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Discovery Scholars 2012

Joshua

Joshua Franklin
Major: Political Science and French
Sophomore
Email Address: josh22@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Westlake High School

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I was interested in attending a school within the University of Maryland system. UMBC has a good reputation in academics, a nice sized campus, and a developing student life sphere.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I actually just noticed the option on the housing application and went for it!

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in, so this program seemed like a great idea. Why not get some free extra help, right?

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
I didn’t know anyone else in the program starting off, but now my best friends on campus are several other Discovery Scholars.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
I founded the university’s French Club!

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
Living on the same floor and hanging out with the other Discovery Scholars, and having Laila’s fantastic advising!

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
The special advising sessions probably affected the course of action that I’m taking. I know what direction I’m going in now, and Discovery Scholars definitely had a part in that.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
Absolutely. I think the program is perfect for incoming freshmen, and makes “being new” much easier. You get special advising, it’s a chance to meet new people, and there are free lunches once in a while (;

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…
Hey, I’m Josh.
I’m a dual French-American citizen, and love almost everything about France. I did crew for a little bit last semester but left it to pioneer the new UMBC French Club (which several Discovery Scholars have since joined). I have a beta fish in my dorm, his name is Abyss (poor guy was so sad at first), and he is an amazing little dude. I’m really interested in world news and what goes on around the international stage. At the same time, I did a lot of theater and some photography in high school, and love the arts. Also, I love Monopoly (which Bianca loves).

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Ji-Sung

Ji-Sung Kwon
Major: Biological Sciences
Freshman
Email Address: jikwon1@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
River Hill High School (Go Hawks!) in Howard County, Maryland.

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
To be honest, I was not sure which school I wanted to attend until the last minute. However, after hearing a lot of people saying that UMBC has good science programs and offers relatively small classes, I finally decided to attend UMBC.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I had been interested in living on one of the LLC floors. So, when I was getting more information about the LLC programs on the ResLife’s webpage, I found out about the Discovery Scholars LLC.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
Because I was not sure – and still am not sure – what I really want to do with my life, I thought that getting involved with DS LLC and living on the same floor with a variety of people would help me find what I want to do after college and later, and I’m very glad that I decided to participate.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
Absolutely no, I didn’t know anyone else in the program. I still remember how awkward we were when we all met for the first time for our first floor meeting on the first day we moved in. However, as my first semester at UMBC progressed, I started to hang out with the people on the floor, and then we became friends!

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
Hmm, it’s really hard to choose; so many interesting things have happened this year. Since I got involved with many student organizations at UMBC, I’ve had a lot of chances to interact with other people and attend some great events. But if I really had to choose one, I would say that joining the Student Events Board (SEB) was the most interesting thing that happened during my first year here. As a committee member of SEB, I got to design flyers for some of the on-campus events and volunteer at some fun events.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
LAILA AND JILL – our lovely Discovery Scholars advisors! They have been a huge help since the beginning of my first year here; their advices helped me greatly with my academic life and social life as well.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
As I said in the previous question, advices from our DS LLC advisors really helped me in many ways, and the bi-monthly lunch meetings were helpful too. I got a lot of information about service-learning opportunities and many more other stuff through DS LLC.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
Oh yes. Why wouldn’t I? JOIN US!!

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I’m Biological Sciences major, but I love art more than science/biology. I moved from South Korea to the United States about 6 years ago. When I first moved here, I couldn’t speak English at all, but I learned English by watching SpongeBob SquarePants, Fairy OddParents, and pretty much everything aired on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.

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Yasmine

Yasmine Massac
Major: Psychology
Freshman
Email Address: yasmine2@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C.

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I wanted to go somewhere close to home, but not too close and UMBC ended up being on the list of my top three schools. Originally it was my sister’s top choice and after hearing her talk about it so much I looked into it. When we came to visit I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere, plus the fact that it’s so close to Baltimore. After my sister ended up going another school in Baltimore, but I decided to stick with UMBC because I loved the campus and area so much and it also allowed me to be closer to her and not too far away from home.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I saw it in my housing application, I originally applied for another LLC but in the end the Discovery Scholars turned out to be the best option.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I had heard that being a part of an LLC made the transition to college easier and DS seemed like the best place for me.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
No, I didn’t know anyone when I first started. But after just a few months in the program I’ve made some really great friends and we get along so great, it feels like we’ve known each other for years.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
I’m not sure if this is appropriate, but it’s definitely fun and interesting to watch Yinka and Josh attack each other on a regular basis. Also, our weekly Glee Nights, in which we all gather in Yinka and Bianca’s room and watch three straight hours of TV, including Glee and two other sitcoms. In addition, we have weekly movie nights where we take a break from homework and studying to slack off and watch old movies.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
The free massages and lunches during meetings, being exposed to new and fun opportunities and getting to know Laila of course!

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
It helped me branch out and do things that I probably never would have done on my own and the advisors are extremely helpful and reliable. They are always there when you need them and are willing to help you with any problems you might be having with scheduling, classes, and other advisers, etc.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
I would definitely recommend it to other UMBC students. It’s a great place to make new friends and have lots of fun, and the advisors and monthly meetings are extremely helpful!

