About Coleen from UMBC

Hi everyone! My name is Coleen and I am an Admissions Counselor at UMBC. I travel in New Jersey, Anne Arundel County, and Southern Maryland. If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them :o)

Sweet Summertime!

Good morning from [slightly] rainy Baltimore!

It’s hard to believe we are more than half way through June!  The school year is now over for most of you all, but I know that some of you are still plugging through final exams this week – good luck!

We have been in “summer mode” for almost a month now.  While we have been spending time getting to know incoming freshman and transfer students at Orientation, our summer information session and campus tour schedule is starting to pick up – meaning that we are getting to know the rising juniors and seniors as well!  While you guys have been getting to know UMBC, I have been getting to know my two new baby cousins Connor and Claire!  Connor and Claire were born back in March, but were micropremies weighing in a 1 pound 10 ounces when they were born at 6 months.  Since March, I have made four trips up to New Jersey to see my cousin and my new baby cousins to visit them in the NICU, but on Saturday I got to meet Connor for the first time out of the NICU walls!

While Claire is still hanging tight in her NICU crib, she will hopefully be coming home the end of this week!  This is the first time that I’ve seen Claire without her breathing tubes, and the first time that I could actually touch her – that girl got a grip on my finger and wouldn’t let go!

I hope you all have some fun summer plans – mine will be spent taking classes and going back and forth to New Jersey to spend some time with the little munchkins – and some sitting on the beach 🙂


Baltimore Does Baseball

Happy Monday everyone!  Just think – next Monday is a holiday and I will be laying by the pool all day.  That is the only thing that is getting me through this Monday…

This weekend I went to my first baseball game of the season!  While I’m a huge sports junkie, I have to admit that baseball isn’t my favorite sport – I need something with more speed and action.  But honestly, I can go to any sporting event as long as it has cotton candy and nachos.  So, as soon as I got those two items taken care of I was ready to sit back and watch the game.

This weekend was the “Battle of the Beltway” in DC – where the Nationals play the Orioles.  Because of the Preakness Horse Race taking place in Baltimore, the games were played at National’s Stadium in Southeast DC.  We had seats on the first baseline, about 6 rows back.  Needless to say, as soon as I sat down all I could think of was how great of an angle I was at to get hit in the mouth with a foul ball:

While the O’s got out to a quick 4-0 lead, the Nats tried to come back, but were unsuccessful and the O’s won 6-5.  While National’s Stadium is gorgeous, and they gave me a free hat, there is nothing like going to an O’s game at Camden Yards in downtown Baltimore.  UMBC is lucky enough to be located about 10 minutes from the Yard, so students can go to games really easily.  Also, on Friday nights you can get in to the game for $6 a person with your student ID.  There are a ton of great places to eat around Camden Yards, and you can bring your own food and drinks in, as long as they have not been opened.  But honestly, we all need to save room for the Cotton Candy so it doesn’t matter anyway.

And just to prove that I’m not making up how great Camden Yards is, even USA Today agrees that Camden Yards is the best baseball park for college students!  So next time you’re in Baltimore, make sure you take a ride by Camden Yards, and check out a game for yourself!

First Day of School! First Day of School!

Well, I wish I was excited as Nemo is for my first day of school – to be honest, I feel a little more like Marlin (just five more minutes to sleep, please!).  Tonight, I am starting my Masters degree in Student Affairs Administration  I’m doing my program online through the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse (think the UMBC of Wisconsin) and I’m nervous and excited at the same time.  I graduated from college 2 years ago this month and haven’t been back to school since so I will have to dust off the cobwebs in my brain and hope that it can get used to being back in school mode.  Although my program is online, I’m still nervous about a lot of things I was nervous about when I went to college; my first homework assignment is to make a video of myself to introduce myself to the class.  Being one of two students not from the mid-west (one of my classmates is from South Carolina), I don’t want to give them a bad impression of how things are out here!  But I’m really excited because I get to earn a degree in helping students, like you, make the best out of their college experience.  This summer, I’m taking SAA 700: Student Affairs in Professional Practice and SAA 701: Student Affairs & Technology.  I’m really excited for SAA 701 because we learn about social media and one of our assignments is to tweet!

So here’s to my first day of school while you are all finishing up your school year – wish me luck!

Happy Hunger Games!

