Meet our Newest Alums: Donovan, Amazu, Fung Chim, and Connor

UMBC is always full of hard-working people who aspire to do great things, and the class of 2014 is no exception. Today, we wanted to share with you what some of our recent graduates are planning to do with their Retriever education.

After winning the Maryland Sea Grant to
study the health of the Chesapeake Bay, Donovan2014-0162_modMitchell Donovan, M.S. geography and environmental systems, was also able to present his work at the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee’s Chesapeake Bay workshop. Donovan’s research has been used to justify amending future models of sediment and contaminant sources. He now plans to fulfill his Fulbright Research Grant at the University of Turku, Finland, and earn his Ph.D. in watershed sciences at the Utah State University.

Amazu2014-7057_modChinwendu Amazu, biochemistry and molecular biology, came in to UMBC as a Meyerhoff Scholar, a MARC U*Star Trainee, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar. With her hard work she joined the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Golden Key International Honor Society. Amazue also  won the Faculty Award for Excellence in Biochemistry, Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Award, among others. Along with tutoring her peers in general and organic chemistry, Amazu has worked with research scientists at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She plans to continue working towards an M.D./Ph.D. at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Cho Fung Chim, psychology, used his
talents while at UMBC to work as a research Chim2014-0183_modassistant at Robin Barry’s Couple and Family Research Lab and in Charissa Cheah’s Culture, Child, and Adolescent Development Lab. For his honors thesis, Chim managed all of the work, from beginning to end. He wrote the research question, completed the literature review, and analyzed the collected data. Graduating with a 4.0, he now plans to continue his work with family counseling, especially those who have immigrated to the U.S., and
pursue an M.A. in counseling psychology at
Johns Hopkins University.

Connor2014-6863_modAfter facing a life-threatening illness, non-traditional student Amy Connor, biochemistry and molecular biology, stepped back from her work as an artist and found a passion for science. Her goal now is to “inspire young students to think critically and creatively about science.” Connor plans to obtain a master’s degree in education from UMBC and teach chemistry.

Find out more about the Class of 2014!

Round-Up: UMBC in the News, 7/25

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.

Read more great news here!

Using Chemistry Every Day: Dr. Adam Freeman ’95 (M3)

What’s it like being a pioneer?

Ask Dr. Adam Freeman ’95, chemistry, an innovator in the chemistry of paper and one of the first generations of UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars. He’ll tell you the secret – keeping your eyes open for opportunity.

“You know, when I look at where I am and what I wound up doing, most of it was unplanned,” said Dr. Freeman, Senior Research Scientist for the Eastman Kodak Company in New York.

“But over time, I realized everything I was learning was part of a flow that wove together over time.”

A native of Silver Spring, Dr. Freeman knew he was interested in the sciences in high school, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to study in college. One day, during his AP history class, the vice principal of his high school called him into a meeting to discuss the Meyerhoff Scholars program, which was still in its infancy at UMBC.

Though many of his friends planned to attend nearby College Park, he found his niche at UMBC. He also praised the “support structure” of the Meyerhoff program.

“UMBC seemed more digestible and more tangible (than College Park),” said Dr. Freeman, an “M3,” or third generation graduate of the Meyerhoff program. “It wasn’t like this big beast. It was small and I saw that I would get individual attention.”

Though he started off studying chemical engineering because it seemed to offer the most money as a career, Dr. Freeman quickly figured out his priorities lay elsewhere.

“I quickly learned that money wasn’t the driver…and I switched over to pure chemistry right away,” he said.

Following graduation from UMBC, Dr. Freeman went on to do graduate work in materials science/polymer chemistry at Cornell University and later earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

Today, at Eastman Kodak, he uses chemistry on a daily basis to create technologies that support current and future imaging technologies, such as fade-resistant papers for printing photographs. His wife, Thuy Pham ’95, biochemistry and molecular biology, also uses the knowledge she learned at UMBC on a daily basis as a researcher at Bausch & Lomb.

As a researcher and innovator, Dr. Freeman urges current students to keep their options open. One never knows where or when opportunities to use one’s knowledge will arise.

“I really do think chemistry is so central to everyday life,” he said. “It’s in the things we eat, it’s in the computers we use and the plastic that’s used to make the computers…it’s all chemistry.”

– Jenny O’Grady
Originally posted November 2005