LAS 2020-2024

Linehan Scholars | 4th Year

Marlon Brown Jr. (He/They) is a senior Linehan scholar, black and queer rights activist, and Baltimore City native currently pursuing his BFA in Acting at UMBC with a minor in anthropology. His department show credits include This Remains directed by Susan Stroupe, Trouble in Mind directed by Danielle Drakes, and shOUT: The Queer Theatre Project which is currently being directed by Gerrad Alex Taylor, with musical direction from Andrew Hann.

In addition to stage acting, Marlon has had ventures in directing and playwriting, completing his first pieces of dramatic works under the tutelage of Susan McCully. Thanks to the Linehan Artist Scholars Program and the UMBC Theater Department, Marlon had the opportunity to travel to New York City last summer to pursue research in playwriting and dramaturgy. During this time, he studied Afrosurreal literature, film, and playwork in order to dissect the potential of Afrosurreal theater technique in new play development. He has started working toward applying to graduate theater programs where he intends to continue his work in Afrosurreal theater and develop a vocabulary for exploring this woefully overlooked art style with a theatrical lens.

One of Marlon’s dream opportunities is to work on a Jordan Peele project, as he is one of his favorite film directors whose work has been a large and influential part of his life and work. His favorite aspect of his UMBC Experience has been meeting the various talented people in both the Scholars program and the Theater Department, as their creativity, boldness, individuality, artistic strength, and diverse experiences all helped to shape Marlon into the budding theater artist that he is and have inspired him to work hard to pave the way for other black and queer theater kids from his city to pursue their passion and take their place on the stage.

Oliver Crossland is a music performance major with a concentration in bass trombone. Now in his fourth year at UMBC, he is also majoring in global studies and minoring in German. Born in 2002, he spent the first decade of his life in Germany, growing up with family members and friends often active in musical groups or activities of many different styles. Now in Maryland, he is forging a musical career of his own, performing extra-academically in any setting, from brass Christmas caroling to playing pieces by Mozart with symphony orchestras. While he has played trombone for most of his life, he became more serious about it during his time at Wilde Lake High School. There, he got to have two years with the legendary Lewis Dutrow, former director of the Wilde Lake wind ensemble. This, along with the opportunities with the Peabody Institute preparatory youth ensemble programs and the private instruction by Patrick Crossland, the trombone professor at UMBC, led him to pursue his musical passions to where he is now.

Lexie Fang is a fourth year Linehan Artist Scholar, double majoring in Dance and Biological sciences at UMBC. Lexie has been studying dance for the past 18 years in numerous styles and techniques. Her dance training was mostly at Arabesque Dance Studio under Kathryne Parker but she has attended intensive programs such as the Joffrey Summer Intensive and The Ailey School Summer Program. During her time at UMBC, she has performed for the Baltimore Dance Project and Ann Sofie Clemmensen’s CIRCA (Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts) series BodyScopy. She currently works as a physical therapy technician gaining hands-on experience in the outpatient orthopedic setting. Post-graduation, Lexie plans to become a physical therapist with hopes to focus on injury management and prevention for dancers and athletes.


Connor Fuerst is a percussionist and 4th year Music Technology student here at UMBC. He has been a percussionist for 12 years, playing in a variety of school-sponsored and extracurricular performance settings. He loves all aspects of music production, from the writing to the recording, all the way down to the mixing and mastering, but his favorite part is seeing ideas come to life into a tangible final product as a sonic picture. He is currently working on several musical projects, including serving as producer and engineer for several bands, as well as writing and producing his own band’s music.

Work to share | These three I played, produced, recorded, and mixed for my band:


This one I recorded, mixed, and mastered for another band:

Niya John is a senior Theatre major with a concentration in Production and Design and a minor in Africana Studies. In addition to being a Linehan Scholar, Niya has received several national awards for Lighting Design, including the Collier Woods Jr. Award and the Pat McKay Diversity in Design Award, both presented by USITT. Niya is also a member of the 2023 ETC Fred Foster cohort.

She works in Maryland and D.C. as an electrician, programmer, and lighting designer with recent credits at Fells Point Theatre Company. She has also had the privilege of shadowing The Wiz during its Pre-Broadway tour at the Hippodrome in Baltimore. Upon graduation, Niya wants to continue her career in theatre, pursue grad school, and possibly go into education. Niya’s biggest career goal is to work on Broadway and win a Tony Award for Lighting Design.

