Get to Know a Retriever


Get to Know a Retriever

A UMBC student with aspirations for sports marketing and cultural awareness highlights some of his favorite people and places to see.

What is your name, major, and year?

My name is Charles DeBow IV, a senior who is majoring in media and communication studies and minoring in american studies.


Where are you from (city, county, state)?

I am originally from Rockville in Montgomery County.


Who do you admire and why?

I admire both my parents and my grandfather. My parents made huge sacrifices for me up to this point in terms of affording me food, shelter, clothes and importantly education. My grandfather was one of the Tuskegee Airmen who was able to do his patriotic duty of serving America in a time when things were unequal. Against all odds, he maintained his dignity with relating to the white fighter pilots he flew with, and he proved that black pilots were just as good as the white pilots.


What is your career goal?

I am very fascinated with basketball, football and hockey. I aspire to own a sports marketing business out of any of these genres.


If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

If I could, I would change how people accept others from different ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs. People should be not so narrow-minded in getting to know other cultures because all are equally one in the human race.


Describe something about you that uniquely stands out.

I am a stickler for no nonsense because I am more pursuant in being successful aside from my other friends. There is a time to play and a time to work.


What do you like most about UMBC?

I mostly like how diverse the campus is because you meet people here that you normally would not meet. I like learning about new cultures and discussing my own with others, especially in finding employment and interacting with people unlike me.


What activities do you participate in on campus?

I am not necessarily active here other than playing on the ice hockey team, but I do like spending time with my friends either in the library or in the classroom. It makes the day go by faster.


Who is the celebrity you would like to meet; what would you do with him/her?

I would like to meet singer Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas from the 1990s R&B group TLC and get to know her journey to stardom.


What is/are your favorite thing(s) to do outside of UMBC?

I typically enjoy going out into adjacent D.C. and exploring the fun happenings for that night. I also enjoy listening to music, bowling and playing basketball in my spare time.


What is your favorite genre of television (comedy, competition, reality, etc.) and why?

I enjoy watching all of the aforementioned genres, stand-up from comedian Katt Williams for good ole laughs, Steve Harvey as host of game show Family Feud and the ratchet-ness from Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta on VH1.


What kind of music do you like?

I like music that is unique, so I am into hip-hop, R&B and jazz. I enjoy old-school R&B music like Ohio Players, Parliament Funkadelic, James Brown and others who make it funky!


If you met Dr. Hrabowski (UMBC President), what would you say to him?

If I met Dr. Hrabowski, I would request a meeting with him about how we could help improve the issues on campus that often get unaddressed.


Photo credit: provided by student Charles DeBow


Compiled by the Retriever Weekly Features Staff

Virgo-The cockroach scuttling around the weight room will give you chills, but once you see how much he can squat, you’ll just be impressed.

Libra-The sun warming your skin, a cool breeze on your cheek, the sound of your friend’s laughter — sometimes it’s hard to believe that none of this is real.

Scorpio-Nightclubs have never been your scene, but the detective sitting across the table simply won’t buy it.

Sagittarius-Your claim that you didn’t touch your roommate’s cheesy poofs will fall apart when you are betrayed by your dusty, dirty, orange fingers.

Capricorn-Thanks to some help from above, your petition to establish an Ancient Aliens studies major will be a huge success.

Aquarius-People won’t be able to tell if you are starting your holiday shopping very late or very early. Keep them guessing.

Pisces-Your snow dance will backfire when you misstep and summon cold rain instead. Damn you.

Aries-People will continue to give you crap for wearing shorts this week, but what they don’t know is that this isn’t even your final form.

Taurus-It’s finally time for you to sit down and knock this paper out. Better hop on Facebook for some quick inspiration first, though.

Gemini-You’ll be a little worse for the wear after falling down seven flights of stairs, but on the bright side, you beat the elevator down.

Cancer-Your new internship will play out exactly like The Office, but is that really a bad thing?

Leo-No one in their right mind would try cooking outside in this weather. Good thing you brought the grill inside, right?



A toast to bravery

Dinner held on Main Street encourages discussion about social justice

 Hillel, the organization for Jewish campus life, hosts a dinner and discussion about bravery. The evening is a tie-in for social justice week.

It is Friday night, a time typically dedicated to parties, wild outings or a long, quiet evening with Netflix. At UMBC, 40 students choose instead to gather on Main Street in the Commons to discuss bravery and social justice over dinner. The evening is hosted by Hillel, a national organization that supports Jewish students in their campus communities.

The event is called “Ask Big Questions Shabbat.” Shabbat is a day of rest for those of the Jewish faith which lasts from Friday evening through Saturday. The “Ask Big Questions” events are intended to get students to have conversations about how they can impact their community.

