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Discovery Scholars 2013

Christine

Christina Bartko
Major: Financial Economics; Minors: Music and Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Certificates: Preprofessional Studies Accounting and Management Accounting
Senior
Email Address: cbartko1@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Howard High School

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I decided I wanted to attend UMBC right before the deadline for acceptance because UMBC was actually my second choice. My first choice was located in Nashville, TN, and though I was accepted there as well, I decided to attend UMBC for financial reasons and because it was closer to home. I love UMBC and have never regretted my decision.

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I decided I wanted to attend UMBC right before the deadline for acceptance because UMBC was actually my second choice. My first choice was located in Nashville, TN, and though I was accepted there as well, I decided to attend UMBC for financial reasons and because it was closer to home. I love UMBC and have never regretted my decision.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
As I applied for housing the spring before my freshman year, I noticed the opportunity to apply to the DS LLC, so I did.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
My mom encouraged me to apply. At the time, I thought I knew what I wanted to major in, but after a lot of thinking, I ended up switching majors first semester of my sophomore year. Discovery Scholars provided me with resources and relationships to assist me in making an informed decision.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
Technically, I came in on the floor having met two people previously, but I did not know either of them well. However, I made many lasting friendships through the program. My roommates freshman year through junior year were all people I met through the Discovery Scholars.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
Not to give anyone any ideas, but with the help of friends I made on the floor and in Patapsco, I pranked my RA on April fools day my freshman year…a story for another day. Also, when I started at UMBC, I was not the best at recognizing sarcasm. I always assumed people were serious, and they’d be like "…Christina…haha", so my friend and I developed a hand sign to use whenever anyone was sarcastic to help me start to recognize sarcasm. Needless to say I taught it to almost everyone I knew at the time, and it helped A LOT. People started to think it was sign language though, haha.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
I think the most common question asked of new college students is “What are you majoring in?” I know it can be frustrating when you don’t yet know, or are not yet confident, in what you want. Discovery Scholars doesn’t dwell on questions regarding your major. Instead, it provides students with resources with the ultimate goal of figuring out what path is best for you. Not only is the focus YOU, but the program understands that determining that choosing a major is a gradual process, and not something most people wake up one day and know. Discovery Scholars provided me with countless opportunities to learn about myself, so I could make that decision for my future. I am looking forward to helping the new DS learn about themselves this coming year!
Also, the friends I made through the program played a huge part in my experience…they are incredible and I am truly blessed.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
The DS LLC played a large role in helping me find my place at UMBC. It was the community I was included in since the beginning, where I was encouraged to be myself and to pursue my passions. I still remember meeting Jill at my freshman orientation.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
Absolutely!!! I participated in the DS LLC my freshman year and enjoyed it so much that I came back as a peer mentor when I was a sophomore. I genuinely believe in its mission to both foster a healthy community and to help students learn more about themselves, discover which major is right for them, and ultimately be successful in their pursuits.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…
Green is my favorite color. I love mangos. I recently have been reading the Twilight series for the first time. A few years back, I earned my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. After graduating, I plan to move to Nashville, TN to pursue accounting by day and music by night.

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bently

Bentley Corbett-Wilson
Major: Music Education
Sophomore
Email Address: bentley.corbett@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Valley High School in Las Vegas, NV

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I wanted to be closer to my extended family, who told me that UMBC was a good choice.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I received a letter in the mail!

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I entered UMBC as an undecided student and figured that the extra advising and spending time with other undecided students would help me figure out what I want to major in.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
I knew nobody. I’ve definitely become really close to a few of them though. The people I hung out with most were from the floor.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
Let’s see, being trapped in the cabinet under my sink…choose your friends wisely.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
Getting to have awesome and effective advising with the Discovery Scholar advisors Jill and Laila!

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
It helped me to decide that I want to be a Music Education Major, which I now love!

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
YES! Even if you’re sure of what you want to major in, its a great way to be a part of a tight knit community of diverse students.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I love playing instruments, I want to become a band teacher, I’ve performed at Carnegie Hall and in China, I’m a Student Life Ambassador on campus, super involved with organizations such as SGA and (seb), a 2012 STRiVER, and I don’t like seafood.

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artem

Artem Korolev
Major: Computer Science
Sophmore
Email Address: artemko1@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Richard Montgomery High School

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I decided to go to UMBC in the summer of 2012 because I wanted the experience of living away from home and living on campus.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I hear about the DS LLC through the UMBC/OUE website.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I was unsure of my major and what I wanted to do with my life.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
I didn’t know anyone except Michael Wu when I first came, but I’ve made many friends during the year.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
I learned a lot about myself and matured a little bit along the way.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
My favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars was meeting classmates with similar interests and experiences.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
As I mentioned above, it helped me mature and made me start thinking about my future more.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
Yes.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
My favorite video games are Halo, Pokemon and Persona. I have a feverish passion for 90’s cartoons and I’ll do just about anything for steak and watermelon.

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Romario

Romario Lewis
Major: Biological Sciences, Minor in Sociology
Sophomore
Email Address: romario1@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
I attended Meadowbrook High School in Jamaica.

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
Well, I didn’t know about about UMBC when I applied. However, after applying and forgetting that I did, my father called me and told me about the school and that I should do my research on it. So I took the time to gain knowledge about the school, and it was perfect for my major so I started to like it.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
When I received my acceptance package I saw Discovery Scholars in the Living and Learning Community (LLC) section.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I decided to participate in Discovery Scholars because I was unsure of my Major entering college and I was very interested in exploring different fields in hopes of finding something I will love.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?

