Alums in the News: Myers (M1), Ellison-Taylor, Adams

Let’s see who made the news this week…

myersOliver Myers ’94, M1, mechanical engineering, M.S. ’96, mechanical engineering, and Ph.D. ’07, mechanical engineering, who’s now an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Clemson University, recently spoke to the USM Foundation about the effect the Meyerhoff Scholars program has had on his life and career: “You don’t consider the impact when you’re going through school, but thinking about it now, it weighs heavily.”

ellison-taylorKimberly Ellison-Taylor ’93, information systems managementis the new chairman of the board of directors for the American Institute of CPAs. Ms. Ellison-Taylor is head of global account strategy for Oracle America, and served on the AICPA board for four years prior to accepting the chairman position.

adamsJerome Adams ’97, biochemistry and molecular biologywas honored at a Golden Laurel Professional Reception for African-American medical professionals hosted by the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper this past week. Dr. Adams is the first African-American to be appointed Indiana State Health Commissioner by a Republican governor, as well as an assistant professor of anesthesiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Tell us your big news in a class note!

Alumni Awards 2016: Dr. Henry Baker ’78, Ph.D. ’84, Biological Sciences

In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each honoree in detail here on the blog. This year’s distinguished alum in the Natural and Mathematical Sciences category is Dr. Henry Baker ’78, and Ph.D. ’84, biological sciences. At the University of Florida College of Medicine, Dr. Baker is the Hazel Kitzman Professor of Genetics, as well as a professor of surgery and chair of the department of molecular genetics and microbiology. He is also associate director of the University of Florida Genetics Institute.

h-baker_headshotAs a researcher at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Dr. Henry Baker looks at patients’ genes to determine how they will respond to certain types of treatment for traumatic injuries, as well as what their prognosis might be. The Catonsville native got his start when UMBC was, in his words, “that new college down the street,” conducting undergraduate research in Dr. Frank Hanson’s laboratory. “The biological sciences curriculum was exceptionally well laid out,” he says, “and the integration with undergraduate labs was phenomenal.” After completing his doctorate under the mentorship of Dr. Richard Wolf — someone who Dr. Baker says had the greatest impact on his career — he went on to a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School before accepting a faculty position at Florida, where he’s been ever since. Over the past three decades (and counting), he’s risen in the ranks from assistant professor to endowed professor and department chair, and also sits on the executive and medical admissions committees. He has stayed in contact with his Ph.D. mentor over the years, and says he is proud of how far UMBC has come since he was a student here, particularly in the achievements of President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski and the Meyerhoff Scholars Program. He also takes pride in his relationships with friends, family, and colleagues, and in working with diverse groups of people to help them achieve their goals.

Join us for the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 6, in the Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall.

Alumni Awards 2016: Dr. Vince Calhoun, Ph.D. ’02, Electrical Engineering

In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each honoree in detail here on the blog. This year’s distinguished alum in the Engineering and Information Technology category is Dr. Vince Calhoun, Ph.D. ’02, electrical engineering. Dr. Calhoun is executive science officer and director of image analysis and MR research at the Mind Research Network, as well as a distinguished professor at the University of New Mexico.


Dr. Vince Calhoun first became interested in imaging technology as an undergraduate at the University of Kansas, specifically MRI and how else engineering principles could be applied to map the human body. After earning master’s degrees in both biomedical engineering and information systems from Johns Hopkins, he saw UMBC’s electrical engineering program as the next logical step, given his research interests. Today, Dr. Calhoun is executive science officer for the Mind Research Network, and a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, biology, computer science, neurosciences, and psychiatry at the University of New Mexico. His lab develops algorithms by which scientists can study the brain through imaging and genetic data. He says one of his greatest challenges as a researcher has been translating his findings in a way that helps people, specifically those with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: “We are making great strides in developing approaches to aid in disease categorization and diagnosis, but we still have a long way to go.”  Dr. Calhoun is also a five-year cancer survivor, and credits his wife, his three children, and his Christian faith (he holds a certificate in theological studies from the Seminary of the East) for helping him overcome that obstacle.

