University of Maryland Individual Studies Program

Spring & Fall 2010 Graduates

B. S., Urban Planning
Minor: U.S. Latino Studies
Faculty Mentor: Dr. William Hanna, School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Dora Cortez is excited to be graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Planning and a minor in U.S. Latino Studies. The Urban Planning degree focuses on better understanding the formation and history of cities and communities in the United States. Through her studies, which included classes in Architecture, Planning, Historic Preservation, Geography, American Studies, and U.S. Latino Studies, Dora was able to understand the problems urban communities face and ways these can be addressed. Dora completed three internships: one at the University of Maryland and two at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. During her internships at M-NCPPC, she was able to work on a project designing an urban plaza for a local community as well as researching recreational spaces for the Hispanic community. She was also able to take part in gathering information for a report for Prince George's County analyzing the state of the county in comparison to neighboring counties. 


B.A., Internet and Society
B.A., Economics
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Golbeck, College of Information Studies
University Honors Program

Ben Falk is graduating from the University of Maryland with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Internet and Society (IVSP) and Economics.  The degree in Internet and Society focuses on how the Internet is affecting the everyday lives of citizens around the world, as well as how the Internet can be used from a policy perspective to shape behavior towards social good.  For his senior project, Ben created a class at Maryland where interested students came together to develop a web application that benefited campus; the students chose to create an improved course catalog, allowing their peers to find information about courses much more easily.  The application has been released as open-source, encouraging further development, and the plan is for current students to continue the class next year. While at Maryland, Ben has interned for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association, as well as worked part-time for the Portland Trail Blazers as a statistical analyst and computer programmer, applying many of the skills learned from his Internet and Society degree.  After graduation, Ben plans to move to Portland to work for the Blazers full-time.


B.S., Meteorology Studies
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Daniel Kirk-Davidoff and Dr. Robert Hudson, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science

Stephanie Fritch is receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology Studies from the University of Maryland.  Meteorology is a study that goes far beyond what is seen on television.  A majority of the study involves mathematical research and model assimilating to produce an accurate forecast for the public.  As an intern at Aberdeen Test Center's Atmospheric Effects Team, Stephanie works in forecasting, as well as providing test support for those testing on range at Aberdeen Proving Ground.  This involves collecting and producing meteorological data to test directors, setting up data collection platforms to ensure outdoor conditions are safe, and distributing severe weather alerts to all at Aberdeen Proving Ground.  Stephanie was able to use her education at the University of Maryland to work in each area of test support.  She incorporated her internship into her senior project which was the redesigning and deployment of the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature apparatus.  She took on the task to improve a faulty apparatus that measures temperature data for those working outdoors.  Using research and experimentation, she was able to design a device to ensure accurate data would collect.  By completing this task, she allowed the Atmospheric Effects Team to provide the proper safety precautions to those at Aberdeen Proving Ground.  Stephanie plans to continue her education and work towards her Master's degree in Synoptic Meteorology.  She also plans on continuing her internship at the Atmospheric Effects Team so she can continue to present innovative ideas to the team.


B.A., Culture and Understanding in the Modern Middle East
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Eric Zakim, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
University Honors Program
Summa cum Laude

Carrie Glassner is graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Culture and Understanding in the Modern Middle East. Culture and Understanding in the Modern Middle East is the study of the peoples of the Middle East and their interactions. Carrie's senior thesis, “The Gaza War Through Cultural Lenses,” is both the ideological and practical summit of her major, focusing on differing media portrayals of the Gaza War. Carrie has participated in several other research opportunities in order to enhance her undergraduate educations. She has twice been a participant in the University of Maryland's Undergraduate Student Researcher's Program.  In the spring of 2008 she assisted history professor Nina Spiegel in her research concerning the development of Israeli culture from 1920 to 1940 and in the fall of 2009 she assisted government and politics professor Daniel Corstange in his exploration of religious and ethnic sectarianism in the Middle East. Carrie also aided professor Edy Kaufman in editing his article concerning the benefits to Israel of applying the human rights dimension in looking for solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This past semester Carrie concluded her research experiences, interning at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, where she utilized Hebrew language sources to enhance professor Bruce Hoffman's research on Jewish terrorism in Palestine from 1939-1947. Carrie will be staying on at the Wilson Center through the end of July as she looks for a permanent position working with Middle East-related organizations in the DC area. Carrie graduates as a regular Dean's List honoree and with a citation from the University Honors Program. Outside of her academic achievements, Carrie has been an active member of the University of Maryland's Jewish community. She has filled leadership roles on the boards of Koach (the Conservative Jewish community on campus) and Hillel's Committee for Religious Life.


