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

Mark Your Calendars for March!

Make it a March (and April) to remember by joining us for these great events coming soon:

Admissions Receptions
Various Dates

Are you a proud Retriever Believer? There are a variety of ways alumni can volunteer to give back to the UMBC community. One unique opportunity is to attend one of our many spring Admissions Receptions. These events are offered through Alumni Relations and the Admissions Office. The first two receptions will be held in March:

  • Tuesday, March 11, 7 – 9 p.m., Baltimore (Hilton)
  • Tuesday, March 25, 7 – 9 p.m., North Bethesda (Rockville/Strathmore)

Get more details and volunteer through our website.

Dessert & Discussion: Family Voices
Wednesday, March 12, 6:30 p.m.

Join us for a spring Dessert and Discussion with Professor Wendy Salkind (theatre) and two fellow alums for a reading of Harold Pinter’s early radio play, Family Voices.
Following the reading of this short play, Professor Salkind will informally respond to audience reactions to Pinter’s characters, and his Absurdist techniques in theatrical form. RSVP now!

Early-Bird Ticket Sales!
Wine Tasting and Silent Auction
Friday, April 25, 7 p.m

This is no average trip to the library. Get dressed to the nines and join fellow UMBC alumni and guests for an elegant party in the beautiful and historic George Peabody Library. Located in picturesque Mt. Vernon, the George Peabody Library will be a studied backdrop to an evening filled with jazz, excellent company, refined refreshments and fine wine. Your attendance and participation in the silent auction will benefit the Alumni Association Scholarship for current UMBC students. This event is brought to you by the UMBC Chapter of Young Alumni.

The ticket price includes unlimited wine tastings and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Purchase your tickets now until March 7 for the early bird price of $30.

Striving to Make a Difference: Joseph T. Jones, Jr. ’06

Searing waves of heat already ripple through West Baltimore at 9 a.m. on a Friday in July. The streets around 2201 N. Monroe Street – headquarters of the Baltimore-based nonprofit Center for Urban Families (CFUF) – are all but deserted.

Inside the center’s air-conditioned conference room, 40 or so adults – men and women, black and white, some as young as 18 and others old enough to be grandparents – sit in neat lines of metal folding chairs, sweating about their future. Some look anxious, others bleary-eyed. Most of the men wear ties, pressed pants and dress shoes; the women are in heels, panty hose and skirts. Some are ex-convicts. Many have been involved with the drug trade. Others have held jobs but haven’t been able to keep them.

If the room has the solemn air of a funeral, there’s a good reason. Everyone here is preparing to say goodbye to their old lives and start anew through the CFUF’s signature program, STRIVE, which is modeled after a prototype launched in New York City’s East Harlem.

When the center’s founder and CEO, Joseph T. Jones, Jr. ’06, social work, walks to the front of the room, everyone seems to sit up a little straighter. Standing more than six feet tall in a dark blue pin stripe suit, Jones’ imposing stature and deep, authoritative voice command the room. But his story also grabs attention with this audience: He’s walked a remarkably similar path.

“All the things I did suggest I should be dead, incarcerated, or debilitated,” Jones tells the group.

Read the full story by Elizabeth Heubeck ’91 in the Fall 2011 issue of UMBC Magazine.

Alumni Documentary Wins Film Festival

“Lift Up,” a new documentary on post-quake Haiti co-directed by Huguens Jean ’12, Ph.D., electrical engineering, and Phillip Knowlton ’03, visual arts, will have its film festival premiere this Sunday, June 5, 5:30 p.m., at the 2011 DC Caribbean Film Festival.

The creators of “Lift Up” also recently announced that the film received the Best Documentary Directing Award at the 2011 Amsterdam Film Festival. The juried festival received entries from over 20 countries this year.

Held at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD, the DC Caribbean Film Festival is co-presented with the Caribbean Association of World Bank and IMF Staff (CAI), Caribbean Professional Network (CPN), Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) and TransAfrica Forum. “Like” the film on Facebook to access future screening details.

Nose for News: Jamie Smith Hopkins ’98, English

Baltimore Sun real estate reporter Jamie Smith Hopkins ’98, English, received a Best in Business award today for her 2010 work from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. While a student at UMBC, Hopkins worked for the Retriever Weekly. She graduated as valedictorian of her class.

Read the full story in the Baltimore Sun.

Alumna Publishes Novel: Loris Nebbia ’95, English, MA ’99

English alumna Loris Nebbia ’95 has published her first novel, Solomon’s Puzzle. A modern-day take of an age-old Bible tale, an excerpt of the 700-page book won the Maryland Writers’ Association’s 2010 prize for short fiction. (Nebbia also earned a master’s degree from UMBC in 1999.)

In an interview with the Annapolis Capital newspaper, Nebbia said writing a novel was a “dream come true.”

Learn more about Nebbia and Solomon’s Puzzle here.

A Comic Life: Donna Lewis ’86

A comic strip created by Donna Lewis ’86, English, an attorney in Washington, D.C., will be syndicated through the Washington Post Writers Group, according to the Baltimore Jewish Times.

Enter Lizzie, the “star” of “Reply All,” a new comic strip scheduled to debut on Monday, Feb. 28, through the Washington Post Writers Group syndicate. Penned by Baltimore-born cartoonist Donna A. Lewis, “Reply All” is loosely based on the artist’s own life: Lizzie is a single woman who is doing well in her career, but who still harbors self-doubts.

“She’s modeled after successful women who like who they’ve become,” says Ms. Lewis, 48. “She’s confident, yet insecure, about everything she does. It’s like when someone says, ‘I love your outfit’ and your response is ‘really?’ Does Bill Gates question his every thought?”

Read the full story in the Baltimore Jewish Times here.

Read another story about Donna in the Baltimore Sun.