Hillel hosts the Shabbat dinners twice a month. One is smaller with more of a religious focus and is held in the Interfaith Center. The second is in The Commons and intended for community building.

Those who attended are as diverse as UMBCs student body. The faiths and backgrounds of the students vary. Some came because of the free food, but many more share a passion for social justice.

The event is led by Joe Levin-Manning, Hillel’s director of engagement. Manning said that the Hillel events have been well received and that students of all faiths have been getting involved. Part of Hillel’s goal is to help students recognize the value of community.

“We subscribe to the philosophy of UMBC being a family,” said Manning.

A Tex-Mex buffet was warmed by sterno candles. The scent of cilantro and salsa was tempting, but dinner was not served until after group discussions.

At six round tables, students read through packets of questions dealing with the topic of bravery. They were asked to describe a time when they had to be brave and how they can incorporate bravery into their work with social justice. Conversation was a little stilted as these were questions students may not have given much thought.

After the discussion, the traditional Shabbat prayer was recited, led by Manning. Student Hillel members recite the prayers in Hebrew. Cards were available with the phonetic prayer and english translation so that everyone can follow along.

There were three prayers. After the first, students drank from small cups of grape juice. The second one was performed by students who chose to wash their hands. After the third is recited, students break bread together.

Two friends, Semir Abdul, a sophomore majoring in environmental science, and Micahyas Akama, a freshman majoring in global studies came to the event together. Both men are interested in social justice and helping their communities.

“I didn’t know [the event] would be about Judaism,” Abdul said, “but I took away how I can be brave.”

Akama thought it was interesting to learn about Jewish culture. Although the event had religious tones, he felt it was also about confidence building and learning to confront your fears.

Akama said, “When it comes to social justice and bravery, in order to deviate from the norms you have to be brave.”


Strutting the runway in contemporary, retro and diversified styles

2015 Fall/Winter collections bring back old trends and create new ones

From the bright-blue furs to the diversity on the catwalk, Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week had it all.

Though no typical college student budget can realistically support a complete designer outfit, there’s no rule against appreciating the unattainable. At this year’s Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week, which ran from Feb. 11-19, not much was left to the imagination. Every luxurious collection was presented as though it was plucked straight out of a fantasy.

Uniqueness was by no means missing at Fashion Week. There were, however, obvious trends that multiple designers held dear, as many put their own spin on the classic favorites. A majority of collections featured some sort of the beloved chunky boots from the ‘90s, while others showcased the recent love-it-or-hate-it fur trend.

Fashion enthusiast and senior media and communication studies major Hewan Yitagesu said, “I love … the 1950s inspired coats with fur and matching skirts theme. [I’m] a huge fan of the toned down yet classy evening wear collection[s] which remind me of Audrey Hepburn and Givenchy’s fashion collaboration from the ‘50s.”

In New York, designers like Derek Lam eagerly brought their own distinct touches to their respective shows. Lam depicted American sportswear with a new twist.

Interestingly enough, his pieces consisted of both printed and single-colored crewneck sweatshirts for men. For women he designed outfits with unusually long, straight-leg pants that sometimes fell even below the shoes. He seemed to love his models with their hair slicked back and in a simple, straight ponytail.

Apart from Derek Lam, another designer who was all about the athletic wear was Kanye West. Debuting his Yeezy 750 Boost sneakers with Adidas, West advertised the easy-going nature of his shoes by pairing them with old-school sportswear in warm tones. Donning these looks were models of different ethnicities, in all shapes and sizes.

Junior Doyin Ayo, a media and communication studies major, said, “I only watched the Kanye West and Adidas show … it’s awesome to see what the new trends will be, and [then] finding a way to maybe incorporate certain pieces into my wardrobe.”

This year, the brand Libertine was not only up-to-date with the sporty-chic trend, but founder and designer Johnson Harti brought to the stage the signature graphics that got him to where he is today. Most outfits were black with pops of bright color exhibited in the graphics; amongst some repeated designs were galaxy prints and vintage rotary-dial telephones.

For men, such images were usually displayed on crewnecks that one would wear over sweatpants that cinched at the ankle. His ideas for women – which continued to follow the loose-fitting trend – were boxy coats and ponchos, each piece original in it’s own right. Of the ponchos presented, one in particular was quite interesting, as where one’s hands met outside the poncho, a silver, glittery crystal-ball clutch was created to be held onto.

One noteworthy show brought back from last year was designer Carrie Hammer’s, “Role Models Not Runway Models.”

In this show, some of the world’s most successful women are asked to walk the runway in hopes of empowering other women, according to Huffington Post. Jamie Brewer, actress from the hit TV show American Horror Story, was the first model with Down Syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week, emphasizing diversity’s presence at the forefront at this year’s show.


Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Adidas


Community conflicted over police conduct

Compiled by the Retriever Weekly Senior Staff

On the evening of Feb. 15, Patapsco Hall residents were forced to evacuate due to a tripped fire alarm. Rather than merely waiting outside until they were allowed to reenter, however, students were treated to an unexpected spectacle: the public humiliation of one of their own.

UMBC Police Officer Jamie Cheatem responded to the alarm, and in front of a large crowd of evacuated residents, instructed a student who had been cooking in one of the community kitchens to step forward and tell everyone his name, that he couldn’t cook and that he had “fucked up.”

While some students shrugged off this display as a light-hearted lesson for an irresponsible student and cited their positive experiences with Cheatem, others called for action to be taken against the officer.

Following an article about the incident, reactions from members of the UMBC community on myUMBC have ranged from advocating for Cheatem’s dismissal to requesting that the student apologize to Cheatem. In short, reactions are all over the place.

Cheatem may be a valuable asset to UMBC’s police force and a beloved member of the community, but that doesn’t change the fact that he handled the situation wrongly, mistreating a student in the process. Publicly shaming a student — especially when there is some doubt as to whether or not the student in question actually caused the alarm to go off — was not the right course of action.

Some have argued that Cheatem was just trying to lighten up a gloomy situation. However, this was done at the expense of a student, and Cheatem’s profanity was unprofessional.

Cheatem’s entire career of service should not be ignored in the face of one mistake. He shouldn’t lose his job over this one incident, but the current investigation into his conduct is certainly justified. The relationship between the UMBC community and UMBC’s police force should be built on a foundation of mutual respect, and this recent event does not set a good precedent.

The UMBC Police Department is doing its due diligence by conducting an internal investigation, which is ongoing. UMBC’s Deputy Police Chief Paul Dillon said in an interview on Monday, Feb. 23 that “We have done several interviews of several students, and we have a couple more to go.”

“We’re trying to get as many different perspectives as we can,” Dillon said. The investigation is expected to take a few more days.

Regardless of the outcome of the personnel investigation, the fact that the police department is staging an inquiry is reassuring. By investigating the complaints, the UMBC Police Department has shown that they take their officers’ conduct seriously. Hopefully this incident and the subsequent investigation will lead to better, more respectful interactions between UMBC students and police officers.

UMBC celebrates research partnership with local university

UMBC held the first in a series of research symposiums with UMB

A grant for research and development encourages cross campus collaboration between UMBC and UMB. The program has generated new advancements in medicine, technology and science.

In January 2013, UMBC and University of Maryland, Baltimore established a Research and Innovation Partnership Seed Grant Program to encourage faculty from both universities to collaborate. The program allows faculty from both institutions to work across the campuses to advance research in medicine, technology and science.

Over $150,000 is available as grant money. Faculty from both UMBC and UMB can use it purchase equipment, conduct surveys and fund new improvements related to research.

Many faculty are also opting to use the grant money to train and mentor students in their respective areas of research, providing a unique opportunity for students to collaborate across campuses.

On Jan. 30 the first Research and Innovation Partnership Symposium was held at the Albin O. Kuhn library. With UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and UMB President Jay Perman in attendance, the symposium celebrated the relationship between both universities.

During the event, recipients of the Research and Innovation Partnership Grant Program were also recognized for their innovative research and collaboration across campus boundaries.

Yvonne Maddox, acting director of the National Institute of Health on Minority Health and Health Disparities, was the keynote speaker during the symposium. Maddox emphasized the importance of the union, noting that UMBC and UMB are setting a precedent for the future.

Karl V. Steiner, vice president of research for UMBC said, “it serves as an important milestone for us to take stock of how far we have come with our relationship,” in reference to the affiliation with UMB. Steiner noted the symposium was a reminder of, “how much work and opportunities still [lie] ahead,” in fields of science and technological research.

The event also celebrated previous successful pairings that have benefitted from the grant money and the union occurring between the two institutions. Charles Biebrich, a UMBC Professor of Biological Sciences and Paul Shapiro, a UMB Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences were previous recipients of the grant award to fund their research.

Through collaboration, Biebrich and Shapiro combined their knowledge within their specialized fields to develop a new innovation in medical research.

Shapiro conducted research and developed a new drug designed to target cancer cells resistant to treatment, while Biebrich structured a plan to successfully test the effectiveness of the new drug.

As recipients of the Research and Innovation Partnership Grant Program, Biebrich stated, “We were able to show, using the support of our seed grant, that this actually does work.”

During the Research and Innovation Symposium, UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski captured the spirit of the event stating the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, you go together.”

This pact between UMBC and UMB is proof that cross-collaboration improves the quality of research, allowing both universities the opportunity to excel in innovation.