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.


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.

Read more at UMBC Insights!

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!

Carny Attraction: James Taylor ’73

Sideshows featuring amazing feats and astonishing freaks became an industry in the United States in the 19th century. But these traveling caravans have been on the endangered list in recent decades. Collecting the artifacts and celebrating the artistry of this vanishing industry has proven addictive to James Taylor ’73, interdisciplinary studies.

Read more in the Winter 2010 issue of UMBC Magazine