UMBC Introduces Summer Enrichment for Middle and High School Students

Starting Summer, The Shriver Center at UMBC will offer various hands-on learning opportunities for Middle and High School students through its new Summer Enrichment Experience (SEE).

SEE provides an opportunity for local middle and high school students to get a sense of the college learning experience. SEE participants will collaborate and learn under the direction of UMBC faculty and with the support of UMBC undergraduate students.

The experiences cover a broad range of academic interests, including STEM and the arts and humanities, and program material focuses on relevant topics, ranging from cybersecurity to devised theatre. View a complete list of experiences offered here.

Registration for SEE is now open, and can be accessed at Registration discounts are offered to UMBC faculty, staff and alumni. Learn more at:

UMBC Partnership with Arbutus Middle School Featured on BCPS TV

Baltimore County Public Schools TV recently profiled UMBC’s partnership with Arbutus Middle School (AMS), featuring student teaching interns from UMBC and tutors in the Arbutus Achievers program. AMS is a professional development school (PDS) in the UMBC PDS Network, which allows student teachers to complete yearlong Education Internships at the school.

Shriver Peaceworker Fellow Mark Zachar ’17 M.A., teaching, and Elizabeth Forney ’14, English, were highlighted in the video for their student teaching experiences at AMS. Forney is now a first-year teacher at AMS and credits her internship with preparing her for a career. “The transition from being an intern to a teacher here at the same school… definitely made it easier,” she said. Michael Guarraia ’07 M.A., teaching, was also included in the video in his position as the AMS science department chair.

Ciara Saunders ’17, social work and health administration and public policy, spoke about the Arbutus Achievers program and the impact one on one tutoring has on the students at AMS. The Arbutus Achievers Program is coordinated by Maryland-DC Campus Compact Americorps VISTA member Nick Ramundo through the Shriver Center.

Michelle Feeney, principal of AMS, applauded the relationship between UMBC and AMS, saying, “As we provide opportunities for collaboration, our teachers have a partnership with UMBC and they model that collaboration for our students.”

UMBC is featured 11:40-14:46.

BCPS News 2014-15 SHOW#4 10-24-14 from Baltimore County Public Schools on Vimeo

Eric Ford, Shriver Center, Advises Prospective College Students on Paths to Success in College Express

First-generation and underrepresented minority students can face unique challenges in applying to college and completing their degrees. In an article in College Express, Eric Ford, director of operations for the Shriver Center’s Choice Program, writes about his conversations with four college graduates about the support systems that helped them succeed.

Ford identifies several common factors that helped the students graduate, including high parental expectations, dedicated guidance counselors, and supportive university programs. Ford also discussed UMBC’s Choice Program as providing new opportunities for students who might not otherwise see college as a realistic possibility. He shared, “The Choice Program is just one component of a multifaceted partnership seeking to remove some of the many barriers faced by first-generation college students, and it has shown positive outcomes…exemplifying the shared responsibility between universities, public [K-12] schools, and individuals in breaking down barriers to higher education.”

Click here to read “Common Denominators: College Success Factors Among Minority and First-Generation Students” in College Express.

Choice Program Director LaMar Davis Speaks Out on Youth Violence through WYPR, Baltimore Sun

LaMar Davis, director of The Choice Program at UMBC, visited Midday with Dan Rodricks on September 11 to remember four Choice Program participants who were killed in Baltimore this year and discuss youth violence. The Choice Program works with youth who have been in contact with the juvenile justice system, providing intensive mentorship and teaching job skills.

In the interview, Davis reflected on the tragic deaths of Najee Thomas, 14, Keith Powell, 17, Timothy Hall, 15, and Adrian Gilliard, 17, remembering their lives and dreams, and describing their involvement with The Choice Program. He also discussed the systematic social and economic inequalities that lead to violence and how communities need to work together to solve these complex issues.

Davis also wrote an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun about the tragic deaths and called for holistic interventions to combat youth violence.

Click here to listen to the interview and here to read the op-ed.

UMBC Featured in The Baltimore Sun’s Special Section on Education

The Shriver Center’s Governor’s Summer Internship Program (GSIP) and the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems’ Costa Rica Field Course were featured in The Baltimore Sun‘s September special section on education.

Collin Wojciechowski ’13, political science and media and communication studies, and Michele Wolff, Director of The Shriver Center, were quoted in an article focusing on a hands-on approach to learning politics and government. Wojciechowski, who is currently special assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff in Governor Martin O’Malley’s office, said part of his experience that led to his job came thanks to GSIP: “It gives you a chance to directly shadow a whole range of people and specifically people who are higher levels directly,” he said.

The program introduces Maryland college students to the unique challenges and rewards of working within state government and interns work for ten weeks during the summer in state government agencies. Wolff said, “it’s really important for students to see the relevancy of what’s happening around them while they are in college,” adding, “through programs like this they see the relevancy of what’s happening outside the college experience. They see that not only does it have an impact on them, but they can have an impact on what’s around them.”

In an article focused on experiential learning, Maggie Holland, Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems, and Honors College student and environmental science major Clare McCauley were quoted about UMBC’s Costa Rica Field Course. The course provides students with service opportunities and field experience while being immersed in another culture.

“As I understand experiential learning,” Holland said, “it’s the whole toolbox. It’s about linking the classroom outward.” In describing her positive experience in the program, McCauley noted, “If I can’t plant some trees and get along with my neighbor, then all these sustainable, conservatory actions really mean nothing.”

To read complete versions of both articles, click below:
Learning politics and government hands-on
Experiential learning

Governor’s Summer Internship Program Holds Closing Ceremony Celebration

O'Malley with students 2

Gov. O’Malley meets with GSIP students after their presentations.

Another successful summer for the Shriver Center’s Governor’s Summer Internship Program (GSIP) came to a close with a celebration at the Maryland State House in Annapolis on Thursday, August 7. Student interns who participated in the program presented policy papers on significant issues in Maryland government to Governor Martin O’Malley and received feedback from the governor and his staff.

The Governor’s Summer Internship Program introduces Maryland college students to the unique challenges and rewards of working within state government. Interns work for ten weeks during the summer in state government agencies doing substantive tasks ranging from drafting speeches and correspondence to researching policy options and assisting with constituent case work. The program is led by the Shriver Center in partnership with the Office of the Governor.

O'Malley with Hannah, Michele and Roy

Gov. O’Malley with UMBC’s Roy Meyers, Hannah Schmitz and Michele Wolff

Colby “Ricci” Conley, a political science major, represented UMBC in the program and worked at the Maryland State Department of Education in the Division of Academic Policy and Innovation. At the closing ceremony, his team presented a policy paper that advocated for use of multi-tiered systems of support to address the emotional and psychological needs of students in Maryland. Other presentations from program participants included incentivizing energy efficiency in state buildings, bringing awareness to labor trafficking, improving secondary land use leasing contracts, and local growth for sustainability. UMBC Political Science Professor Roy Meyers worked with the students to develop their policy papers.

Other Shriver Center Public Service Scholars Programs came to a close at the beginning of August, including the Walter Sondheim Jr. Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program, which offers summer internship opportunities in the nonprofit sector to college juniors, seniors and graduate students attending Maryland institutions.

Several UMBC students were participants in this year’s programs. For a complete list of UMBC students and their mentors, click here. You can learn more about the Shriver Center Scholars Programs by clicking here.