A UMBC Admissions Tradition

Today I went from Baltimore to Carroll to Frederick to PG County for high school visits and college fairs, and it’s been great to meet so many awesome students who want to learn more about UMBC.

We talk about campus traditions a lot—from Convocation to rubbing the nose of the True Grit statue on campus—but today I thought I’d share a tradition that most people don’t hear about.

In UMBC’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions & Orientation we have the tradition of passing off a stuffed animal True Grit at our full staff meeting to a member of staff who’s done excellent work or really stood out in the previous month.

The fun part is that we decorate True Grit to match the recipient’s personality. So when Mito, who’s originally from Waco, TX, received True Grit a few months back, the little guy was holding a Lone Star flag and an avocado (Mito’s guacamole is universally recognized at the absolute best around). When Terisa passed on True Grit to me last month, he had a cool UMBC button and some truly outstanding socks (my sock game is strong).

Yesterday it was my turn to pass True Grit on and the choice was obvious. You already know Christine from her wildly upbeat and always interesting blog posts; the cool thing is that she’s like that in real life, too!

Gabrielle and I put together a little costume for True Grit to pay tribute to what a great dancer Chris is. We’re so happy Chris is with our office and look forward to all the great work she’ll do as our newest Admissions Counselor.

Here's Gritty all dolled up for the ballet.

Here’s Gritty all dolled up for the ballet.

Way to go, Chris! The ball’s in your court for next month :)


I am enlightened! Being on the road gives me a new perspective on life. Being alone for the majority of the time has made me find a new best friend . . . ME!  I never thought that I would find pleasure in the small things, like going to Barnes and Noble to purchase a book (I’m reading Fool Me Twice by Robert B. Parker), sitting outside to look at the scenery (especially in the rural parts of Pennsylvania),  and so much more.

I am in week four of my first recruitment travel season! I am almost half way done. HOW CRAZY IS THAT!! It’s going by fast, and I feel like in a blink of an eye, I’m going to be back in the office. I know they’ve missed me.  I have truly begun to come into my own in the world of admissions, and have made relationships with other admissions counselors, high school students, and most importantly, guidance counselors at most of the high schools that I have visited. Every day I notice that I am making a difference in these students’ lives. When I see their eyes light up while I am giving a presentation, when they are eager to ask questions, when I am finished my presentation and they clap, it makes my heart flutter and I feel fulfilled.

I am blessed to have this opportunity to effect change in other people’s lives. My main purpose in life is to give back to those in need or who are seeking guidance.  Below you’ll see a picstitch of some of my favorite moments on the road. Don’t forget to follow the admissions staff on Twitter and Instagram @UMBCAdmissions and look at “The Selfies of Christine’s Life on the Road Adventures.”


I’ll get better at my selfie taking I promise!

#FlashbackFriday – Study Abroad Edition

It’s September and for us admissions counselors that means it’s time to leave UMBC and hit the road! For me, the new school year comes with a new recruitment territory and new adventures.  Instead of traveling back to my home state of New Jersey, I’ll be roaming the roads of Northern Virginia and Washington, DC hoping to meet all of you!

In the spirit of #FlashbackFriday , I thought I would go way back to one of my favorite college memories – studying abroad in Paris in the fall of 2007. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I woke up every morning to a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower , traveled all over Europe with some of my best friends, and completely immersed myself in the culture of a city far from home .


That was a small snapshot of my study abroad experience. Now I’m daring you to discover your own right here at UMBC!

Our Study Abroad Office is committed to helping UMBC students find programs that best suit their personal and academic to interests. It’s never too early to start looking at what we have to offer. Check out the Study Abroad Office website here .You can also follow the office on Twitter @UMBCStudyAbroad for instant updates on all things study abroad at UMBC. Have a question? Contact your admissions counselor or visit us on campus at one of our admissions events . You never know where your UMBC journey might take you. It’s time to get started!


Back in Jersey!

Hello from my home state of New Jersey! This week I’m visiting some high schools in eastern Pennsylvania and a college fair in NJ, so instead of a hotel I’m staying with my parents. Perks of this is home cooked meals, an endless supply of free coffee, and I wake up to this furry face.


She might not be True Grit, but she’s been around forever and she gives some great kisses.

Anyway, being back in Jersey made me take a walk down memory lane and I started thinking about what I was doing this time of year as a high school senior. I had recently been accepted to my first choice college; they had rolling admission which I took advantage of at a visit day in the spring of my junior year.

Which made me realize the importance of visiting the colleges that you’re interested in, even slightly. I was on the fence about my now alma mater, until I visited—and I literally filled out the application on the spot.