B.A., Music Management
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Suzanne J. Beicken, School of Music

Leor Gold will be graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Management.  The Music Management degree involves the business, communication, music, and cultural aspects of the music industry, exploring why people listen to certain kinds of music and how to market it to a culturally diverse audience.  Leor's senior project is the evolution of Cans and Bands, a nonprofit concert at which admission is five nonperishable food items, into an outdoor festival nearly doubling attendance and donations to be given to D.C. Food for All and So Others Might Eat.  Aside from classes, Leor has learned much about the Music Industry through her internships.  She worked at Joe's Movement Emporium in D.C., a nonprofit arts organization which promotes everything from concerts and improvisational comedian performances to modern paintings and sculptures.  Leor was assistant to the manager of the 3-D program, designed to keep inner city teenagers off the streets by having them plan, promote, and attend various performances on Friday nights.  Leor also interned with Walther Productions, a promoter company responsible for booking shows in the Baltimore and D.C. area, managing the Grateful Dead cover band Dark Star Orchestra, and, most notably, founding All Good Music Festival, which takes place annually in July.  After graduation Leor plans to work as a music agent for up-and-coming indie bands, and eventually plans to own her own music company and start a music festival similar to All Good.


B.A., Leadership Education
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sue Briggs, Director, CIVICUS
CIVICUS Living and Learning Program

Lauren Gregory is stoked to be earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Leadership Education.  She often refers to her degree as the art of playing outside, as demonstrated in her academic and extracurricular activities.  Lauren's senior thesis investigated the intentional methods employed to develop a sense of community in summer camps.   As an experiential internship, Lauren served full time as a Staff Naturalist at Echo Hill Outdoor School on Maryland's Eastern Shore. While at Echo Hill, Lauren planned and implemented courses in three diverse curriculum areas, and played an integral role in providing a positive residential experience for students. Lauren was initially drawn to the University upon her invitation to the CIVICUS Living and Learning Program. While in CIVICUS, she forged meaningful relationships and fostered interest in the study of community development through the integral themes of CIVICUS: leadership, citizenship, community building in a diverse society, scholarship, and community service-learning.  Sue Briggs took it from there, seriously.  CIVICUS sparked Lauren's interest in the study of multiculturalism which then lent itself to her involvement as a Peer Dialogue Leader with the Common Ground Program. Lauren facilitated structured peer led dialogues surrounding potentially divisive multicultural topics.  Her dedication to CIVICUS and Common Ground is evident in the time spent as a student aid to both programs; she just can't get away.  Upon graduation, Lauren will return to her beloved Echo Hill to romp about in Mother Nature's glory.  In the future, Lauren aspires to fulfill her passion of becoming a camp director. Lauren offers utmost appreciation and gratitude to her incredibly supportive and patient parents who have endlessly stood beside her, regardless of the shenanigans she manages to pull.  She would also like to extend deeply heartfelt thanks to her mentor and on-campus mom, Sue Briggs, without whom Lauren cannot imagine attendance, let alone success at the University of Maryland.


B.A., Sports Management Principles
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Damion Thomas, Department of Kinesiology  

Anthony Johnson is ecstatic to be graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sports Management Principles. The Sports Management Degree can be defined as the study of the sports field in relation to managerial knowledge, leadership principles, psychology, and communication. This field is divided into three areas: communication, the business of sports, and education areas of human development. Anthony's senior thesis takes and in-depth look at racial diversity as it relates to positions within professional sports. Anthony looks at African American disparities in the business of sports pertaining to professional positions of power. Managerial style positions in sports lack people of color. Therefore the percentage of sports agents, coaches, and front office positions filled by African Americans does not compare when considering how many African American players are in these leagues. Anthony has been working as an intern for Maryland Sports Marketing. Anthony works as a paid intern in charge of all marketing operations for Maryland Women's Lacrosse in the spring season. His responsibilities range from designing, implementing, and reviewing a full marketing plan to coordinating in-game promotions, and managing Game Operations staff. Anthony also gained valuable experience working as the marketing coordinator for the 2010 ACC Women's Lacrosse Tournament Championship. During his time at the University of Maryland, Anthony has always valued diversity and being active. Anthony is a member of several different organizations including the Black Business Association, and the Sports Business Society. He also serves as public relations chair for his fraternity Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, and social chair for both his fraternity and the Pan-Hellenic Council executive board. After college Anthony plans to attend law school with career aspirations as a sports agent or obtaining a respectable position with a major sports company.


