Memories and Words Of Gratitude by CMSE Alumni


CMSE and staff spent the last four decades creating a program that has not only increased the number of underrepresented students in the Clark School but has inspired budding engineers and scientists throughout the country. Starting in May 1981, Jim Newton became the first CMSE Director. Continuing with Rosemary Parker Center Director for the last 40 years, and staff has positively impacted the lives of hundreds - actually thousands - of Clark School students and Alumni. Alumni have some fantastic testimonials.




“Thankful for the connections I made as one of the students who pioneered the Sustainable Energy Engineering program. Thanks to Professors George Syrmos, David Diddion and Michael Ohadi.”

Shola Akinmeji ’11 (M.S. Sustainable Energy Engineering)



CMSE 20th Anniversary Banquet, April 20, 2001


“Some of my favorite CMSE memories are those spent with my Black Engineering Society (BES) friends. From leadership retreats, NSBE conventions, service in the community and late night study sessions - these times helped shape me as a person and gave me a group of life-long friends. I am so grateful for my time with UMD CMSE. I want to thank Ms. Rosemary and Ms. LaWanda for your mentorship, guidance and encouragement during my years at UMD and afterwards. You really helped shape my leadership skills and helped me succeed at UMD. Thank you. Thank you. Congratulations on your 40 years of excellence!”

Regina Campbell ’99 (B.S. Civil Engineering)

“I want to thank the entire CMSE staff for all they do in providing a safe and comforting space full of support for minority students in the engineering school! CMSE was a part of my journey at UMD for the entire time I was a student. At the very beginning, it was the Bridge program that allowed me to make friends with people I later on roomed with for 2.5 years. Through CMSE I had my first internship over the summer, teaching middle school aged students about STEM. Another job I had through CMSE was the banquet planning chair for their annual award ceremony. I was also able to go to several conferences (BEYA and NSBE) with the help of CMSE funding. As a broke college student, they helped keep me fed whether it was through First Fridays or different networking events. Simple things such as keeping the center open later during Finals season, or taking the time to sit down and talk to students during stressful times is what I believe separates the center from any other department at UMD. Probably the most memorable experience of all was having the opportunity to travel to San Jose, Costa Rica, for the 2016 LACCEI Conference. We were there for an entire week networking with graduate and Ph.D. students from all over Latin America. This impactful experience was one of the contributing factors in my decision to enter the Peace Corps after graduation. I honestly can't even imagine what my experience would have been like without CMSE. A special thank you to Ms. Parker, Mrs. Kamalidiin and Ms. Udeli. These three women in particular were incredible throughout my years and I am nothing but grateful for them!”

Christopher Chester ’19 (B.S. Bioengineering)

“I want to thank Ms. Parker and Ms. K for keeping CMSE going strong over the years. You all are the heartbeat of the office. I love you and thank you for all the support you showed me while at College Park.”

Kenya Colvin ’18 (B.S. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)



“Tutoring math on Saturdays through the Upward-Bound program provided great memories of service to the community.”

Larry Davis ’75 (B.S. Electrical Engineering)



Black Engineers Society, 1991

“Congratulations on 40 years of service and excellence!”

Karen Dulysse ’93 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering)

“I really want to thank the staff at "The Center'' for all of their support of me before, during and after my time at UMCP. Without the "The Center'' and BES I would not be where I am today. They helped open doors for me that I did not even know existed. I am blessed to have met Ms. Parker in a pre-engineering summer program and was honored to introduce my daughter, who is interested in Computer Science, to her.

I want to thank Rosemary, LaWanda and the entire CMSE staff for all that they've done for the Class of 1993 and all the black, brown and women engineers that graduated before and after us!”

Delmar Gillus, Jr. ’93 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering)

“I want to thank Ms. Parker for pushing/encouraging me to join the GEM program to get my Master's while I was at UMCP just stopping by to say hello. Many years later at a NSBE conference, she was there again encouraging me to finish my Ph.D. by joining the Dissertation Institute summer program. Those two conversations changed my life completely.”

Brian Hayes ’07 (B.S. Computer Engineering)

Holiday Party, 2014

“Thank you Dr. Pines for being a great professor and mentor. Your AE Control Systems course during fall semester of 2000/2001 humbled me and in the process of trying to pass this course, I truly committed my life to Jesus. Thank you for still making time to write my reference letters and sparing a moment to still give advice. Congratulations Mr. President!”

Charity Ikpe ’03, ’07 (B.S., M.E. Aerospace Engineering)

"Rock on Rosemary and LaWanda!"

Chris Jones '97 (Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering)

“Shout out to Mr. Jim Newton, Director of the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering. Also shout out and thank you to Ms. Rosemary Parker, the Assistant CMSE Director during my time. This picture represents the Black Engineers Society leaders and some members in 1983.”

Rene Neville '83 (B.S. Electrical Engineering)


“I appreciate all the words of encouragement from Ms. LaWanda Kamalidiin (back then LaWanda Saddler) and much great words of advice from Dr. Horace Russell (R.I.P.) on how to not stress over the pressure of being the first male in my family to attend a University. It helped me make it through all those difficult exams and enjoy the experience.”

Kedric Sires ’99 (B.S. Electrical Engineering)

“My favorite memories were the NSBE Regional/National Conferences which were always supported by CMSE.”

Edwin Surprin ’97 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering)


"Congratulations on 40 years!"

Bryan St. George ’98 (B.S. Aerospace Engineering)



Students at the Circle M, 2017

“I'm positive that I would not have successfully graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering without the help of the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering. The counseling and support I received from the staff including Mr. Newton, Ms. Rosemary, Ms. Doreen and Mrs. Lawanda was invaluable. At one point, I started to lose my way, and just when I thought I couldn't go on, Mrs. LaWanda called me into her office and put me on a plan that changed my trajectory. I have so many fond memories of the time spent there; the deep conversations, the internship and scholarship opportunities and the lifelong friends I met as a student and leader in the Black Engineers Society. I am forever grateful and wish to express my sincere love and appreciation for everyone on your staff who has sewed into my life. Congratulations on 40 years of engineering excellence and I'm praying for at least 40 more!”

Lora Williams '93 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering)