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Alumni 2000- 2010

Ellen LineActing ’10, LMSW is a social worker in Baltimore City. She is currently working at Mountain Manor Treatment Center providing therapy and leading mental health groups for men who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. She is channeling her theatre background into developing her Burlesque persona, Eddie Puss-Complex, and running Baltimore based Burlesque Troupe, Pink Flamingo Burlesque. She returned to Baltimore after adventures in art, career, and love took her to Providence, RI and Austin, TX.  Since graduating from UMBC, she has worked in theatre administratively at Baltimore Theatre Project and Trinity Repertory Company and artistically with Creative Action.  She earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin in August 2017.  She is extremely grateful for art she created and experienced and the opportunities to grow she enjoyed as a Linehan Artist Scholar.


Kim Fisch – Interdisciplinary/Dance/Women’s Studies ’01 has been teaching yoga since 2001. She is certified teacher in the Yoga Works method and a trainer for the Yoga Works 200 hour teacher training.
Kim’s class guides students toward self-understanding and awareness, within a healing and experiential environment. Her teaching is a compassionate and interdisciplinary approach to yoga, dedicated to structural and energetic integration, alignment, breath and heart.
After teaching her first sold out retreat in Ojai California last year, Kim hopes to continue to lead healing yoga retreats all over the world. She is considered an in-demand yoga teacher in Los Angeles, teaching privately to high profile and celebrity clients. The highest accomplishment, however, is to enjoy each day as it is, to celebrate each day she has, in good health. Website:

Christie Finn – Music ’07 American soprano, is actively involved in the world of contemporary performance and new music theater. Finn has performed as a soloist with arspoetica (Germany), Asko | Schönberg (Netherlands), CrossingLines (Spain), Hezarfen (Turkey), ICTUS (Belgium), Nadar (Belgium), Oerknal! (Netherlands), oh ton (Germany), VocaalLAB (Netherlands) and several ensembles in New York City, including ekmeles, the S.E.M. Ensemble, Experiments in Opera, and Tactus. Finn was a Linehan Artist Scholar and graduated with a B.A. in Music from UMBC in 2007. She holds a Master of Music in Classical Voice from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Music in Contemporary Performance from Manhattan School of Music. Finn is also an active poet and serves at the Managing Director of the Hampsong Foundation She currently resides in southwest Germany.
Career highlights include the world premiere of the opera To the Lighthouse at the Bregenz Festival, the world premiere of the Mojiao Wang’s opera Encounter at the Beijing Modern Music Festival, recording Waterlines with ICTUS as well as Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures for the Saarländischer Rundfunk, the world premiere of Klaus Lang’s opera die fette seele, and the U.S. premiere of Nono’s Quando Stanno Morendowith ekmeles. She performed as a soloist in the first and second annual Resonant Bodies Festival in New York City.


Matt McGloin – Theatre ’05 will be performing Fall 2018 at 59E59 in The Hello Girls, produced by Prospect Theatre Company, which specializes in the development of new musicals. This is his highest profile New York credit to date, and he’s quite proud of it. Other projects within the last year have included a regional show at Triad Stage in Greensboro, NC, and a project with the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.  Matt continues to work as a teaching artist, accompanist, and burlesque performer, and is also an arts model for the School of Visual Arts. Matt was in the Off-Broadway musical Bastard Jones at the Cell Theatre and he sang in New York’s 7th annual charity concert “Broadway Sings for Pride – Unstoppable.”   He has performed regionally at the Kennedy Center, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Signature Theatre DC, Folger Theatre, Olney Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Synetic Theatre, Constellation Theatre, Ford’s Theatre tour series, Imagination Stage, and Adventure Theatre. His New York credits include work with Ma-Yi Theater, PS 122, Abingdon Theatre, Dixon Place, and Piper Theatre. In Spring 2017, Matt performed in CasablancaBox at HERE Arts, nominated for two 2017 Drama Desk awards. Feel free to connect with him via or on social media @matthew_mcgloin


