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Savannah Steinly

“I’ve been able to jump into diverse opportunities that I had never even thought possible before attending this university. I think such decisions have shaped who I have become and my future path.”


Major: Chemical Engineering
Minor: Writing

Hometown: Thurmont, MD

Campus Activities:
UMBC Track and Field and Cross Country, Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) C13 Scholar, Honors College, Doris Duke Conservation Scholar at the University of Washington, Undergraduate Researcher in the Blaney Lab, Undergraduate Research Award (URA) Scholar, Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Grant Writing Committee, Omicron Delta Kappa, UMBC Admissions Tour Guide, STRiVE participant, Baltimore Collegetown LeaderShape participant, UMBC Alternative Spring Break volunteer.

Why did you choose UMBC?
I decided to attend UMBC for a variety of reasons, but most of all, I felt the comfortable here. The students help each other, and the faculty truly cares about us. I knew that entering a technical major would be challenging, so it was important for me to be in a supportive community like this. Moreover, I thought that I might want to get involved in undergraduate research, and UMBC has a great reputation in this area.

What do you love about UMBC?
There are so many chances to develop here (both personally and professionally), to acquire new experiences, and to discover new interests. I’ve been able to jump into diverse opportunities that I had never even thought possible before attending this university. I think such decisions have shaped who I have become and my future path.

What would you say to a prospective student?
I’ve found that it’s easy to get hung up on situations and decisions that seem very important at the moment but are actually trivial overall. Work hard and do what you’re passionate about, and things will typically work themselves out..

What has been your favorite class at UMBC?
So far, my favorite class is Water Chemistry with Dr. Lee Blaney, who is also my research mentor. It was my first environmental engineering course. While it was challenging, I also found it incredibly interesting, and it confirmed my interest in entering an environmental engineering field after graduation. Moreover, many of the things I learned were directly applicable to my research.

What are you researching?
I conduct research in the environmental engineering lab of Dr. Lee Blaney. My team’s project focuses on the photolysis of relevant organometallic compounds in environmental systems. This is partially funded by a UMBC Undergraduate Research Award (URA). I have presented this work at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD) in 2016, and I hope to present again in the future.

Where did you complete your internship/applied learning experience?
I’ve spent my past two summers participating in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington. I learned about this program through the UMBC Undergraduate Research page. This was a fabulous experience, as I was able to traverse the diverse regions of Washington state, meet some pretty amazing people, and discover more about my passions for conservation and environmental justice.

What do you hope to achieve after you complete your degree at UMBC?
I hope to enter a conservation field and make a lasting impact on the status of the environment, whether through improving water quality or other means. I also hope to continue pursuing creative writing in some way, and one of my dreams is to become a published author. I am considering attending graduate school.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Go Retrievers!

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