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Class of 2024

Hello! My name is Taylor Phelps and I’m planning on majoring in either History or Anthropology. I have always had a passion for learning and would like to enter a career which allows me to continue my education. As such, I have been considering working at a museum, but at the moment I am unsure of what I want to do because I have too many interests. Throughout high school I most enjoyed history and science classes, as well as psychology, human geography, and creative writing. I did not participate in as many extracurricular activities as I would have liked to, but I was the president of the creative writing club and a member of the gaming club, both of which are hobbies I enjoy in my spare time. I also enjoy hiking, visiting museums, and traveling.
Before applying to UMBC and the Humanities Scholars Program, I never would have thought I had what it takes to go to a university. When I was accepted, I felt that the path to achieving my goals had opened up. Although I have yet to truly experience what attending UMBC is like, I can tell from the level of support shown both by the staff and other students that I will have a wonderful time. I am very excited for the opportunities offered by the Humanities Scholars Program to better myself and pursue my interests and passions. I would love to make a positive difference in the world and I know that UMBC will help give me the skills and ability to do so.


Hey guys, my name is Dillon Nesteruk, but I also go by Dilldawg. I am Ukrainian and also a part of the Men’s soccer team at UMBC. I will be a media and communications major with minors in finance as well as entrepreneurship and innovation. My dream is to become a professional soccer player. If that doesn’t work out, I desire to become a marketer for some sort of club or team that way I can still be connected to my passion: sports and competition. My free time is spent being active or helping out with my church. I particularly enjoy being a counselor during vacation bible school. That position provides a sense of leadership and responsibility, and on top of that you’re dealing with a bunch of little kids which is a struggle on its own, for many reasons.  Something I would like to flex is all the opportunities to travel that I’ve been able to experience throughout my youth soccer career. I was able to travel to a variety of countries including Ukraine, Brazil, and England. And through these opportunities, I observed very different and unique cultures which not many can say they have done. I look forward to the Humanities program because of the travel abroad experience. I hope to visit a new country and observe a new culture to develop my understanding of different groups of people that exist on this beautiful planet.


Hiyo, it is me, Sydnee Conigland, a Computer Science and English double major. Now, I know what you are thinking: “What a weird combination!” Well, hold your horses, I have a grand plan of becoming a video game designer and writer (or editor). Therefore, besides simply growing in these passions, I believe these two majors will bring me closer to achieving that dream.
Growth, intellectual and personal, is the reason why I attend UMBC and am a Humanities Scholar. I seek to grow in my passions and find those with which I could share them with. I cannot wait to experience the educational opportunities (for example: optional lectures and field trips to the theater) where I can nurture my curious mind in the pursuit of learning all that interests me. Interacting with cultures, people, and opinions that I am unfamiliar with is something I also look forward to!
For some other rapid Sydnee fun facts: If you couldn’t already tell or guess, my favorite subject is English. In my final year of high school, I was leader of my school’s Robotics club. I was also a head figure in its literary magazine and STEM Steering Committee. In my freetime I love love love to read, write and play video games. Though more on the academic side than personal, the achievement I am most proud of is being top of the class in Forensic Science my junior year, because I love everything pertaining to the topic (mystery, true crime, etc.).


Hi! My name is Sophia Possidente and I’m an incoming freshman at UMBC. My major is currently undecided, but I’m leaning towards some combination of Anthropology and Media & Communications. I was also accepted into the Visual Arts program for photography, so I’m definitely considering a double major within the arts.
My favorite subjects in high school were… (wait for it…) Anthropology and Photography. Starting in sophomore year I went to community college as a dual enrolled student, so I was able to take a lot of diverse and unconventional subjects during high school, including Criminology, Screenwriting, and Audio Production. Outside of school, I played a lot of soccer (badly), joined a choir (briefly) and did a lot of theater, both onstage and backstage (no complaints). I also got involved with film, and during junior year a project I wrote, shot, and directed was featured in the 2019 CCBC Film Festival.
The way I spend my free time has shifted dramatically since quarantine, but right now I like to bake, watch Netflix, and write music. The thing I’m most excited for in the Humanities Scholars program is study abroad! For UMBC as a whole, though, I’m really looking forward to living independently on campus for the first time.


My name is Enya Carter and I’m double-majoring in Individualized Studies and Modern Languages & Linguistics with a two-language track in Spanish and Korean. Growing up in a multicultural environment made me realize the power of learning foreign languages. Spanish was my favorite subject in high school. I also taught myself American Sign Language (although, I’m not fluent) and participated in a weekly event at my local cafe called Deaf Brunch where participants only speak in ASL.
However, I have many other interests besides foreign languages, which is why I’m majoring in Individualized Studies. Because I was born with cerebral palsy, a lot of my free time during high school was spent in Occupational and Physical Therapy, which made me interested in Health Administration and accessibility for disabled people. I hope to explore both of these topics in my Individualized Studies major.
In my free time, I like to use Duolingo and try to figure out Korean grammar through Duolingo’s subpar explanations. I also like to write extremely gay poetry and fanfiction. My writing often leads me to scroll through baby name websites and look up when the full moon in September 1971 was because yes, the werewolves in my story need to transform on the correct date.
The thing I’m most excited to do at UMBC is research. I hope I can combine my interests like Spanish and Occupational Therapy and apply them to the real world so I can help other people. In regards to the Humanities Scholars program, I’m excited to interact with a bunch of other nerds who are interested in a variety of other topics. As a writer, I know how great gushing about your passion is, so hopefully, my cohort can do the same, and together we can make the world a little happier.


Hello! My name is Isabel Taylor and I’m interested in majoring in English and French. Throughout high school, classes in the humanities were always my favorites but English, French, and Anthropology stand out the most. My English teachers and the diverse selection of texts we explored sparked my love for reading and writing creatively. My dream is to have a career in writing, so I hope to incorporate creative writing into my English major or study it as a minor. As for French, my interest in the subject started because of my school’s IB program and its focus on global education. I’ve really enjoyed learning not only the language but also learning about different French cultures. I got a chance to explore this interest further when I traveled to Guadeloupe in my sophomore year. This is why I’m so excited to be able to study abroad as a part of the program. I’ve also developed a passion for social justice through my anthropology classes and my decision to go on my school’s Civil Rights Trip, where I traveled across the South visiting civil rights movement landmarks and museums, meeting with activists, and having conversations about current civil rights topics. Even though I’m not certain yet how this looks academically, I know I want to incorporate this into my education in some way. I’m from Baltimore City, which is definitely a large part of my identity, and I went to Baltimore City College High School. I was involved in lots of sports, including soccer, swimming, and track. In my free time, I love to listen to/explore new music, go thrift shopping, read, watch tv shows, and go out with my friends. I’m really excited to meet everyone in the program this fall and I’m also really looking forward to the topic of the first year seminar.


Hi all! My name is Natalie Guingrich, and I am a MLLI Major, concentrating in Russian and an Honors Scholar. Languages and linguistics are as interesting, diverse and unique as the people and cultures that are influenced by them. The links between languages and cultures fascinate me with their complexity. In high school, I dipped my toe in a lot of different aspects of academia. The major theme was history, but I also enjoyed chemistry, environmental science, and, of course, languages. My school only offered Spanish, but it was by far one of my favorites. I was able to be a part of the Mock Trial team my sophomore year, as an opening lawyer. My junior and senior years I was a part of three theatrical productions. In my gap year, last year, I studied Russian in Chisinau, Moldova for 7 months as a part of the NSLI-Y scholarship program. While there I went to a local high school for the second semester and attempted to go through 11th grade chemistry class in Russian. I also lived with a host family, which taught me more than I ever thought would be imaginable. Although we ended up needing to leave in March rather than May, it is still one of the most important experiences of my life. Other fun facts about me include that I adore Shakespeare and reading, as well as any form of the culinary arts. I look forward to being able to expand my knowledge of languages and culture at UMBC and with my Humanities Scholars peers!


Hello! My name is Gina Khan and I am an incoming freshman to UMBC. I am currently planning to be a Global Studies and Psych double major with a minor in Korean language. I have always been a curious person, and I love to study subjects where there is always more and more you can learn and observe. I like to think of it like I stretched my curiosity as far as it could go and it encompassed both the earth and the rest of the universe. The inestimable benefits of understanding others are why I have chosen to study these areas. I am extremely passionate about linguistics because I believe in the rewarding qualities that understanding a foreign language has on the individual. Through learning language, one may come to understand a new culture and further consider their own; this allows one to relate and connect with a more diverse group of people and themselves on a deeper level!
I thoroughly enjoy subjects such as music, math, psychology, sociology, philosophy and language. I participated in many music-related extracurriculars in high school since I love to sing and play the violin. In my free time, I love to crochet, listen to music, sing, and study language. In 2019, I traveled to Prague on a choir performance tour with my school. It was so fascinating and beautiful to learn about the history and culture there. By traveling to a foreign country, I confirmed my strong passion for culture, language and exploration.

I am looking forward to being a Retriever and a Humanities Scholar because I am excited to learn more about myself and others in such a wonderful and diverse university! I am so excited to meet everyone and grow together!


Hey, everyone! My name is Sarah Nove, and I’m super excited to be a part of the Humanities Scholars program. As anyone who knows me will attest, I adore all things related to stories and storytelling. I am a strong believer in the power of stories as a tool to promote empathy and social change, which is why I am majoring in English. I hope someday to follow a career path that will allow me to help others share their stories, though I am not exactly sure what path that is yet. For most of my life, I wanted to be an archaeologist, focusing on piecing together stories from the past. I spent summer after summer attending, and later working at, a local archaeology camp, where I made many lifelong friends and formed much of my identity. However, a few years ago, I realized that archaeology was no longer my dream. Around the same time, I took a Journalism class and joined my school newspaper. Soon enough, the newspaper classroom became my home away from home, and I spent every possible minute there, writing and editing articles. Given my passion for journalism, I thought a job in communications was where I was headed. However, when the pandemic hit, I started questioning how much bad news I could stand to hear, let alone report. Now, some three or four months into quarantine, I don’t know where I’m headed, but I am excited to find out.