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

Retriever Love Week: Day 6

Surprise, folks! We got so many responses to our call for your UMBC love stories that we’re extending Retriever Love Week 2016 EVEN FURTHER into the weekend. Feel all of the love!

johnandIStefanie Thomas Commins ’06, mathematics,
says that her husband John Commins ’06, information systems, was one of the first people she met at UMBC, through the track and cross country teams. During their junior year, when Stefanie and John started spending more time together, they found that their feelings for each other had deepened, and decided to pursue a relationship.

On the night of Stefanie’s last final exam — she says it was a stressful one — John took her to a relaxing dinner, drove her home, and proposed. She said yes, and shortly after they graduated together in December 2006, they got married. They are now the parents of five: daughter Katie was born in 2008, only son Caleb arrived in 2010, and in 2013, the family grew even more with the birth of identical triplets Rebekah, Sarah, and Kylie.

Stefanie says that she and John continue to balance their professional careers with the responsibilities of parenthood. The family lives in a Catonsville house that John and Stefanie would run past in college, “just a mile from where we first met.” (Photo courtesy of Stefanie Commins.)

weddingBrian Frazee ’11, political science, and M.P.P. ’12, public policy, and Angela Brant Frazee ’11, psychology and sociology, were both resident assistants at UMBC, and got to know each other through their mandatory RA class. They’ve been together ever since, and were married last spring. (Photo courtesy of Brian Frazee.)

IMG_5979Brad Borowy ’11, environmental science, and Tori Chanda ’13, psychology, went on their first date on November 11, 2010, after a mutual friend set them up. On July 2, 2015, they were on their way to a friend’s house when Brad asked Tori if she wanted to stop by campus, to see how much it had changed since they graduated.

They walked around for a while, and when they came to the statue of True Grit in front of the RAC, Brad told Tori to rub the dog’s nose for good luck, as is customary before exams. She did, and when she turned around, Brad was down on one knee with a ring in his hand. A November 12, 2016, wedding is planned, and Tori writes, “…we are looking forward to what the future holds.

“UMBC was more than an education to us. The memories will last a lifetime.” (Photo courtesy of Brad Borowy and Tori Chanda.)

Jess and JonJon Kerr ’10, ancient studies, and Jessica Ruth Baker ’12, theatre, began dating during Snowpocalypse 2010. “We had been friends for a while, having both worked at the Chesapeake Front Desk, but we started hanging out more and more as the snow fell, and we never stopped spending all of our time together!” writes Jessica.

“Now, six years later, we have moved across the country to Portland, Oregon, to seek new experiences and adventure. We have only been here a few months, and miss Baltimore terribly, but we are so excited for our new life out here on the West Coast!” (Photo courtesy of Jessica Ruth Baker.)

Jennifer Mack Abrams ’97, mathematics, and her now-husband, Ed Abrams ’97, psychology, were both involved in Greek life during their time at UMBC (Delta Phi Epsilon and Sigma Phi Epsilon, respectively). They met in 1995, got married in 1999, and live in Catonsville with their two children.

Jenna Poland ’12, modern languages and linguistics, met her fiance, James Mortensen, at UMBC in 2008. They will be getting married in October.

Read about all the couples we’ve featured this year here!