Special Event for Prospective Students

Grit in Action logo

When: Wednesday, April 7th, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

GRIT. It’s an attitude, defined by courage, resolve, and strength of character, which embodies the indomitable spirit of UMBC. IN ACTION. In operation; working.

Interested in UMBC-Shady Grove’s Undergraduate Programs and how you can propel your Grit in(to) Action through your future UMBC degree?

Engage with our current students and alumni(ae) as they share first-hand how their respective programs prepare students to explore and address today’s real world challenges. Join us as we dig into our 2021 annual Grit in Action Panel.

Register for Grit in Action

Please note: UMBC-Shady Grove’s spring 2021 Grit in Action event is being hosted virtually. Please RSVP to receive logistical information.

UMBC is committed to inclusivity and accessibility. If you are in need of any accommodations, please contact Abigail Granger at argranger@umbc.edu as soon as possible.

Meet Our Undergraduate Program Directors

Jeannette Kartchner, M.S., Computer Science

Jeannette KartchnerJeannette Kartchner, M.S., Associate Undergraduate Program Director
Department: Computer Science
Phone: 240-665-6451
Email: jkartch@umbc.edu
Office: Building IV, Room 3113

Jeannette Kartchner is the Associate Undergraduate Program Director for Computer Science at the Universities at Shady Grove. Her focus is on extending the UMBC Computer Science Bachelor of Science degree to Montgomery County at the Shady Grove campus. She received her Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California and undergraduate degrees (B.S.) in Computer Science and Mathematics from Brigham Young University.

Prior to teaching at UMBC, she taught at Montgomery College for 20 years and served as the Computer Science Department chair for several years. She also taught in the College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool) for the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to her academic career, she was an aerospace software engineer at McDonnell Douglas responsible for requirements analysis, software system design, test plans and conformance to MIL-STD 484. She worked on several classified projects and was the principal investigator for a research and development project.

Andrew Nolan, Ph.D., History

Smiling man in suit with glassesAndrew Nolan, Ph.D., Program Director
Department: History
Phone: 301-738-6182
Email: nolan@umbc.edu
Office: Bldg III, Room 4155

Dr. Andrew Nolan is the History Program Director for UMBC at the Universities at Shady Grove. His teaching focuses on modern U.S. history, cultural and constitutional history, and historical writing and research methods. He is currently working on a book that explores the 1925 Scopes trial as a symbolic opening in an ongoing debate over the nature of the modern American nation. This research also resulted in an article titled “Making Modern Men: The Scopes Trial, Masculinity and Progress in the 1920s United States,” which he published in the April 2007 edition of Gender & History .

He is currently focusing on developing the program at Shady Grove, which shepherds students through the third- and fourth-years of their college careers and provide them with the UMBC history degree grounded in critical thinking, analytical reading, and clear writing. In his spare time, he will continue to research his next project, which explores popular representations of human evolution—and dinosaurs—in U.S. culture.

Sunil Dasgupta, Ph.D., Political Science

Smiling business manSunil Dasgupta, Ph.D., Program Director
Department: Political Science
Phone: 301-738-6313
Email: sunildasgupta@umbc.edu
Office: Bldg III, Room 4151

Dr. Sunil Dasgupta is the Program Director of UMBC’s Political Science program at the Universities at Shady Grove. He teaches international relations, foreign policy, and security studies as well as introductory courses in political science. In his teaching, Dr. Dasgupta has developed innovative pedagogical approaches using online instruction and new technologies.

Dr. Dasgupta’s research focuses on insurgency and civil wars, civil-military relations, defense R&D, and Asian security issues. His work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Current History, the Washington Quarterly, and the New York Times, among others. He is co-author, with Stephen P. Cohen, of Arming Without Aiming: India’s Military Modernization (Brookings Press, 2010). His paper, “Regional Politics and the Prospects of Stability in Afghanistan,” was published in April 2013 by the United States Institute of Peace.

