UMBC has been getting a lot of buzz and popularity recently because of our groundbreaking success on the courts and fields, but what is not being talked about quite as much is the amazing work going on behind the scenes – off of the playing fields.
UMBC held its 22nd annual URCAD, Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day, on Wednesday, April 25. This event is designed to highlight the tremendous strides that the students have made in the classrooms, laboratories, libraries, etc.
Five Retriever student-athletes were invited to participate in this year's event. Courtney Culp, a sophomore at UMBC, is a visual arts major. She competes on the women's soccer team and is a part of the Linehan Scholars program. Courtney produced a short-animated video called, "Color of Me."
She was inspired to create this unique piece to "share my personal experience about how I felt regarding my cultural identity growing up." The film itself is very personal and it takes the audience through a time of self-reflection and acceptance.
Hannah Aris is participating in her third consecutive URCAD. Hannah is a senior majoring in biochemical engineering with a minor in Spanish, while also being a part of the Retrievers' track and field and cross country squads.
This year, she presented research called "Characterization of CMI-7000 Membrane for Implementation in Resource Recovery Systems." Her goal is "to reduce the amount of nutrients washing into major waterways in the form of chicken litter and fields that have been oversaturated with nutrients in the form of total release fertilizer."
Culp and Aris are proud of what they have been able to accomplish while being student-athletes. They both have had some major life lessons that came from their sport and would not be the people they are today if it was not for those years of training, games and meets. Many people do not know or understand the sacrifices that student-athletes make along the way and throughout their years in school. They are asked to push their bodies past the point of exhaustion, lift weights that exceed their strengths, act as role models, and are held to the highest of standards in the classroom.
The other student-athletes that presented at URCAD were:
Courtney Mattson, '18, biological sciences, (cross country/track and field, with her research, "The Role of Olfactory Cues in Male Mate Choice in Etheostoma zonale"
Jethro Ssengonzi, '20, mechanical engineering, (swimming & diving), with his research, "Surface Phenomena Driving Natural Surfaces"
Matthew Kane, '19, biological sciences (cross country/track and field), with his research, " "Scratching the Surface of Bahama Oriole Pine Forest Nesting"
Leigh Roth, '19, visual arts