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 Psychology major wins bronze at U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships

Senior Maya Jones earned the bronze medal for the Retrievers at the U.S Collegiate Figure Skating Championships this summer. Her performance earned a total of 103.18 points, with 66.55 points in her free skate program to “The Dying Swan” by Camille Saint-Saëns. She noted that “Being able to put out two clean, well-skated programs, I felt euphoric. Figure skating is a sport that has a huge ratio between practice time and competition time, so to be able to skate well when it matters most, especially after not competing for so long, was an incredible experience.” Congratulations, Maya!


UMBC welcomes the largest incoming class in university history

UMBC’s Fall Opening Meeting welcomed nearly 2,100 students to the university; the largest fall incoming class in UMBC’s history. These students are not all first-years; some are transfers and some are enrolled in UMBC’s Finish Line program – a program allowing students to complete their degree they hadn’t completed in the past. These new students chose UMBC for an array of reasons. Some for the prestige of the athletic programs, some for the excellent academic programs the university offers, and some the campus life. Praise Lasekan, a freshman biological sciences major is excited to study in an environment where students are encouraged to engage with peers and faculty, while freshman Ashley Gomez chose UMBC to be a full-time student, work, be close to family, and dance. 


Assistant professor Mercedes Burns earns $900k NSF grant to explore spider glues and silks

Assistant professor of biological sciences Mercedes Burns, and former postdoc at UMBC Sarah Stellwagen were awarded a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to create their own synthetic silk. No one has ever been able to recreate sticky proteins, so the NSF granted these two women to study glowworms and velvet worms. These organisms produce sticky proteins similar to spiders, but the differences in genetics are easier to duplicate. One of their long term goals is to create synthetic glue through synthesizing these proteins; these glues could have industrial applications. 


Princeton Review gives UMBC high remarks in the 2022 edition of its popular college guide

The Princeton Review noted in the 2022 edition of The Best 387 Colleges that UMBC is a university that “wants every student to succeed.” In addition, the article highlights UMBC’s strengths in diverse areas, including academic areas, campus life, student diversity, and career services. Outside of campus life, the review acknowledges that UMBC has one of the highest percentages of students that are registered to vote. Finally, the review listed that UMBC is ranked amongst the top 800 universities worldwide, and is ranked 122nd amongst other universities in the U.S.

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