Every day, Retrievers are working behind the scenes to make a difference in the lives of our students. Jamie Jaegers ’14, health administration and public policy, and M.A. ’16, management of aging services, is one of them, using her work as Manager of Program Operations and Logistics with the Erickson School of Aging Studies and as a volunteer with the Maryland Charity Campaign to make her mark at UMBC.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your job and what you enjoy about it most?
A: I work at the Erickson School of Aging Studies and I help connect our students to people and opportunities in the field of aging. I work on building relationships with our alumni and community partners by planning and attending events and webinars that bring leaders in aging to UMBC. I also help find meaningful internship experiences for our students.
I always knew that I wanted to work in aging, but I never knew that there were so many different ways to work in the field. I love that the Erickson School finds new ways for people to get involved in aging no matter what their background is and the possibilities seem endless. The business of aging is so broad that I get the opportunity to bring things that I love outside of work to the School. I had the opportunity to start an art exhibit a couple of years ago called “The Creative Age.” I work with local retirement communities, senior centers, and art classes for older adults to showcase their artwork in our office. I get to meet new people and organizations, introduce them to our students, and learn the artists’ stories to share with our students and guests. During our first exhibit, I learned that one of the artists is Professor Emeritus in the Psychology department. His wife painted a picture of Dr. [Freeman] Hrabowski and his wife as a gift while her husband was teaching here. I love learning about UMBC’s history and how deeply tied the university is in the community when I hear stories like these through my work.
“I want to give back in any way I can to show my appreciation and supporting
the [Maryland Charity] Campaign is one way I can show that.”
— Jamie Jaegers ’14, M.A. ’16
A: One of my first assignments as a UMBC employee was signing up to be a Coordinator for the Maryland Charity Campaign (MCC) for the Erickson School. The MCC is an annual giving campaign where state employees have the opportunity to give back to non-profit organizations that support Marylanders. I remember attending my first kickoff breakfast to find out what I just got myself into and Dr. Hrabowski told us, “for of those to whom much is given much is required.” His remarks reminded me of all of the opportunities I’ve had while being a student and employee at UMBC. I want to give back in any way I can to show my appreciation and supporting the campaign is one way I can show that. That’s why I’ve continued to volunteer to collect donations from my department every year as a Coordinator and it has become something that means a lot to me. MCC has given me the opportunity to learn about my colleagues and what matters to them outside of the workplace. It has allowed me to experience everyone on our campus coming together to give each year. UMBC usually wins an award for having the highest percentage of participation in the campaign across all of the state agencies in Maryland! That really says something about our culture at UMBC. We work on a campus that truly cares about helping others and I am very proud to be a part of that.
Q: What is one way you’ve chosen to volunteer or give back, and why?
This year I am excited to be helping in a larger role as lead coordinator while our Dean, Dr. [Dana] Bradley, chairs the campaign that launched last week. I will help the Coordinators from other departments make this campaign a success again in a year when our community needs more help than ever.
Q: Who is someone at UMBC who inspires you? What have they taught you?
A: I was very lucky to be a part of Jill Wardell‘s Personal Leadership and Project Management Cohort III last year. Jill inspires me to persevere through both personal and professional challenges. She is always coming up with programming and sharing resources to connect people on campus and improve our wellbeing. I admire that Jill is always willing to help and seems to know exactly what to say when you need it most. Jill taught me how to have the confidence to be a leader on campus and really helped me come out of my shell as I transitioned from my role as a student into a professional. Thank you, Jill!
Q: What is one thing you’d tell someone about why they should get involved in the UMBC community, both in your role as staff and as an alumna of UMBC?
A: I think UMBC is the most supportive and caring community you could get involved in. I felt that way when I first toured the campus as a high school junior and have continued to feel that way through my time working at the Erickson School of Aging Studies. My friends and my colleagues from UMBC are always pushing me to grow both personally and professionally and always asking how they can help along the way. Our UMBC community is filled with people who are willing to take the time to help and teach each other.