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Gloria Abena Opoku-Boateng

Opoku-Boateng_Gloria_150x150“My two favorite things about UMBC: 1. That UMBC is small and research-oriented. 2. That our president (Dr. Hrabowski) is very knowledgeable and accessible to everyone. My favorite thing about B’more is the culture… feels like a mini hub of people from all over the world.”

Hometown: Ntonso, Ashanti Region, Ghana

Degree Program: Information Systems PhD (Health Information Technology Concentration)

Faculty Advisor: Professor Anthony Norcio, PhD

Awards/Fellowships:
ONC HIT Fellowship, LinkedIn Student Scholarship, Google Travel Awards, IBM Tapia Student Conference Award

Thesis/research topic:
Approaches to Brain Fitness Games for Enhancing and Maintaining Mental Acuity in Healthy Older Adults

Undergraduate Study (Year, Degree, Institution):
2011, BSc., Computer Science, Valley View University (GH)

Previous Graduate Study (Year, Degree, Institution):
2015, MS, Human-Centered Computing, University of Maryland Baltimore County
2013, MS, Applied Health Informatics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Why did you decide to attend UMBC? And why did you choose your program in particular?
I decided to attend UMBC because UMBC offered the perfect program that I was looking for. I was interested in an HCI program in the DMV area which gave me enough research room to explore and apply HCI concepts to a burgeoning field such as Health Informatics

What are some of the benefits of being part of the graduate community at UMBC?
Off the top of my head, I would say I benefit truly from faculty mentorships, smaller student community with personalized student advising, GSA resources, and specialized student support programs like PROMISE and AGEP-UMBC.

What is your favorite thing about UMBC? Your favorite thing about Baltimore?
Two things: 1. that UMBC is small and research-oriented. 2. That our president (Dr. Hrabowski) is very knowledgeable and accessible to everyone. My favorite thing about B’more is the culture… feels like a mini hub of people from all over the world.

Briefly describe your graduate research and its purpose/applications.
My graduate research has mostly been interdisciplinary… covering healthcare, IT, and User research domains. I am currently focused on investigating both computerized and non-computerized approaches for reducing age-related cognitive decline in health older adults.

What are your plans after graduation from UMBC?
My plans after graduation is to work with an industry research lab as a UX Research Scientist. I have always liked to combine both academic and industry research approaches. I think an industry research lab experience after school will be the best path for me right now.

When you’re not teaching and researching, what are your hobbies and interests?
My hobbies include writing, travelling, and learning new skills/things.  I also volunteer my time and skills with initiatives that mentor women/girls in STEM.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I will like to share this quote that summarizes both my life at UMBC and the UMBC community. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you keep moving forward.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The UMBC community works hard to keep each other moving forward.

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