Simone Acquaye (she/her)
Simone Acquaye ’25 is a biology major with a minor in public health. As an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) leader, Simone hopes to foster a welcoming environment as well as encourage peers to participate in civic work and engagement. Aside from her role as an ASB leader, Simone is also part of UMBC’s Honors College and works as a team leader for the freshman class. Outside of school, Simone enjoys reading, and trying new restaurants with friends.
Mashaal Awan (she/her)
Mashaal Awan ’25 is double majoring in public health and media & communication studies. As a STRiVE coach, her goal is to help her peers understand the power they have over their own lives and the changes they are capable of making in the world around them. Mashaal also serves as a leadership peer facilitator with Campus Life, where she will design a curriculum based on what leadership means at UMBC. She previously served as a Welcome Week leader (Woolie) where she helped freshman students integrate into the UMBC community. Outside of these roles, Mashaal values quality time with friends and is actively working to expand her freelance opportunities in photography and videography. She is passionate about the filmmaking discipline and hopes to raise awareness on the importance and tangibility of anyone being able to make a difference in society.
Madison Brown (they/them)
Madison Brown ’25 is a social work major with a minor in Africana studies. As an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) leader, they hope to give resources and knowledge to the ASB participants and to make a fun and collaborative space where members of the ASB 2024 community can learn from each other and bond together. Madison is a member of UMBC’s Black Student Union (BSU) and is involved with the Shriver Center. When they are not at school they like to cook and play Minecraft.
Katie Brungard (she/her)
Katie Brungard ’24 is a mathematics major with minors in economics and statistics and a certificate in Spanish studies. As a STRiVE coach, she is hoping to help members of the UMBC community form deeper connections that lead to meaningful impacts on the communities around them, and to show STRiVE participants that they can lead as their authentic selves. Katie participated in Alternative Spring Break (ASB) 2021 and STRiVE 2023, and was a part of the 2022-2023 ConnectionCorps team. She is also an evaluation and special projects intern with the Center for Democracy and Civic Life, the president of UMBC’s Best Buddies chapter, and a teaching assistant with the UMBC Math Department. Outside of school, Katie loves reading, crocheting, listening to music, and playing with her dogs, Oskar and Stella.
Meghna Chandrasekaran (she/her)
Meghna Chandrasekaran ’25 is a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar double majoring in political science (B.A.) and biological sciences (B.A.). She serves as a STRiVE coach and research intern with the Center for Democracy and Civic Life. She wishes to foster a community in which students feel comfortable to co-create a civically and politically engaged world, as well as a community where everyone who is eligible votes. Meghna previously served as a 2022-2023 political engagement intern with the Center, and she participated STRiVE and Alternative Spring Break (ASB) in 2023. She also serves as the executive vice president of UMBC’s Student Government Association (SGA), after previously serving as a senator and a public relations manager. Outside of work and school, Meghna likes to visit new places in her car, listen to music, and watch movies with friends and family.
Olivia Giuliano (she/her)
Olivia Giuliano ’24 is a psychology major. In her roles as a STRiVE coach and an evaluation and special projects intern with the Center for Democracy and Civic Life, she hopes to make contributions that will increase UMBC community members’ awareness and understanding of the power that they hold to affect desired change, both within and beyond our campus community. Olivia participated in Alternative Spring Break (ASB) 2022, with a focus on educational equity, and STRiVE 2023. Additionally, Olivia has been involved with Campus Life as a Campus Information Center desk attendant, in Dr. Mirela Cengher’s “CoLLAB” psychology research lab as a research assistant, and with the Student Government Association as an Election Board member. She also previously worked as a teaching assistant for the Honors College, and now tutors in the Writing Center. Outside of work and school, Olivia enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with her loved ones (especially her cat, Sage).
Aidan Hunter (he/him)
Aidan Hunter ’26 is majoring in linguistics and minoring in comparative politics. As an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) leader, he hopes to expand his experience in and knowledge of civic engagement and expand that experience to ASB participants. Aidan is a Finance Board member with the Student Government Association (SGA), a Leadership Peer Facilitator with Campus Life, and an intern at the Pride Center with Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging (i3b). He likes to study foreign languages, spend time with friends, try new restaurants, and travel when he can.
Musa Jafri (he/him & they/them)
Musa Jafri ’24 is majoring in political science with minors in English and music. He has been involved in diversity, equity, and inclusion work at UMBC with a focus on educational policy and pedagogical practices. As an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) leader, he plans to co-create an experience that will offer an opportunity for students to realize how much their contributions, ideas, and work—their civic potential—can result in tangible change and profound impacts in their communities. Musa president of the Student Government Association and a co-chair of the University System of Maryland’s Student Civic Leaders Committee. Previously, Musa served as the Student Government Association’s director of civic engagement and as an ASB leader and participant. In his free time, Musa likes playing Dungeons and Dragons, composing music, and playing his bassoon.
