Meet A Retriever

UMBC’s greatest strength is its people. When people meet Retrievers and hear about the passion they bring, the relationships they create, the ways they support each other, and the commitment they have to inclusive excellence, they truly get a sense of our community. That’s what “Meet a Retriever” is all about. 

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Garvey poses near Library Pond on UMBC's main campus. Photo courtesy of Chu.
Garvey poses near Library Pond on UMBC’s main campus. Photo courtesy of Chu.

Meet Garvey Chu, a first generation transfer student who is about to complete his degree in mechanical engineering at UMBC at the Universities at Shady Grove. He’s also the recipient of a Mechanical Engineering Trailblazers scholarship. When he’s not in class, you might find Garvey enjoying some recreation time. Meet Garvey Chu.

Smiling man looks at camera
Photo courtesy of Monroe Kennedy, III.

Meet Monroe Kennedy, III, a Meyerhoff Scholar (M20) who earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from UMBC in 2012 before earning his M.S. in robotics and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania. Monroe is now an assistant professor in the mechanical engineering department at Stanford University. Meet Monroe Kennedy, III.

Man and woman sitting at a desk in a classroom in front of a whiteboard with Russian words, focused on the papers in front of them.
Nathan Wooddell ’23 and Russian Professor Vira Zhdanovych work together on cybersecurity vocabulary in Russian. (Marlayna Demond ’11/UMBC)

Meet Nathan Wooddell ’23, computer science. Nathan is a member of UMBC’s CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service cohort, and is getting his master’s in cybersecurity as a graduate researcher at the National Nuclear Security Agency. Nathan attributes much of his success to the connections he’s made with the staff and faculty at UMBC who have helped him to discover his true passions. During his time as an undergraduate at UMBC, Nathan also completed a Russian language certificate, and has found a way to combine his interests of both cybersecurity and the Russian language in the professional world. Meet Nathan Wooddell.

five women celebrating sorority membership
Tracie Cox, Nichole Richmond, Sue Wellington, Anne Wellington Goldsmith, and Monique Cephas celebrating their 25th anniversary of becoming a member of the Lambda Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Photo courtesy of Monique Jones Cephas.

Meet Monique Jones Cephas ‘92, information systems management. Monique is the Deputy Associate Commissioner for the Office of Electronic Services and Systems Integration at the Social Security Administration and the current Scholarship Committee Chair of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors. Meet Monique Jones Cephas.

Kevin Yang '07, Katelyn Niu '05, and their son holding up their Homecoming 2023 nametags.
Kevin Yang ’07, Katelyn Niu ’05, and their son holding up their Homecoming 2023 nametags. Photo courtesy of Kevin Yang.

Meet Kevin Yang ’07, computer science and financial economics. Kevin is a real estate entrepreneur, the current executive vice president and vice president of finance of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors, and one half of an alumni power couple. Kevin met his wife, Katelyn Niu ’05, biochemistry, when the pair found themselves in the same physics study group as undergrads (because where else do you find love at UMBC?). They both share a passion for UMBC that runs deep. Meet Kevin Yang.

A young man stands in a black polo shirt talking into a microphone
Smith speaking at an IEEE event with corporate sponsor IBM, and Student Events Board (seb). Photo courtesy of Xavier Smith.

Meet Xavier Smith, a senior computer engineering student who is heading to MIT next year to pursue his dreams of earning a Ph.D. and starting a biotech company. As a part of UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars Program, the U-RISE Scholars Program, and a number of other organizations on campus, he truly understands the meaning of community. Meet Xavier Smith.

Information systems student Anthony Rivera explains his research to another researcher
Information systems student Anthony Rivera explains his research at a conference at CU Boulder. Photo courtesy of Anthony Rivera.

Meet Anthony Rivera, a senior information systems (IS) major and a first-generation college student. When he’s not working on research related to improving equity for Medicaid recipients, you can also find him exploring his creative side through photography and a minor in theatre. Meet Anthony Rivera.

Women of Color Awards attendees
Allen (far left) celebrates with UMBC colleagues as President Valerie Sheares Ashby accepts her recent 2022 Technologist of the Year award at the Women of Color STEM DTX Conference. Image courtesy of Janerra Allen.

Meet Janerra Allen, M.S. ’22, electrical engineering, who is pursuing a Ph.D. student in the same in order to kick off a career in brain imaging research. A first-generation college student from Brooklyn, she is also a student leader, and a Meyerhoff Graduate Fellow. Meet Janerra Allen.

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