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Retriever Talks Information

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” ~ Nelson Mandela, South African Anti-Apartheid Revolutionary, Political Leader, and Philanthropist

Retriever Talks is many things depending on who is doing the looking.

Externally it is a community-building public engagement event, a way for us to come together to celebrate, honor, and learn from our colleagues. To come together as a collective and learn how to walk the talk of our values in daily, everyday exchanges.

Internally, behind the scenes, it is a transformative personal and professional development program, a way to gain visibility, and a mechanism for enhancing your influence in both your personal and professional life. A way for you to develop and articulate your own unique, core message in a powerful, impactful way.

We encourage you, our faculty, non-exempt and exempt staff – regardless of your skill level and/or experience with public speaking – to apply for Retriever Talks.

We are continuing to look for stories, research, or big ideas that relate to UMBC’s collective values. This year, we are aligning with OIA’s new Core Themes & Narratives. We are looking for a total of 8 speakers, 2 for each theme track: Reach Together, Explore Every Angle, Claim Your Future and Extend Beyond.


Application Information:

  •  Submissions for talk proposals due January 31, 2020.
  •  The Staff Development Committee will review submissions and will communicate decisions by mid-February.

Program Components & Requirements:

  • Weekly curriculum comprised of related content, TED analysis, discussion, reflective & experiential activities, weekly assignments, coaching, peer mentoring, etc.
  • Required participation:
  • Thursday meetings starting March 26 until May 28, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Dress Rehearsal: June 3rd, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Event Day: June 4th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. followed by a Speaker Reception from 12:00 p.m.- 1:00 p.m.
  • Dress Rehearsal and Event to be held in the Proscenium Theatre in the Performing Arts & Humanities Building

Speakers will receive a professionally edited video of their talk for sharing with friends and family, on social media, etc.

Need more information? Contact Jill Wardell – Director, Workplace Learning, OD & Wellness – at or 410-455-1442.