Inspiring Messages Come Out on Top (Literally) at UMGC Winter Commencement

The University of Maryland Global Campus Class of 2020 winter graduates attended commencement virtually this year, but that did not stop them from celebrating. Each year, the mortarboards atop graduation caps are adorned by inspired grads, showing their creativity and telling the story of their individual educational journey. This year was not any different. Several weeks prior to the virtual commencement ceremony, graduates were invited to participate in a cap decorating challenge.

Invitations went out to UMGC winter graduates and voting opened on Nov. 18. Grads were able to share their entries on their social media channels to encourage their friends and family to vote for their cap. Voting was encouraged throughout the challenge period, which ended on Dec. 16. Anyone could vote once per cap in a 24-hour period and return to vote again after 24 hours. With 91 caps entered, these graduates collectively gathered 17,897 votes. 

The winner was announced on Dec. 19, the morning of virtual commencement, and was featured on the UMGC virtual commencement website. Marcus Johnson received 4,256 votes for his inspired cap featuring the phrase, “Smart Enough to Save the Day.” Michelle Freeman’s cap took second place with 3,181 votes and Christina Holt’s cap gathered 2,560 votes to place third.

Freeman said the creation of her cap was a family effort; she got help from her niece and nephew to complete it. “I thought this was a great gesture on behalf of the university to get us excited about our ceremony. Although we could not have a formal ceremony due to the pandemic, this friendly competition built up momentum day by day to our virtual ceremony,” she shared.

Holt, who encouraged people to vote for her through her social media channels, said she entered the competition to showcase her crochet artistry.  “I am amazed at how many people came forward to support me during this competition and I am appreciative of every vote I received!”

While Johnson has bragging rights and is featured at the virtual commencement ceremony, all participating graduates are winners, finishing 2020 with a milestone accomplishment.

Student Commencement Speaker Advocates Lifelong Learning

Susana Hernandez brought good grades home from her Maryland high school, but school officials never nudged her toward college. Her immigrant parents wanted her to continue studying, but they didn’t know how the U.S. higher education system worked. Hernandez, a teenager at the time, was daunted by scholarship and financial aid applications.

It took Hernandez 15 years after her high school graduation to return to a classroom—at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)—pursuing a Bachelor of Science in business management, with a minor in small business entrepreneurship. At UMGC’s 2020 Virtual Winter Commencement, not only will Hernandez graduate cum laude and as a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Tau Chapter Honor Society, but she will give the student commencement speech.  Continue Reading

Pillars of Strength Scholar Finds Silver Linings in the Pandemic

For Lauren Warner, the agony of the Coronavirus pandemic has had at least a couple of silver linings.

Warner, who cares for her wounded Army veteran husband, completed a UMGC Master of Science degree in management this semester with the financial help of a Pillars of Strength scholarship aimed at caregivers like her.Continue Reading

University of Maryland Global Campus to Host Virtual Winter Commencement 2020

Online Ceremony to Include Keynote Address by Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks

Program to Go Live Beginning Saturday, Dec. 19, at 12 p.m. EST

Adelphi, Md. (Dec. 7) — University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), the nation’s largest online public university will premiere its special 2020 Virtual Winter Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 19, beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern standard time. The approximately 25-minute program, which honors the more than 7,500 stateside graduates worldwide who completed their degree requirements in summer or fall 2020, will be available for on-demand viewing by graduates, their families and friends anytime—and from anywhere.Continue Reading

UMGC’s Simonsen Tells Maryland House Panel of Ways to Combat “COVID Slide” in Schools

Closing schools during the coronavirus pandemic has exposed inequities in the education system that need to be fixed even after students return to the classrooms, University of Maryland Global Campus Education Program Director Monica Simonsen, Ph.D., told Maryland House Ways and Means subcommittee members at a Nov. 19 hearing.Continue Reading

UMGC Takes Home First and Third Place in MAGIC International Capture the Flag Competition

Adelphi, Md. (Nov. 17, 2020)—On Saturday, Nov. 7, University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) cybersecurity competition teams claimed 1st and 3rd place, as well as three additional top 20 places, in the Ninth Annual Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC) Competition, a capture-the-flag (CTF) event that included more than 190 students across the United States and Estonia.Continue Reading

Many Paths Lead to a Cyber Career but Continued Learning, Passion, Lead to Career Success Experts Say

Breaking into the field of cybersecurity can be daunting. Likewise, the difficult decision of whether to follow a technical or management and policy route is, perhaps, equally overwhelming. Choosing the right path, said a trio of former University of Maryland Global Campus students, often depends on one’s academic and professional goals.Continue Reading

UMGC Honors Veterans, Marks 75 Years Since WWII’s End, With Virtual Ceremony

To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the University of Maryland Global Campus annual Veterans Day ceremony saluted that generation of GIs—and those among their ranks who also were the originators of the university and its commitment to educating veterans and active duty personnel the world over.Continue Reading

US Secretary of Energy Among Seven Alumni Honored by UMGC Alumni Association for Outstanding Service

The 2020 Awards Event Marks 30 Years of Honoring UMGC Alumni

Dan Brouillette ’95, the 15th U.S. Secretary of Energy, was one of seven University of Maryland Global Campus alumni honored by the UMGC Alumni Association for their exceptional service to the university.Continue Reading

UMGC to Host Veterans Day Virtual Ceremony, Nov. 11

“This Veterans Day, whether you celebrate it solemnly or festively, please take a moment to remember those men and women who have worn the uniform of this nation throughout its history,” said Major General Milo Miles (U.S. Army, Ret.), senior vice president of Global Military Operations at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC.) “It is a privilege to serve them and an honor to serve beside you.”

Miles’ remarks are a fitting conclusion to a compelling, personal reflection about his family’s history of military service, including his father’s service in three conflicts, beginning in Japan with the U.S. Army’s occupation forces at the end of World War II.Continue Reading