I visited UMBC’s campus earlier today to meet up with their magazine’s managing editor and photographer for a photoshoot they were doing for an article I wrote about one of their alum, Chandra Smith, who was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2024 (among many other accomplishments).
After the shoot, we were waiting with her for a bit in a small cafeteria as she waited for the Paratransit bus pickup she’d scheduled (She was given a window of 1:25 – 1:55 p.m., but they didn’t show up for her until 2:45 p.m.). Chandra was telling us how she’s interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in public policy, and the managing editor was telling her UMBC had a great program in the field. (She’s already on the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (her employer’s) Disability Council and Gov. Wes Moore recently appointed her to a three-year term on the Maryland Disabilities Commission.)
Now, other than the managing editor and photographer whom I only met that day, I know only one person, to my knowledge, who works at UMBC.
And, yep, as we waited for Chandra’s Paratransit ride, the one person I know who works at UMBC walked into the cafeteria. It was Candace Dodson Reed … whose title happens to be Vice President, Government Relations and Community Affairs.
She joined our conversation and essentially said to Chandra, “You should definitely get your doctorate here. Many people headed to and from Annapolis come through here.”
I love these kinds of big-little moments.