Job Well Done Award Recipients Fall 2022

Job Well Done Group Photo

Graduate School Welcome Event

Project Members:  Megan Dignan, K. Jill Barr, Jennifer Dress and D. Mike Suica (not pictured)

The Graduate School hosted its first ever “Welcome Event” this August. The orientation program was previously moved to a completely online format based on demand as well as the pandemic effects of limited contact with large groups. But we knew that we had the largest incoming group of graduate students in the history of UMBC and wanted to find a way to welcome them. So we planned a large series of events using multiple campus spaces to accommodate both the size of the crowd as well as offering various activities.

Our goal was to simply provide a kickoff event to let new graduate students know they were welcomed to campus.  We knew that, based on Fall 21 experiences, students were hungry for community, for t-shirts(!), and for a chance to just feel connected. With over 20 university partners during our Community Fair, with the support of the President’s Office (President Sheares Ashby spoke in person), help from the GSA, and the support of folks in Student Affairs for space, and Chartwells for food, we were able to welcome 550 new graduate students on that day. This was more than twice the number we have had in the past.

This was the first event of its kind. It was double the size of any event we have had in the past.  The new students walked away with both a smile on their faces, and a UMBC tote bag filled with UMBC goodies!  All in all, both the students and the UMBC staff who participated or volunteered during the event walked away with positive vibes and what we hope was a good start to their semester.