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 Faculty: Dr. Anne Spence

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 Dr. Anne Spence, Department of Mechanical Engineering, about her career working as a professor at UMBC.

Name: Dr. Anne SpenceAnne Portrait 2
Job Title: Professor of the Practice, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Award Category: Outstanding Faculty

Q: Why did you choose to teach at UMBC?

I chose to teach at UMBC because of its diverse student body, the strength of the undergraduate engineering programs, and the freedom to pursue my interests in engineering education.

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

I have had the privilege of engaging in many activities related to engineering education. Our current work to prepare teachers to teach engineering in elementary, middle, and high school will open the doors of engineering to a new generation of students. We are also developing new mentoring programs that will ensure that all students entering mechanical engineering will benefit from the types of activities formerly reserved for members of our scholar programs.

Q: What do you most enjoy about working with UMBC students?

I love the fact that UMBC students come from a variety of backgrounds. They bring a diversity of experiences that make the student body stronger. It is also great to see students who have participated in Project Lead the Way and FIRST LEGO League coming to UMBC to pursue their dreams.

Q: What is your favorite memory of your time at UMBC?

My favorite memories are of the freshman engineering design competitions. I love watching students flex their engineering muscles through the design of robots, submarines, catapults, solar rice cookers, and hot air balloons while competing and cooperating with their colleagues.

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering and education?

When I was an undergraduate, I was the only female student in my class and never had a female instructor except in the arts, humanities and social sciences. A few women started with me as freshmen but did not continue in the major. I thought that if they had seen someone at the front of the room that looked more like them, they might have persisted. I felt like maybe I could be that role model for both female and male students alike. I am so happy that I made that choice!

Check out the other Alumni Award winners.

Congratulations to the 2014 Alumni Award Winners!


Each year, the UMBC Alumni Association presents awards to honor alumni for their professional and personal achievements and service to the University. Throughout the coming weeks, we’ll be introducing you to each award winner individually, but for now, we would like to congratulate them all on their wonderful achievements. 

The UMBC Alumni Association proudly honors these distinguished alumni and faculty for their accomplishments and dedication to the University:

Engineering and Information Technology
Dr. Claudia Pearce ’89 M.S., ’94 Ph.D., Computer Science
Senior Computer Science Authority, NSA

Donna Lewis ’86, English
Unit Chief, Office of Professional Responsibility, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security;
Cartoonist, Washington Post News Service and Syndicate

Natural and Mathematical Sciences
Michael Adelstein ’96, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
CEO, Potomac Photonics, Inc.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Kaliope Parthemos ’93, Psychology
Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Visual and Performing Arts
Hadieh Shafie ’04 M.F.A., Imaging and Digital Arts
Independent Artist

Distinguished Service
Gib Mason ’95, Economics
Chief Operating Officer & Director of the Center for Leadership and Innovation, UMBC Training Centers

Rising Star
Isaac Kinde ’05, Biological Sciences
M.D./Ph.D. Candidate, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

In addition to our alumni honorees, the Alumni Association has established an Outstanding Faculty Award and the inaugural recipient is Dr. Anne Spence, Professor of the Practice, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The 2014 awards will be presented during Homecoming on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at a ceremony in the Albin O. Kuhn Library at 6:30 p.m. Register now.

Join us as we acknowledge these outstanding UMBC community members.