I Knew only one person through the FaceBook meet and greet page. I’ve made quite a few friends throughout the year on the floor. In addition, I can say that I know everyone on the floor.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
The most interesting thing that happened to me during my first year at UMBC was mentoring high school students at an inner city school in Baltimore. I give credit to the First Year Seminar (FYS) that I took my first semester as it helped me to have a smooth transition into UMBC.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
Meeting some great people. Oh and the LUNCHES !!!! You guys will be hip real soon lol.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
Discovery scholars was very beneficial throughout my first year both academic and network wise. Having a second advisor really helps in selecting the right classes and I felt as if that saved me.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
I would definitely recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students.

If something worked well for me, I would have no problem sharing my story with others, and DS LLC is one such story.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I am American by birth, Jamaican by blood. I’m currently on the UMBC Table Tennis team merely for fun and talent. I love Track and Field and my Caribbean Student Council Family! I’m an aspiring physician who loves Sociology and a great ambassador of DS LLC.

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Marissa

Marissa Piegols
Major: English, History, and Media & Communications Studies
Sophomore
Email Address: marissa5@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Arundel Senior High School (go Wildcats!) in Gambrills, MD

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
After my first visit, I pretty much knew UMBC would be the school for me. The campus is so beautiful and everyone I met was really friendly. After I was accepted, I also attended Scholar’s Day and got to interact with students, professors, and staff from UMBC. Meeting these people made me realize what a tight-knit community UMBC is, and that was important to me.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I knew I wanted to join an LLC, so I looked up the list on the reslife website and saw Discovery Scholars!

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
It honestly just looked like an interesting and unique experience. I also knew I’d be living with a lot of other freshmen who would likely be undecided, like I was at the time, and that appealed to me.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
I didn’t know anyone when I started, but I’ve made a bunch of great friends on the floor and they feel like family now. I’m actually taking a trip to France this summer with two of the awesome people I met on the floor, one who was a Discovery Scholar and one who was a mentor.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
Ha, this is a hard question. I don’t really know if it’s the most interesting thing, but one of my favorite memories is the silly “tea parties” me, Christina, Jess, Maeve, Ji-Sung, and Lu-Hua had. We wouldn’t let any of the guys come and would sit in one of our rooms and drink tea/eat junk food and catch up. The random movie nights were also a lot of fun – Eric and I wasted a ridiculous amount of time watching martial arts movies.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?

I think my favorite part was probably getting to meet all of the great people in the program, including Jill and Laila. The friends I’ve made through the program are a pretty big part of my life now, and I know I wouldn’t have met them had I not been a Discovery Scholar.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?

The one-on-one sessions are incredibly helpful. Jill encouraged me to apply for internships and jobs, and also helped me apply for the Honors College, which I am now a part of and which has led to other opportunities for me. We were also required to take a First Year Seminar as a part of DS, and I took Discussing Classics (FYS 101T) as a result. This ended up being one my favorite classes of the semester, and the professor, Dr. Irvine, was fantastic and actually wrote a letter of recommendation for me. The Discovery Scholars program pushed me to take classes I wouldn’t have taken otherwise, and I think it has made a difference in how I approach college.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?

YES, YES, YES! Especially if you have any worries about starting college. Discovery Scholars gives you the opportunity to get one-on-one help with Laila and Jill, and you get access to all of these other great resources as well, like the lunches/classes and the mentors. Being on this LLC also introduces a community aspect that is much more prevalent than on other floors. Some of my friends were really surprised how close so many people on the floor are, since their floors didn’t have the same dynamic. Discovery Scholars is a great program and I recommend it to everyone!

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?

I like tea, medieval literature, movies nights, chocolate covered strawberries, and owls. I have a little mini-garden in my room which I am absurdly proud of (Jess says my plants are my babies, which is probably true). I love reading and writing and am a bit of a neat freak. My favorite movie is a tie between Amelie and Princess Bride, while my favorite tv show is a tie between NCIS and Firefly. Don’t even ask me what my favorite book is because I won’t be able to decide. On campus I am a part of the Engineers Without Borders PR Committee and I work at the Cyber Incubator as an office assistant.

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Michael

Michael Wu
Major: Music
Sophomore
Email Address: mwu4@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Richard Montgomery High School

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I decided to attend UMBC due to its reputation in undergraduate teaching. I made my final decision to attend UMBC after visiting the campus and listening to students speak of their experiences here.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I learned about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community through my parents.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
Since I was undecided on my major and career, the DS LLC’s emphasis on helping students explore their academic and professional interests seemed like a perfect match.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
I did not realize until I moved on to the floor that a high school friend was also part of the DS LLC. However, I have also made many more friends through the program.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
The most interesting highlights of my first year at UMBC were watching a midnight premiere of The Hobbit, and becoming involved with the UMBC Humans vs. Zombies Club (HvZ).

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
My favorite part of being a Discovery Scholar was making friends with peers who were equally undecided about their futures!

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
The DS LLC provided a smaller, close-knit, and supportive community as a foundation for exploring the UMBC community as a whole. In addition, it was helpful to be surrounded by peers that shared a common experience in exploring our options for the future.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
I would recommend the DS LLC to new UMBC students because it provides a supportive environment for figuring out academic and professional options.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I prefer talking in person because the best way to communicate is in a three-dimensional setting. I also enjoy music, reading, and HvZ.

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