Alums in the News: Foisor wins U.S. Chess Championship

foisor2UMBC double alumna Sabina Foisor ’12, modern languages and linguistics, and M.A. ’14, intercultural communication, has officially been ranked the top women’s chess player in the nation after taking first place at the U.S. Chess Championship in St. Louis in April.

Foisor was seeded sixth out of 12 finalists from across the country. She won her final match 8-3 against Michigan’s Apurva Virkud in round 11 of the championship. The reigning women’s champion, UMBC chess team alumna Nazi Paikidze, placed second in this year’s tournament.

Foisor, who was born in Romania and arrived in the U.S. in 2008 to play for UMBC, is a Woman Grandmaster in chess and a former European junior champion, as well as a four-time member of the U.S. Women’s Olympiad.

At UMBC, she was part of the team that won the national collegiate championship in 2009, as well as president of the Russian Club. She now lives in Texas, and analyzes chess games and techniques on her YouTube channel.

Alums in the News: Griner, VanDyke, Doyle, Cangialosi, Clements, and Arthurs

Here at UMBC, we take pride in what our alums accomplish after graduation. Take a moment to see which Retrievers have been on the move and making news!

Anita GrinerFormer UMBC professor and alumna Anita Griner ’99, psychology, was recently appointed Chief Performance Officer of Cognosante. In addition to her work as a graduate professor at UMBC, where she taught advanced program management sciences, Griner has experience with large IT and healthcare programs. Cognosante focuses on aiding healthcare services, specifically dealing with Health Reform initiatives using technology and BPO services. Read full article.


photo via washingtonpost.comMaureen Evans Arthurs ’13, gender and women’s studies, recently took to the Washington Post blog with an essay exploring the way in which black women are often profiled as sex workers. The piece, written in response to a recent tweet by Ebony editor Jamilah Lemieux, was titled “I’m a black woman with a white husband. People assume I’m a prostitute all the time.” In it, Maureen shared her own experiences and  sparked conversation around the internet about the reality of racial profiling even in communities that pride themselves on diversity and inclusion. Read the full article.


photo via pointandshootfilm.comYou may recall Matthew VanDyke ’02, political science, who was in the news in 2011 due to his fighting and imprisonment during the conflict in Libya. A film based on his experiences recently won Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary, titled “Point and Shoot,” is now in theaters in various parts of the nation and numerous festivals across the world. On November 25, the film will come to Baltimore. Check here for location, dates, and more information.


photo via citybizlist.comPatrick Doyle ’10 M.A., applied sociology, ’12 Ph.D., gerontology, recently presented a seminar on dementia at Brightview Arlington, an assisted living facility in Virginia. His talk, titled, “Remembering the Past and Respecting the Present: A Recipe for Successful Interactions with People Living with Dementia,” covered the effects dementia has on the perception of reality. Dr. Doyle shared communication tips to improve connection between family and friends living with dementia. Read more.

Recently, UMBC alumni Greg Cangialosi ’96, English, and James Clements ’85 computer science; ’91 M.S. and ’93 Ph.D., operations analysis, were chosen to serve on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In total, 27 people were appointed to work with the NACIE, all focusing on issues relating to the improvement of the competitive workforce. Full list of members.

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Alums in the News: Ralby, Ordóñez, and Cradock

Here at UMBC, we take pride in what our alums accomplish after graduation. Take a moment to see which Retrievers have been on the move and making news!

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Ian Ralby ’02, modern languages and linguistics, M.A., intercultural communications, writes about Ebola’s effect on organized crime in West Africa. The impact of Ebola has dramatically slowed down, and even stopped, criminal activity throughout the region. Although there is an ironically positive affect of Ebola, there are various negatives as well. For example, illegal fishing because of the “infected” waters. Read more on Ebola’s effect on organized crime.


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Computer science was not always considered a man’s profession. In fact, many of the pioneering computer scientists were women. But during the 1980s, that changed. In this piece by NPR,  Patricia Ordóñez ’10 M.S. and ’12 Ph.D., computer science, discusses her experience as a woman studying computer science. She explains that when desktops were introduced for use in the home, it caused a shift because these “toys” were more often purchased for boys than girls. Read the full story.



chad cradock
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UMBC’s Chad Cradock ’97, psychology, recently celebrated his 200th Career Win at CCSA North Invite, a home swimming meet. This has also made Cradock the leading coach in history for wins in the program, surpassing Sid Burkot. “It is a pleasure for a milestone like this to occur at home,” said Cradock. “I am proud to work with talented athletes both in the past and the present for their spirit of hard work and upholding UMBC tradition.” Read the full article.



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Career Q&A: Ting Zhang ’03, M.A., intercultural communications, professor

Every so often, we’ll chat with an alum about what they do and how they got there. Today we’re talking with Dr. Ting Zhang ’03, M.A., intercultural communications, about her career as an assistant professor at the University of Baltimore and her research into entrepreneurship, aging and economic growth.

Ting ZhangName: Ting Zhang
Job Title:  Assistant Professor
Employer: University of Baltimore

Q:  Tell us a little about how you wound up at UMBC. What’s your background?

A: UMBC’s unique Intercultural Communication program attracted me. I was a student of English and International Business in China before I came to UMBC.

Q:  What is your focus in your career as an Assistant Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore?

A: I teach quantitative courses to graduate students of Public Administration and I conduct public policy research on the topics related to entrepreneurship, aging and economic growth. I am also a research assistant professor at the Jacob France Institute where I conduct a variety of labor and economic research projects.

Q: Were there any lessons you learned, in particular, at UMBC that you have carried with you into your work?

A: As a student of Intercultural Communication, naturally I was very much aware of culture diversity and fusion between various cultures. This builds my foundation in believing in the importance of diversity in our economy that contributes to my research interests on entrepreneurship, creativity and economic growth and dynamics.

Q: What has been the greatest success in your career?

A: The greatest success I believe is that I have been so lucky to have the great mentors at UMBC, at George Mason University and at my current work at the University of Baltimore. They have offered enormous and selfless guidance to me.

The greatest progress I have made in my career so far, I believe, is publishing my first book (Elderly Entrepreneurship in an Aging US.. Economy) and it was an early academic effort on such a topic. The empirical research was awarded with the fellowship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and a paper award in the international Charles Tiebout Prize for Regional Science. The book later on luckily received certain public, media and academic attention.

Q:  Is there a particular class or professor at UMBC who really inspired you?

A: Professor Edward Larkey guided me through my UMBC journey and has kept encouraging me on my progress. He is a great mentor. Professor Fred Pincus also inspired me on the fun from academic research through his teaching.

Q: What advice would you give to students considering UMBC?

UMBC is a very dynamic university with many inspiring professors who have strong academic rigor and who are also caring and approachable. One piece of advice would be to communicate well with the great professors and take advantage of the vast human capital and warm intellectual resources. UMBC is also a great intercultural community. Enjoying the diversity and participating in various multi-cultural activities would be another advice from me.