Congratulations to our 2017 Alumni Award Winners!

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Each year, the UMBC Alumni Association celebrates alumni and faculty who have made outstanding contributions to their fields, their communities, and the University. Join us for the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 5, at the Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall, as we honor the following individuals:

Outstanding Alumnus, Engineering and Information Technology
Dr. Kafui Dzirasa ’01, Chemical Engineering
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University

Outstanding Alumnus, Humanities
Dennis Williams ’14, American Studies
Head of Content Marketing, Skillshare; Oculus Content Fellow; LinkedIn Top Voice 2016

Outstanding Alumna, Natural and Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Kate Laskowski ’06, Biological Sciences and Chemistry
Scientist, Department of Biology & Ecology of Fishes, Leibniz-Institution of Freshwater Ecology & Inland Fisheries

Outstanding Alumnus, Visual and Performing Arts
Dr. Alejandro Cremaschi ’93, Music
Associate Professor of Piano Pedagogy and Chair of Keyboard Studies, College of Music, University of Colorado at Boulder

Outstanding Alumna, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, Ph.D. ’06, Public Policy
Deputy Surgeon General, Department of Health and Human Services

Distinguished Service
Dr. Steven Storck ’08, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics, M.S. ’09, Mechanical Engineering, and Ph.D. ’14, Mechanical Engineering
Additive Manufacturing Application Engineer, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Rising Star
Lauren Mazzoli ’15, Computer Science and Mathematics, and M.S. ’17, Computer Science
Systems Engineer, Future Technical Leaders Program, Northrop Grumman

Outstanding Faculty
Dr. Marc Zupan
Associate Professor and Program Director, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UMBC

Learn more about our past award winners:

2016 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

Congratulations to our 2016 Alumni Award Winners!

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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

Humanities:
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

Congratulations to Our 2015 Alumni Award Winners!

12662632914_2f93612cac_zEach year, the UMBC Alumni Association celebrates those people who have made outstanding contributions to the University, their fields, and their communities. This year, we extend that honor to the following distinguished alumni and faculty:

Engineering and Information Technology:
Andre Gudger ’99, Information Systems
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing, and Industrial Base Policy, U.S. Department of Defense

Natural and Mathematical Sciences:
Dr. Yoon-Ho Kim ’01 Ph.D., Applied Physics
Professor, Pohang University of Science and Technology

Social and Behavioral Sciences:
Bryan Kelly ’92, Economics
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, The Kelly Group

Visual and Performing Arts:
Dr. Lisa Urkevich ’86, Music
Professor and Chair of Music and Drama, American University of Kuwait

Distinguished Service:
The Honorable Allan Kittleman ’81, Political Science
County Executive, Howard County Government

Rising Star:
Nicole DeBlase, ’06, Financial Economics
Executive Director, Equity Research, Morgan Stanley

Outstanding Faculty:
Dr. Tara Carpenter, Senior Lecturer, Chemistry and Biochemistry
College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

Join us as we celebrate at the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 8!

Learn more about our past 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

Young and Hungry

s14-brigitte-mooreWhat to do when you achieve a dream job before 30? Brigitte Pribnow Moore ’05, theatre, says you should expand the scope and ambition of that dream. Moore is the executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT), a group that fosters arts education in area schools via playwriting and allows highschool writers to collaborate with professional theatre makers to see their own work on the stage.

The 2013 recipient of the UMBC Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award in the Visual and Performing Arts has big plans. Over the next three years, Moore aims to expand her organization to an even larger portion of greater Washington and increase its budget to $1 million. And her early successes – including YPT being named as the 2014 winner of The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management – have already earned her the status of a rising arts management leader.

Moore says UMBC gave her a great start. She arrived at UMBC from her small hometown in Connecticut helped by a University Fellow scholarship. “UMBC’s acting program was amazing: It was kind of conservatory-like in its style but also allowed us to explore other liberal arts,” she says.

Continue reading Young and Hungry

Highlights from the 2014 Alumni Awards

The long Homecoming Weekend was kicked off in a big way on Thursday, October 9, with the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony.

This year, the ceremony was held in the stunning Performing Arts and Humanities Building Concert Hall, with receptions preceding and following the event in the Dance Tech Studio.

Those in attendance were treated to speeches by the honorees, as well as lots of smiles and laughter.

And of all of the quotes about the night, Director of Alumni Relations Stanyell Odom said it best: “This year’s winners are an outstanding representation of UMBC. All of the members of our community should be proud of their accomplishments and contributions to the campus and their respective professions.”

Congratulations, Alumni Awards winners of 2014!

Please enjoy a slideshow of pictures taken at the event by photographer Marlayna Demond ’11.

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Outstanding Alumna: Donna Lewis ’86

Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to this year’s Alumni Award winners. The UMBC Alumni Association proudly honors distinguished alumni and faculty for their accomplishments and dedication to UMBC. Today we’re talking with Donna Lewis ‘86, English, about her career working as the Unit Chief for the Transportation Security Administration and her work as a cartoonist for the Washington Post News Service and Syndicate.

