Summer Enrichment Experience: Deadline for Early Registration Extended

15365064460_649cdd1abb_zThe Shriver Center’s Summer Enrichment Experience (SEE) has extended its early registration through February 16, 2015. Parents who register their children before February 16 are eligible for a $25 discount.

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.

Learn more about the various programs offered through SEE at

Michele Wolff, Shriver Center, and Stephen Freeland, INDS, in The Catonsville Times

Michele Wolff, Shriver Center, and Stephen Freeland, interdisciplinary studies, were featured in an article about UMBC’s new Summer Enrichment Experience in The Catonsville Times. The Summer Enrichment Experience (SEE) is a commuter day program through the Shriver Center which offers academic courses for middle and high school students.

Michele Wolff, UMBC Shriver Center DirectorWolff shared her goals for the program, saying, “The idea is to give the middle and high school students the opportunity to be on a college campus, but also the opportunity to have an interesting and exciting way to learn about the sciences or arts and humanities based content.”

Stephen Freeland, INDSFreeland, who will teach “Cosmos on Campus” at SEE, described the importance of exposing middle and high school students to a different way of learning science. “We teach them that science is about the steady accumulation of facts and that has no resemblance to what an actual scientist does,” he said. “That completely underestimates the creativity, the role of hypothesis testing- the whole point is investigating what we don’t know, not what we do know.” Instead, Freeland has designed his course to enable students to “ask important questions in a way that gives reliable answers.”

SEE will run from July 13- August 7. Registration is open and there is a discount available for UMBC faculty, staff and alumni. Visit to learn more.

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