Daphne Gardner – Visual Arts ’09 is living in New York, directing digital series and videos for Comedy Central as well as projects for MTV, VH1 and TV Land. In 2017 she directed and edited the Behind Broad City series, following the production of Broad City’s fourth season. She has produced and edited two seasons of the Comedy Central’s Emmy nominated web series Hack Into Broad City. She is the creator and director of the documentary web series Her Room, which screened in Flux Factory’s STROBE TV exhibition. Additionally she co-hosts the Ladies Horror Night podcast with Kate McEdwards, covering female centric horror films and video store culture. Her website is:


Talya Schenk – Music 10’ is an active performer and teacher of the viola. After UMBC, Talya earned a Master of Music from The Hartt School. She is pursuing doctoral studies at The Catholic University of America. Her teachers include Kimberly Sparr, Maria Lambros, Rita Porfiris, and Karin Brown. She maintains an active private studio of viola and violin students in Rockville, Maryland. Ms. Schenk performs with the Apollo Orchestra, Takoma Ensemble, and the Symphony of the Potomac and has attended world renowned programs such as the Round Top Festival Institute, National Orchestral Institute, and Texas Music Festival. She has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center, and at the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC honoring conductor Valery Gergiev. Talya has participated in masterclasses with members of the Juilliard and Takács Quartets.

Joshua Budich – Fine Arts (Imaging and Digital Arts) 00’
 is an independent illustrator working for numerous galleries, including Gallery 1988, Spoke Art and Hero Complex Gallery, movie studios, and media outlets around the globe.
Inspired by a love for the pop culture of his youth, his primary focus is on screenprints that celebrate popular movies (Star Wars, Star Trek, The Big Lebowski), television series (LOST, MARVEL’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), animated shows (The Simpsons, My Neighbor Totoro, AKIRA) and more. He lives in the Baltimore/District of Columbia area.

Danielle Spaeth (Durbin) – Music ’09 graduated Magna Cum Laude in Music Performance for flute. She continued her education at UMBC and earned a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in American Contemporary Music. She then earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee with an emphasis in flute performance and served as a Graduate Assistant for the Department of Bands.
Danielle is an accomplished soloist, chamber musician, teacher, and director.  She is a very active musician in local churches and in the community.  Danielle has taught at many summer music camps and has directed a number of community musicals. She teaches privately and resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband, two boys, and three dogs.
While at UMBC, Danielle received three fully funded Undergraduate Research Awards. She participated in two interdisciplinary art group projects, based on reaction art and Surrealism, and a solo project on flute lineage and as a vocalist, she performed with the UMBC Camerata under the baton of David W. Smith, at Carnegie Hall under the baton of John Rutter, and as a part of Christmas in Washington. In 2009, she was a recipient of the UMBC Achievement Award in Music.  During her Post-Bacc., Danielle premiered many contemporary chamber pieces with RUCKUS, the resident faculty ensemble at UMBC.


Marianne Hayden – Visual Arts and Theatre ’03 graduated with a BA in visual arts and a BFA in theater. She continued her education at The California Institute of the Arts, earning her MFA in Experimental Animation in the Film/Video department. Marianne has worked at a range of studios, including Insomniac, Technicolor, Treyarch, Imagi, and Naughty Dog, Inc. She has been at the video game company, Naughty Dog, Inc. since 2009 and has worked on the Uncharted series and The Last of Us.
Along with being a professional animator Marianne uses her theater background to direct motion capture shoots as well as act on the motion capture stage. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and BAFTA. She lives and works in Santa Monica, CA.


