Each year, the Alumni Association Scholarship program helps amazing students succeed at UMBC. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of their stories with you. This week, meet Melanie Dell ’12, the recipient of this year’s Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship.
What are you involved in on campus? I have been an editor of the UMBC Review: Journal of Undergraduate Research for the past two years.
Please share one of your favorite memories of your time at UMBC. There are two memories of my experience at UMBC that particularly stand out. The first one was reading the New Student Book Experience autobiography The Glass Castle for my English 100 class during my freshman year and attending a book talk at UMBC given by the author, Jeannette Walls. Reading and discussing the book in class, then hearing the author speak in person about her book was just one of the many interesting and unique learning experiences I had during my time at UMBC. My other fond memory was of a Shakespeare course (English 351) I took during my sophomore year. During the last class period of the semester, all of the students had to take part in performing an act from the play King Lear outside of the Fine Arts recital hall. We had to decide who played which parts, what act we were going to perform, and what costumes we were going to wear. Engaging this closely with the play allowed me to form a new appreciation for the Shakespeare plays that we had discussed and analyzed all semester.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned here? I’ve learned the value of diverse opinions and the importance of actively pursuing subjects that interest me. UMBC has cultivated my desires to increase my knowledge.
What are your plans for after graduation (if you know them)? Or, at least, what are you hoping to do? I will pursue a Master of Library Science degree at Clarion University in fall 2012. This is an entirely online program, which will allow me to concurrently work full-time at a public library.
What’s it like having a parent who is also an alum of UMBC? Did that factor into your decision to come here? When I was younger, my father would always tell me how invaluable his education was at UMBC. Although I applied to other universities, UMBC was my top choice because of the positive comments I heard from my dad about how this university provides the best resources, professors, and environment for its students.
How has the scholarship helped you? (And, do you have others?) I have funded my own education since I started at UMBC. I was awarded the President’s Fellows merit scholarship, but since that only covered a portion of UMBC’s tuition, I still had to make up the difference each semester. I would often work many hours during the week at a nearby public library to make sure that I did not have to take out loans or graduate with debts. Because of the Alumni Association Legacy scholarship, I was able to spend less time working in my senior year and more time focusing on school.
What would you say to the alumni who helped fund your scholarship? I want to express my sincerest gratitude and thanks to the alumni who helped fund my scholarship. It was an honor to receive this award.