Like some of you, Jaime and I were sitting in the movie theater across the street from our apartment last Thursday night at 11:59 waiting for the midnight showing of the Hunger Games at 12:05.  This was the first time I’d ever been to a midnight movie showing (lame, I know) but it was so much fun!  I saw so many people dressed up like Katniss, Peeta, and the people from the Capitol (who remind me of Lady Gaga) or people with clever shirts on relating to the books. Luckily, UMBC students were on Spring Break last week so they didn’t have to worry about getting up for classes on Friday morning, but Jaime and I had to get up for work which was not the easiest thing to do after going to bed at 3AM, but it was totally worth it!

As someone who is not particularly fond of reading, I was hesitant when I borrowed the books from Courtney, who works on the events that we host on campus, but they were so addicting!  If you haven’t read them yet – I would highly recommend them!  Hunger Games mania has taken over at UMBC too!  Yesterday morning, Scott sent some of us an e-mail about a class that is going to be offered this summer about the Hunger Games!  I’m going to be starting on my master’s degree this summer, but seriously considered taking it – here is the article about it in the Retriever Weekly (our student newspaper).  Needless to say, later that day we found out that the article was in this week’s Deceiver Weekly, the annual April Fool’s edition of the Retriever Weekly, and were quite disappointed.  I guess the odds weren’t in our favor after all…

Look at [them] Now

Spring has sprung on the UMBC campus and I couldn’t be more excited!  As someone who cannot stand the winter or snow, I was more than excited to be able to bring out my spring wardrobe this morning and have lunch outside with Jaime, Josh, and Tyson this afternoon!  It was so great to see all of the students outside during free hour enjoying the beautiful weather too!  We saw many students eating lunch on the patio of the Commons, laying on the benches outside of our office, and doing homework on the wall outside the library. Now, I’m curious to see whether people were laying by the outdoor pool or not… I may just have to take a walk over there later to check it out!

This weekend I was doing the Saturday tour and information session and I had a lot of questions about what students are doing after graduation.  With the state of the economy, a lot of students (and parents!) and concerned about what happens after college.  Well good news for you – we have had some pretty accomplished alumni! This past week, the Baltimore Sun (the local newspaper for those not from Maryland) ran a story about the accomplishments of the UMBC alumni.  Feel free to check out the full story (with pictures), but I’ll do an overview for you too!

  • Diane Bell-McKoy, president and CEO of Associated Black Charities (non-profit) and former member of the Baltimore school board
  • Guiliano Celenza, former forward for the Baltimore Blast soccer team
  • Richard Chisolm, cinematographer and documentary film maker
  • Brian Dannelly, director of the movie “Saved!” and TV show “Weeds”
  • Shari Elliker, WBAL-AM radio talk show host
  • Lafayette Gilchrist, jazz pianist
  • Duff Goldman, pastry chef and focus of the Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes”
  • Adrienne Jones, State Delegate
  • Allan Kittleman, Senator and former Senate minority whip
  • Rev. Leo Patalinghug, host of the online cooking show “Grace before Meals” and beat iron chef Bobby Flay in a throwdown with his winning Fusion Steak Fajitas (which I have been lucky enough to taste… and they are excellent!)
  •  Kathleen Turner, Oscar-nominated actress
  • William Whiteford, Oscar winning documentary film maker

Now get off the computer and enjoy the beautiful weather! And if it’s not nice where you are, you should be spending your time getting your bracket ready for March Madness 🙂

Perfect Fit for a Hero?

Hero – noun – a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent  endowed with great strength or ability.  That’s what Marriam-Webster dictionary has as the definition of a hero.  It seems a little far fetched to me, but I won’t argue with the experts 😉

There are a few people out there that I would consider my hero.  Not because they hail from mythology, like Zeus, or because they have great physical strength, like Superman, but because of the impact they have had on my life.  I won’t get all emotional on y’all, but my heroes would have to be my four older cousins and the legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano; if you’re in the mood for a good tear jerker just look up Jimmy V’s 1983 ESPY Speech.

We read a lot about heroes in your essays – whether they are your parents or a mentor who has made you the person that you are today.  But did you know we have some heroes here at UMBC?  If you haven’t seen them, you should check them out for yourself – http://www.umbc.edu/hero/.  This just shows that UMBC could be the perfect fit for all you heroes out there – so put on your super hero capes and come visit us!

