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Discovery Scholars 2016

Katie Allison

Katie Allison

Major: Psychology
Sophomore
kal3@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Bel Air High School, Harford County

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I decided to come ultimately because I liked the feel of the place. It might sound cheesy, but the atmosphere I felt was very different from other schools. This place also has a lot of unique resources and programs.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I actually met Jill at a scholar visit day before I enrolled and she introduced me to the program and I was immediately hooked.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
As I was entering college, I had a lot of anxiety about the fact that I was undecided. I wanted to have some certainty about my future, but I couldn’t even pick a future career. So having this program gives me academic support as well as emotional support.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
I did not know any of the other discovery scholars before coming to school, and now many of them are my closest friends.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
Being in my first college musical was very interesting. I was so used to the way we did shows in high school and the club here is run so differently, so it was an adjustment but very easy and fun.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
Having an insta-community. Most freshman spend the first few weeks of college as lonely wanderers but the LLC gives you a pretty solid group of friends from day 1, and you all live together so it makes for some really strong connections.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
Being in Discovery Scholars greatly eased my anxiety about my future. In the fall I was so unsure and even frightened, but through the interactions I have had with the people on this floor I feel much more confident that whatever I choose to do will be the right choice.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
I would recommend this LLC to EVERYBODY, or at least those who want to explore their options. The connections and resources you gain through this program are invaluable and I don’t see myself surviving college without them.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
It might seem like all I talk about is musical theater, but I am actually passionate about a very wide range of subjects. I just love talking and interacting with different types of people, and I love to learn new things every day. I really enjoy being in nature, music of all styles, food, and board games. Ask me anything!

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Jeffrey Carr

Jeffrey Carr

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
Sophomore
jcarr3@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Severn School in Severna Park, Maryland

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
Selecting a college was very easy for me as I knew that I wanted to attend an in-state school. My decision quickly narrowed to UMBC and College Park halfway through my junior year of high school. I choose UMBC because of the high standard that the university holds of its students and I knew that there were opportunities to do undergraduate research. My mother is a UMBC alum, so I also had the family connection. There is also a Chick-Fil-A on campus, that’s pretty great too! Overall attending UMBC was the best decision I ever made.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I heard about the Discovery Scholars through my mother. She had co-wokers whose children attended UMBC and regretted not joining a LLC their freshman year. Although I did not apply for Discovery Scholars, Jill and Laila thought that I would be a good fit for the floor and as they say, the rest is history.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I choose to participate in the Discovery Scholars LLC because I knew that I would surround myself with other forward thinking students who had interest in exploring other majors in an attempt to find their best overall fit at UMBC. By surrounding myself with these students, I was able have the most productive freshman year possible on campus.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
I did not know anyone applying to the floor during the application process; however, when I arrived in August I recognized a few familiar faces. Adam and Gavin were two older friends who I had not kept in contact with, and Ben was someone that I vaguely knew from the Maryland Magic: the Gathering community. Over the course of the year I was able to interact with everyone on the floor in some capacity, and I am delighted to call some of those people my friends now.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
My first year at UMBC was so incredible that it is hard to narrow down to one thing that was the most interesting. If I had to choose one, I would say that changing my major from Mechanical Engineering to Interdisciplinary Studies was the most interesting thing that happened. Although I was succeeding in Engineering, I found that I had no passion for the subject. The Discovery Scholars class introduced me to major exploration and the INDS program, and I am adamant in my belief that I would not have found out about INDS if not for the Discovery Scholars.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
My favorite part of being included in the Discovery Scholars program was the relationships that I established with others on the floor including both peers and other freshman. By living together, going through Welcome Week together, and having class together we bonded as a group. The relationships established on the floor transcended academics, though that was a crucial part of the year, and brought a group together that did not know each other nine months ago.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
The Discovery Scholars eased my transition to college more than anyone will every know. By having both a peer mentor and a class that helped me acclimate to life on campus, the transition from living at home and attending a private high school to life on the UMBC campus could not have been easier. The floor also brought us together, and the relationships formed were invaluable. I had people to study with, people to work out with, people to eat with, and people to just hangout and be a kid with.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
Yes, no question! The program is not for everyone, especially those deadest on what they want to do; however, for the majority of incoming freshman the exposure to resources on campus and assistance in the transition to college is invaluable. I would especially recommend the program to those nervous about college life, or those students who are very undecided regarding their academic pursuits at UMBC.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I’m 19 years old and I’m from Linthicum, Maryland. I’m majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus in Economics and Statistics. On campus I’m a part of the Chess Team and I will be serving as a Woolie for the 2016 Welcome Week. Outside of school I enjoy games of all sorts including Magic: the Gathering, League of Legends, and chess. When I’m not in class or playing games, I’m usually around a sport of some kind. As a former baseball player and an avid fan of the Orioles, Ravens, and Heat, I am constantly surrounded by sports and they play a large role in my life. Something interesting about me is that I have a large hat collection and that I plan to visit every (Major League Baseball) ballpark to further expand that collection. To find me on campus, visit Chick-Fil-A, I’m there a lot!