Brianna Malbon (she/her & they/them)
Brianna Malbon ’24 is majoring in psychology with a certificate in media and communication studies. As a STRiVE coach and civic conversation intern with the Center for Democracy and Civic Life, she aims to create open spaces for impactful conversations and encourage people to be authentic and form genuine connections with each other. She makes it her mission to support her peers by connecting them to the resources and stakeholders necessary to reach their goals. Brianna served as a STRiVE 2023 coach and a ConnectionCorps 2022-2023 facilitator, and she participated in STRiVE 2021. She has been involved with the Student Government Association (SGA)’s Student Organization Support Team as a first year ambassador, with the Patapsco Community Council as a member, and with the Discovery Living-Learning Community as a peer mentor. She currently serves as an associate director of first year development with SGA and as a resident assistant (RA) for the Discovery Living-Learning Community. Outside of her work, Brianna enjoys playing games, reading, embroidery, and going on long walks.
Yvette Mozie-Ross (she/her)
Yvette Mozie-Ross, Ph.D., is Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Planning at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). As Vice Provost, Dr. Mozie-Ross provides oversight and strategic planning for the areas of undergraduate admissions and orientation, financial aid and scholarships, academic and pre-professional advising, records and registration, and the student administration project (student information system). With a higher education career spanning over 30 years, she has served in numerous professional capacities including residence community director, coordinator of multicultural recruitment, assistant director for transfer recruitment and admissions, director of undergraduate admissions, and director of academic services (advising and registration). Dr. Mozie-Ross has served on various national and statewide committees and workgroups including the College Board’s Commission for Transfer Policy and Practice, and the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s State Plan Writing Group on Access, Affordability and Completion. She has served on the university’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee and is currently serving as the governing board president for the Baltimore Collegetown Network, a consortium of 13 colleges in Baltimore, Maryland. Additionally, she serves as a governing board member for the Samuel Ready Scholarship which provides academically promising girls with financial need access to Baltimore independent secondary school education. Dr. Mozie-Ross frequently lends her expertise, both nationally and internationally, in the area of data analytics and leveraging analytics for institutional transformation in the area of student success. Dr. Mozie-Ross earned her bachelor’s degree from UMBC in 1988, her master’s degree from University of Maryland University College in 1994, and her doctorate in Education Policy and Leadership at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2011. Her dissertation research examined the academic and background characteristics of high school graduates who identified teachers as influential in their choice of college.
Alberta Ndille (she/her)
Alberta Ndille ’24 is majoring in public health. She attended Alternative Spring Break (ASB) and STRiVE in 2023. As an ASB leader, she wants to give other students a great opportunity and experience like the one she had. Alberta is a member of UMBC’s Honors College and has been a First Year Ambassador with the Student Government Association (SGA) and an Orientation Peer Advisor (OPA) with Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation. Outside of school and work, she likes watching movies, dancing, singing, and hanging out with friends.
Kathryn Rambo (she/her)
Kathryn Rambo ’24 is pursuing a B.S. in psychology with a minor in linguistics. She hopes to bring a new perspective to ConnectionCorps this year. She is excited to really focus and help the Center for Democracy and Civic Life improve its communication of initiatives to connect with the individual student experience at UMBC. She hopes to connect with a variety of new people and create the start of new bridges on campus for UMBC students. Kathryn participated in STRiVE 2023. Her other positions on campus include being a lead Welcome Week leader (Woolie) and working at UMBC’s Albin O. Kuhn Library. Kathryn loves to be outdoors, hiking and climbing, but will always appreciate sitting with a good book.
Kina Soberano (she/her)
Kina Soberano ’26 is on the pre-med track and is double majoring in biology and public health with a minor in sociology. She is passionate about improving community conditions through volunteering and organization efforts. As an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) leader, she hopes to form meaningful connections with the other participants and share her passion for civic engagement through guided conversations and activities. On campus, she currently holds positions as a teaching assistant for First Year Experience (FYE) 101, research assistant in Dr. Sameera Nayak’s Research on Social Conditions and Health Equity (ROSCHE) Lab, secretary for the Maryland Student Legislature, and scholarship officer for Alpha Sigma Alpha. Outside of school, Kina enjoys reading, writing, sketching, and hiking.
Samantha Smith (she/her)
Dr. Samantha Smith is the Director of the Office of Health Promotion. Samantha joined UMBC in 2016. She received a B.S. in Human Biology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 and went on to receive her Master of Public Health from Emory University in 2015. Thereafter, she completed her Ph.D. in Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. While at UMBC, Samantha has worked on a number of public health interventions that have included advising the Peer Health Educator Internship, developing keep health education material to support campus prevention efforts, and improving the use of campus healthy relationships education. As a STRiVE coach, Samantha hopes to find new ways to co-create with students and to learn about the diverse experiences that our students are having. Outside of UMBC, Samantha is an avid adventure seeker and is constantly looking for new places to visit. Also, spending time with friends and family brings her joy.
Manav Vaishnav (he/him)
Manav Vaishnav ’25 is majoring in business technology administration with a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation. As a ConnectionCorps facilitator, he hopes to help build strong connections within the UMBC community and be a guide through conversations about change. He has participated in STRIVE 2023 and Alternative Spring Break (ASB) 2023 held by the Center of Democracy and Civic Life. He is the external events coordinator for UMBC’s Hindu Student Council, a senator with the Student Government Association (SGA), and the treasurer of the Photography Club. Outside of school, Manav likes to travel, spend time with friends and family, and watch TV shows/movies.