Meet the Newest Alums: Schuster, Hester, Owusu-Boaitey, and Hawkins

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.

Schuster2014-6820_modFor seven of her eight semesters at UMBC, Kat Schuster, theatre, dedicated her time to the costume shop on campus. A Linehan Artist Scholar, she has been recognized by the theatre department, local theatre companies and their audiences. While aiding younger students through UMBC Residential Life and the Wilde Lake High School Theatre Department, Schuster was awarded the Outstanding Departmental Service Award along with the Linehan Summer Award. She now plans to work in theatre administration and technician and costuming positions at Daydreams and Nightmares Aerial Theatre, Historical designs, and the Jim Rouse Theatre.


Hester2014-7065_modMary Hester, dance and interdisciplinary studies, used her love of dance and advocacy to serve as president of the Dance Council of Majors, receive the Linehan Summer Research and Study Award, and perform at the American College Dance Festival. Her project “Arts Advocacy: Promoting Policy Change,” analyzed “the benefits of dance lessons and the political implications for arts education.” She now plans to complete an M.P.P. at UMBC.


Oswusu-Boaitey2014-7072_modA campus leader and driven student, Kwadwo “Kojo” Owusu-Boaitey, philosophy and biological sciences, was a Meyerhoff Scholar, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Scholar, and Salutatorian for the Class of 2014. He was greatly involved as a member of the club soccer team, president of the Meyerhoff Scholars, co-founder and treasurer of the Minority Association of Premedical Students, and vice president of Philosophers Anonymous. Owusu-Boaitey has completed breast cancer research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has done research at MIT labs for two summers, and is now contributing to a research manuscript. He plans to earn his M.D./Ph.D. from Harvard and MIT after graduation.


Hawkins2014-0170_modMiss Baltimore 2014, Miss Maryland 2013 runner-up, and winner of two Miss America Academic Awards, Samantha Hawkins, cultural anthropology and interdisciplinary studies, visual research methodology, was a member of the Honors College and received the Undergraduate Research Award. She has volunteered weekly at St. Francis Neighborhood Center, was a goodwill ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and interned at Maryland State Arts Council and the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Hawkins plans to earn her Ph.D. in socioanthropology with a fully-funded fellowship at Harvard University.

Learn more about the Class of 2014!

Alums in the News: Gilchrist, Hawkins, Whitehead, and the 2014 MSAC grantees

We are proud of our alums and their constant achievements. Recently, three of UMBC’s alumni, in particular, have made it in the news and we thought you should know!

GilchristLafayette Gilchrist ’92, Africana Studies, recently released his new solo album, titled The View From Here, which was featured on NPR’s “Fresh Air.”

“For someone who came to piano rather late, at 17, Gilchrist has dug deep into its history… Despite his old-timey tremolos and thundering bass figures, he doesn’t really sound like the old masters; something different is going on in his timing and pile-driving left hand.”

Read more of NPR’s review of The View From Here.

HawkinsValerie Hawkins ’82, Africana Studies, received the K-12 Promotion of Education Award at the 2013 Women of Color Stem Conference. Hawkins, a teacher in the Baltimore County Public School System, has been involved in Project Lead the Way/Gateway to Technology, which offers students hands-on experiences in the STEM fields.

“One of the many goals of the Women of Color STEM Conference is to provide employers with a unique opportunity to recognize those women within their ranks who are already successful, thus sending a clear message that there is room for many others who choose to follow.” Read more.

WhiteheadDr. Kaye Whitehead, ’09, language, literacy, and culture, was the keynote speaker at UMBC’s first Language, Literacy and Culture graduate student conference, called “Rethinking Intellectual Activism.” Her speech was titled, In Search of Your Magis: Taking a Moment to ReThink, ReEvaluate, and ReDiscover Intellectual Activism. Whitehead is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Loyola University, Maryland. Read more about the event here.

MSACThe Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) named its Individual Artist Award Recipients for 2014 and we’re proud to say that two UMBC alumnae were selected: Sandy Lacy ’76, psychology and Heather Moss ’07, English.

“The MSAC’s annual Individual Artist Award (IAA) recognizes the importance of artists and their works of excellence to the cultural vibrancy of Maryland. Each year, awards of $1,000, $3,000 or $6,000 go to Artists from across Maryland who are selected by a blind, out-of-state jury on the basis of artistic merit alone.” Congratulations, Sandy and Heather!

Want to know more about the MSAC and other award recipients? Find out here!

Do you have an achievement of your own to share?

Tell us about it in a class note!