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: Mayhew, Giardino, Merki, and VanDyke

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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Alumnus Jaimes Mayhew ‘10, imaging and digital arts, Icelandic Fulbright Scholar and IMDA MFA, will participate in an imaging and digital arts event along with Neja Tomšič, taking place on Thursday, November 6, from noon to 1 p.m. In 2008, Tomšič founded the Museum of Transitory Art in Solvenia. She deals with creating open platform media, public art projects, along with publications and interviews with international artists. Her goal is to bring more engagement with this genre of art forms to the U.S. Read more.

Shelli Giardino
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With almost 20 years of human resources experience in the senior living and healthcare industry, Shelli Giardino ’94, political science, has recently been recognized as the new Director of Human Resources at Devonshire at PGA National. She began working for Erickson Living in September 2003 as a senior human resources manager at Charlestown in Catonsville, Md. Over the years she worked her way up to becoming Director of Human Resources. At Devonshire she will be focused on improving the community’s employee environment. Read the full article.

Aaron Merki
photo via The Baltimore Sun

Recently deciding to depart as executive director of Free State Legal, Aaron Merki ’05, political science, has taken on the role to work with the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. As a co-founder of Free State Legal, Merki has been involved with numerous accomplishments relating to legal services of low-income Baltimore residents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. At the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Merki will focus on improving living for the city’s aging population. Read more.

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In an interview with the U.K.’s Mirror, Matthew VanDyke ’02, political science, speaks about the tragic story of his friend, journalist James Foley. Foley went missing near Aleppo, Syria, in November 2012 where he was pursuing his passion as a conflicts journalist, and was tragically killed after being held captive. VanDyke pays tribute to his friend, while also discussing the danger and risks that come along with being a journalist in a country such as Syria or Iraq, even when taking all possible precautions. Read VanDyke’s full story.

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Alumnus Freed From Libyan Prison

Just posted on Free Matthew VanDyke: “Great news! [Matthew VanDyke ’02] called from Tripoli a few minutes ago. The prison where he has been held has been “liberated” and he reports that he is safe and well. More details to follow once the State Department sorts everything out. Thank you all for your ongoing support.”

-Video interview in the Washington Post
– Story on
– Interview with VanDyke on