About the Scholarship
The Michelle Humanick Scholarship was established by Michelle’s family and friends to honor her memory and to provide need-based scholarship support to University of Maryland students. Preference will be given to students who are returning to school after time away and who exemplify Michelle’s spirit and the joy that she brought to the lives of others.
About Michelle Humanick

Who was Michelle Humanick? Can you summarize a life in a few paragraphs? This is our impossible task. The short answer would be Michelle was a loving wife and mother of two girls. She was a Maryland Alumni and 15 year Resident Life staff member who was suddenly taken from us when a tree struck her vehicle in a storm on July 25, 2010.

But this answer fails to scratch the surface of why we have established this scholarship in her honor. For those who would like to know more about this extraordinary woman who touched so many lives, this is what we’d like to share about our beloved Michelle.

  “I took a walk up to Worcester Hall (where I met Michelle) and up to see Testudo in front of the library. I thought about Michelle and all the good times we had at Univ. of MD. I think about Michelle every day it seems. She was a very special person to me and one of my best friends”
Friend and dorm-mate, Mary Wolfe

A Non-Traditional Student:
Not every path through UMD follows a straight line. Like many freshmen entering a major University Michelle was a bit overwhelmed. After a few years of struggle she decided it was best to put her academics on hold and pursued a retail management career in her home state of New Jersey. As fate would have it she returned to College Park when she married another Maryland Terp Alumni and although she was finding great success in her management career a desire to return to UMCP to finish what she started never went away.

So with her family and friends full support she quit her job, strapped on a backpack and returned to the University as a full­time “non­traditional” student. Then at the “non­traditional” age of 33 she was awarded her Bachelor’s degree with a
double-major in Art History and Archaeology. We were all filled with pride for her courage and willingness to follow her heart and finish what she had started years before.

It is our hope that this scholarship can help others who find themselves on their own winding path to UMCP. We can think of no better legacy than for Michelle’s spirit to inspire and encourage others on their own journey.


“She’s the kind of person who is just full of life. She had this sparkle in her eye, and you just immediately felt a connection to her. She loved art, wanted to become a graphic designer, so she went back to school. [...] A long time ago, she told me, ‘I’m going to be the store manager.’ She did it. She told me,
‘I’m going to go to school.’ She did it.”
Family Friend, John Romano

Resident Life Designer and Mentor:
Michelle followed her love of art and design into a career with Resident Life. She started as a part-time Graphic Designer and then become the founder and first Manager of Resident Life’s Design and Publications unit. Michelle held this position until leaving full­time employment in
2007 in order to raise her family. Michelle continued her work in Resident Life on a part­time
basis through Spring 2010.

In addition to her creative and technical design skills, Michelle is remembered for her special talents for befriending, guiding and mentoring both students and full­time professionals with whom she worked.


“I learned so much professionally and personally about myself from Michelle during my time as her student graphic designer,..... she taught me to broaden my outlook on life. She was more than just a supervisor to me. Michelle was a mentor, friend and even like a second mother.””
Friend and colleague, Wil Jones

Michelle took great joy in connecting with the students and staff on campus. She brought both her life experience and her artistic eye to Resident Life. Her co­workers quickly became lifelong friends.


“Michelle was an extraordinary woman who so warmly touched the lives of all who knew her and who took such joy in family life, a gifted artist, Michelle could understand what was on your mind and in your heart and would create the visual symbols that represented all that you had thought and felt.”
Resident Life Director, Dr. Deborah Gradner

Terrapin Fun and Family Life
In the water was where Michelle found her balance, her strength, and her peace. She was an avid swimmer with a Terrapin Masters swimming team and even completed the grueling 4.4 open water Chesapeake Bay Crossing in 1999.


“...I was thinking of the time I mentioned her shamrock tattoo to a
non-swimmer friend because, as she said, ‘great, thanks- THEY don't all shower with me!’
I did my first open water race - the 1 Mile Bay Challenge in the Chesapeake Bay - in 2001 to fulfill a half hearted promise I made to my friend and lane-mate Michelle Humanick. I never thought she'd hold me to it, but she did.”

Marisa Frieder
First person to complete the 10.7­mile Portland Bridge Swim in 2010. Her thoughts of Michelle with her the entire way.

She loved to swim and more importantly she loved the friends she made on and off the water. Michelle lent her design talents to create the logo used for many years by the Terrapin Masters swim club.

Michelle and her husband settled into life in College Park and embracing everything about living and working at a University town. She enjoyed attending Terp games, working for the City Recreation board and would even cook meals for SOME (So Others Might Eat) when she could.

After a several years of struggling with fertility issues Michelle and her husband were able to adopt their first daughter Sophie in 2006. This was the fulfillment of another lifelong dream of motherhood for Michelle. Being adopted herself Michelle always wanted to raise a family of her own. She cut back work to part­time and in 2009 welcomed her second daughter Amelia.


For the next several months Michelle was happily adjusting to the sleepless night and demands of her young family. Life is not without its struggles but Michelle’s joy and spirit proves that every day matters and is worth living to its fullest.

There are surely many others who embody Michelle’s spirit and desire to fulfill their potential but might not quite have all the support they need. This scholarship is one way that we hope that those of us left behind can honor this amazing woman who was such a large part of our lives.


“This scholarship presents an amazing opportunity for myself and our girls to channel Michelle’s love of life and thriving spirit in such a positive way. She would be very pleased to know that we are helping others improve their lives and follow their hearts.
Clay Gump

The University of Maryland
Division of Student Affairs ▪ Office of Development and External Relations
8400 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 200 ▪ College Park, MD 20740
sagiving@umd.edu ▪ (301) 314-4900