truegrit_verticalHREach year, the UMBC Alumni Association honors alumni who have made a difference in their communities and throughout their careers. These outstanding alumni represent the fields of Engineering & Information Technology, Humanities, Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Social Sciences and Visual & Performing Arts. They truly represent the best of UMBC.

The 2013 awards will be presented on Thursday, October 10, 2013, at an awards ceremony in the Albin O. Kuhn Library on the UMBC campus. If you’d like to attend the ceremony and celebrate with us, please register through the Homecoming website.

Congratulations to UMBC’s 2013 Outstanding Alumni of the Year!

Learn more about our past award winners

Engineering and Information Technology
Jeehye Yun ’97, Computer Science
CEO, Secured Sciences Group, LLC

Jeehye-HeadshotJeehye Yun is the founder and CEO of SSG, LLC where she is responsible for the strategy and operations. SSG specializes in compliance streamlining with service focus areas in Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V), Cybersecurity and software engineering. Ms. Yun took the company from a single commercial service contract to 4 million per year in revenue from 2004 to 2009. Prior to founding the company, she served as Director of Computing Facilities at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) where she managed the teams supporting infrastructure of research labs, including the Institute’s Global Land Cover Facility, High Performance Computing Lab, Clustered Computing resources, Visualization and experimental networking labs. Ms. Yun also managed staff supporting UMIACS technical and business computing.

Ricardo Zwaig ’77, Spanish
Judge, District Court, Howard County

zwaigJudge Ricardo D. Zwaig is the first Hispanic male appointed to the Judiciary in Maryland history. Judge Zwaig was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1963 his parents emigrated to the United States when he was ten years old.  After graduating from UMBC with a degree in Spanish, he graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1982 and began his legal career by working with the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), working in the Post Conviction Division and Juvenile Division in Baltimore City. He then transferred to the Montgomery County OPD due to their need for a bilingual attorney due to the high numbers of Spanish-speaking clients. In January, 1991, he was recruited by the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland, where he served until November, 2000, as an Assistant Federal Public Defender; then transferring to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in Washington, D.C., where he served as the Deputy Chief of the Training Division for the Defender Services Division until October, 2001, when he established the legal office of Zwaig & Zwaig, P.A., with his brother Michael Zwaig, Esq.  Zwaig & Zwaig dedicated their legal skills to mostly serve the Latino community, with offices in Ellicott City and Baltimore City.  He is the proud father of three smart and beautiful children – Brian, Kevin and Erin. The “smart” part they inherited from their mom: Katy O’Donnell, Chief of the Aggravated Homicide Division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. Judge Zwaig has served on the Board of Directors for the Columbia Foundation, and he has taught and lectured at Catholic University, Columbus School of Law; NITA program at the Georgetown University Law Center; University of Baltimore Law School; and, UMBC. He is active in UMBC’s Esperanza Fund which helps aspiring and deserving Latino students with scholarship funds. He has also coached little league baseball for Howard County Youth Programs and plays blues harmonica ¼ or at least he tries.

Natural and Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Mary Loeken, M.S. ’80, Biological Sciences
Research Investigator, Joslin Diabetes Center
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

Mary_LoekenMary Loeken, Ph.D., is an Investigator in the Section on Islet Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Joslin Diabetes Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She received her doctorate in Reproductive Endocrinology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and did postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute’s Laboratory of Molecular Virology before coming to Joslin. In 1992 she was named a Capps Scholar in Diabetes Research at Harvard Medical School, which also awarded her a Scholars in Medicine Award in 1998. She is an expert on the study of birth defects resulting from diabetic pregnancy and has served on study sections for the NIH, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the American Diabetes Association, and on the Editorial Board for the journal, Diabetes. She is an Associate Member of the Diabetic Pregnancy Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, and serves as co-editor of Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews. She has also been on the Board of Tutors in Molecular Cellular Biology at Harvard University since 1992, and has had faculty affiliations with Ph.D. Programs in Biological Biomedical Sciences, Virology, and Neurobiology.

Social Sciences
Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury, Ph.D. ’07, Public Policy
President and CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Sherece WestSherece Y. West-Scantlebury is president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, a private, independent foundation whose mission is to improve the lives of all Arkansans in three interrelated areas: economic development; education; and economic, racial and social justice.  Involved in philanthropy for close to 20 years, Dr. West-Scantlebury served as CEO at the Foundation for Louisiana and as a program associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Her professional career includes nearly 25 years of experience in community development, public policy and advocacy, and public service. In addition to running the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. West-Scantlebury is active in a number of nonprofits and philanthropy organizations. She earned her undergraduate degree from Bowie State University, and her master’s of public policy from the University of Michigan before pursuing her doctorate in public policy at UMBC.

Visual and Performing Arts
Brigitte Pribnow Moore ’05, Acting
Executive Director, Young Playwrights’ Theater

Brigitte Pribnow MooreBrigitte Pribnow Moore has nearly a decade of experience in nonprofit management, arts administration, fundraising and communications in the DC region. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT), the only professional theater in Washington, DC dedicated entirely to arts education. Prior to joining YPT, Brigitte served as the Legislative Director for two different Maryland State Delegates, as well as the Artistic Director of The Unmentionable Theatre, a Baltimore-based non-profit company dedicated to producing new plays with social and political weight. Brigitte holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Suma Cum Laude, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University and a Masters in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. Through the Georgetown Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC), she has worked on pro bono strategic communications consulting projects with organizations throughout Greater Washington, including Compass, Deloitte LLP, HandsOn Greater DC Cares and Equality Maryland. Brigitte continues to work with CSIC as an Alumni Instructor for Georgetown’s Cause Consulting course, mentoring cohorts of graduate students as they implement strategic communications plans for nonprofit clients throughout the DC region.

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