UMGC Teams Up with Embry-Riddle to Increase Opportunities to Earn Bachelor’s Degrees

Two household names in military education have teamed up to provide overseas students with even more options to reach their educational goals. The new “2+2 Program” announced by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and University of Maryland Global Campus allows students to earn an Associate of Arts degree at UMGC and seamlessly transfer 60 credits to Embry-Riddle for the completion of a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree: https://erau.edu/degrees/bachelor/aeronautics.

Embry-Riddle’s Nancy Tran-Horne (Left) and UMGC’s Patricia Coopersmith.

The schools signed the agreement in August 2021, and enrollment in classes is open at military education centers across Europe and Asia. The partnership allows students to choose from a variety of modalities and face-to-face options.

“We’re committed to providing military members in Europe and the Pacific an opportunity to succeed in their educational goals by enrolling in UMGC’s local general education courses,” said Embry-Riddle’s Executive Director of Campus Operations Nancy Tran-Horne. “This program will set them up for retention and success with our aviation curriculum in order to support their professional career advancement.”

Both schools have waived application fees for program participants. Prospective students are encouraged to stop by their local on-base education center to speak with UMGC program coordinators or Embry-Riddle representatives for more information.

“UMGC is honored to work with Embry-Riddle on this partnership to provide an even broader array of educational options and services to the military community overseas,” said UMGC Europe’s Associate Vice President and Deputy Director, Patricia Coopersmith.

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Campus Locations in Europe and the Pacific

U.S. service members and their families can find the educational resources they need to become a successful student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide’s European and Pacific campus locations. Embry-Riddle’s flexible learning options, talented instructors, and knowledgeable staff can help you develop the skills you need to get ahead in your military career and beyond. If you are not affiliated with the United States military but are interested in Embry-Riddle Worldwide in Europe, please go to our ERAU Europe Campus website.

Reporters worldwide contact Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for content experts in all aspects of aviation, aviation business, aerospace, engineering and STEM-related fields. Our faculty experts specialize in unmanned and autonomous systems, security and intelligence, air traffic and airport management, astronomy, human factors psychology, meteorology, spaceflight operations, urban air mobility and much more. Visit the Embry-Riddle Newsroom for story ideas.

Embry-Riddle educates 33,500+ students at its residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona, at approximately 125 Worldwide Campus locations and through online degree programs. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report named Embry-Riddle Worldwide the nation’s No. 1 provider of online bachelor’s degree programs.

About University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)

UMGC is the state of Maryland’s open-admissions university. With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, the university offers high-quality, affordable, accessible undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs as well as non-degree certificate programs in online and hybrid formats. In 1949, UMGC became the first institution to send faculty overseas to teach active-duty military personnel at installations in Europe.

The university expanded overseas operations to Asia in 1956 and to the Middle East in 2005. UMGC now offers classes and education support services to military personnel and their families at 175-plus locations in more than 20 countries. Over half of the university’s current students are active-duty military personnel and their families, reservists, members of the National Guard and veterans.

President Biden Appoints Two Prominent UMGC Alumni to Leadership Roles

By Gil Klein

President Biden appointed two prominent UMGC graduates to federal boards in September – Florent Groberg to the American Battle Monuments Commission and Ginger Miller to the United Service Organization (USO) Board of Governors.

“On behalf of our global university community, I congratulate our distinguished alumni on these honors,” said UMGC President Gregory Fowler. “They are part of a long-standing and honorable UMGC tradition of alumni first serving their country with distinction in the military and then returning as civilians to offer their talents in further support of our nation.”

Capt. Groberg (U.S. Army, Ret.) was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama for tackling a suicide bomber while on a mission in Afghanistan in 2012. He suffered severe leg injuries when the bomb exploded, but his selfless act saved the lives of several people around him.

While recovering from 32 surgeries at Walter Reed Military Hospital, Groberg completed a UMGC Master’s degree in Intelligence Management.

Groberg now leads the Microsoft Azure Global Government M360 Mission Solution Team, which works with governments worldwide to identify key missions and systems that should operate on the Azure Cloud. Microsoft Azure Government is a mission-critical cloud, delivering breakthrough innovation and security to U.S. government customers and their partners.

The American Battle Monuments Commission is an independent federal agency that oversees permanent U.S. military cemeteries, memorials and monuments both inside the United States and in other countries. It is responsible for maintaining military cemeteries for 140,000 veterans as well as maintaining memorials for more than 94,000 service personnel missing in action or lost or buried at sea.

