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Keynote & Alumni Panel Presentation

October 21 / 10-11am

While it is a MAJOR decision, choosing what to study at UMBC is just the beginning. Tune in to listen to our Keynote Speaker, Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, and a panel of other UMBC alumni share unique stories of how their major pathway led them to the careers they hold today.

Come away with an understanding that not all major choices lead to a direct career path -sometimes your major choice will lead you on a journey you never expected.


Keynote Speaker

UMBC Alum, Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, CPA (US), CGMA, CISA

We are thrilled to host Kimberly Ellison-Taylor as our Keynote Speaker for the third Annual Major Event.

One of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting and CPA Practice Advisor’s 35 Most Powerful Women in Accounting, Ellison-Taylor is a transformational leader and sought out speaker, with a compelling background of strategy, finance, people leadership, digital engagement, business development and technology.

Her career achievements include leadership roles at Oracle, Motorola, KPMG, Prince George’s County Government, and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Ellison-Taylor holds a B.S. degree in Information Systems Management from UMBC. From here, she went on to earn her MBA at Loyola University and a Master of Science in Information Technology Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

She is a lifetime member of the National Association of Black Accountants-Baltimore Professional Chapter and a community leader in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.-Anne Arundel County, MD chapter.

We know she will offer all UMBC students a spirited and informed perspective on the relationship between majors and careers.


Alumni Panel

Blake Hipsley – ’19

Blake is a Ph.D. student in Physics at the University of Michigan. While at UMBC, he worked as a tutor for the Learning Resources Center, participated in undergraduate research, and joined the McNair Scholars Program. He also participated in club ultimate frisbee and club lacrosse. Currently, at the University of Michigan, Blake is teaching introductory physics labs, participating as a member of the Physics Graduate Council, and continues to play lacrosse with the university’s club team. His goal is to become a professor, so he can not only pursue research and educate students in physics, but also serve as a mentor for young academics, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds.

Damarius Johnson – ’19

Damarius is an Indianapolis, Indiana native and a Spring 2019 graduate from the Africana Studies department at UMBC. He is currently a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of History at The Ohio State University. Prior to graduate school, he was a first-generation college student at UMBC and a transfer student from the Community College of Baltimore County. While at UMBC, he discovered and fostered communities of support that made college graduation and graduate school admission possible. In addition to his academic interests, Damarius found opportunities to serve in communities beyond campus, enjoy jazz ensemble performances, and participate in student organizations at UMBC.

Maniraj Jeyaraju – More information coming soon

Rachelle Turiello – More information coming soon

Yoo-Jin Kang – More information coming soon

Jamshaid Shahir – ’18

Jamshaid graduated magna cum laude from UMBC in 2018 with B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Statistics, and a minor in Computer Science. He was a member of the Meyerhoff (M26) and MARC U*STAR (now U-RISE) Scholars programs, as well as the Honors College. Jamshaid is currently pursuing his PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), under the support of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Fellowship. His research focuses on the cell cycle of human embryonic stem cells using mathematical modeling. Outside of research, Jamshaid is actively engaged in science communication and de-stigmatizing mental health. He contributes regularly to a science communication blog at UNC called The Pipettepen, and recently launched a podcast series on graduate life in September 2020 with other Royster Fellows and graduate students at Kings College London in the UK called PhD and Me: The Third Degree.