Before joining UMBC at USG in 2009, Dr. Dasgupta taught international relations and security studies at the George Washington and Georgetown Universities. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Dasgupta worked as a news reporter covering national security and military affairs and wrote a column on business and economics. He remains a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. View Dr. Dasgupta’s publications on his Brookings page.

Dr. Dasgupta has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Diane Alonso, Ph.D., Psychology

Smiling woman in redDiane Alonso, Ph.D., Program Director
Department: Psychology
Phone: 301-738-6318
Email: dalonso@umbc.edu
Office: Bldg III, Room 4145

Diane Alonso, Ph.D., serves as the UMBC Psychology Department’s Program Director at the Universities at Shady Grove. She started the undergraduate program at the Center in 2004 and the Graduate I/O Psychology program in 2007. Diane is a lifetime Maryland resident and received her undergraduate degree (B.S.) in Computer Science and her graduate degrees (M.S. and Ph.D.) in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). With a background in Cognitive Psychology and Human Factors/Usability, Diane has over 10 years experience working in the industry both for IBM’s Federal Systems Division and for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)’s Health and Human Services Division. While employed at CSC, Diane performed usability work for clients such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Education, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She also created and led a successful training program for new software implemented for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Systems (MMCS).

In addition to her vocation, Diane’s avocation is musical theater. For over 15 years she performed locally in community and professional theaters in the D.C. and surrounding metro areas. In 1992, during a production of an original version of the “Phantom of the Opera” at Toby’s Dinner Theater in Columbia, Maryland, Diane met her future husband, Tom Alonso, the very talented composer of the commissioned production. They were married a year later and now have two beautiful daughters.

Katherine Morris, LCSW-C, Social Work

Smiling woman with glassesKatherine Morris, LCSW-C, Program Director
 Social Work
Phone: 301-738-6312
Email: kath@umbc.edu
Office: Bldg III, Room 4141

Katherine Morris, LCSW-C, is Program Director of Social Work at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, MD. Ms. Morris has a B.A. in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and an M.S.W. from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her employment with UMBC, she worked as a therapist providing cognitive behavioral and motivational enhancement therapy to individuals with alcohol and substance dependence in Philadelphia. In 2001, Ms. Morris moved to Maryland and was employed as a therapist at a mental health rehabilitation program in Prince George’s County, where she worked with individuals with persistent mental illness in individual and group settings. She currently teaches Information Technology in Social Work as well as the Methods sequence.

Courses: SOWK 250 (Introduction to Social Work); SOWK 397 (Methods 1)
Research/Clinical Areas: Enhancing student writing and student success among first generation and bilingual students

Elizabeth Friar, Ph.D., Translational Life Science Technology

Elizabeth Friar, Ph.D., Program Director
Department: Translational Life Science Technology (TLST)
Phone: 240-665-6461
Email: efriar1@umbc.edu
Office: BSE, Room 3104

Dr. Elizabeth Friar is the Program Director of the Translational Life Science Technology (TLST) Program at UMBC at the Universities at Shady Grave (USG). Dr. Friar got a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College, and then a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Georgia, focused on the molecular systematics of the woody bamboos. She then completed a postdoc at the University of Arizona with Dr. David Mount and Dr. Robert Robichaux, where she started her work on the molecular systematics and evolution of the Hawaiian silversword alliance, which continues to the present day. She then joined Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) as a faculty member in the Botany Program in the Claremont Graduate University, part of the Claremont Colleges, in Claremont California. There, she received several research grants from the National Science Foundation and approximately $1M from W.M. Keck Foundation, on data integration in molecular evolution. From there, she joined the National Science Foundation as a Program Officer in the Evolutionary Processes Cluster, within the Division of Environmental Biology. Before joining UMBC, she spent one year at Oklahoma State University and then four years at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she has focused on undergraduate teaching.

During our Grit in Action Event...

Register for Grit in Action    Meet our Peer Advisory Team

Unable to attend? View our full Calendar of Events for more opportunities to connect with us and learn about our programs!