Ginger Miller graduated from UMGC in 2012 with a master’s in Non-Profit and Association Management. Hitting a low point in her life as a homeless disabled Navy veteran, she turned herself around, graduating from Hofstra University with an accounting degree and then following her passion in running non-profit groups.

She became a White House Champion of Change for Women Veterans and president and CEO of the Women’s Veterans Interactive, which enables and empowers women veterans to get the support and resources they need to succeed in their post-military lives.

She now serves as an Advisory Board Member at the Northwest Federal Credit Union and previously served on the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as the chairwoman of the Prince George’s County Veterans Commission,

Commissioner on the Maryland Commission for Women, and as a member of the Maryland Caregivers Coordinating Council.

Founded in 1941, the USO is the nation’s leading organization serving the men and women in the U.S. military and their families throughout their time in service with their assignments and deployments as well as during their transition back to their communities. Famed for its entertainment shows bringing Hollywood talent to soldiers fighting overseas, the USO has more than 200 locations in 13 countries and 27 states.

Groberg and Miller have both served as student keynote speakers at UMGC graduation ceremonies.

UMGC Cyber Team Enters Fall Season with a Victory at Parsons Capture the Flag Competition

Adelphi, Md. (October 8, 2021)–The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) cyber competition team placed first in in a recent capture the flag (CTF) tournament sponsored by Parsons Corporation, a global provider of cyber and converged security services.

At the Sept. 28 event, which attracted cybersecurity professionals and students of all skill levels, UMGC scored 4,300 points to beat out 10 other teams and take first place. The winning UMGC team included current student and active duty Air Force member John Cole, as well as recent alumni Paul Chilcote, Alex Barney and Jonathan Woodward, who all received their undergraduate degrees from UMGC. 

“Our win in this Parsons event was particularly meaningful because the team fell out of first place with only 24 minutes left, but then regained the lead for good and won by only 100 points,” said Jesse Varsalone, associate professor of Computer Networks and Cybersecurity at UMGC and coach of the competition team. “The victory was a testament to the highly developed skills of the students and alumni who participated.”

The Parsons jeopardy style CTF event tested participants’ skills on a range of relevant topics, including network forensics, coding, web hacking, cryptography, analytics, penetration testing, malware analysis, algorithms and reverse engineering. Typically an in-person event, students participated in this Parsons CTF competition remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions. “In the face of the pandemic, UMGC has continued to grow its team and compete in remote events at the highest level and the Parsons competition, based in Denver Colorado, is yet another example,” said Varsalone.

Established in 2012, the UMGC cybersecurity team is composed of students, alumni, and faculty who compete regularly in digital forensics, penetration testing, and computer network defense scenarios that help them gain experience to advance their cybersecurity careers. To prepare for competitions, students detect and combat cyberattacks in the university’s Virtual Security Lab and work through case studies in an online classroom. Through its history, the team has received numerous top honors, including recent first-place finishes in the 2021 Maryland Cyber Challenge and the 2020 MAGIC, Inc. capture the flag competition. 

About University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus is a world leader in innovative educational models with award-winning online programs in biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, information technology, and other high-demand disciplines in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace. With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, UMGC offers open access with a global footprint and a specific mission—to meet the learning needs of students whose responsibilities may include jobs, family, and military service. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs, including doctoral programs. A pioneer in distance education since 1947, UMGC is harnessing the power of learning science and technology to deliver accessible high quality, low-cost higher education.

UMGC Names Sharon Fross as Vice President and Dean of School of Arts and Sciences

Adelphi, Md. (Sept. 30, 2021)—Sharon L. Fross, PhD, has been appointed the new vice president and dean of the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) School of Arts and Sciences. Fross has served for nearly 3o years in leadership roles across higher education, dedicating her career to making colleges and universities accessible to adult and first-generation learners.

“UMGC is one of the few national institutions that has been committed to adult and military learners since its founding. I am thrilled to join such a preeminent institution−especially, at this critical time as the pandemic continues to change the needs of adult learners,” Fross said. 

The School of Arts and Sciences at UMGC offers degree programs that can be easily customized with a variety of minors. Students and alumni stay connected through lifetime career services and a strong global community that can greatly aid professional networking. 

“The nature of work is changing right before our eyes, along with the expectations of employees and employers,” said Fross. “Adult learners and employers know they can rely on UMGC to put learners first and to respond quickly and thoughtfully to these changing needs. I am excited to join the UMGC community of faculty and staff who do everything possible to foster the continued success of our learners.”

