Alumni Awards 2015: Nicole DeBlase ’06, Financial Economics

In the weeks leading up to the Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each of this year’s honorees in detail here on the blog. Today we’re featuring our 2015 Rising Star alumna, Nicole DeBlase ’06, financial economics. 

DeBlaseNicole DeBlase is an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, a position she has held since early 2014. Prior to this, she worked her way up the equity research ladder from Baltimore to Wall Street. She started off as an undergraduate intern at the Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Company and moved into their rotational analyst program after graduation. When that bank was acquired by PNC in her second month on the job, effectively eliminating her department, she decided to fulfill her longtime goal of moving to New York City. She started out on Wall Street as an Equity Research Associate at Deutsche Bank. During her time there, she and her supervising senior analyst built an Industrial Conglomerate team that leapt the ranks on the Street under their direction, and she was promoted to Vice President a year earlier than normal. When her supervisor left Deutsche Bank for Morgan Stanley in 2011, she decided to join him. Since then, she has risen through the ranks from a Senior Analyst covering machinery stocks to an Executive Director, and achieved “runner-up” status in the Machinery category in Institutional Investor magazine. In addition to building a career in finance and a life in Manhattan, Ms. DeBlase has traveled to Europe, Asia, and South America, and has run her first 5K after an extensive amount of training.

Register for the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 8!

Alumni Awards 2015: Dr. Lisa Urkevich ’86, Visual and Performing Arts

In the weeks leading up to the Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each of this year’s honorees in detail here on the blog. Today we’re featuring our Visual and Performing Arts award winner, Dr. Lisa Urkevich ’86, visual and performing arts (music).

UrkevichDr. Lisa Urkevich is an ethnomusicologist and academic who has been based primarily in Kuwait since 2003. She is a 2015-16 Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and her book, Music and Traditions of the Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar–which is based on years of research conducted in that part of the world–was published earlier this year. Dr. Urkevich chose UMBC for its renowned ethnomusicology program, and says she was inspired by all of her music professors, who “exposed [her] to a world of new ideas and cultures.” After graduating from UMBC, she received a second bachelor’s degree in music education from Towson University, followed by a master of music from Florida State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. Her first professorship at Boston University led to a Fulbright grant to Kuwait, and when a new university opened up there she was asked to stay on. In addition to her field research, she has collected Peninsula instruments for a U.S. museum, brought traditional folk musicians along on her public speaking engagements, and developed a course called Music in Arabian Culture, which is not taught in any other Western-style university across the globe and is considered by UNESCO to be “safeguarding […] intangible cultural heritage.” She is proud to be a “bridge between [Western] cultures and those of the Arabian Peninsula.”

There’s still time to register for the Alumni Awards Ceremony, Thursday, October 8!

Alumni Awards 2015: Dr. Yoon-Ho Kim, Ph.D. ’01, Applied Physics

In the weeks leading up to the Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each of this year’s honorees in detail here on the blog. Today we’re featuring our Natural and Mathematical Sciences award winner, Dr. Yoon-Ho Kim, Ph.D. ’01, applied physics.

Kim2Dr. Yoon-Ho Kim is a physicist, researcher, and professor at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in South Korea. He received his Ph.D. in applied physics from UMBC in 2001 and worked as a Wigner Fellow at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory before starting at POSTECH in 2004. Currently, his research involves the experimental aspects of quantum information and quantum optics. He chose UMBC precisely for its reputation in optics and says he was inspired by several of his professors here, including his thesis advisor Dr. Yanhua Shih and professor emeritus Dr. Morton Rubin. Getting his research re-established upon returning to Korea was a challenge, he says, but today he has his own research group, and greatly values the chance to do interesting work in physics. He also takes pride in seeing his students earn their degrees and go on to their own research positions.

Don’t forget to register for the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 8!

Alumni Awards 2015: Dr. Tara Carpenter

In the weeks leading up to the Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each of this year’s honorees in detail here on the blog. First up is our Outstanding Faculty Award winner, Dr. Tara Carpenter of UMBC’s own Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

CarpenterDr. Tara Carpenter is a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UMBC. Dr. Carpenter developed a passion for teaching as a graduate teaching assistant at Duquesne University, and after she completed her Ph.D., she sought out academic positions that made teaching undergraduates a priority. She was drawn to UMBC’s welcoming campus culture and its enthusiasm for undergraduate success. In her 11 years here, she has worked to change the way undergraduate students experience their first chemistry courses by helping to create a variety of resources for them, from the Discovery Center to online homework and in-person as well as virtual office hours. She enjoys working with UMBC students for their ability to “think outside the box.” She considers every semester an adventure as students continue to engage her with new and exciting questions.

Click here to register for the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 8 in the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery!

Congratulations to Our 2015 Alumni Award Winners!

12662632914_2f93612cac_zEach year, the UMBC Alumni Association celebrates those people who have made outstanding contributions to the University, their fields, and their communities. This year, we extend that honor to the following distinguished alumni and faculty:

Engineering and Information Technology:
Andre Gudger ’99, Information Systems
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing, and Industrial Base Policy, U.S. Department of Defense

Natural and Mathematical Sciences:
Dr. Yoon-Ho Kim ’01 Ph.D., Applied Physics
Professor, Pohang University of Science and Technology

Social and Behavioral Sciences:
Bryan Kelly ’92, Economics
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, The Kelly Group

Visual and Performing Arts:
Dr. Lisa Urkevich ’86, Music
Professor and Chair of Music and Drama, American University of Kuwait

Distinguished Service:
The Honorable Allan Kittleman ’81, Political Science
County Executive, Howard County Government

Rising Star:
Nicole DeBlase, ’06, Financial Economics
Executive Director, Equity Research, Morgan Stanley

Outstanding Faculty:
Dr. Tara Carpenter, Senior Lecturer, Chemistry and Biochemistry
College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

Join us as we celebrate at the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 8!

Learn more about our past award winners.

2014 Award Winners

2013 Award Winners

2012 Award Winners

2011 Award Winners

2010 Award Winners

2009 Award Winners

2008 Award Winners

2007 Award Winners

2006 Award Winners

2005 Award Winners

Past UMBC Alumni Award Winners

UMBC Athletic Hall of Fame

Highlights from the 2014 Alumni Awards

The long Homecoming Weekend was kicked off in a big way on Thursday, October 9, with the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony.

This year, the ceremony was held in the stunning Performing Arts and Humanities Building Concert Hall, with receptions preceding and following the event in the Dance Tech Studio.

Those in attendance were treated to speeches by the honorees, as well as lots of smiles and laughter.

And of all of the quotes about the night, Director of Alumni Relations Stanyell Odom said it best: “This year’s winners are an outstanding representation of UMBC. All of the members of our community should be proud of their accomplishments and contributions to the campus and their respective professions.”

Congratulations, Alumni Awards winners of 2014!

Please enjoy a slideshow of pictures taken at the event by photographer Marlayna Demond ’11.

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Physician and Long-Term Care Exec Scott Rifkin ’81, in Baltimore Sun

Scott Rifkin ’81, biological sciences, a physician and long-term care executive, was interviewed by the Baltimore Sun about his company’s acquisition of a retirement community in Pikesville.

The move, says Rifkin, managing partner of Mid-Atlantic Healthcare, is personal: he and his parents still live in the neighborhood surrounding North Oaks retirement community.

See the full story here.

Rifkin was named a UMBC Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 1995.