Daniel Roberts – Music ’10    After teaching for four years, Daniel released a self-produced album with a new musical group called “They’ll Have Dreams” that pushed the musical boundaries of live music performance with a two person group. You can see more at They’ll Have Dreams.
In 2017, Daniel spent a year in California as the Creative Arts Director at Costa Mesa First United Methodist Church where he and the staff explored new approaches to integrating the arts in a purpose driven community.
After leaving Costa Mesa First, Daniel released his debut solo EP “American Tune” which he self-produced. It is available everywhere. You can also listen to it here:
After releasing his EP, Daniel started a YouTube channel to promote the EP and collaborate with other talented musicians and artists.
You can check it out here: Daniel John Roberts
In October 2018, Daniel created, produced and released a new podcast titled “Unmake My Enemy” where he explores cultural, psychological, social, political and religious topics through artistic collaborations and discussions with exciting and challenging artists from a wide variety of backgrounds. The podcast is available on all streaming platforms.
See more at


Lesa Gould (Wilcox) – Visual Arts ’09 with an emphasis in Animation and Interactive Media. After graduating, Lesa went on to work as a technical artist for a social gaming company in Timonium, MD. Later, she decided to pursue writing full time and self-published four novels between 2011-2013.  Then she took a short hiatus to be a stay-at-home mom after the birth of her son in 2015.  Lesa began writing again in 2016 and is currently preparing six novels for publication over the next couple years.  She, however, has not forgotten her visual arts and game design roots and is also developing an interactive story known as a visual novel.  She hopes it will also be released in the next couple years.
Lesa is very grateful for the opportunities provided to her as a Linehan Artist Scholar.  She treasures all of the experiences and people that she has encountered, that have shaped her into the person she is today.


Carly Engelke – Dance ’08  originally from Baltimore, MD, now resides in New York City. She has danced with The Next Stage Project, The Baltimore Dance Collective, SilvertreeProductions, performed at New York City Fashion Week, and in multiple productions along the East Coast. She has been training dancers for over ten years, and currently manages Shooting Stars NYC. Shooting Stars was the first competitive dance company in NYC, and has performed with Betsey Johnson, at The Barclays Center, and at Madison Square Garden. Before she began training New York City’s finest, Carly was the head of the dance department at Camp Starlight, taught at multiple studios through out the Baltimore-Washington Area as well as Long Island, and choreographed for several award winning studios. Her choreography has received regional and national recognition, been selected for the American College Dance Festival, and performed on prime time television. Carly is currently a Regional/National Judge, and Master Teacher for Starquest International. Carly’s students have been accepted into the Kirov Academy, Carnegie Mellon, Julliard, The Bolshoi Ballet, Alvin Ailey, among others. Carly prides herself on teaching the highest caliber of technique while instilling a love of dance, and promoting team work, and self confidence.



Garrett Wright -Theatre ’01 is a staff attorney with the Anti-Displacement Project at Legal Aid Services of Oregon’s Portland Regional Office, where he provides legal support to low-income tenants of color, immigrant tenants, and community-based organizations that are fighting against gentrification and displacement and for the realization of housing justice. Garrett also worked as a tenants’ rights attorney at the Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project in New York City for nine years and at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. He has also participated in labor, racial justice, and antiwar organizing work. Garrett is a former President of the National Lawyers Guild – New York City Chapter and past co-chair of the NLG’s Anti-Racism Committee. He graduated from the University of California – Berkeley School of Law in 2007 and from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2001. As an actor, Garrett appeared in Homicide: Life on the Street, The Corner, The West Wing, Pecker and Runaway Bride. Since graduating from UMBC, Garrett has also played electric bass in various indie-rock and punk bands, including NYC’s MC5-influenced soul-punk band Sister Anne. Garrett, his partner Jane Moisan and their four-and-a-half year old son Judah live in Portland, Oregon.


Michelle Purdy – Music ‘10 graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in percussion performance under the instruction of Tom Goldstein. While at UMBC Purdy participated in a vast array of ensembles including Percussion Ensemble, Contemporary Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Gamelan Ensemble, and Chamber Players. As a Linehan scholar, she had many opportunities to work with with dancers and visual artists, and continues to enjoy much interdisciplinary collaboration. Upon graduation from UMBC, Purdy continued her studies at The State University of New York at Buffalo where she earned a Master of Music in contemporary percussion performance under the instruction of Tom Kolor.
Purdy has performed at June in Buffalo, Baltimore’s Artscape Festival, the So Percussion Summer Institute, Make Music New York, The Livewire Festival, The High Zero Festival, and the Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale. She has performed with the Talujon Percussion Quartet, the Wooden Cities Contemporary Ensemble, and the Baltimore trio Microkingdom. Purdy currently performs with the science/music group Inverse Square Trio, the percussion quartet Umbilicus, the Sonic Meditations Ensemble, arts-in-education percussion trio Enviro Drum-Maryland, and the Columbia Orchestra.
Purdy teaches Applied Percussion, Musicianship, Music Theory, History of Jazz, and Musics of the World at Carroll Community College.
She currently resides in Baltimore, MD.