Fross holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Public Administration from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. She earned her doctorate in educational administration from the University of South Carolina.  

“Sharon brings extensive experience developing online, credit and competency-based curricula, stackable credentials, and student pathways to meet workforce needs,” said UMGC Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Blakely Pomietto, when announcing Fross’ appointment. “She is adept in creating collaborative teams to revise and develop new programs.”

About University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus is a world leader in innovative educational models with award-winning online programs in biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, information technology, and other high-demand disciplines in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace. With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, UMGC offers open access with a global footprint and a specific mission—to meet the learning needs of students whose responsibilities may include jobs, family, and military service. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs, including doctoral programs. A pioneer in distance education since 1947, UMGC is harnessing the power of learning science and technology to deliver accessible high quality, low-cost higher education.

UMGC Student Joins Board of The Maryland Association of Health Care Executives

Adelphi, Md. (Sept. 3, 2021)— A graduate student in health care administration (HCAD) at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) has been named the first student board member of the Maryland Association of Health Care Executives (MAHCE).

The student, who asked only to be identified as Kaitlyn, was elected to a one-year term on the MACHE Board of Directors.

“The election of Kaitlyn to the MAHCE Board as the first student member is a wonderful testament to the value and recognition the Maryland Health Care Executive community assigns the UMGC Global Health Management and Administration (GHM&A) programs and alumni,” said Liliya Roberts, MD, program director and professor of GHM&A. “Kaitlyn, an HCAD student sitting on the board of this prestigious and well-recognized professional organization adds additional pride to the UMGC GHM&A programs and the students.”   

Kaitlyn, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Towson University, began her graduate studies at UMGC in 2020. She anticipates graduating in 2022 and is a student member of the MAHCE.

“After working in a clinical setting for about five years, I realized that health care was where I wanted to build my career. But instead of doing clinical work, I wanted to make a difference not only in the lives of our patients, but in the lives of the staff taking care of those patients,” Kaitlyn said. “When I stumbled upon the Healthcare Administration Master’s Degree Program at UMGC, learned the details of it and what it could mean for my career, and then applied it to my existing skills, I realized that the administrative side of health care was for me.

“One of my HCAD professors posted an opportunity for students to get involved in the MAHCE as the student board member and, after taking a chance, I was nominated,” she added.

MAHCE, founded in 1973, fosters professional development and collaboration among health care professionals. The organization is a local member of the Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, an international professional society.

“This nomination has already given me the opportunity to connect with health care executives that provide real-life insight to the existing trends in the health care system. Working alongside my fellow board members, I can delve into the world of health care administration and apply my learning not only to my schoolwork but to my future career endeavors,” Kaitlyn noted.

“Being connected to health care through my schoolwork, my job, and as a student board member with the MAHCE, I am able to build the skills I will need to help lead our health care system.”

University of Maryland Global Campus Names Chuck Trierweiler Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President for Admissions

Adelphi, Md. (August 16, 2021)–University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) has named Chuck Trierweiler, a senior marketing executive with more than 30 years of experience in higher education, technology, and consumer goods, as chief marketing officer and senior vice president for admissions. He began his new position on August 2. 

Trierweiler will serve on the university’s Executive Committee and lead the Marketing and Admissions unit, responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive, global approach to marketing and admissions that aligns with the university’s overall strategy, strengthening the student experience and shaping how UMGC engages with prospective learners all the way to graduation. 

Chuck Trierweiler

“Chuck is a true professional with a long track record of driving growth across multiple industries, including higher education,” said UMGC President Gregory Fowler. “I look forward to his insight and leadership as we work together to strengthen our student experience, expand our reach, and improve lives and communities around the world.” 

Trierweiler most recently served as global head of product marketing and vice president for ibml, a market-leading technology company focused on information capture and intelligent, high-speed scanning. Prior to that role, he served for 15 years in higher education, first at Capella University in marketing and business management and more recently as chief marketing officer and executive vice president for the Education Corporation of America, a 71-campus college system. 

“I am very excited to join an institution with such a strong history of focusing on the needs of adult learners, and I look forward to expanding UMGC’s mission of transforming the lives of students across the globe,” said Trierweiler. 

Earlier in his career, Trierweiler held leadership roles in marketing with the $8 billion grocery retail division of SuperValu Inc.; with subsidiaries of the Alberto Culver Company in Illinois and Stockholm, Sweden; and with the Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors in Detroit, Michigan.  