So, while all of us are visiting you, start thinking about when you’re going to visit us! Check out umbc.edu/visit for all of the opportunities this fall!

Get ready, get set…. It’s CHRISTINE!

Hello retrievers and future retrievers! My name is Christine Jenkins, and I am excited to announce myself as UMBC’s newest Admissions Counselor. How did I get here, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

I am a 2013 graduate of Howard University, where I majored in Telecommunications Management and a minor in Economics. After graduation, I was fortunate enough to get hired in the Human Resources Department at UMBC. I learned a great deal from my colleagues there, and was able to grow and network with the faculty and staff of this campus. Although I was pretty good at fulfilling my tasks and duties in the office, something was missing. I needed to be set free from sitting behind the desk. With the ebullient personality that I have, I wanted to be able to share it with the world. That led me to apply for Admissions Counselor, and now I’m here!!! I’m thrilled to be able to resolve any issues students come to me with, to help them get admitted to UMBC, and better yet; to make a non-believer into a RETRIEVER!  Now that you know how I made it to this position, let me tell you a few things about myself.

I have been performing since the age of three, well, all of my life. I began taking tap and ballet which blossomed into me trying all styles of dance; such as jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, lyrical, African, pointe, and so much more. Dance is my outlet and has helped me in all stages of my life. While at Howard University I danced with the “Ooh La La!” Dance Line as a part of the “SHOWTIME” Marching band. (Little interesting fact, I’ve danced in a marching band since my freshman year at Mt. Hebron High School). My senior year I became captain and made history! Well, in my mind I did. Now, I’m a professional cheerleader for the Baltimore Blast! So if your ever go to a Blast soccer game, I’ll see you there!!

As you can tell, I am ecstatic to be working in the Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation department. I look forward to making an impact, and changing lives. Please stay tuned to the Admissions Blog. My fellow counselors and I are on road and will be blogging about all the interesting things that we are experiencing while out of the office!

Here is a clip of me “doing my thing” during my senior year at Howard University. I hope you enjoy!

The Best Time to Apply to UMBC

The Best Time to Apply to UMBC

September 9, 2014


In recent years, the process of applying to college has become much easier for high school students to do. One of the biggest pieces of innovation is the transition of UMBC going paperless. Going paperless makes it simpler for both the applicants as well as the admissions staff.

The deadlines for UMBC are November 1st for Early Action and February 1st for Regular Decision. After being on the road for the past week, one of the questions that I have received frequently is: “When is the best time for me to apply to UMBC?”


I believe that the following three points are ones that are commonly assumed by students.


  1. Applications submitted early get “easier” reads and show interest.

I understand why most students think this is true for most schools. There are a lot of schools that may encourage very early submission of applications; however, UMBC has the same application review process for the entire regular application season. Admissions counselors are able to see the date that the application was submitted, however, it does not play as a large factor as it relates to whether a student is accepted or denied.


  1. We fill the class during Early Action.

The students who decide to apply Early Action to UMBC are typically academically strong students and they comprise a substantial percentage of the total first-year applicant pool. UMBC’s first offers of admission are extended to the students with the strongest academic records. Our goal at UMBC is to enroll the academically strongest and most broadly diverse students to meet the target class size.


  1. Applications submitted around the holidays are read by “happy” admission counselors.

When admissions counselors go into reading applications, we are usually focused on the task and the application in front of us. We are totally aware of how important our work is to our applicant and we isolate ourselves from outside influences so that we are able to give each student an equal and fair opportunity. As a result, UMBC admissions counselors understand the importance of our work and we feel good about the work that we are doing.

In conclusion, submit your UMBC application when you feel that it is complete. While I always caution students about last minute submission, there isn’t a large difference between an application submitted on September 1st and one submitted on November 1st.. Don’t rush yourself!

Back to School!

At this point in September all of us are back to school. Maryland students have been back a few weeks now, and as Jersey girl I know a lot of the north east waits until after Labor Day, so I think it’s finally safe to say—Welcome Back to School!

For UMBC students that brings Involvement Fest, getting to know your roommate, and checking off your book list. For admissions counselors it means scheduling high school visits and college fairs! So, high school students, if you want to learn more about UMBC but aren’t ready to take a road trip, find out when we’re coming to you!

Check the NACAC website for your local national college fair. Or, ask your counselor, “When’s UMBC coming to visit?”

Don’t worry non-Marylanders—we have counselors who go to New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, D.C., Virginia, and a little beyond!

And of course, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and read our blog posts. All of us will be sharing stories from the road so that you can keep up with us!

