Alumni Awards 2016: Ruby Lu ’94, Economics

In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each honoree in detail here on the blog. This year’s distinguished alumna in the Social and Behavioral Sciences category is Ruby Lu ’94, economics, co-founder of the venture capital firm DCM China.

r-lu_headshotRuby Lu is one of the earliest investors in her home country’s technology sector. Part of that pioneering spirit comes from the education she received at UMBC, and she cites several professors as influences throughout her undergraduate career, including her nominator, Dr. David Mitch. “Professor Mitch took a personal interest in my development throughout my years in UMBC,” she says. “Seeing how much he enjoyed books really inspired my love for them.” She also says that Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, then in the earliest days of his presidency, “was and is way ahead of his time in terms of investing our university in innovation…It is common wisdom now that Silicon Valley is successful. However, our president was leading us in that endeavor back in the early ’90s when I was a student.” After graduating, Lu pursued a master’s degree in international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and in 2005, she co-founded the Beijing-based venture firm DCM China. Her investment in China’s e-commerce, software, and healthcare industries has helped to grow companies and create over 300,000 skilled jobs. She says her proudest achievements are “building a leading venture capital firm before venture capitalism became a thriving industry in China,” as well as being a part of that industry’s development. She is currently working to establish a cross-border tech fund to focus on artificial intelligence and applying data science to healthcare.

Join us for the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 6, at the Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall.

Happy Retriever Love Week!

A couple of weeks ago, we put out a call on social media for couples whose love stories began at UMBC. We got so many great responses that while Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, we’ve decided to extend the holiday through Friday to share your stories on the blog. Happy Valentine’s Day the Second through Sixth!

6A62BF94-A2AB-498D-851A-7D908DC79B425698E789-DEBD-4338-9169-2032D4566156 (1)In August 2000, Kenneth Knight ’03, information systems, and M.S. ’05, information systems, was a transfer student looking for advice on his classes. During a fire drill, a mutual friend led him to Angela Washington Knight ’03, information systems, and M.S. ’05, information systems, and from then on, Kenneth says, they were “inseparable.” They have been married since September 2003. (Photo courtesy of Kenneth Knight.)

IMG_5400Leah Concannon Mayer ’02, psychology, met Patrick Mayer ’02, philosophy and political science, the first month of their freshman year at UMBC, and the two were longtime friends by the time they started dating in 2003. They dated long distance while attending graduate school in separate parts of the country, and got married in 2006. They both work at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan, where Patrick is an assistant professor of philosophy and Leah directs the McNair Scholars Program, and have two children. (Photo courtesy of Leah Mayer.)

Kat Joe PicJoe Fleshman ’14, economics, met his wife Kat Schuster Fleshman ’14, theatre, during their freshman year at UMBC. They started dating in early 2011 and “quickly became attached at the hip.”

“UMBC was so important to our relationship because we grew up here together. We have great memories of [H]omecomings, Quadmanias, and working with ResLife and the Commons to leave our marks on the campus. We gave everything we had to this school, and it gave us more than we could have ever hoped for in return. We were lucky to have many of our closest friends and UMBC family involved with our wedding in June 2015.

“I know I’m the happiest I’ve ever been because of the opportunities that UMBC gave us to allow our relationship to blossom,” Joe writes. (Photo courtesy of Joe Fleshman. And yes, that is Nick Offerman of Parks and Recreation and UMBC Homecoming 2013 fame.)

image.pngStephanie Fields Lightfoot ’95, sociology, worked at the UMBC Bookstore as an undergrad, and Leon Lightfoot ’94, information systems management, was a frequent browser among the shelves. In 1993, Stephanie says, “he finally got the nerve” to approach her, and so began their courtship. A visit to the Shriver Center during her senior year led Stephanie to join the Peace Corps, a decision Leon supported “with hopes that [she] would return to him after two years.”

Indeed, when Stephanie stepped back onto U.S. soil after her service, Leon was waiting there with a ring. After 17 years of marriage and two children, Stephanie says, “If it weren’t for UMBC, there would be no Lightfoot family of [four].” (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Lightfoot.)

Read UMBC Magazine’s 2014 feature on UMBC couples here.

 

Link Roundup: UMBC in the News

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.

For more UMBC community updates, head to UMBC News.

Roundup: UMBC in the News

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 at UMBC Insights!

Alumni Awards 2015: Bryan Kelly ’92, Economics

In the weeks leading up to the Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each of this year’s honorees in detail here on the blog. Today we’re featuring our Social and Behavioral Sciences award winner, Bryan Kelly ’92, economics.

KellyBryan Kelly is a managing partner and co-founder of The Kelly Group, a “boutique wealth management firm” based in Bel Air, Maryland. Originally a computer science and mathematics major at UMBC, he was inspired by Dr. Charles “Chuck” Peake to switch his focus to economics and finance, where he found his passion: financial planning. He worked for Fidelity Investments during and after his undergraduate studies before establishing The Kelly Group with his uncle, Bill Kelly, in 1997. In the years since its inception, The Kelly Group has grown to nearly 20 employees, and has established a company culture based on the idea of “[the] Norman Rockwell Hometown Doctor of Finance,” taking a community-based approach to hiring and development. Mr. Kelly, a 2007 departmental Alumni Award honoree in Economics, holds a Certified Financial Planning Designation from the CFP Board of Standards and an M.S. in Financial Planning from the College for Financial Planning. He lives in Harford County with his wife Katherine, whom he met at UMBC, and their two children.

Register now for the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 8!

Roundup: UMBC in the News

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.

Roundup: UMBC in the News

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.