A graduate of Michigan State University with an MBA from the University of Michigan, Trierweiler has won multiple advertising awards, including three ADDYs; the Cannes Advertising Awards, Bronze Lion; and second prize in Sweden’s Advertising Effectiveness competition. 

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University of Maryland Global Campus Meets Growing Demand for Data Scientists with New Bachelor’s Program

Adelphi, Md. (August 11, 2021) — University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) will begin enrolling students in a new Bachelor of Science program in Data Science in Spring 2022. The program, offered through the School of Cybersecurity and Information Technology, responds to growing industry demand for skilled data science professionals at the bachelor’s degree level.

The demand for skilled data science professionals exceeds supply by 50 percent, and the shortage is expanding. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 11.5 million data science jobs will be created by 2026.

“As a pioneer in online learning, UMGC is one of a very few universities to offer an online bachelor’s degree in data science,” said Douglas Harrison, vice president and dean, School of Cybersecurity and Information Technology at UMGC. “Traditionally data science programs have been offered exclusively at the master’s level, but we’ve heard loud and clear from our corporate and public sector partners – and employment market reviews by organizations such as Glassdoor, Forbes and Gartner back this up – that data science is rapidly becoming ubiquitous across all sectors of the economy and generates incredible growth in job opportunities for graduates at the bachelor’s level.”

“The Bachelor of Science in Data Science program aligns with an expected surge in demand for machine learning, deep learning, Python, Tableau, artificial intelligence and natural language processing,” said Elena Gortcheva, professor and director of the data analytics program at UMGC. “The program aims to produce graduates who are ready to respond to the emerging need for skills in those areas.”

Graduates of the program will earn a certificate in Business Analytics upon completion of the first five courses in the program. The degree helps fast track careers in a range of private and public sector industries, including banking and financial services, sports and entertainment, health care, technology, manufacturing, retail, and government.

UMGC faculty in the Bachelor of Science in Data Science program are expert scholar-practitioners in all aspects of the field. They include principal data scientists at National FFA Organization, IBM, GE and Oracle Healthcare, as well as a chief information officer at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Center.

About University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus is a world leader in innovative educational models, with award-winning online programs in disciplines—including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics and information technology—that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical global workplace. With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, UMGC offers open access with a global footprint and a specific mission to meet the learning needs of students whose responsibilities may also include jobs, family and military service. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, including doctoral programs. A pioneer in distance education since 1947, UMGC today is harnessing the power of learning science and technology to deliver high quality, low cost, accessible higher education.

UMGC Awarded New Five-Year Contract by U.S. Dept. Of Defense to Continue Providing Educational Services to Military Personnel in Middle East and North Africa

New Contract Extends UMGC’s Presence in the Region that Started in 2005

Adelphi, Md. (August 10, 2021) — University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) was awarded a new five-year contract by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide educational services to troops on military installations in the Middle East, North Africa and downrange locations that may be in active war zones. UMGC has been providing educational services in those regions and other downrange locations for the last 16 years, with the first courses taught in Afghanistan in 2005.

The new contract, which began on July 13, covers coursework and management of testing centers at 10 sites in seven countries, including Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates. In addition to undergraduate liberal arts programs, active-duty military personnel located in these locations can take courses in select master’s degree programs.

“We are deeply proud to continue our service to those who wear the uniform of our country in this pivotal region of the world,” said Maj. Gen. Lloyd “Milo” Miles (U.S. Army-Ret.), senior vice president for Global Military Operations at UMGC. “It’s a testament to the quality of our faculty and staff and their dedication to the success of our students.”

The Middle East and Africa contract extends through academic year 2025-2026. UMGC also holds contracts to offer instruction in Europe and Asia. The university first began sending faculty to Europe in 1949 and to Asia in 1956.

 “We have been educating our active-duty military servicemembers overseas since shortly after the end of World War II,” said UMGC President Gregory Fowler. “It’s a commitment that is at the core of our historic mission to serve adult learners wherever they are in the world.”

About University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)

UMGC is the state of Maryland’s open-admissions university. With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, the university offers high-quality, affordable, accessible undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs as well as non-degree certificate programs in online and hybrid formats.

 From its inception in 1947, UMGC has been guided by its historic mission to bring education within reach for adult students in the workforce and the U.S. military in Maryland and around the world—students for whom a traditional education is impractical or impossible.

