Ahhh… Watching George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars at Quad Mania my freshman year.

Q: Why are you involved in an alumni board or chapter?
I am grateful for the rich experiences I took from UMBC – both academic and social. The future of the University is bright and I’m excited to be helping to shape that.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to support UMBC?
The seeds of success are all around us at UMBC. Our support helps our students transform those seeds into vibrant lives!

Q: What’s your all-time favorite movie quote, and from which movie is it?
“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams” – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Q: What is the most recent book you’ve read?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (to my son).

Find out more about the UMBC Alumni Association!

Meet the Alumni Leadership: Ken Pittman ’80

Name: Kenneth L. Pittman ‘80, economics, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®
Employer: PNC Wealth Management
Alumni leadership role: President of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors

Ken Pittman_1872Q: Where are you from originally?
Annapolis, MD

Q: What’s your favorite UMBC memory?
Meeting my (future) wife at Dr. Peake’s Halloween Party

Q: Why are you involved in an alumni board or chapter?
If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Q: Do you have a favorite hobby or pastime?
Power boating and scuba diving.

Q: If you were an Olympian, what would be your sport/activity of choice?

Read more about the Alumni Association!

Alumni Association Celebrates Scholarship Recipients

Members of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors celebrated recipients of this year’s Alumni Association Scholarships last week at UMBC’s annual Scholarship Luncheon. The event, which drew more than 100 donors and student scholars, is often the first time donors meet their scholars, making it a truly memorable event.

Board president Bennett Moe ’88, and members Thomas Spratt ’95, Anita Jackson ’80 and Cathy Bielawski ’77 greeted two of this year’s Alumni Association Scholarship winners Kate Hunsicker ’14, English and dance, and Micaela A. Perez Ferrero ’13, political science.

(L-R) Thomas Spratt ’95, Kate Hunsicker ’14, Board president Bennett Moe ’88, Micaela A. Perez Ferrero ’13, Anita Jackson ’80 and Cathy Bielawski ’77

Read more about the Scholarship Luncheon here.

Berlin ’70, Books His Dream Job

After spending most of his career working in tech management in busy New York, Eduard Berlin ’70, history, is returning to Baltimore to pursue a different path entirely — a life of books.

“We’ve always been a book family,” said Berlin, who along with his wife Ann took ownership of Baltimore’s Ivy Bookshop — an independent shop focusing on literary works and author events — at the start of the year.

“We’re really, really grateful that (bookstore founder) Darielle (Linehan) has the confidence in us to take this on,” said Berlin, noting that his wife has worked in publishing for 30 years. “We’re very, very excited.”

Read the Baltimore Sun’s report on the Berlins and the Ivy Bookshop here.

A member of UMBC’s first graduating class, Berlin is a member of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors and plans to get more involved with UMBC upon his return to Baltimore, he said.

Cangialosi ’96, English, Aims To Help Start Up Start-Ups

Baltimore entrepreneur Greg Cangialosi ’96, English, has set his sights on helping new tech companies take off and fly.

The founder of Blue Sky Factory, a tech marketing firm Cangialosi founded in 2001 and sold this year, will team up with Sean Lane, chief executive of BTS Corp., a software company in Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun reports:

Their goal: Make small investments in several startups, germinate their own ideas, and help nurture the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“We want to bring in bright people who are running companies, to help give them a shot in the arm,” Cangialosi said.

A former member of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors, Cangialosi has stayed involved with UMBC, most recently acting as a judge in the university’s entrepreneurially-inspired “IDEA competition.”

Read the full Baltimore Sun story here.

Measure of a Mission

The tale of a successful capital campaign is often told by the numbers. And by that yardstick, UMBC’s Exceptional by Example Campaign was a success.

The campaign exceeded its $100 million goal by $15 million – and strengthened UMBC in ways that improve access to the university, attract and retain the best students and faculty and support vital research.

But look past the spreadsheets and statistics and you’ll find stories of individual people – those who gave to the campaign and those whose lives and education were advanced in the effort.

Read the full story in UMBC Magazine‘s Fall 2011 issue, as well as an interview with four prominent alumni, including past (Anita Maddox Jackson ’80) and present (Bennett Moe ’88) presidents of the UMBC Alumni Board, a long-term donor (Emmerson Small ’74), and UMBC’s vice president of Institutional Advancement (Greg Simmons ’04).

Learn more about the results of UMBC’s Exceptional by Example Campaign here.