Alums in the News: UMBC’s Legal Eagles

Our alumni are making headlines! Today, we focus on Retrievers who are making waves in the legal profession.

Travis Bell ’14, political science and psychology, now in his final year at the UCLA School of Law, is one of 14 American law students receiving this year’s Gideon Fellowship. This prestigious award, part of the Gideon’s Promise Law School Partnership Program, is a three-year fellowship that places law school graduates in public defenders’ offices across the Deep South. Bell, who was the Class of 2014 valedictorian, will serve out his fellowship in Montgomery, Alabama.

Yvette Pappoe ’13, sociology, has been named a Law Student of the Year for 2017 by the National Jurist magazine. Pappoe is a third-year student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where she is articles editor of the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender, and Class, a fellow in the Women, Leadership, and Equality Program, and a student attorney in the School to Prison Pipeline legal theory & practice course, to name a few.

Steven Fedder ’72, American studies, is one of The Daily Record’s 2017 Leadership in Law honorees. This award recognizes members of the Maryland legal community who have gone above and beyond in their profession. Fedder is a partner at Fedder & Janofsky LLC, a Baltimore-based firm specializing in trial litigation and employment law.

And finally, the UMBC Mock Trial Team may not have graduated yet (though their head coach Ben Garmoe ’13, political science, is an alum), but they’re taking over UMBC’s Instagram account this weekend to give us a firsthand look at the Opening Round Championship Series! Take a look here, and be sure to wish them luck!

mock trial

Have news of your own? Send us a class note for a future issue of UMBC Magazine!

Meet the Newest Alums: Bell, Tewelde, and Lomax

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.

In a mere four years at UMBC, Valedictorian
Travis Bell, psychology and politicalBell2014-6896_mod science, completed six internships, studied abroad in Chile, and received a mentorship for pursuing a career in public affairs. Along with being the UMBC Club Soccer President and the UMBC Pre-Law Society Founder and Treasurer, Bell was also selected as a finalist for the national Harry S. Truman Scholarship and won both the Outstanding Senior Award in political science and the Louis Cantori Memorial Scholarship. With his recent graduation, he plans to continue his education to earn a J.D. at the UCLA School of Law.

Tewelde2014-6882_modBlossom Tewelde, biochemistry and molecular biology, came in to UMBC as a science major and later found herself excelling in poetry. In the realm of science, the Meyerhoff and Howard Hughes Medical Institute scholar won the Donald Creighton Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Senior Undergraduate Researcher in Biochemistry.

Tewelde also explored her talents in poetry, was soon published in UMBC’s Bartleby, and earned the Malcolm C. Braly Award. She plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Lomax-modMelissa Lomax, English literature, brought a lot to the table. While at UMBC, she was president of the Maryland Association of Blind Students and held active membership in the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland. Lomax was also chosen to travel abroad to Damascus as a part of the Open Hands Youth Abilities Summit, where she “worked with Syrian youth on the topic of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” There, she helped develop the comic Silver Scorpion by Liquid Comic about an empowering superhero who has a disability, which has been featured on NPR and in Time Magazine. Lomax now plans to be the Youth Services Coordinator for the Blind Industries and Services of Maryland.

Read more about the Class of 2014!

Pride Proven

UMBC’s Prove It! Campaign has added greatly to the quality of campus life during its six years of existence, including the creation of a green space outside the Fine Arts Building and a system for tracking campus shuttle buses via GPS technology.

Last year’s winners have finally made their mark at UMBC – three new and vibrantly decorated Chesapeake Bay Retriever statues placed in prominent areas around campus.

s14-atplay-retriever-cThe Retriever Project was the brainchild of UMBC students: Kelsey Krach’ 14, cultural anthropology and Spanish,
Travis Bell ’14, psychology and political science,
and Cami Sotela ’13, psychology.

With funding provided by UMBC’s Student Government Association, Prove It! gives undergraduates with a vision for ways to improve the campus a chance to compete to have their plan realized. Winners of the competition can receive up to $10,000 to implement a winning plan and cash prizes of up to $2,000.

s14-atplay-retriever-aThe idea for the Retriever Project was based on a number of colorful “animals on parade” public art projects around the world – most notably two large projects in nearby Washington, D.C., which featured pandas and then donkeys and elephants.

Krach, Bell, and Sotela spent more than two years planning their Retriever Project entry. The first three statues were placed in front of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, The Commons, and the Performing Arts and Humanities Building. Each statue is painted to reflect a core UMBC value: diversity, academic and social exploration and the breadth and depth of UMBC’s academic program.

— Jessie Orsburn ’14

Read more from the UMBC Magazine!