Staff

Departmental Leadership

Ciara Christian M.A. ‘18, Applied Sociology, and Ph.D. ‘22, Language, Literacy, and Culture Ph.D.

(She/Her/Hers) | 2B23, The Commons | cichris1@umbc.edu | 410-455-8478

Acting Director, Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging

Ciara ChristianA two-time UMBC alumna, Dr. Ciara Christian supports many campus stakeholders in cultivating a climate wherein everyone experiences a sense of belonging. Ciara came to UMBC in 2016 for the Applied Sociology graduate program and to continue the spirit of her Peace Corps experience (Rwanda ‘13-’15) in service to UMBC’s campus as a Shriver Peaceworker Fellow. Following this experience, she remained at UMBC to pursue her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture.

Within i3b, Ciara’s work has included building and co-teaching the First-Year Seminar: Race, Social Justice & Dialogues, developing the IDEAList dialogue internship program, co-developing and co-leading Inclusive Departmental Culture workshops for faculty, staff, and academic departments, and serving as a content expert on dialogue facilitation, social justice education, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Additionally, Ciara coordinates requested campus-wide training, supports the expansion of identity-based dialogue opportunities, and serves as the primary liaison to campus partners for first-year and transfer students, identity-based connection groups, and graduate and international students.

Ciara is a life-long learner whose research explores digital media platforms, specifically podcasts, as spaces for knowledge production, identity formation, and organizing for Black identity, Black feminism, and Black thought more broadly. Ciara is a lover of culture, language, and travel. Outside of campus, Ciara enjoys cooking, listening to podcasts, sharing quality time with friends and family, and can often be found at OCA Mocha. Ciara is a very proud alumna of Howard University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.


Adam Watkins

(He/Him/His) | 336 The Commons Building | adamw4@umbc.ed | 410-455-8990

Administrative Assistant, Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging and The Center for Democracy and Civic Life

Adam Watkins is the Administrative Assistant for i3b – Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging. Adam is an alumnus of Towson University, where he majored in History and Secondary Education. Previously he worked in licensed Before and After-School Care for students in grades K-7. Adam is within a dual role, also serving as an Administrative Assistant for the Center for Democracy and Civic Life. Adam enjoys cooking, tabletop roleplaying games, and Lego in his free time.


The Mosaic: Center for Cultural Diversity
(The Commons 2B23)

Angelina R. Jenkins, M.A.

(She/Her/Hers) | 2B23, The Commons | arjenkins@umbc.edu | 410-455-3014

Assistant Director, The Mosaic: Center for Cultural Diversity

Angelina Jenkins

Angelina strongly believes in thriving among life transitions while demonstrating authenticity and genuineness in relationship building. She works with students and staff to cultivate an inclusive learning environment by celebrating culture and identity. As a Bi-racial, multicultural Asian American woman, Angelina integrates these aspects of her identity into celebrating authenticity and culture while also exploring the journey of building an understanding of self-empowerment.

Angelina completed her Master of Arts in Student Affairs in Higher Education and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a certificate in Asian Studies, both at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Her professional experiences include: managing and advising student organizations, including sororities and fraternities, program curriculum development with an emphasis on cultural competency and identity development, and certified peer mentoring and curriculum development with academic, social, and cultural developmental initiatives to further an environment of holistic learning and growth. Outside of her professional work, Angelina is passionate about traveling and learning about others through food and music. She is an avid K-pop (Korean Pop music) lover and concertgoer and finds joy in reading.


The Pride Center for LGBTQIA+ Equity & Inclusion
(The University Center 201D)

Please reach out to i3b@umbc.edu with any Pride Center related questions.


The Gathering Space for Spiritual Well-Being
(The Center for Well-Being, Suite 103-109)

Matt Hoffman, M.Div, S.T.M.

(He/Him/His) | 105, Center for Well-Being | matt.hoffman@umbc.edu | 410-455-6795

Assistant Director, Gathering Space for Spiritual Well-Being

Matt Hoffman

Matt is passionate about working with students, staff, and faculty to co-create spaces that dive deeply into issues of faith, religion, spirituality, and belonging. Having spent 10+ years engaged in interfaith work and activism and being in an interfaith family, Matt brings his own practical experience and knowledge to this work while seeking to build connections and ongoing partnerships along the way. As someone committed to holistic well-being, he feels called to support and inspire college students—from all traditions and backgrounds—as they navigate faith, the demands of school, discern vocation, and explore questions of identity and belonging.

Following a short-lived career as a high school social studies teacher, Matt went to seminary to learn how to organize faith communities and advocate for issues of justice and food access. His research and professional interests include exploring the intersection between interfaith work and activism and diving deeply into conversations about food and religion. Matt has studied and taught about Christianity, Islam, and Judaism and studied religious conflict and peacebuilding in Indonesia.

Before beginning his work at UMBC, Matt was the Associate Director of Interfaith Initiatives and Instructor of Religious Studies at Warren Wilson College, near Asheville, NC. There, he co-created a Minor in Interfaith Leadership, helped lead religious and spiritual life programming on campus, and taught classes about religion, centering interfaith work, environmental justice, and food access. Matt has a B.A. in International Studies and Political Science from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, and a Masters of Sacred Theology from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Additionally, Matt is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Matt is a Cajun food devotee, a community garden green thumb, a new father, and an avid board game enthusiast in his free time.


Dialogue, Training, & Social Justice Education
(The Commons 336 Suite)

IDEAList Interns

IDEAList interns are peer educators trained in dialogue facilitation and social justice education. IDEAList interns work closely with student organizations, student leaders, and i3b identity-based spaces to support skill-building toward a social-justice-oriented campus community.