Jody Tiburzi (nee Smith) – Dance ’10 also received her Masters of the Art of Teaching in Dance Education from UMBC. Before receiving her MFA Jody performed with Deviated Theatre Company, as well as Project Reach with Carol Hess. She began dancing at the age of three and went on to teach, choreograph, and gain awards with Dance Unlimited Performing Arts Factory. Her choreography has been recognized at a regional and national level. Jody is currently a Dance Instructor for the Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program at Wiley H. Bates Middle School in Anne Arundel County. She has had the opportunity to work with students from many different backgrounds and levels, and wishes to instill a love of dance and appreciation for the arts in all of her students.


Colin Holter – Music ’05 is the Program Manager of the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra (NOYO) in Oberlin, Ohio. After graduating from UMBC with a concentration in composition, Colin completed a MMus degree at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, a MPhil at Brunel University, West London, and a PhD at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He moved to Fargo, North Dakota in 2012, where he taught composition, orchestration, music theory, and aural skills at Concordia College, and has been based in the Cleveland area since 2015. Active as a composer, improviser, and occasional writer on music, Colin directs NOYO’s Lab Group, its collaborative composing ensemble, and serves as the Managing Editor for the St. Paul-based 113 Composers Collective.


Zachary Handler – Visual Arts ’03 received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from UMBC in 2003 and a Masters in Arts Administration from Columbia University Teachers College in 2005. Currently residing in Baltimore with his family, Handler serves as the Deaf Services Program Manager for the Baltimore Medical System, Inc. Always on the lookout for creative, collaborative opportunities in any of his professional realms, he enjoys the appropriation of found objects, the company of 1970s cinema, and the color pink.
Having collaborated with various dancers, performers, and choreographers from across the Maryland and Washington DC areas, as well as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York, Zachary Z. Handler is most energized when photographing dance performances off-stage and in unexpected locations.
Over the past thirteen years, Handler’s career as a photographer of dance and performance has afforded him the opportunity to work with Naoko Maeshiba/Kibism, PearsonWidrig Dance Theatre, and Orange Grove Dance, among many others. In addition to his work as a professional photographer, Handler has also streamlined a career in both the fields of health care and art education. Working with such arts organizations as the Museum of Modern Art, Quest Visual Theatre, and the Creative Alliance, he has provided community and access programs to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind. Handler has also traveled both nationally and internationally to teach arts education classes for deaf and hard of hearing youth in foster care.


Shane Parks – Music ’10 is Management Associate at Broadway Asia International and a composer/arranger working in New York City. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition from UMBC and an MFA from New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts. At UMBC, he lead the school’s musical theater club as president, produced two concerts of original music, and was awarded an undergraduate research award for his work on Stephen Schwartz’ Children of Eden.  He has written and arranged music for Extant Arts Theatre Company, New York Shakespeare Exchange, and St. Pius X Youth Players.
Shane started at Broadway Asia International in October 2013. He is currently Management Associate at BAI and lead manager on China Goes Pop!, a new acrobatic revue which opened in Beijing this August, and a new immersive theatrical production of The Little Prince, to open in China late 2017.
As a composer, Shane creates musical theatre, mashups, arrangements all genres, incidental music, random bouts of sound, and will try anything once (musically).


