Alums in the News: Booker-Wilkens, Suess, Adams, and Nevins

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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Melody Booker-Wilkens ’86, political science, was recently named Economic Development director for Sussex County, Delaware. In this role, she will work with private partners to help current employers and seek to bring new job creators to Southern Delaware. Chosen from more than 20 applicants, Wilkens has more than 25 years of experience working in the private and public sector. Read more about her new role.



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UMBC’s Chief Information officer, Jack Suess ’81, mathematics, ’95 M.S., operations analysis, recently participated in panel at the Educause 2014 conference. He and other CIOs weighed the pros and cons of social media in a professional work environment and, particularly, its role within an information technology department. See what Suess and the other panelists had to say.



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Jerome Adams (M4) ’97, biochemistry and molecular biology, was recently appointed as Commissioner for the Indiana State Department of Health. Adams has been working in the medical field for several years now with experience teaching and is involved in various professional organizations as well as having done research under Nobel Prize winner Dr. Tom Cech. “His public service and academic achievements make Dr. Jerome Adams the ideal candidate to serve in this role,” said Indiana Governor Mike Pence of the appointment. Read more.


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Every two years the Vermont Historical Society awards the Cate Fellowship to support research for Vermont history. This year the award was given to Susan Nevins ’86, modern languages and linguistics, and ’91 M.A., instructional development systems. This award will help support her research on the Lyndes family, a black Revolutionary War veteran who made a life in Central Vermont. Full article.



Have a story of your own to share? Submit a class note.

Meet the Staff: Katharine Scrivener

Here in the Office of Alumni Relations, we spend a lot of time telling stories about and talking with our wonderfully supportive alums. However, we’ve decided to turn the tables and take time to get to know the people behind the scenes – the  advancement and alumni relations staff members who are hard at work on behalf of our alumni. Today we’ll be hearing from Katharine Scrivener, the Alumni & Development Communications Coordinator.

Name: Katharine Scrivener
Job Title: Alumni & Development Communications Coordinator
Focus Area: Queen of the E-Triever and Countess of Communications. In other words, I spend my days working on our website, writing for the blog, manning our Twitter account, composing emails, and other bits of communication goodness.
Years at UMBC: Nine months! I’m a newbie.

Q: Where are you from originally?  katharine-2093

A: Columbia, MD via Hagerstown, MD.

Q: What do you love most about UMBC?

A: The people! I look forward to coming to work every day, and that’s largely because of my wonderfully supportive, creative and hardworking co-workers.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?

A: I love being able to help alumni share their stories and keep them connected to the university.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: I have to pick just one?! Thai, pizza, sushi, anything potato, fried chicken… and I also have a serious sweet tooth. (If you can’t tell, I kind of like food.)

Q: Have you ever done anything crazy or out of the ordinary?

A: Met the cast and visited the set of “Gilmore Girls.”

Q: What’s the most recent book you’ve read?

A: I recently finished Where’d You Go, Bernadette? which was a really fun and smart read. Right now I’m reading a nonfiction book, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.