Image coming soon

lan Maxwell is an interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Baltimore City. At a young age he developed an interest in visual arts, which manifested in the forms of origami and mapmaking. Later, his creative outlets expanded to include various writing projects as well as production of original tabletop roleplaying games. Before college, lan attended Baltimore School for the Arts for Stage Design and Production. During his high school years, he also discovered his love for mathematics. 

lan chose UMBC for the next step in his education because he believed this school would provide him with a great opportunity to nourish his creative side while also challenging his logical and abstract side. Ian was thrilled to be awarded a Linehan Scholarship for Theatre: Production and Design studies. He is now a rising senior who is pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre: Production and Design as well as a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics. 

Within his theater production studies, he has also had opportunities to participate in the set design for two productions at UMBC. In addition, lan continues to work on creative projects outside of school in a variety of mediums. He recently developed a small point-and-click computer game called Murphy’s Law with solo completion of the code writing, storyline writing as well as visual and auditory direction.

More details to come

Katelyn O’Connor is a Linehan Artist Scholar pursuing two bachelor’s degrees in Dance and political science. During her professional and collegiate experience, she has performed in venues including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Baltimore Dance Project, and the Eubie Blake NationalJazz and Cultural Center, with organizations such as the National Symphony Orchestra, the KennedyCenter, and Hope Boykin Dance. She is a recipient of numerous scholarships and grants from organizations such as the Linehan Artist Scholarship, the Kennedy Center, and Emily’s Gift Artists Grant, and is currently researching as a recipient of UMBC’s Undergraduate Research Award grant.

Henry is a senior Linehan Artist Scholar and a jazz studies major. While primarily a saxophonist, Henry also studies and performs on flute and clarinet. He primarily performs in jazz and musical theatre settings. In the spring of 2023, Henry debuted as a composer in his junior recital atUMBC, performing 3 original compositions. A creatively active musician, Henry looks forward to working with musicians from different backgrounds and blending different styles of music.

Brenden is a 4th year Linehan Artist Scholar working to obtain his BFA in Graphic Design in May 2024. His studies have been patroned by the Linehan Artist Scholar Program and the Printing and Graphics Scholarship Fund all four years at UMBC. He has been studying graphic design for almost 8 years and has been contracted for multiple design projects from his efforts. These include designing the Graduating Linehan Senior View Book for the graduating cohort of 2022 as well as a current project of developing all the visuals for instructional videos for Trauma Informed Care in Nursing Homes in collaboration with members of the Department and Social Work at UMBC and Portland State University. He has also been a member of the production team of Linehan students under a UMBC professor for a recent 2022 exhibit, “The Thomas Project,” at The Peale Museum in Baltimore. Brenden has also been involved with theatre for almost 9 years and has been a member of the student staff in the Theatre Department at UMBC for almost 2 years. He helps construct the theatrical sets, including engaging with carpentry, welding, rigging, lighting work, and general shop work. After graduation, Brenden plans to pursue careers in either the local theatre industry in Baltimore or in the graphic design field in the Baltimore-D.C. area. Or both, who knows!

Shannon Vong is a 4th year Linehan Artist Scholar, working to obtain her BFA in Graphic Design and BA in Media and Communication Studies in May 2024. Shannon began her graphic design journey back in high school when she attended a magnet school with a focus on Interactive Media Production. This is where she became proficient in the Adobe Suite and won two film awards for her county’s film expo. Although she had a passion for film, her passion for graphic design took over when she entered college. Shannon is currently the President of Design for UMBC’s Student Events Board and is the graphic design intern for the marketing team at a home services parent company. In her free time, she loves to travel, scrapbook, go to concerts, try new food places, and spend time with her friends & family. Post graduation, Shannon hopes to continue on her graphic design journey professionally and to do more of what makes her happy.

is a Maryland native flute scholar. At the University, she is a part of the Linehan Artist Scholar’s program and participates in wind ensemble, symphonic orchestra, and chamber players. In 2018 she received the Bill O’Neil Memorial Scholarship for Band and Performance and was accepted into the Kennedy Center National Symphony Young Associates’ Program. In 2017 Lauren received a first class honors rating in the royal conservatory assessment and a superior rating in both the Maryland state and Charles county solo and ensemble festival. She has been playing flute for 11 years and is well versed on the flute, piccolo, and alto flute and has played in ensembles such as string chamber works, flute choir, wind ensemble, orchestra, and pit orchestra.

More details to come