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Andy Clark

Andy Clark

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
Minors: Social Welfare and Legal Policy
Sophomore
clar2@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Vocational school in Pennsylvania

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
Night before acceptance was due; pretty much knew I’d end up in the DC/Baltimore area, but I got a feeling about UMBC. Don’t know how to describe it. Just felt right. Also, we’re in a hub of activity. Baltimore is right here, and there are so many service opportunities and forums for discussion and diversity. I just couldn’t pass it up. My final choice was down to several schools: UMBC, Penn, and University of Montana. I found that UMBC was the best fit for me.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I saw the selection on the housing form while I was registering for school.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I wanted to be part of a LLC because I wanted to know people here in Baltimore and have friends. I can be very introverted at times, but I had decided to be an extrovert. Knowing the people on my floor was the perfect way to prevent myself from secluding myself.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started?
Have you made friends through the program? No; yes

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
Got to work in West Baltimore with a group of students to help start a community garden; became President of The Garden and started a new organization

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
I had a group of people with whom I could become friends who lived on the same floor. Though I wasn’t always able to go to outings with the group (because of how much I work and my late night classes), I enjoyed being able to do game nights and have a network of people with whom I could converse and confide in at all hours of the day/night.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
I made friends and had buddies with whom I could do things. Dr. Tice’s class opened me up to the Social Work field, which I didn’t know had a major at UMBC.

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

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?

  • I’m in 9 clubs on campus, I have 3 jobs, and I STILL have a social life…somehow.
  • I have a certification in Plant Science/Horticulture/Floral Design.
  • I plan to be a farmer and beekeeper at some point, and I also want to work for the Washington Post or the New York Times one day.
  • I’m awful at tying my shoelaces, and wearing socks is a real burden on my life.
  • Most useful skill I learned from my freshman year: how to shuffle a deck of cards

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Kelsey Day

Kelsey Day

Major: Psychology and Media & Communication Studies (Double Major)
Sophomore
kels4@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Southern High School, Harwood, MD

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I was accepted into the Sondheim Scholars program at the end of my senior year in high school. Although I was on the fence about coming to UMBC Sondheim was what sold me.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I was filling out my housing application, I knew someone who lived on the Linehan artist floor and had heard a little bit about LLC’s and that one specifically. When it came time actually apply for housing I was not as certain I wanted to eat, sleep, and breathe art. I wasn’t really certain of anything, but I wanted to be a part of something. Discovery Scholars was pretty much the perfect fit in that sense.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I was frankly very lost, and wanted to join a community of equally as lost people. Like the blind leading the blind… (not really).

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
I didn’t know anyone coming into the program, but I found it easy to get along with and make friends with our diverse interdisciplinary group. I also made a lot of friends outside of the floor, which is okay too.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
I attended a lot of small shows at cool venues in Baltimore, and was introduced into the underground music scene. I found my niche here, I got to see my friends perform in bands, join my own bands, and have the most fun I’ve ever had.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
We got to have a lot of fun together, going to events and workshops, and becoming a little family. It was really helpful to build that sense of community for all of us initially, which helped all of us eventually branch out a little more.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
Discovery Scholars gave me a lot of opportunities to take advantage off all the resources UMBC has to offer, it sounds cheesy but without being introduced to a lot of the stuff on campus many people don’t even find out about it.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
I would recommend Discovery Scholars to anyone who is even the slightest bit uncertain in what they want to do, it sounds scary to be wavering anywhere else, but here its okay. DS lets you find your bearings, without expecting you to know you want to be pre-med through and through from day 1.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I love art, mostly creating it. I really love learning about and creating film, and have made a few short films already. I am really into Baltimore’s music scene and I spend a lot of my time going to shows and hanging at practice spaces. My hobbies include destroying the patriarchy and being the comic relief in any situation. I love to travel, and have been quite a few places but I hope to study abroad. I am a lot less boring in person than I am when I write about myself, I promise.