See you out there and Happy Semester!

UMBC Goes to Hollywood!

Breaking News: UMBC Goes to Hollywood!

Just last week I shared the exciting news about Emily Eaglin’s video “Future Children” being in the running to go to Hollywood through Campus MovieFest. The results are in and “Future Children” took the Wild Card spot and Emily has been nominated for a Golden Tripod Award for Best Director and the Elfenworks Social Justice award and it has been named a Staff Pick! Thank you to everyone who took the time to watch and share “Future Children.”

But the news does not end there! Two more UMBC students have made it to Hollywood! Scott Seiss and Angelo Skarlatos submitted “Nerds Rule, Jocks Drool,” which has been nominated for a Golden Tripod Award for Best Story. (You don’t have to be a nerd to see why.)

The Campus MovieFest Hollywood film summit is from June 19-22, during which time both “Future Children” and “Nerds Rule, Jocks Drool” will be screened in the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios and the awards will be presented by special guests. Can you imagine?

Join me in wishing Emily, Scott, and Angelo good luck!

Props to Visual Arts!

Big things have been happening for the Visual Arts students. Last week was the Opening Reception for the Senior Exit Exhibition. This is an annual exhibition that allows graduating seniors the opportunity to show off their work before they go out into the world. It was wonderful to see what students are able to accomplish after their time at UMBC. There were even awards given, including the College of Art, Humanities, and Social Sciences Dean’s Award, the Center for Art Design & Visual Culture Staff Award, and the President’s Selection Award. There was a great turn out of students, family, and friends–as you can see!

If that wasn’t enough, UMBC made the big news!! One of our rising sophomores, Emily Eaglin, was featured on NBC News for her video submission to Campus MovieFest. “Future Children” is now in the running to be screened in Hollywood–it’s neck-and-neck with just one other video! Emily wrote, produced, directed, filmed, edited, and acted in this short film on micro-aggression. Not only for Campus MovieFest, but for Emily’s message, “Future Children” needs to go viral! It has already sparked a nation wide conversation on YouTube and in college classrooms. Check it out for yourself and be sure to show your friends what UMBC students, like Emily, are capable of creating!

Summer Orientation!

Logo 2Around this time of year, most high school students have received their admissions letters and have decided whether or not they will be attending UMBC. For the students that have decided to become a part of the amazing UMBC community, you are probably wondering: “Okay, what’s next?” So, I would like to share with you a bit of information about Orientation Course Selection Day.

Orientation Course Selection days will take place on June 12 and 13 (Honors and Scholars), June 16, 18, 19, 23, 25, 26, and June 30. The day will begin with check-in at 8:00am and it will end at 5:00pm.

Below are a few frequently asked questions about Orientation Course Selection Day.

  1. How do I register for Orientation Course Selection Day?
    To reserve your space for Orientation and Placement Testing, please complete the online registration form. When you log into the registration form, you will be able to select which dates you prefer to take your online placement tests and attend Orientation Course Selection Day. Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have any questions, please call 410-455-3244.2. How will I receive my Orientation confirmation details? 
    You will receive an e-mail confirmation immediately after completing your online Orientation registration. The date you select should not be considered confirmed until you have printed your confirmation information online or received it via e-mail. Closer to your Orientation Course Selection Day, you will also receive a hardcopy confirmation with a parking pass and other important details in the mail.

    3. What if I need to attend orientation on a specific date offered?
    You will be provided with a list of all available dates on the online registration form. Please be aware that we cannot make exceptions to the dates that are already closed or filled to capacity. If you have any questions regarding a specific program, please call 410-455-3244.

    4. What if I am unable to attend orientation?
    Orientation is mandatory for all new students. Orientation is your only opportunity to register for spring classes, and it is a full-day of opportunities for you and your family to discover everything that UMBC offers.

    5. What if I need to change my assigned orientation date?
    You may log back into the online registration form to make a change to you Orientation date up until three days before your scheduled program.  Beyond that date, if there is emergency requiring that you reschedule your Orientation, please call 410-455-3244.  Please note that once you enter the change for your original date, your original selection will immediately be available to someone else.

    6. Is there a fee for orientation?
    Yes—there is a one-time orientation fee of $125 that you will submit with your $100 enrollment deposit. This fee covers the cost of orientation materials, food and staffing. If you have not already done so, log into myUMBC to accept your admission and pay your $225 enrollment deposit and orientation fee.

I hope that this information was helpful to you and if you have any further questions or concerns feel free to reach out to the admissions office at 410 455 3244!

Kind Regards,