Patrick C. Wohlfarth – Music ’04 is Assistant Professor in the Department ofGovernment and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science in 2010 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2010-2011, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science and Center for Empirical Research in the Law at Washington University in St. Louis. His research and teaching interests include American politics and quantitative methodology with a focus on judicial politics and interinstitutional politics. His current research projects examine judicial influence on the executive branch, the impact of public opinion on the U.S. Supreme Court, and executive branch litigation on the Court.
Dr. Wohlfarth is coauthor of the book, U.S. Supreme Court Opinions and Their Audiences (Cambridge University Press, 2016). His published research has also appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Politics, Law & Society Review, Journal of Law and Courts, American Politics Research, State Politics & Policy Quarterly, Research and Politics, and the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy.  His research has won the 2012 Best Paper by an Emerging Scholar Award from the Midwest Political Science Association and the 2013 Neal Tate Award for Outstanding Paper in Judicial Politics from the Southern Political Science Association. He is also the 2015 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland.


Holly Googe – Dance ’09 A native of Brooklyn, NY, Holly trained and performed at the Ailey School, Dance Theatre of Harlem and LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. After graduating from UMBC with her B.A. in Dance and minor in French, Holly began working as a performer, an educator, administrator and most recently, a choreographer. She has performed on Carnival Cruise Lines, in the Tony award-winning musical Memphis (Riverside Theatre/Walnut Street Theatre), the independent short film “Bittersweet” (A. Blast Films) and on HBO’s “Vinyl,” just to name a few.
Holly recently choreographed her first dance video set to Kierra Sheard’s song, “Save Me.” In addition, Holly has had the
pleasure of working for various organizations including L’Oreal, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre and Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn, in external affairs.  Today, Holly is still actively performing and teaching dance in NYC and North Jersey. She teaches ballet, theatre dance, jazz, hip-hop, tap and contemporary jazz. When she isn’t working, she enjoys doing yoga, creative writing, cooking and watching music documentaries. Instagram: @hollygooge


Stefanie Watson – Music ’05 enjoys being active in a wide variety of musical facets: as recital collaborator, educator, choral pianist, theatrical music director, and church musician. She has recently performed in and organized recitals in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and her home state of Maryland. In addition, she served as staff pianist for Lied Austria International, a month-long summer program near Graz, Austria that focused on intense study of German art song and poetry.
A founding member of The Edwin Trio, a Baltimore-based chamber ensemble, and now a member of the Bennington Trio, Stefanie continues to be active in chamber music as a participant and employee of the Bennington Chamber Music Conference in Bennington, Vermont, and through performances in the New York City Bar Association’s Chamber Music Series.
Stefanie is on the faculty at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA, where she teaches private piano and collaborates with colleagues to teach courses through the Theater and Psychology departments, in addition to accompanying choral and vocal activities and serving as vocal coach. She also maintains a private teaching studio, serves as staff pianist at The College of New Jersey and is music director at Emanuel Lutheran Church in New Brunswick. Stefanie holds an M.M. degree in Collaborative Piano from Rutgers.


Dr. Lindsay Phebus – Dance ’06 Since graduating in 2006 Lindsay danced with the Baltimore DanceProject, Dragonfly and Deviated Theatre. She earned a doctorate in psychology in 2014 and is Licensed Psychologist working with Veterans. “Even though my profession isn’t artistic at face value, it demands constant openness and creativity. These are two qualities that I was able to develop during my time as a Linehan Artist Scholar. The program has the ability to push the boundaries of your mind and guide you into uncomfortable spaces, something that has been necessary in building my practice. I am so grateful for those experiences and opportunities this wonderful program has provided! Thank you!”


Jacob Jensen – Visual Arts ’08 graduated with a degree in Visual and Performing Arts, with an emphasis in Clarinet Performance. He returned to UMBC in 2009 to complete a Certificate in Contemporary American Music. During this time, he also became the Marketing Manager for a local DJ company. In 2014, Jacob transitioned to another DJ and production company, handling their marketing and software operations. At the end of 2015, he opened up a boutique DJ company. Jacob continues to write and edit music.


