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.
UMBC named to the nation’s highest level of research university
In early February, UMBC was recognized by The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Research 1 (R1) university. This category recognizes universities with doctoral programs that have very high research activity, and UMBC is one of only 146 universities in the nation with this distinction. Carnegie’s research activity index takes many different factors into account including creative achievement, graduate education, and research expenditures across a broad range of fields. “This is an amazing accomplishment by faculty, staff, and administrative leaders who have built a research culture that nurtures undergraduate and graduate students,” said President Freeman Hrabowski. “This milestone reflects our commitment to excellence across the disciplines, from the humanities to the sciences.”
UMBC alumni makes African American history and culture more accessible with online Smithsonian Searchable Museum
The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opened its doors in 2016, and received over 600,000 visitors during its first three months of operation. During the start of the COVID pandemic, the museum operators wanted to reach audiences who would not be able to physically make a trip. Fearless, a Baltimore based digital services firm staffed by many UMBC alumni, took on the project to make a virtual component to complement the “Slavery and Freedom” exhibition. The project was lead by Delali Dzirasa ‘04, computer engineering, alongside John Foster ‘04, computer engineering, Avery Smith ‘03, visual arts, Bill Streckfus ‘06, computer science, and Evan Rittenhouse ‘17, computer science and 13 other Fearless employees. Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the museum said, “Allowing the public to virtually revisit the originating struggle for American freedom in the ‘Slavery and Freedom’ exhibition reminds us of the centrality of the African American journey to the American experience—a story of triumph, resilience and joy over the centuries.”
President Hrabowski elected into the National Academy of Engineering
The National Academy of Engineering, a non-profit organization aiming to advance the welfare and prosperity of the nation by providing independent advice on matters involving engineering and technology, and by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and public appreciation of engineering, elected President Freeman Hrabowski as a member earlier this month. He was recognized for his dedication to the UMBC community after serving as the president for three decades and working to increase the diversity in STEM fields, including engineering, at a national level. “It is a tremendous honor to be elected to membership of the National Academy of Engineering,” said President Hrabowski. “This recognition highlights UMBC’s distinctive approach to engineering education. It also honors the remarkable students, faculty, and staff at UMBC who are committed to increasing diversity in engineering and STEM disciplines more broadly.” Congratulations, President Hrabowski!
Retriever men’s swimming and diving team captures their 13th America East Championship title
After a hectic four-day meet at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, the Retriever men’s swimming team won their 13th America East Championship title since joining the conference. They beat second place Binghamton by 47 points. The women’s team placed second at the meet. Three men won honors at the meet for the Retrievers: Niklas Weigelt ‘23, economics, won Most Outstanding Swimmer; Oliver Gassmann ‘25, undergraduate studies, won Most Outstanding Rookie honors; Luca Zuric ‘22, statistics, won the David Alexander Coaches’ award for scoring the most points earned over four league championship meets. On the women’s side, Caroline Sargent won Most Outstanding Swimmer for her win in the 200 meter backstroke which broke the meet record. Head coach Matt Donovan and his stall also won men’s Coaching Staff of the Year Honors. “Since the end of last year’s championship, this men’s team has had one singular focus,” said Donovan. “It was very impressive to see how focused they’ve remained over this past year. We’ve had our share of ups and downs but they never wavered from their ultimate goal. It was truly an impressive feat.” Congratulations, Retrievers!