Alumni Association News
By Alumni Association Staff
Letter From the Executive Director
Every year, I wait until the last reasonable moment to pack up my favorite ceramic holiday trees, the final remnants of the season and a warm reminder of time spent gathering with friends and family to honor traditions or start new ones.
This past year, we at the Alumni Association established new traditions—a fall of firsts. At a party at the Congressional Country Club, we welcomed hundreds of alums from all over to kick off a season jam-packed with festivities. Who could forget that picture-perfect sunset?
The Alumni Association also hosted its inaugural Young Alumni Conference, a full day at the Riggs Alumni Center dedicated to the personal and professional growth of our youngest alums. This event offered a unique learning environment to young grads seeking advice from fellow Terps on important topics like “making money moves” and “pivoting on purpose” and sent each attendee home with a fresh professional headshot.
Following much anticipation, we started a new Maryland tradition—one that you can taste!—with the first release of Terrapin Pride Wine, an exclusive wine collection bottled for and by alums. Our limited-edition cabernet sauvignon is my favorite.
To close the year, we celebrated a few of our best and brightest Terps at our third annual Alumni Excellence Awards recognizing grads like Dr. Merdad Parsey Ph.D. ’85, whose research on a COVID-19 vaccine seeks to solve one of the grand challenges of our time. Our alums continue to make a mark. It’s incredible what we do together. To that, I raise high a glass of Terrapin Pride Wine, a toast to the fearless, forever.
Associate Vice President, Alumni and Donor Relations
Executive Director, Alumni Association
The Alumni Excellence Awards
University of Maryland graduates are among the best and brightest in their fields. From scholars and innovators to entrepreneurs, teachers and researchers, our alums are leaving their mark in our state, nation and the world. The Alumni Excellence Awards recognize the accomplishments of select Terps and honor these recipients with distinction. Careful consideration was made in selecting the following standout alums, our 2022 recipients of the Alumni Excellence Awards.
Learn more at alumni.umd.edu/excellence.
Rising Terp Award
The following alums are an inspiration to the next generation of Terp leaders. All under the age of 30, they have already made significant professional accomplishments.
OLIVIA OWENS ’14
Creator Relations Manager, Teachable
Owens addressed a funding disparity for women of color, who comprised 70% of the women on the IFundWomen platform but 30% of the raised funds. She boosted that to 51% of raised funds.
ANTHONY SARTORI ’18
Co-founder and Executive Director, Evolving Minds
Sartori co-founded a mental-health nonprofit that trains UMD students, nonprofits and retail businesses in stress reduction and building caring communities and work cultures.
NORA ECKERT ’19
Auto Industry Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
A Pulitzer Prize finalist at age 26, Eckert has shined a light on grand challenges including effects of climate change on the health of inner-city neighborhoods, COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and organ procurement.
These Terps are fearlessly disrupting their industries as successful entrepreneurs who have notably contributed to their respective fields.
SEEMA ALEXANDER ’00
Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Disruptive CEO
Alexander uses her six-step proprietary process to help entrepreneurs meet and exceed financial goals.
ADRIANA AVAKIAN ’12
Founder and CEO, TheIncLab
Avakian heads the first “human-centered” artificial intelligence experience lab, combining interactive engineering and emerging technologies.
ROY SCHWARTZ ’98, MBA ’01
President and Co-founder, Axios
Schwartz’s news site caters to time-pressed consumers with easy-to-digest bites of information, changing political and policy journalism in the U.S. and Europe.
The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. This award recognizes three alums for their transformational research and its impact.
ASHLEY MINNER PH.D. ’20
Assistant Curator, History and Culture, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
As a member of the Lumbee nation, Minner conducts research, preserves stories and creates initiatives to promote a more informed understanding of Indigenous communities.
MATTHEW STAMM ’04, M.S. ’11, PH.D. ’12
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Drexel University
In the emerging field of information forensics, Stamm’s research has been instrumental in developing techniques to detect digital alterations and forgeries (“deepfakes”) through artificial intelligence.
DR. MERDAD PARSEY PH.D. ’85
Chief Medical Officer, Gilead Scienecs
Parsey, who has conducted clinical trials for many drug treatments, helped research the efficacy and increased production of Remdesivir, the only FDA-approved drug for treating COVID-19.
This distinguished award honors alums who left a positive legacy in their community, celebrating their personal and professional lifetime achievements.
SAPIENZA BARONE ’77
Executive Assistant to the President (Retired), University of Maryland
Barone, who attended UMD with the help of scholarships, later skillfully served three presidents. She and husband Brodie Remington continue to support the university by creating new scholarships.
ALICE HOROWITZ PH.D. ’92
Professor Emeritus, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, University of Maryland
A pioneer and leading advocate in the field of health literacy, Horowitz established UMD’s Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy.
RALPH CROSBY ’56
Founder and Chairman, Crosby Marketing Communications
Crosby develops integrated marketing communications plans for health care organizations, nonprofits, government agencies and businesses that believe in the power of doing good.
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