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.

UMGC Faculty Help Students Cope with Challenges, Solve Problems During Pandemic

In many homes, a kitchen table is a place where families gather to eat, celebrate and sometimes work out solutions to problems. 

“A kitchen table is a strong symbol of comfort and a place where you don’t have to be anyone but yourself,” said Edwin Sapp, a 25-year UMGC adjunct professor and past winner of the Stanley J. Drazek Teaching Excellence Award.  That is why, during his spring business Decision-Making course, he created a virtual kitchen table—a safe place where students could share their concerns and support one another during the global pandemic.Continue Reading

More than 7000 Global Graduates Are Celebrated as UMUC’s Greatest Achievement

University of Maryland University College celebrated its 2018 Summer-Fall Class of global graduates—more than 7000 strong—about 1400 of whom walked the stage to receive associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees at two separate Winter Commencement ceremonies at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland, Dec. 15.  In all, this class of graduates represented 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and 20 countries and territories.Continue Reading

UMUC Cyber Padawans Need Your Vote

As controversy continues to swirl around votes cast during the U.S. presidential election more than three weeks ago, the Kaspersky Lab Cyber Security case-study competition organized by the Economist magazine, now underway, is demonstrating the positive role that technology can play in democracy—including the development of a secure digital voting system. And that’s exactly what UMUC’s Cyber Padawans and teams from around the world, including local rivals George Mason University and the Maryland Cybersecurity Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, are competing to design.Continue Reading