Involvement Fest and Elementary School Flashbacks

In case you haven’t realized, our blog has recently been taken over by pictures and YouTube videos.  No, it’s not because we didn’t know how to do this until a few months ago (we’re not THAT old), but it’s because we’ve been so busy reading applications!  Everyone needs a break from words sometimes – and what’s better than pictures?  Think back to elementary school when you would read the pre-chapter books and there was big font with lots of pictures.  Now open up to latest novel you’re reading for English class and you will find small print and no pictures.  So let this blog be a flashback to the good old days when you could have lots of pictures to look at…

Last week, Julie and I decided to hit up Involvement Fest!
At the beginning of each semester, the Office of Student Life hosts Involvement Fest, where all of the Student Organizations take over three portions of the Commons and have tables set up so that you can find new things to get involved in.  Everything from the sororities and fraternities to the club sports to the honors societies have tables set up in one of the three locations:

The theme for this years Involvement Fest was 1950s (think sock hops, juke boxes, and Elvis).  And, as at all college events, there is free food!  This was not the original reason why Julie and I went over to check it out, but of course we couldn’t help ourselves when we made our way in to the room with the free food, and Coke Floats!

So hopefully this gave you a nice break from reading your latest small-printed non-picture filled book for English class.  And thanks Julie for being a trooper and putting up with my picture taking.  And if you’re looking for a list of all of the student organizations, feel free to check out the Student Life website!

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!

The Admissions Office, and UMBC, will be closed from December 23 until after the New Year when the university will reopen on January 3, 2012.   Enjoy your Winter Break and eat lots of good food!

And for a throwback… Hopefully y’all remember this commercial and I’m not showing my age.  These were the cool cell phones when I was in high school!

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer is Singing Loud for All To Hear!

So, for those of you have been to the Admissions Office for a Tour and Information Session (if you have not you totally should… and you can sign up online) and walk down the hallway to our Presentation Room there is a door that you’ll see a door that says “STAFF ONLY.”  That is where all of the Admissions Counselors hang out and read your applications.  Ever since we’ve gotten back from Thanksgiving Break, it has been a non-stop Christmas music extravaganza (my Pandora account is currently playing “Simply Have a Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartey).  This weekend, Jaime and I decided to get into the Christmas Spirit and make Christmas Cookies!

Before (note: my mom didn’t tell me that my Aunt’s recipe made 9 dozen cookies- we gave up after seven)

After (and after we had given a dozen away!)

So if you are as Christmas-obsessed as our office is, you will not find a short supply of Christmas-related activities at UMBC!  Whether it is listening to our Camerata signing Christmas Carols on Main Street in the Commons, drinking Egg Nog, Sparking Cider, and Hot Chocolate at the Erickson Hall’s Holiday Happy Hour , or playing holiday games (and eating delicious food) at CWIT’s Stress Free Holiday Party, you will definitely get your Christmas fix here!  And if you need a Christmas fix of your own, here is one of my favorite scenes from Will Ferrell’s movie Elf!

Gobble Gobble (Part I)

Happy Almost Turkey Day!

These past few weeks have been crazy here in the Admissions Office!  We’re spending a lot of time reading your applications and needless to say, we are getting a little stir-crazy here and ready for a break!  Some of us will be traveling (Josh has already left for Iowa) and some of us will be staying close to home (I will be going three streets away), but we’re all excited for different things that we thought would be fun to share with you!

Dale – Director – “Football- and watching the Raven’s lose” (We have to have one anti-Ravens fan in the office)
Jaime – Admissions Counselor – “I’m most excited for pumpkin pie and sleeping in”
Julie – Visual and Performing Arts Admissions Counselor – “I’m most excited for stuffing – and of course friends and family!”
Kena – IT Specialist – “Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! I’m excited for the King’s Feast that I get to eat- and snapping the wishbone.  It’s going to be my year!”
Liz – Event Planner – “I’m excited to be with my family and to see old friends”
Lori – Assistant Director – “I’m excited to make pies and to spend time with my friends and family”
Mike – Admissions Counselor – “Two Words: Ravens – Niners”
Naomi – Tour Guide Leader – “I’m most excited for the food, especially the free 20 pound turkey that we got!”
Patsy – Campus Visit Coordinator – “I’m most excited for all of the food, mostly the stuffing”
Sana – IT Specialist – “I’m most excited for making homemade pie and stuffing my face with corn pudding”
Scott – Admissions Counselor – “I’m most excited to watch the parade with my mom” (gold star son award right there)
Stan – Technical Manager – “It may sound boring, but I’m excited to see my friends and family”
Taylor – Head Student Assistant – “The Ravens game of course!”
Tyson – Associate Director – “I’m most excited for spending time with my friends and family, deep fried turkey, and truducken” (I’ll let you Google it and find out what it is!)

What am I most excited for?  I’m looking forward to watching a lot of football and doing even more shopping!  What are you most excited for?

Look for Scott’s post tomorrow about what we’re most thankful for this holiday season!