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. We continue to align with UMBC’s  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 December 1, 2022.
  •         Please include the following:

o    The track in which your talk is most closely aligned

o    Short talk description – what is your talk about, any key messages, experiences that you will be drawing on, research, etc. Note: Talks will be between 8-10 minutes in length.

o    Audience take-aways – what core idea you want to impart to the audience, ways they can apply the learning, etc.

o    Any additional information you would like the committee to know – why you want this opportunity, what you will bring to the cohort, etc.

The Staff Development Committee will review submissions and will communicate decisions by mid-December.

Join in on the community conversation and develop your voice in Retriever Talks 2023.


Program Components & Requirements:

  • Weekly curriculum comprised of related content, TED analysis, discussion, reflective & experiential activities, weekly assignments, coaching, peer mentoring, etc.
  • Required participation:
  • Friday meetings starting February 10 until May 12, from 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Dress Rehearsal: May 16th, from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Event Day: May 17th from 10:00 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 Recital Hall in the Fine Arts 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.