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Gerardo Herrera-Cortes

Gerardo Herrera-Cortes

Major: Visual Arts: Graphic Design B.F.A.
Sophomore
gherrer1@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Parkdale High School

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I applied to UMBC because it was the only in-state university that I thought would be a great fit for me because of its size and its distance. On May 1st, I finally chose UMBC because of gut feeling.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I heard about the DS LLC because it was on the application.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I decided to participate in the DC LLC because I was extremely undecided about my major at the time and had no idea how to go about finding out what it is. I was hoping that the LLC would help with my indecisiveness.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
I knew no one in DS when we started. But now after the first year of college and living together, I have made so many friends through the program.

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 was running for a seat in SGA Senate. It was a very new experience, tense environment, and one worth going through!

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
My favorite part about being part of DS (aside from finally deciding my major) was being able to become friends with so many people on and off the floor; the LLC really helped set that foundation on how to get involved on-campus.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
DS helped me decide on my major, get involved with student organizations, take a leadership role and learn what leadership is through resources they gave us, and be able to stay academically afloat through my first year of college. Also, helped me go outside of my introvert lifestyle and go outside.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
ABSOLUTELY! No doubt! It’s an experience you can never forget.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I’m a Mexican immigrant and a first-generation student. I love black coffee and tea. I’m a vegetarian and my favorite color is royal purple.

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Laura Huang

Laura Huang

Major: Sociology
Sophomore
LHuang4@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Patterson Mill High School

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I decided at the end of my senior of high school, and I picked UMBC due to the moderate size of campus, it’s proximity to my house, as well as the variety of clubs and programs I had heard about.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
I read about it on the ResLife website, and it seemed interesting, as well as a good way to make connections on campus.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
The program was an easy way to be involved on campus, and I would be able to meet others who are similar 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 coming into Discovery Scholars, but I am glad to say that I can call many other Discovery Scholars as some of my best friends.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
The Student Events Board (SEB) often puts on events, and Breakfast and Bingo was one of them. A few of us from the floor would attend every so often, and we could win some super cool prizes! I won a pillow, Becca won a stuffed whale, and Carly won a big bag of Lucky Charms marshmallows!

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
My favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars is the friendships that bloomed from the proximity of living close together, as well as sharing a similar experience through the FYS. It was also nice to have free food at all of the Discovery Scholar events, and the Study Day relaxation event was well anticipated.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
The DS LLC provided me with ample resources that I could use in order to help my development at UMBC, as well as creating a community of friends that I felt at home with.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
Of course! It doesn’t cost anything to be a part of, only a class during the fall semester, and DS LLC provides us with a plethora of resources that one may not know about else wise.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?

  • I love to travel, I’ve been to England, France, Italy, Canada, and China!
  • My favorite color is blue (all the various shades, not just a specific shade).
  • I was the only person in my (high school) graduating class to attend UMBC.
  • I am the oldest of 3 children; I have a brother who is 18 and a sister who is 11.
  • Binge-watching shows on Netflix is my specialty, my favorite shows include (but not limited to) Doctor Who, How I Met Your Mother, and Gossip Girl.

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Becca Mann

Becca Mann

Major: Social Work
Minor: Cultural Anthropology
mannr1@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
Governor Thomas Johnson High School

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
Spring of Senior year in High School; liked UMBC because of location, career oriented, diversity, honors school

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
On the housing application

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
Wanted to explore options for careers, learn about campus resources, be part of a community when I didn’t know many people starting school

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
Didn’t know anyone from the program, have made a lot of friends on the floor

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
Halloween! We dressed up, went trick-or-treating, and went to Rocky Horror Show

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
All the people on the floor and creating a community

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
Access to resources, lasting friendships, and the attitude that it’s okay to be unsure at times

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

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?

  • I enjoy traveling quite a bit outside the U.S. and am a foodie
  • I like outdoor activities, music, and museum trips

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Naseem Redmond

Naseem Redmond

Major: HAPP, Psychology,
Minor: EHS
Sophomore
mikialr1@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
H.E.L HIGH!!!, (Lackey)

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
When me and my best-friend’s decided to apply to each other’s top schools. I got in and it’s cheaper than Howard.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
Through the housing application process.