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I am a die-hard Gleek and a nerd. I enjoy reading novels and writing my own short stories and occasionally poetry. I have a weird obsession with Selena Gomez (don’t ask me why because I honestly don’t know either). I enjoy messing with Josh’s hair, watching Yinka and Josh fight and attack each other on a regular basis, and randomly dancing on tables. Also, I like playing twisted versions of Monopoly in which the Wonder Twins and Soviet Australia are allowed and Joshua Franklin loses everything. My favorite color is purple, I love listening to music and watching movies (and Glee), and I love being outside, but only when the weather is warm.

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Yinka

Olayinka Opesanmi
Major: Biology
Freshman
Email Address: oola1@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Chrisland College

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
It wasn’t really my decision but now that I’m here I honestly enjoy all the things UMBC has to offer.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
During my application for housing.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I decided to join an LLC and Discovery Scholars appeared to be much more diverse and less restrictive then the others. It has a little bit of everything in it.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
Nope, I became great friends with them before mid-semester even came around. I can’t even remember how we first started hanging out with each other because it feels like we’ve been good friends for so long.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
Our random cooking nights (which aren’t always successful )

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
The variety of events we participated in together and lunches. We even got to have free massages (courtesy of Laila and Jill :] ).

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
The advisers for the DS floor were a huge part in helping me at UMBC. They gave us tips on everything and even introduced us to the opportunities at the shriver center. Currently I volunteer weekly at College Gardens, which is a lot of fun.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
Yes! Everyone is so different and unique, which is exactly why we get along with each other so well.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
Like I said , I volunteer at College Gardens, I eat just about everything, love to travel, attended boarding school in Nigeria for high school, wouldn’t mind if I was offered a job to be a food or movie critic, frustrating Joshua Franklin has become a hobby for me, I’m not that great at typing….., I have a great roommate (Bianca the geisha), I have an addiction to lychee jellies and my favorite color is turquoise.

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Tori

Victoria Pearson
Major: Spanish
Freshman
Email Address: vpearso1@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Queen Anne’s County High School on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. (I’m the farmer girl)

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I decided to attend UMBC because I liked the easygoing, diverse campus and the size of the school.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
When I signed up for housing it was an option to apply.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I felt that being involved with a living learning community would be beneficial for my first year on campus (which it very much has been). I particularly was interested in the Discovery Scholars community because of my variety of interests and an inability to decide on how to apply them to a major. The meetings and our wonderful advisors have been very helpful with that particular aspect!

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
I did not know anyone in the program when I first got here. I have made many, many friends through this program. We’re a tight knit group and its been great to be so close to people on the floor.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
I recently was casted in a one act play, which I’m rather proud of, being that I’m not affiliated with the Theater program in any way until now.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
My favorite part about being a member of this LLC has most certainly been the people. I have had such a great time living (and learning…ha!) with the people on this floor and the leaders of the LLC.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
I’ve been able to explore what major I’d like to end up being a part of a lot more freely than if I had not been a part of this program. It has introduced me to a lot of resources and a lot of programs that I would have otherwise had to discover on my own.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
I would definitely recommend this wonderful program to new students! I think it would be beneficial for most anyone, but definitely if you’re iffy on your major.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I very often feel like quitting college to write children’s novels. I love the Spanish language and theater. Discovery Scholars has been a great time so far and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year. I’m a member of the French club and I’m currently in a One Act Play run through TheatreCOMM. I’m a film and book junkie. My suitemates (Bianca, Yinka and Josh) keep life interesting and we play far too many too intense games of monopoly. Do not make deals with josh; he is the shadowman. I am happily anticipating making the incoming freshman crafts and brownies. 😀

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Bianca

Bianca Varela
Major: Psychology
Freshman
Email Address: mwu4@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
North Point High School, in Waldorf MD

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I decided to attend UMBC the moment I came to visit on Scholar’s Day – I fell in love with how cozy the campus was, and how nice everyone seemed to be. It just seemed like such a positive environment compared to the other campuses I visited.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I was signing up for housing, and saw that we could sign up for LLCs, so I researched each one and saw DS to be the perfect fit!

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
All through high school, and even in college now, I was never sure what exactly I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and I liked the fact that there was an actual program on campus that could help me explore all my options – so, I decided to join!

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
No, I didn’t know anyone entering the program, but I quickly made friends – we all practically live with each other now!

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
The most interesting thing that has happened to me during my first year definitely has to be exploring Baltimore with my floormates, getting lost on the MTA bus system, and trying to find our way home before midnight!

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
The people – I’ve made friends that I think I’ll keep for years!

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
The advising sessions with Laila have really helped me gain a footing on the person I want to become in college. Without her help, I don’t think I would’ve had as much of a positive experience my first year than I am now.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
Yes, yes and yes! This program has exposed me to new experiences, new friends, and a new outlook of my own life that I will definitely cherish for the rest of my college years! All incoming freshman should absolutely apply! 😀

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I’m Bianca, and I was born and raised in Waldorf, Maryland. I am a self proclaimed plant enthusiast (even after the unfortunate incident in which I left all my plants at home for a week, and they all died due to neglect) and hater of monopoly (which Josh makes me play). I play guitar and piano, write a fair amount, and I am a professed bookworm. On campus, I am the treasurer of the French Club, and I am currently taking German. On my spare time, I like to watch foreign films and buy energy drinks from Outtakes.

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