Name: Donna Lewis ’86, EnglishDonna Lewis-Alumni_Award_Recipients-2014-4476
Job Title: Cartoonist, Washington Post News Service and Syndicate // Unit Chief, Office of Professional Responsibility, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security
Award Category: Humanities

Q: Please tell us a little about why you chose to attend UMBC and what, if any, involvement you have with the university currently.

I chose to attend UMBC after leaving a larger university. I wanted to be a shining star, a high achiever, and, most importantly, I wanted to develop meaningful relationships with my professors, peers, and mentors. At the larger university, I just couldn’t find that level of intimacy. At UMBC, I immediately felt like a champion. I knew my peers on a first-name basis and I developed dynamic relationships with my professors, all of whom knew my name and probably much more about me. For me, UMBC felt like home and the people I met through the English Department and my classes felt like family. I sponsored my first UMBC intern in 2014 and she is now working with me again since graduating last spring! I hope to sponsor two more interns in 2015. My first intern obviously worked out great – for both of us.

Q: Is there a particular class or professor at UMBC who really inspired you?

Linda Benson inspired me to reach much farther than I was used to in my processes of thinking, writing, and analysis. I was always an outgoing and competitive student but I was at risk of being lazy in my thinking, focusing on the A grade and not the greater challenges of expanding my perspective or testing my own beliefs. Linda Benson challenged me to do more than earn an A on a paper. She forced me to keep peeling the onion and to question my thinking. After that, I knew that earning the A wasn’t the end goal.

Q: Please tell us a little about the trajectory of your career and what you are working on now.

I began my legal career in litigation, focusing primarily on issues related to disability. After 10 years of litigation, I transitioned to the management side of business in the hopes of helping supervisors deal more successfully with employees’ differences and diversity. In 2006, I accepted a position with the Transportation Security Administration. I am currently a Unit Chief in the Office of Professional Responsibility where I adjudicate matters involving misconduct. My focus these days is to be an excellent leader in the organization and in the training of future leaders.

Q: What has been the greatest success in your career? The greatest challenge?

The greatest success in my career has been becoming a syndicated cartoonist. I am a writer, first and foremost, and I have always worked hard to develop my writing skills. I have written articles and essays for every organization I’ve ever worked with and I’ve always had a personal writing project in progress. Around the time that I transitioned from the private sector to the Federal Government, I also decided to mix it up a bit with my writing and try some different forms. After a very enjoyable stint in stand-up comedy, I realized that I loved writing punchlines. One day I added a favorite punchline to a drawing and a cartoon was born. Today I have a daily cartoon and a daily comic strip, both of which are syndicated internationally through the Washington Post Writers Group. Getting syndicated is difficult proposition. There are few opportunities for syndication. I am confident that my getting syndicated is proof that hard work and dedication to taking creative risks pays off. I never dreamed or even thought of being a cartoonist and now I cannot imagine not being one. The greatest challenge? Life. Life is challenging and inconvenient. I assume most people don’t need for that to be explained.

Q: What are your proudest personal achievements?

I am proud of my ability to keep working hard no matter what the challenges are. Life is filled with ups and downs and many forces that are not conducive to following one’s dream. But hard work keeps you focused during the hard times and, hopefully, challenged during the easier times. I am proud that I listened to my mentors and just kept moving forward. The harder you work, the better prepared you are to seize good opportunities when they come along.

Check out the other Alumni Award winners.

Outstanding Alumna: Kaliope Parthemos ’93

Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to this year’s Alumni Award winners. The UMBC Alumni Association proudly honors distinguished alumni and faculty for their accomplishments and dedication to UMBC. Today we’re talking with Kaliope Parthemos ‘93, psychology, about her career as Chief of Staff to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. 

Name: Kaliope Parthemos ’93, psychologykali
Job Title: Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Award Category: Social and Behavioral Sciences

Q: Why did you choose to attend UMBC?

In addition to UMBC’s proximity to home and its affordability, UMBC had a great academic reputation.

Q: Is there a particular class or professor at UMBC who really inspired you?

My externship program with the Choice Program inspired me to pursue a career in public service. It motivated me to pursue a career where real change can happen through my work. A career where I can use my skills, training and advocacy to help others.

Q: What has been the greatest success in your career? The greatest challenge?

I am very proud of being able to serve the citizens of Baltimore City throughout my career, often serving the most vulnerable citizens. Having served as Deputy Mayor for 4 years and now as Chief of Staff of a large U.S. city, I know the decisions made will impact future generations: from school construction plans to new recreation and aquatics centers, to pension reform, to implementing the city’s 10-year financial plan. My greatest challenge has been facing historic budget deficits and dwindling federal resources. I am proud of the fact that when we come into the mayor’s office in 2010, we faced a historic budget deficit of over $121 million without drastically cutting public safety and essential services or raising property taxes.

Q: What are your proudest personal achievements?

Two things: 1. As a first generation Greek American, I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, much less graduate from law school. I am proud of my professional and educational achievements and strive to always give back in my career. 2. A few months after I became Deputy Mayor at the age of 40, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am proud to say that I am a breast cancer survivor.

Check out the other Alumni Award winners.