Rachele Sills Torres – Music ’07 graduated with honors in Violin Performance. She also received a Master’s Degree with honors in Violin Performance from The Boston Conservatory. Additionally, Rachele studied at many prestigious institutions including the Meadowmount School of Music where she studied with Sally Thomas. Her main teachers include Lynn Chang, Dr. Airi Yoshioka, and Barbara Schneider. She has also worked and performed with Almita and Roman Vamos, Rachel Barton Pine, Mark O’Connor, and Yo-Yo Ma.
Rachele has played in numerous ensembles including the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra (where she was a featured soloist), Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, and the UMBC Symphony Orchestra where she was Concertmaster. In the summer of 2017, Rachele had the pleasure to join the Colorado Music Festival orchestra for several concerts in Boulder, CO.  Rachele is presently a section violin member of the West Michigan Symphony, and plays often with the Grand Rapids Symphony.
As an avid chamber musician, Rachele was one of the founding members of the Edwin Trio and currently enjoys playing chamber music and collaborating with numerous colleagues.  As an educator, Rachele has over 10 years of teaching experience and has taught for many programs including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra OrchKids Program and presently is a violin faculty member of Peabody Preparatory’s Allegro Strings Summer Program.
Rachele resides in Michigan with her husband, Gerald Torres (double bassist), where she maintains a home studio of over 30 students.


Kelly Schroeder McCann- Dance 10′ a Linehan Artist, received her degree in both Dance and Elementary Education. After graduating, Kelly taught first grade for two years in Maryland while also teaching dance at a local dance studio. From there she moved to Pittsburgh for graduate school and got her MEd in Instruction and Learning from the University of Pittsburgh. Kelly now resides in Chicago where she started a dance program at a Chicago Public school, Belding Elementary. Each student grades K-8 receives dance once a week during the school day. Through the students’ years at Belding they are exposed to ballet, modern, jazz, musical theater, tap, hip-hop, and stepping. They also get the opportunity to choreograph their own dances, learn about different cultural dances, and explore mixing dance with technology. A lot of what she teaches is thanks to the great dance education she received at UMBC as well as everything she was exposed to as a Linehan Artist Scholar.


Lisa Fecteau – Dance ’07  Shortly after graduation, Lisa moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams further. While studying at the Edge, Lisa took classes from many well-known choreographers and teachers. She was a company member of Faux Pas Dance Company and Nichelle Bane’s Reflections Dance Company. She returned to UMBC in 2012 for her MAT, so that she could share her passion for dance with a new generation. Lisa founded, taught, and directed the dance program at Lindale Middle School in Anne Arundel County for six years. Currently, Lisa is launching the new yoga and mindfulness program, Stretch Your Wellness, in addition to teaching her first passion, dance, at Meade High School in Anne Arundel County. She completed the 200 hour RYT program with Yogaworks in September 2017. This inspired her to share the transformation of mindful movement to further enhance the lives and potential of her students.


Adrian Kikuo Britton – ’00 Video/Film graduated with a degree in Auteur Film-making with a minor in Art History. He is currently working on his Masters in Catholic Ethics and Phenomenology in the hopes of becoming a pastoral counselor.  He is currently residing in Baltimore County working with an Ellicott City engineering and design firm as a land surveyor.  In the intervening years, the Linehan Artist scholar values of interdisciplinary studies, community-building and service inspired him as a mentor in the arts with Baltimore’s Kids on the Hill, as a visual art and art history teacher at Suitland High and other PGCPS schools, and an advocate for the homeless and disenfranchised.  He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served in Kingston, Jamaica as an HIV/AIDS Awareness and Urban At-Risk Youth Advocate, with the Jamaica Red Cross, the Ashe Performing Arts Company and other community NGO’s.


