Class of 2026


Hello! My name is Kendal Howell, and I’m from Prince George’s County, Maryland! I am super excited to be a sophomore at UMBC! I am double majoring in Africana Studies and Sociology. As a young business owner, I would like to further continue entrepreneurship and use the knowledge gained from these majors to continue serving my community. In high school, I played volleyball for all the in-person years and was a National French Honor Society member. In my free time, I love to do my hair, read about self-care, and hang out with friends. I also love to travel and am beyond excited to participate in the study abroad opportunities with the Humanities Scholars Program. Throughout my life, I’ve traveled to France, Switzerland, Italy, Montreal, and Quebec, and I hope to explore the world as much as possible. Experiencing different cultures and social climates have always been fascinating to me. I am fluent in French and would love to continue learning new languages.  I look forward to joining new clubs, especially the ASL club because I’ve always wanted to learn sign language. In the Humanities Scholars program, I am thrilled to meet more lovely people with similar interests and the research opportunities in the program.

Hello! My name is Jean Kim and I am currently a sophomore majoring in Global Studies. I truly had a rich first year at UMBC, filled with learning and community. The Humanities Scholars Program is such an inspiring place to be, which encouraged and gave me the space to grow this past year. From teaching yoga at the RAC to interning at the MGA House of Delegates, I have been able to explore many of my passions that I thought were too diverging. Discovering the interconnections of my different interests allowed me to learn more about myself and become even more passionate about learning! I’ve also learned so much by being involved on campus. At school, I am an intern for the Retrieving the Social Sciences podcast, a yoga teacher at the RAC, a teaching assistant for an FYE course, a research assistant for Dr. Tamara Bhalla, and a member of Moot Court. In my free time, you can probably find me listening to a CD or vinyl from my growing music collection. I also love to travel, eat yummy food, hike, practice yoga, play the violin, and paint! I love UMBC and my little Humanities Scholars community, and I’m excited for what this year has to bring.

Hi everyone! My name is Dhruti Sheth. I am a rising sophomore in the Humanities Scholars program at UMBC. I am double majoring in Psychology B.S. and MLLI One Language Track Spanish B.A. on the Pre-law track. On campus, I am part of the UMBC Mirza Bhangra Dance Team, where I get the opportunity to perform at various events and competitions across the East Coast. I was also part of the SGA First Year Ambassador program and volunteered with UMBC Best Buddies. In the winter of 2023, I attended the UMBC STRiVE Retreat as a participant held by the Center of Democracy and Civic Life. Additionally, I am an Arts and Culture section writer for the Retriever Newspaper and the secretary for the competitive intellectual team, Moot Court. In the upcoming year, I will also be a Resident Assistant with ResLife in Harbor Hall with the Intercultural Living Exchange Program and a Teaching Assistant for a First Year Experience Course working with the UMBC A-Team. I am interested in pursuing a career in the legal profession with the help of Psychology and using my multilingual background to help people of various cultures and upbringings. Besides academics, I enjoy reading, painting, playing soccer, and watching shows and movies. My first year with the Humanities Scholars Program, and with UMBC overall, has been great! I was able to make some cherished memories and friendships, learn more about my field, receive additional mentorship, and network with professors and staff. I am excited about this upcoming year with the Humanities Scholars Program. Thank you!

Hello! My name is Austin Miller and I am a History major with a Music minor. I used to hate social studies classes until I studied World History at the AP level which exposed me to content that wasn’t what I was used to. Learning about the world’s culture through a variety of different lenses opened my eyes, and I found a passion for history, so much so that once I graduate, I plan to teach it. In high school, I was an avid musician, and still am to this day. I played violin in orchestra all four years and took a course on music theory, and now I produce music all by myself under the name Beyond Basement. I’m also a creative author, focusing on fiction and poetry, and I’ve come to love the editing process. Reworking a piece from scratch motivates me and reminds me to never give up. So far, UMBC has treated me well. I’ve made a lot of friends, built strong relationships with my professors, and learned a lot along the way. I look forward to the years to come, go Retrievers!

Hi! My name is Joan Steinly-Marks and I’m a sophomore majoring in History and minoring in French! I’m considering doing a second minor in public history or Asian studies, it all depends on what I become the most interested in as I get opportunities to learn new things. I love learning about new cultures and places, and I want to get my Master’s degree in Library Sciences. In high school, I was a member of the National Honor Society, Rho Kappa, and secretary of the French National Honor Society. In the past couple of years, I’ve also restarted piano and ice skating lessons, and have begun learning to play hockey. My room has been taken over by immense quantities of succulents, books, and cat fur from my 10/10 perfection kitty: Shayna Mabel. I like playing D&D, organizing, and doing random art projects. I’m looking forward to joining clubs at UMBC like Chew-MBC, the ASL club, the bonsai club, and many more. I’m also an admin for the UMBC hockey team. I’m incredibly excited to get involved with research projects at UMBC, as I’m considering becoming a research librarian. I’m debating between many places for my study abroad location(s), and I can’t wait until I get to have that experience.