B.A., Urban Studies, Planning and Development
Minor: Project Management
Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Cohen, Director of the Urban Studies and Planning Masters Program

Erin Lavelle was an Architecture major for a year and a half before deciding to seek out an Urban Planning major through the Individual Studies Program.  Her major encompasses the study of land use and its regulatory policies, community planning and design, and planning management and finance. The scope of this major includes an in-depth study of the everyday environment, its problems, and the solutions and policies that are implemented to make the environment a more livable and sustainable place. Erin is also minoring in Project Management through the School of Engineering. Erin's senior thesis is an evaluation and analysis of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Housing Choice Voucher Program. Erin worked as an intern during the summer of 2009 for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. This fall, she will be attending graduate school at Columbia University, working towards receiving her Master's of Science in Urban Planning. Erin is also a member of the Senior Council where she held the position of Commencement Speaker Chair and Alpha Chi Omega where she was Chapter President and received the Outstanding Chapter President of the Year Award from the University in 2009.


B.A., The Art of Graphic Advertising
Faculty Mentor: Audra Buck-Coleman, MFA, Department of Art, Graphic Design

Melissa Morgan is proud to be graduating from the University of Maryland having created and designed her own major, The Art of Graphic Advertising, through the Individual Studies Program. Her passion for graphic design and advertising led her to want to study both fields while in college. The Art of Graphic Advertising can be defined as the study of graphic elements and text to communicate an idea or concept. It can be applied to any media such as animation, digital media, signs, product decoration, and packaging. Along with creating her own major, Melissa has been very active on campus. During her college career, she served as the president of a campus group known as Leaders In Action. Leaders In Action is a platform of thriving college students at the University of Maryland, who are working to enhance their leadership skills by bringing out those skills in adolescent youth. Every year, Leaders In Action hosts an annual conference geared towards empowering high school and middle school students. The conference is extremely beneficial to the youth as they are also exposed to college. While in college, Melissa had the opportunity to have great internships with the Source Magazine in New York City where she worked closely with the creative director and marketing director on projects and events. She has also done freelance work for book publishing companies, start-up companies, and entertainment events in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation, Melissa looks forward to using her design attributes to better the environment by addressing sustainability issues in the environment along with continuing her entrepreneur and freelance work.


B.S., Disability Studies 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jacqueline Wallen, Department Family Science
University Honors Program
Manga cum Laude

Stephen Moster is proud to be graduating the University of Maryland and IVSP with a Bachelor of Science degree in Disability Studies. The Disability Studies major sheds light on the root causes of disabilities, the psychological effects, as well as how individuals with disabilities view and function in society. Stephen's senior project included a weekend retreat for 20 individuals with special needs spending a weekend on campus in the dorms and apartments of students. Throughout college, Stephen has conducted research in the fields of Cardiology and Ophthalmology. He has interned at the National Institutes of Health for 7 months and will continue throughout the summer. In addition to his academic pursuits, Stephen has spent his summers and breaks traveling the world. He has volunteered in Kenya, conducted a research project in south east India, studied in Brazil and ran a summer program for children with disabilities in Israel. Stephen is a regular Dean's List honoree and will graduate with an Honors citation. He will be attending medical school in the fall.


 Rachel Neiderberger RACHEL NIEDERBERGER
B.A., Arts Administration
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Suzanne J. Beicken, School of Music

Rachel Niederberger is proud to be graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts Administration. Her degree in Arts Administration combines the concentrations of business, journalism/communication, and the arts and serves to promote and encourage the growth and development of the arts. As an intern in the Special Events Office in the School of Music, she worked closely with Dr. Suzanne Beicken, who also served as her faculty mentor. Her internship projects included facilitating a fundraiser for the Music Honors Society, Pi Kappa Lambda; organizing The Women's Club of Chevy Chase 2009 Scholarship Showcase Event; and arranging a post-performance reception hosted by the Board of Visitors, donors to UMD's School of Music. For her Capstone Project, Rachel organized two concerts with the Adelphi String Quartet, the Graduate String Quartet In-Residence: a collaborative performance in the Art Gallery with painter Professor Richard Klank and dancer Sebastian Rousseau, and a performance in the Mathematics Department. Rachel's extracurricular activities included working as a Recital Manager for the Events Staff at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and as a Piano Accompanist for the Maryland Youth Ballet in Silver Spring, MD. She is a regular Dean's List honoree and has received both the Maryland State Delegate's and Senatorial Scholarships for the past three years. This fall, Rachel will be attending the graduate Arts Management Program at Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College.