In 1949, UMGC became the first institution to send faculty overseas to teach active-duty military personnel at installations in Europe. The university expanded overseas operations to Asia in 1956 and to the Middle East in 2005. UMGC faculty have taught in the war zones of Vietnam, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

UMGC now offers classes and education support services to military personnel and their families at 175-plus locations in more than 20 countries. Over half of the university’s current students are active-duty military personnel and their families, reservists, members of the National Guard and veterans.

University of Maryland Global Campus Promotes Kristophyre McCall to New Role as Chief Transformation Officer

Adelhi, Md. (July 27, 2021)—University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) has promoted Kristophyre McCall to the newly established role of chief transformation officer.

In this new position, McCall will oversee innovation, enterprise program management (ePMO), and information security, and will serve on the university’s executive committee. McCall will also be responsible for driving forward critical business and technology processes, products, and programs that will support the university’s academic and administrative priorities.

“Kris has been successful in optimizing key processes and operations that have strengthened our services for learners worldwide,” said Nicholas Eremita, UMGC chief of staff and senior vice president for strategy. “He has led a variety of other initiatives to improve efficiency and effectiveness in service to our students, and we look forward to his vision and leadership in this new role.”

Kristophyre McCall

McCall came to UMGC in 2018 as vice president for academic operations and led his teams to record-setting performance, even in the face of challenges presented by the pandemic. He has worked across Academic Affairs and with other institutional partners to develop the Straightline Paths for UMGC’s undergraduate programs based on real-world student data and behavior and extended the university’s capacity to expand and optimize student transfer pathways.

“I am excited to take on these new responsibilities and this new position,” said McCall. “Our education offerings and the way we operate are destined to change as time passes, and it is imperative that we prepare for the future of education. Our goal is to establish a level of agility that allows us to continuously improve upon our vison, strategy, operations and culture, even as we position ourselves to seize new opportunities in an ever-changing educational landscape.”

McCall has spent his career developing new and innovative ways for educational organizations to adapt and transform the way they handle operations while focusing on great student experiences and outcomes. Prior to UMGC, he served in senior leadership positions in university operations for Pearson Online Learning Services, Western International University and American Intercontinental University.

From 2003 to 2008, McCall was vice president of operations and student management at Career Education Corp., where he was a member of the Group President’s executive management team and led the daily operations of the student management process across three institutions in the group.

McCall holds a BS in Economics from Northern Illinois University and a MSM in Business Management and MSM in Project Management from Colorado Technical University.

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University of Maryland Global Campus Names Martina Hansen to Lead New Division as Senior Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer

Adelphi, Md. (July 14, 2021)–University of Maryland Global Campus has announced that Martina Hansen has been promoted to senior vice president and chief student affairs officer. 

In this role, Hansen will lead the university’s new Student Affairs division—recently created to consolidate key academic and administrative student support functions across the university—focusing on increasing persistence, retention, and the institution’s various measures of student success. She will oversee enrollment management, regional center operations, academic support and new student experience functions, tutoring, the Effective Writing Center, library services, student resolution, student communications, retention and engagement initiatives, career services, and virtual lab support for students. 

Martina Hansen

“Martina Hansen has a track record of building and leading student-centric teams that create positive experiences for our learners, as well as a passion and enthusiasm for serving our students,” said UMGC President Gregory Fowler. “I look forward to her vision and leadership in this new role. I am also confident that our new structure will position us to be more focused and effective in supporting our students and to more deliberately reflect our value of ‘Students First.’” 

Hansen joined UMGC in August 2018, initially serving as vice president of student retention and later as vice president of student affairs. She has led the design, implementation, and improvement of programs to continuously enhance academic student services and student success. 

“UMGC has made great strides over the past year in enhancing services and support available to our students,” said Hansen. “I look forward to building on that to ensure the best experiences and outcomes for our diverse learners by maintaining focus on what our learners need to succeed and ensuring that they have the right support throughout their journey, along with the confidence to achieve.” 

Hansen came to UMGC with more than 18 years of experience in enrollment management and operations. Previously, she served as vice president of operations at Delta Career Education Corporation. In that role, she was responsible for centralized operations, information technology, PMO, application development, training and development, and procurement. Simultaneously, she served as a regional vice president of campus operations, with profit and loss responsibility for 17 of Delta’s campuses. At Delta, Hansen carried out several strategic operational transformations, migrated the organization to a new academic model, and led enterprise technology integrations. 

Before that, Hansen served as vice president of continuous improvement at Career Education Corporation, where she implemented strategies to improve student success and persistence, served as a liaison between departments, and worked to ensure the effectiveness of new growth and student experience initiatives. 

Hansen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing and communications from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in technology management from Georgetown University.