A new chapter in leadership on campus | UMBC Campus News

Here’s a recap of what’s in the news in and around the UMBC campus, originally brought to you by UMBC News.

This news recap is brought to you by UMBC’s Division of Professional Studies, offering a broad array of professionally-focused master’s degrees and certificate programs that address industry needs while anticipating future opportunities.

Dr. Valerie Sheares Ashby named next president of UMBC, arriving from Duke in August 2022

In the wake of President Hrabrowski’s departure, a new president has been named. Starting on August 1st, 2022, Dr. Valerie Sheares Ashby will take over the position. Dr. Ashby comes to UMBC from Duke University where she was the dean of Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, a position she has been in since 2015. She earned her B.A. and Ph.D degrees in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has completed postdoctoral research at Universitat Mainz in Germany. “It is an incredible honor to be asked to lead a university that has excelled in so many ways that are essential both nationally and to me personally—particularly in regards to foregrounding inclusive excellence,” Ashby says. Welcome to Retriever Nation, Dr. Ashby!


Kimberly R. Moffitt named dean of UMBC’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Kimberly Moffitt has  been named as the dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences as of March 2022. Moffitt has served as the interim dean of the college since August 2020, leading CAHSS through the COVID pandemic. She came to UMBC in 2006 as an assistant professor of American studies, and was promoted to the director of the LLC program in 2018. With her appointment as the dean, she is UMBC’s first Black dean of any college. “The campus is delighted by the appointment of Dr. Moffitt as dean—in many ways, she represents the best of UMBC,” shares President Freeman Hrabowski. “Most importantly, she will be a strong voice for the arts, humanities, and social sciences, both on and off campus.” Congratulations Dr. Moffitt!


U.S. News names UMBC graduate programs among the nation’s best

In U.S. News’ 2023 Best Graduate School rankings, programs across UMBC’s three colleges were recognized. 14 programs were recognized in total, seven of which are tanked in the top 100 of their respective categories. Environmental, chemical, computer, mechanical, and electrical engineering represent the College of Engineering and Information Technology; mathematics, statistics, biological sciences, chemistry, and physics represent the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences; psychology and environmental sciences represent the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. To develop the rankings, U.S. News combined qualitative data with expert opinions of the reputations of over 2000 programs. UMBC is joined by other highly-ranked universities like University of Virginia, Penn State University, and Johns Hopkins University.


UMBC’s Farah Helal, longtime student advocate, is named USM student regent

Ferah Helal ‘24 was recently appointed as a student regent to the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of regents in March. She will serve as one of two USM student regents, effective from July 1st, 2022 until June 30th, 2024. Helal will represent student voices in meetings and committees working on issues that will impact all 12 USM institutions, including tuition and fee rates, and approving new degree programs. “I recognize the value and impact of having accurate representation,” says Helal. “This appointment comes with a great deal of responsibility, but the value and benefit to my community makes it worth it.” Congratulations, Ferah!


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