Global. Research. Innovation. Trends. Excellence.

GRIT-X is an annual series of presentations launched in 2016 to celebrate the passion and achievements of UMBC’s alumni, faculty, and graduate students, featuring invited speakers to convey compelling aspects of UMBC’s impact in the areas of research and creative achievement.

GRIT-X Speaker Nomination Form

GRIT-X 2023 – Fine Arts Recital Hall – Oct 14, 2023

Melanie Okoro ’11
Disruptive Thinking – A Bold Business Strategy to Change How We Lead, Innovate, and Transform Companies in the 21st Century

Justin Webster
The Map is Not the Territory – Tales of Interest in Nonlinear Elasticity

Cynthia Matuszek
Talking to Robots – The Role of Language in Human-Robot Interaction

Zhensen Huang ’00, ’04
Create Possibility – On Campus and in Business

Mercedes Burns
Loving the Unloveable – Learning to Appreciate Arachnids

Charles Ichoku
Wildfires, Climate, and People – A Triangular Threat to Global Sustainability

Michelle Scott
Jazz Age Resistance – Economic Empowerment and Entertainment in a Divided Nation

Carlos Romero-Talamás
The Fusion Energy Solution – Why Engineering Simplicity Matters

Irina Golubeva
The Power of Intercultural Learning

GRIT-X 2022 – Fine Arts Recital Hall – Oct 15, 2022

Delali Dzirasa looking into the camera and smiling

Delali Dzirasa ’04
Rethinking Digital Divides – Creating Access, Experiential Learning, and Empathy in the Digital World

Vandana Janeja

Vandana Janeja
Can We Reduce the Deluge in the Sea Levels with a Data Deluge?

Airi Yoshioka and the bow of her violin

Airi Yoshioka
Sounds of the World Through the Violin

Alicia Wilson in front of a Made in America backdrop, wearing a red dress and smiling

Alicia Lynn Wilson ’04
Community Building – How to Build With Materials That are Stronger than Brick and Mortar

Minjoung Kyoung
Glucosome – 4D Visualization of the Secret Society of Metabolic Enzymes

Matthew Fagan smiling

Matthew Fagan
Green Walls or Greenwashing? Tree Planting Dreams Meet Reality

Kaitlyn Sadtler smiling

Kaitlyn Sadtler ’11, Sc.D. ’22
The Many Faces of Immune Cells – Building Back Tissues After Trauma

Sebastian Deffner with a slight smile

Sebastian Deffner
The Quantum Universe is Weird, but Our World is Not –  Schrödinger’s Cat is Dead, Right?

Nkiru Nnawulezi smiling

Nkiru Nnawulezi
Sometimes Systems Fail Us – Designing Alternatives for Domestic Violence Survivors

GRIT-X 2021 – Proscenium Theatre – Oct 9, 2021


Letitia Dzirasa ’03
More than a Dashboard – The Heightened Role of Data in Driving Equity


Erle Ellis
Nature Needs Culture – Conservation in the Age of Humans

Seley Radtke

Kathie Seley-Radtke
Fleximers – Bending over Backwards for a Cure


Andrea Kleinsmith
Stressing Connections – Designing for Affective Awareness


Belay Demoz
Start Small but Start – The Story Behind a Unique Climate-Observing Site in Maryland


Zoë McLaren
The Math That Explains the Pandemic

Sankarshan Murthy ’06
The Next Computer That We Will All Live in – HOMES!


Charissa Cheah
Parenting – Looking for Answers Within and Across Cultural Borders


Upal Ghosh
Saving our Environment from the Past – A Story of Chemicals and Fish

GRIT-X 2019 – Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building – Oct 12, 2019

Crystal Watkins
Crystal Watkins
Determination in Dementia – Perseverance through Memory Loss
Kevin Omland
Kevin Omland
Why Diversity Matters – Gender Biases and the Study of Female Bird Song
Tinoosh Mohsenin
Tinoosh Mohsenin
Micro AI – When Intelligence Moves to Low Power Sensors
Premal Shah
Premal Shah
F!@$ Cancer – Using Your Data to Kill It
Lisa Moren
Lisa Moren
What is the Shape of Water?
Mustafa Al-Adhami
Mustafa Al-Adhami
The Quest – Finding Medical Answers from the Unknown
Gregory Szeto
Gregory Szeto
The Frenemy Within – Mining the Wisdom and Ignorance of our Immune System
Carolyn Forestiere
Carolyn Forestiere
See the World and find Yourself – Why Study Abroad Matters
Yonathan Zohar
Yonathan Zohar
More People eat more Fish – Can we Prevent Empty Oceans?

GRIT-X 2018 – Dance Cube – Oct 13, 2018

Shawn Bediako
Shawn Bediako
Inscribing the Race – Sickled Cells, Science and Society
Manil Suri
Manil Suri
STEAMy Videos and X’y Tales: Approaching Math through Narrative
Nicole King
Nicole King
Do Listen to Strangers
Kavita Krishnaswamy
Kavita Krishnaswamy ’07, ’19
Robotic Journeys – A Quest for Independence
Kimberly Moffitt
Kimberly Moffitt
The Princess and the Glass Cliff(er) – An Exploration of Gender and Race in Animation
Eric Dyer
Eric Dyer ’95
Material Motion – Resurrecting Cinema’s Forgotten Ancestry
Diane Bell McKoy
Diane Bell McKoy ’93
Suicide Led the Way – A New Set of Lenses Creates the Change
Richard Chisolm ’82
Catalytic Filmmaking – Embracing the Power of the Documentary
Deborah Thompson Eisenberg
Deborah Thompson Eisenberg
The Four Superpowers Needed to create a Culture of Conflict Resolution

GRIT-X 2017 – Black Box Theatre – Oct 14, 2017

Kafui Dzirasa
Kafui Dzirasa ’01
Next Generation Psychiatric Diagnostics and Therapeutics
Christine Mallinson
Christine Mallinson
The Social Life of Speech
Nilanjan Banerjee
Nilanjan Banerjee
When What You Wear Understands You
Sean Pang
Sean Pang ’11
The Fortune of Misfortunes: Finding Passion and What to Do With It
Gymama Slaughter
Gymama Slaughter
The Art of Powering Implantable Electronics
Kate Brown
Kate Brown
The Great Chernobyl Mystery: How Ignorance Became Policy and Politics
Corey Fleischer ’08

Building Founders the Old Fashioned Way

T. Jane Turner

Here Be Dragons: Investigating Black Holes in Galaxy Nuclei

Doug Hamby
Making Dance: Let the Body Show the Way

GRIT-X 2016 – Earl & Darielle Linehan Concert Hall – Sept 17, 2016

Pagan and Hileman
Kiirstn Pagan and Katie Hileman
When Your Art Becomes Your Business
lee blaney
Lee Blaney
Our Environment is on Drugs
tyson king meadows
Tyson King Meadows
Why the Color of Your Canary Matters for Democracy
Rebecca Adelman
Rebecca A. Adelman
Beyond the Checkpoint: Rethinking Citizenship and Surveillance
Vanderlei Martins
Vanderlei Martins
Reaching for the Skies – Sun, Pollution, Clouds and Climate
Lee Boot
Lee Boot
A Grand Visualization Challenge: Putting Humpty Together Again
Karsonya Wise Whitehead
Karsonya Wise Whitehead
From ReSearch to MeSearch: Finding Ways to Add Your Voice to the Wind of Social Memory
Govind Rao
Govind Rao
Inventing Tomorrow at UMBC
Thomas Schaller
Thomas Schaller
Teaching Politics in an Era of Civics Decline