UMBC Retriever Talks

“In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made of.” ~ Howard Schultz

When an individual shares their story with the larger community, we can all experience what it means to make an impact. When we outwardly share our lived experiences of our values, we realize a sense of collective identity and belonging that is powerful, palpable, and vital in promoting a thriving workplace culture.

In 2018, UMBC experienced its first Retriever Talks, a series of engaging TEDx-style presentations featuring seven of UMBC’s most talented faculty and staff. Talks highlighted several of UMBC’s core values: community, inclusive excellence, and innovation. Through an engaging mix of stories, research, and applied experience, speakers brought each value to life, widened our perspectives, and invited us into a shared conversation of purpose and meaningful action.

In 2020, we recruited a second cohort of eight faculty and staff, this time focusing on the four values themes: Reach Together, Claim Your Future, Extend Beyond, Explore Every Angle. The program adapted to remote work and moved the 13-week leadership and speaker development program successfully online. We look forward to seeing you on June 2nd from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. for the Youtube live event! UMBC community members register here. Speaker friends and family, stay tuned for a link here the week of the event.

Want more information? Contact Jill Wardell at

Cohort II 2021 (06/02/2021)

Jeff Cullen:
It’s Time We Got Off
The Sidelines

    Jill Randles:
Listening as a Pathway to Presence

Diane Alonso:
Finding Our Strengths:
Using 2020 as a Catalyst for Change

Ray Soellner:
Watch Your Habits, They
May Become 
Your Thoughts

Eric N. Ford:
Mentee to Mentor

M. Antonio Silas:
It’s All in Your Mind:
Leveraging Fear as Fuel


Tory H. Williams:
Want to enhance inclusive
Try authentic communication.

Jasmine A. Lee:
Be Like Water


Cohort I 2018 (04/12/2018)

Lamar Davis

LaMar Davis: Who Was That Person?

Maisha Cron

Maisha Cron: On the Fast Track to Success-The Tortoise Edition

Kerrie Kephart

Kerrie Kephart: The Power of Words to Unite and Divide Us

Jacquelyn Thomas

Jacquelyn Thomas: Professional Development and the Audacity to Apply

Diane Zeenny Gorayeb

Diane Zeenny Ghorayeb: Re-born in the U.S.A.

Gal8na Madjaroff

Galina Madjaroff Reitz: I’m Still ME

Joel Dewyer

Joel DeWyer: Imagination: A Path Toward Changing How We Look At Things