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
Seemed very interesting and a good opportunity.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
No, I did not. Yes, I have had the pleasure of meeting some very cool people.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
Seeing the diversity on campus.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
Being apart of an LLC, and working with Laila and Jill.

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
It has helped me to navigate the university better.

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

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?

  • I have a love/hate relationship with the outdoors.
  • New York is my third home.
  • I am a Pescatarian (seafood only)
  • I belong to these campus clubs:
    • CSM Unchained Muses, Modeling Coordinator
    • CSI, Collegiate Success Institute participant
    • UMBC African Student Association, Modeling Team
    • UMBC Ethiopian Eritrean Student Association, Member
    • UMBC STRiVE
    • UMBC Cultural Showcase, Black Unity Chair
    • UMBC Caribbean Student Council, Dance Choreographer
    • UMBC Black Student Union, Chief of Staff

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Carly Socha

Carly Socha

Major: Psychology
Sophomore
carl8@umbc.edu

Where did you go to high school?
I went to Seneca Valley High School. Ever since I was a junior, I knew I wanted to come to UMBC because I felt like this is just where I’m meant to be and I absolutely love it here!

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I first heard about the Discovery Scholars LLC when I did my housing application last year and I was really interested. I recognized one of the Peer Mentors from my high school and it was very reassuring to know that I already knew someone before coming onto campus. I’m very grateful for the DS LLC program because it made me feel welcome to UMBC and helped me as an awkward freshman make friends. The best part about DS LLC is having the opportunity to meet with, work with, and learn from people different from you. I absolutely recommend it to any incoming freshman who are even slightly unsure about what their major is or what they want to do.

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?
I also love to play soccer, lacrosse, and just about any game. I enjoy listening to music, watching TV and/or movies, and philosophical conversations. I’m excited to meet new people and I can’t wait to be a Peer Mentor!

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Stanley Wang

Stanley Wang

Major: Biochemistry, Interdisciplinary Studies, Public Health
Junior
stanley6@umbc.edu

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

When and why did you decide you wanted to attend UMBC?
I decided to attend UMBC during my senior year of high school after I received all of my acceptance letters. I decided ultimately on UMBC because I realized just how stratified higher education is becoming these days, with tuition rates constantly on the rise and people seeing a greater value in private education. UMBC offered a strong academic program while providing the close knit community of a liberal arts education, and all while promoting the sort of higher education that should be widely accessible to all.

How did you hear about the Discovery Scholars Living Learning Community (DS LLC)?
At Scholar Visit Day

Why did you decide to participate in the DS LLC?
I wanted to live in a community that could help me become the best version of myself. College is a new frontier and the first step in it is a stride in humility. Look for others who share your interests and who may be able to help you in areas where you find yourself lacking in.

Did you know anyone else in Discovery Scholars when you started? Have you made friends through the program?
No, I did not know anyone in the LLC when I first joined, but I would say that many of my closest friends now are from my cohort freshman year. We continue to support one another as we move forward in college.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your first year at UMBC?
We had a blizzard during the middle of the year and there was a good amount of snow on the ground. So many of us took whatever we had in our dorms to go sledding down the hill on the North Side of campus when classes were cancelled for that day. The ground was really icy and we ended up using wave boards as sleds at 3am on a school night.

What was your favorite part of being part of Discovery Scholars?
Having people to adventure around campus with and run fun activities with

In what ways did the DS LLC experience help you at UMBC?
The LLC helped me in many aspects. For one, it helped me become more engaged in the greater UMBC community to a point where I could become not only a student, but a leader among my peers and a contributing citizen to the community that exists around UMBC. As well, I learned a plethora of interesting survival skills pertaining to being a college student during the First Year Experience class that goes along with the LLC.

Would you recommend DS LLC to other new UMBC students?
Definitely, but only if you want to enjoy your UMBC experience

Tell us a few interesting things about yourself…?

  • Interesting Facts: Finished 2 triathlons now and one biathlon, learning how to fly a plane in order to get my private pilot’s license, like badminton, fencing, and photography
  • Favorite Cartoons: Jimmy Neutron and Courage the Cowardly Dog
  • Favorite Movies: Harry Potter III, Lilo and Stitch
  • Favorite Food: Anything with the word berry in it
  • Favorite Way to Relax: On a Couch with Nutterbutters and Reruns of Scrubs on Netflix
  • My dream is to become an astronaut and join the 2030 missions to explore human habitability on Mars

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