Round Up: 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!

Alums in the News: Jones, Mason, Ferrero, and Shafie

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!

JosephtJonesJrLast week, Joseph T. Jones ’06, social work, was interviewed on “Baltimore’s Future,” a feature segment on WYPR. Jones talked with host David Warnock about the difficulties ex-offenders face in gaining employment and how one can support the Center for Urban Families.

Jones founded the CFUF in 1999 as a means to strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic success.

You can listen to Jones’ interview here.


Last week, the Baltimore Business Journal posted a new interview with Gib Mason ’95, economics, which focuses on his experiences both as an educator and entrepreneur.

In the interview, Mason, who is the chief operating officer of UMBC Training Centers, shares lessons he learned working as the chief operating officer at Big Bang, a Baltimore sportswear company that popularized foldable wraparound ear warmers. He also discusses his passion for teaching entrepreneurship and the essential role of failure. “Be open to the perspective of the people around you,” he advises. “Don’t ever believe you have it all figured out.”

Click here to read the interview. (subscription required).

2a20089Last month, Micaela Perez Ferrero ’13, political science, published an article on Gazette.Net thanking the teachers that helped shape her own path to becoming an educator.

Ferrero goes on in the article to discuss her frustration with an unequal education system, her work with Teach for America, and her own experiences as a teacher in Baltimore striving to give her students the keys for their academic success.

Click here to read her article.

hadieh-shafie-alumni_award_recipientHadieh Shafie ’04 M.F.A., imaging and digital arts, has her first one-person show coming up in New York this spring. Surfaced will be on view from February 26 through April 11 at the Leila Heller Gallery. The exhibition will feature twenty new works from Shafie that both build on her past work as well as explore new territory and mediums. The opening reception will take place on Thursday, February 26, from 6 – 8 pm.

For more information, click here.

Shafie was also named an Outstanding Alumna for 2014 by the Alumni Association and was honored during last year’s Alumni Awards. Click here for a brief interview we conducted with her.

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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Congratulations to the 2014 Alumni Award Winners!


Each year, the UMBC Alumni Association presents awards to honor alumni for their professional and personal achievements and service to the University. Throughout the coming weeks, we’ll be introducing you to each award winner individually, but for now, we would like to congratulate them all on their wonderful achievements. 

The UMBC Alumni Association proudly honors these distinguished alumni and faculty for their accomplishments and dedication to the University:

Engineering and Information Technology
Dr. Claudia Pearce ’89 M.S., ’94 Ph.D., Computer Science
Senior Computer Science Authority, NSA

Donna Lewis ’86, English
Unit Chief, Office of Professional Responsibility, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security;
Cartoonist, Washington Post News Service and Syndicate

Natural and Mathematical Sciences
Michael Adelstein ’96, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
CEO, Potomac Photonics, Inc.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Kaliope Parthemos ’93, Psychology
Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Visual and Performing Arts
Hadieh Shafie ’04 M.F.A., Imaging and Digital Arts
Independent Artist

Distinguished Service
Gib Mason ’95, Economics
Chief Operating Officer & Director of the Center for Leadership and Innovation, UMBC Training Centers

Rising Star
Isaac Kinde ’05, Biological Sciences
M.D./Ph.D. Candidate, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

In addition to our alumni honorees, the Alumni Association has established an Outstanding Faculty Award and the inaugural recipient is Dr. Anne Spence, Professor of the Practice, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The 2014 awards will be presented during Homecoming on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at a ceremony in the Albin O. Kuhn Library at 6:30 p.m. Register now.

Join us as we acknowledge these outstanding UMBC community members.

Not Your Average Trip to the Library!

wine tasting picLibraries have long been a bastion of scholarly pursuits and studied silence, but the UMBC Chapter of Young Alumni (CYA) is about to change all that when it hosts the 9th Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction at the George Peabody Library on April 25. So go ahead, break  out the swanky suits and classy cocktail dresses for a trip to the library that is anything but average!

Now in its 9th year, the wine tasting and silent auction is a much-anticipated annual event for all of UMBC’s alumni. The event promises a wide array of delicious wine and food pairings that will delight the taste buds, and a silent auction that will tempt even the most frugal of folks.

peabody_event_pageThe event, which travels to a new venue each year, also offers a unique chance to explore hot spots in Baltimore. Located in picturesque Mt. Vernon, this year’s venue, the George Peabody Library, will be a studied backdrop to an evening filled with jazz, excellent company, refined refreshments and fine wine.

“The venue locations are always unique, and CYA does a fantastic job bringing in high-quality donations for the auction,” says alumnus Nate Dissmeyer ’07, has been attending the event for several years.

For all the delights the event has to offer, it also boasts an important mission: Your attendance and participation in the silent auction will benefit the Alumni Association Scholarship for current UMBC students.

Through these scholarships, the Alumni Association strives to make a meaningful difference in the lives of deserving students to help them achieve their dream of receiving a degree from UMBC and join the many thousands of others as UMBC alumni.

So join us on Friday, April 25, as we enjoy an evening of food, drink and good company, all with a great cause in mind. Tickets are on sale now for $35 per person.

Get your tickets to the wine tasting today!

A huge thank you to the sponsors of this event:

True Grit Sponsors: UMBC Training Centers, White Cliffs Consulting, Bacchus Importers LTD, The Classic Catering People, Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.
Black & Gold Sponsors: Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium, LLC; VPC, Inc.; Cyberpoint; ATS
Retriever Sponsors: Kara Freeman ’91, The Pittman Family, the Jeffrey Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

IT & Engineering Retrievers Mix and Mingle at Pub Dog

UMBC IT & Engineering Happy Hour 2012More than 70 alumni and friends enjoyed pizza and drinks at the 2012 IT & Engineering Happy Hour. The event, which  welcomed all UMBC alumni with a special focus on those from the College of Engineering and Information Technology, was sponsored by the UMBC Training Centers and held at Pub Dog of Columbia. Alumni enjoyed the chance to unwind after work while connecting with fellow Retrievers.

Check out all the great photos from this event on Flickr or Facebook.

About Our Sponsor
UMBC Training Centers extends the academic excellence of UMBC to working professionals and organizations through the delivery of professional, scientific and technical training. As a training partner with the industry’s leading technology providers and a Prometric and VUE certified testing facility, Training Centers provides training and certification preparation to thousands of students in IT, cybersecurity, and engineering. Training Centers recently expanded to a new facility in Columbia, MD on Columbia Gateway Drive. More information can be found online at