Join us for the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 6, at the Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall.


Congratulations to our 2016 Alumni Award Winners!


Each year, the UMBC Alumni Association celebrates alumni and faculty who have made outstanding contributions to their fields, their communities, and the University. This year, we honor the following individuals for their achievements:

Engineering and Information Technology:
Dr. Vince Calhoun, Ph.D. ’02, Electrical Engineering
Executive Science Officer and Director, Image Analysis and MR Research; Professor of Translational Neuroscience, The Mind Research Network

Distinguished Professor, Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biology, Computer Science, Neurosciences, and Psychiatry, The University of New Mexico

Dr. Ian Ralby ’02, Modern Languages and Linguistics, and M.A. ’02, Intercultural Communication
Founder and CEO, I.R. Consilium

Natural and Mathematical Sciences:
Dr. Henry Baker ’78, Ph.D. ’84, Biological Sciences
Hazel Kitzman Professor of Genetics; Professor of Surgery; Chair, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida College of Medicine

Associate Director, University of Florida Genetics Institute

Social and Behavioral Sciences:
Ruby Lu ’94, Economics
Co-Founder, DCM China (2003-16); currently preparing a new startup venture

Social Work:
Joseph Jones, Jr. ’06, Social Work
Founder and CEO, Center for Urban Families

Visual and Performing Arts:
Dr. Tiffany Holmes, M.F.A. ’99, Imaging and Digital Arts
Dean of Undergraduate Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Distinguished Service:
Thomas Sadowski ’89, Political Science
Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, University System of Maryland

Rising Star:
Galina Madjaroff ’08, Psychology, and M.A. ’11, Aging Studies
Undergraduate Program Director and Clinical Assistant Professor, The Erickson School at UMBC

Outstanding Faculty:
Dr. Kimberly Moffitt
Associate Professor, Departments of American Studies and Language, Literacy, and Culture Ph.D. Program, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Join us for the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 6!

Learn more about our past award winners:

2015 Award Winners

2014 Award Winners

2013 Award Winners

2012 Award Winners

2011 Award Winners

2010 Award Winners

2009 Award Winners

2008 Award Winners

2007 Award Winners

2006 Award Winners

2005 Award Winners

Past UMBC Alumni Award Winners

UMBC Athletic Hall of Fame

Career Q&A: Shalonda Holt ’07, biological sciences

Every once in a while, we’ll chat with an alum about what they do and how they got there. Today, we’re catching up with Shalonda Holt ’07, biological sciences, a biology teacher at Centennial High School and the Howard County Teacher of the Year for 2016. She tells us more about her innovative teaching methods and how she decided to enter the education profession below.


You are known for incorporating a flipped classroom model into your teaching. For those who are unfamiliar, what does a flipped classroom look like, and how does a typical lesson work? [In a flipped classroom, students] watch online lectures at home once or twice a week. The videos are five to fifteen minutes long. At school, the class is more student-centered. Students work with their peers to apply the content they learned at home. [In a typical class, students] will have a drill question to answer. During this time, I am collecting and checking the students’ notes from the previous night. Next, we will go over the drill. Since there is no lecture the rest of the class may be a lab, project, discussion, [et cetera]. It just really depends on the day.

How did you decide you wanted to teach?  I loved playing “school” when I was a little girl. During my sophomore year at UMBC, I decided that teaching was truly my passion.

How did it feel to be recognized as Howard County Teacher of the Year, and what’s the next step?  I was extremely honored because this was based on the recommendation of my colleagues and students. I just felt incredible knowing that I am able to have an impact on people. The next step is to apply for Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give an incoming UMBC student? Follow YOUR passion. I knew I had a passion for biology but I felt that everyone wanted me to become a doctor. I quickly realize that was not my dream but that teaching was. As my grandmother always would tell me, you want to find a career that you want, not one that you are forced to have.

Tell us where you are today on Retriever Stories!


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!

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 UMBC community updates, head to UMBC News.