Hey, I’m Aziza Mattaka from Baltimore, Maryland! I am a Global Studies major. I chose Global Studies because I know that the diverse subjects within the program will allow me to fully explore and understand the issues facing societies around the world. I enjoy Anthropology, Psychology, and World History. I have always had very diverse friend groups throughout my life and really value celebrating and learning about different cultures.I’m excited to finally explore my interests in the humanities, meet new people and connect to a new community through the Humanities Scholars Program. Thank you!

My name is Emma Oakes and I am a Biology and English major! I have always loved Science and writing, and it was so difficult to pick only one to study. My favorite subjects in school were always English, Science, or Art. I was a Senior editor for my high school literary magazine, Synergy, along side some of my classmates in the literary arts prime. My favorite activity in my free time is to crochet, draw on my iPad, or play games on my Switch (I am currently loving Dadish and Stardew Valley). This year I am looking forward to spending more time with friends I made at orientation, meeting new people, and becoming more independent from my family. In the Humanities Scholars program, I am excited for study abroad and the little trips we will be taking out of state, as well as getting to know my other Humanities scholars!

Hello, I’m Chase Matthews, embarking on my sophomore journey at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). It feels like just yesterday I stepped onto this vibrant campus, eager to dive into the world of Cultural Anthropology. My academic adventure here has been exciting, so much so that with the help of advisors, professors, and other students, I am now a Cultural Anthropology and Political Science double major. During Summer 2023I was an Orientation Peer Ambassador (affectionately known as an OPA, pronounced “oh-puh”). It was a WONDERFUL experience that shaped my personal and professional growth. I witnessed and led the transformative power of the shift to college. Being part of this process reinforced my passion for fostering a sense of belonging and community. The Humanities Scholars Program and the Honors College have provided me with an intellectual home, nurturing my curiosity and drive for learning. I am drawn more profoundly into the realm of understanding people and their diverse cultures. This path aligns perfectly with my goal of becoming a Biomedical Anthropologist, utilizing research to bridge global cultures and enrich lives. I’m looking forward to eventually studying abroad, hopefully landing in Athens, Kenya, or Sydney. Immersing myself in new landscapes, languages, and traditions promises to be an invaluable extension of my education. Outside my studies, I am a Student Disability Peer Mentor, a member of the UMBC Anthropology Club, and a Welcome Week Leader. When time allows, you can find me in the gym, playing Club Frisbee or in the intramural basketball league. Some of my other favorite pastimes are reading world history and mythology, as well as exploring photography. I’m excited to embrace the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead. Go Retrievers!

Hello! My name is Andrew Coulbourne, and I am a third-culture kid from Chiba, Japan. I am a sophomore Humanities Scholar here at UMBC, majoring in English (Communications & Technology track). During summer break, I could often be found working, writing, playing guitar, playing video games, or otherwise apparently sitting under cherry blossoms as pictured above. Looking forward to the school year, you will probably also see me waiting in line at Chick-Fil-A, trying and failing to outperform Chase in Ultimate Frisbee, and organizing floor movie nights. If I’m not in my room, I’d be happy to talk to pretty much anyone about pretty much anything, so feel free to say hi! In the past, I have worked as a banquet food server at a casino as well as a spontaneous Japanese/English translator during my 17-ish years in Japan. This coming semester, I will be interning with Bartleby (our creative arts journal) as a copyeditor and will be working with the UMBC Review as Associate CAHSS Editor. I have seen so much talent and promise from the students at UMBC, and I would love to encourage anyone interested to submit their work to either of those school publications. I look forward to seeing you at school! Go dogs!

Hey, Retrievers! My name is Ethan Broadbent. I’m from Silver Spring, Maryland. I’m still deciding what I’d like to major in, but I’m leaning strongly towards majoring in English. I’m still looking into the possibility of another major (or double major). However, I’m strongly considering becoming an English major as I’ve always been keen on expressing myself through writing and interpreting the writing of others. There is a certain freedom in mastering the art of self-expression, which is a goal of mine. My high school career consisted of AP English courses that made me want to hate writing guts with its overly structured work and dry subjects. However, I still enjoy being able to take what’s in my mind and articulate it to my desire on a piece of paper, so I think expressing myself through writing is something that is going to be sticking with me for the long run. My hobbies during high school consisted of running for my track & cross country team, playing club basketball & soccer, and being the writing editor of my high school’s literary magazine. Recently you can catch me lifting weights, wrestling, listening to music, and becoming the best version of myself. I am beyond excited about my future at UMBC. I’m looking forward to being a part of the wrestling club and the Honors College, meeting people I connect with (and that challenge me), and being a part of the Humanities Scholars Program! I chose to be a part of the program because it will challenge my perspective and beliefs and be an opportunity to grow.