B.S., Architecture and Urban Design
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sidney N. Brower, Urban Studies and Planning  

Oluseyi Olowomeye is elated to graduate from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and Urban Design.  An Architecture and Urban Design degree deals with the study of building design and other structures that frame the appearance, arrangement, and functionality of urban spaces. Her degree operates at the intersection of architecture, urban studies, culture, sociology, and geography. Oluseyi's senior thesis examines the Eastside Community in Baltimore, Maryland and focuses on understanding the area's society and culture while examining historical trends and problems, accompanying projects of urban development within low-income black communities. In addition to her academic pursuits, Oluseyi has worked as an intern at the top two architecture firms in the world:  Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabuam (HOK) in Washington DC and Gensler, Inc in New York City (NYC). She completed work on multi-million dollar projects with 3M Worldwide in NYC and the Architect of the Capitol in the District of Columbia. After graduation, Oluseyi plans to attend graduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park to further explore the field of Urban Studies and Planning with a focus on community development in low-income communities.  Oluseyi's goal is to become an Urban Designer and Community Developer. Eventually, she would like to apply her expertise into the international arena in more disparate circumstances, such as her parents'home city of Illewé, Ekiti State, Nigeria. Oluseyi has been on the Dean's List for four semesters and was accepted to work in the competitive employment program Teach For America, which seeks to close the educational attainment gap in low-income community areas. She is a recipient of the University's Office of  Multi-ethnic Student Education (OMSE) Academic Excellence 2009-2010 Award, which recognizes minority students on campus who achieve a GPA of 3.75 or higher.


B.A., Public Health Policy
Minor: Leadership Studies
Faculty Mentor: Dean Robert S. Gold, School of Public Health
University Honors Program

Elizabeth Rae Striegel is pleased to be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health Policy and a minor in Leadership Studies.  Elizabeth is graduating from the University Honors College with an Honors Citation.  Her Public Health Policy major focuses on how to promote and protect the health of the public through creating, encouraging and executing legislative policies.  Elizabeth's senior capstone project established a Friendship Agreement between the Abigail D. Butscher Primary School in Freetown, Sierra Leone and Paint Branch Elementary School in College Park.  The fundamental principle of the Friendship Agreement is to recognize and support the ability of children to promote healthy lifestyles, educate their peers and facilitate informed health related decisions within their community.  At The University of Maryland, Elizabeth has been an energetic on-campus leader.  She served as President of the 2010 Class Council and was a trip leader for Alternative Spring Break, where she created and led a group to Los Angeles to focus on the U.S. healthcare crisis.  Elizabeth is an Honors College Ambassador and is the founding President of the IVSP Student Advisory Board.  Elizabeth's first internship experience was on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Committee Intern for Senator Edward Kennedy.  Since then, she has spent a summer in Boston working at the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority and completed an international work placement at the National Health Service, Health Inequalities Unit during a semester abroad in London, England.  For the past year, she has worked for the Department of Labor on the Family and Medical Leave Act team. Elizabeth would like to extend a special thank you to her parents, Bill and Linda Striegel, for motivating, inspiring and loving her every step of the way.



B.A., Interactive Performance Art
Faculty Mentor: Jefferson Pinder, MFA, Department of Art

Hudson Taylor is proud to be graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interactive Performance Art.  The Interactive Performance Art degree deals with the study of conceptual art in which the interactive experience, in addition to the material object, constitutes the work. It involves an interdisciplinary investigation of studio-art and performance, exposing the processes by which artwork can bestow or afford audience interaction such that the artist, work, and viewer become performers or participants in a creative encounter.  Hudson's senior thesis studied the aesthetic preferences of different socio-economic classes by inviting members of the public from each of the four quadrants of Washington, DC to express themselves through painting. After graduation, Hudson plans to attend law school.  In addition, Hudson is a three-time division I All-American for the sport of wrestling, a two-time recipient of the Talbot T. Speer Award honoring leadership, scholarship and all-around athletic ability, and the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year.


B. A., International Relations
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sarah E. Croco, Department of Government and Politics

Rebecca Zorn is looking forward to using her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations to help those who are most vulnerable throughout the globe. A major in International Relations is rooted in diplomacy, international politics, cultures, and languages. Rebecca took courses in French, German, and Spanish while in college and was able to study abroad where she took courses about international organizations and European politics. Her senior thesis was written on the European Common Security and Defense Policy, specifically examining the challenges and successes of this branch of the European Union. Rebecca spent much of her time in college interning for several different organizations. Her first internship was for a congressional campaign in Cincinnati, Ohio, followed by an internship with a political action committee defending the rights of the LGBT community in New York City. In 2008-2009 she spent a year in Geneva, Switzerland interning for the World YWCA, a global women's rights organization, and attended sessions at the United Nations Office in Geneva working with the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Treaty). After graduation, Rebecca will be taking a trip to Paris, Geneva, and Nice, and will continue her job search. Rebecca has been on the Dean's List every semester of college, and has received the Presidential Transfer Scholarship from the University of Maryland.

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Individual Studies Program  Campus Location: 2407 Marie Mount Hall
Appointments: 301.314.0023  Email:
IVSP is a degree granting academic program of the Office of Undergraduate Studies