Lauren Tait – Dance ’02 is Executive/Artistic Director at Kinetics Dance Theatre in Ellicott City, Maryland, where she leads the organization and directs its resident professional company. A non-profit arts organization, Kinetics mission is devoted to the development of contemporary dance through education, performance, and outreach. The organization houses a professional modern dance company, student performing companies, and a school of contemporary dance. As a choreographer, Lauren’s work spans the abstract to the narrative, frequently utilizing sets, props and costumes of her own design, employing various forms of technology and media, blending modern/contemporary dance with other genres, and exploring unorthodox partnerwork. In addition to her contemporary concert work, Lauren creates innovative modern dance productions geared toward young audiences through Kinetics’ Family Concert Series. Lauren’s work has been selected for showcase at the Maryland Dance Festival, Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods’ Chrysalis Kids Series, the Baltimore Dance Invitational, AKIMBO Baltimore, and the Howard County Community Dance Festival. Lauren has danced professionally as a solo artist as well as with Baltimore Dance Project. She has taught and presented choreography along the east coast and served as a guest artist at New Hampshire-based Axis Dance Co, Howard Community College and Franklin & Marshall College, and serves on the review panel for Howard County Arts Council’s Rising Start Performing Arts Competition. Lauren is the recipient of various individual grants for her work with dance in education and founded CommunityDanceLaboratory in 2010, a project devoted to the presentation of enrichment-based movement classes in schools and throughout the community. Lauren received her early training at Carver Center for the Arts and Technology and holds bachelor’s degrees in Visual and Performing Arts/Dance and Psychology with a concentration in Development from UMBC, where she also minored in writing as a Linehan Artist Scholar.

Helen Zhang – Visual Arts ’09 graduated Summa Cum Laude with a concentration in Computer. You may remember her work as Comic Artist for The Retriever Weekly, whose strip Slightly a Masochist ran weekly from from 2007-2009.
Helen recently celebrated her eleventh year as a video game artist and her fifth year with Backflip Studios in Boulder, Colorado. After getting her start in the Timonium game development scene, a art intern at BreakAway Games and Big Huge games, a 2D to Senior Artist at Zynga East, she relocated to Boulder, Colorado in 2013. Today, she creates mobile games as a Senior 2D and UI Artist at Backflip Studios, involved in user interface/user experience design, icons, logos, character/environment concepts, special effects, and 2D/3D graphics. You can see her work most prominently on DragonVale, a hit mobile game that is about to celebrate an incredible 7th year in the iTunes App Store! She is quite excited to start her next project, where she’ll be visualizing characters and environments, and chipping in with UI/UX design.
Her shipped titles include FrontierVille (2010-2011), CityVille 2 (2012), NinJump Rooftops (2013), NinJump Smash (2014), DragonVale Pop (2014), and DragonVale (2014-2018) – check them out in the iTunes App store and on Google Play!
Helen gets to bike to work every day and live the kind of life she used to dream about. She purchased her first house in North Boulder, a feat she credits to many years of gainful employment combined with the absence of student loan debt from the generous Linehan Artist scholarship. She is deeply grateful for the education and incredible experiences at UMBC that lead her here.
For more of Helen’s work, visit:
art blog,, portfolio,,
Art Station,

Ding Ren – Visual Arts – Photography ’05 was born in China, grew up in the United States and is currently based in Amsterdam (NL). Through a cross-cultural, field driven approach, her analogue photography seeks to draw viewer’s attention to the subtle details of spaces they already inhabit. By highlighting these delicate urban details, her photography tells an alternate, often overlooked story and shifts attention away from the normalized narrative. She received her MFA from George Washington University. She was previously the Program Director at Washington Projects for the Arts, a Provisions Library Research Fellow, and Transformer E6:In Situ participant. Her work has been exhibited throughout the DC-Baltimore area at 39th Street Gallery, Area 405, Arlington Arts Center, Hillyer Art Space, Katzen Arts Center, Maryland Art Place, MICA, and Transformer, amongst others. Ren has exhibited her work abroad in Canada, China, the Netherlands, Germany, the Philippines, Ireland, Iceland, Portugal, Poland, South Korea, and the UK. Her work has been published in Facing Forward: Art & Theory from a Future Perspective (University of Chicago Press), acquired by the He XiangNing Art Museum (Shenzhen, CN) for their permanent collection and screened at the EYE Film Museum (Amsterdam, NL). Her photography has been featured in various online and print platforms focused on contemporary photography such as If You Leave, Booooooom, Velvet Eyes, Underdogs, C41, Stolen Ground, the405, Diet Cola Zine,  Papersafe, and Perjus Magazine amongst others.  She is currently Adjunct Associate Professor of Photography for University of Maryland University College.