Meet the team

Preminda Jacob
Associate Dean for Research and Community Engagement

Dr. Preminda Jacob joined the Department of Visual Arts in 1995 and the Dean’s Office in 2019. Her areas of teaching and research focus on modern and contemporary art history and theory, the visual culture of Indian films, and public art and urbanism. Her work documents and theorizes ephemeral art forms that animate the everyday, public spaces of post-colonial cities in South Asia. | 410-455-3716

Deborah Geare
Associate Director for Creative Achievement and Research Administration

Deb Geare began her career at UMBC in 1995 with the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research. She has over 28 years of experience with research administration, during which time she has developed a comprehensive understanding of pre- and post- award research administration. Deb provides leadership and oversight of CARAT’s operations. Deb is an UMBC alumna graduating magna cum laude with honors with a degree in Health Administration and Public Policy .  When not working, Deb enjoys baking, watching football and spending time with her family on the shore. | 410-455-1081

Rachel Brubaker
Associate Director for Creative Achievement and Research Development

Rachel Brubaker has developed and managed grants and programs in the humanities and arts for over 20 years at UMBC, most recently as Assistant Director in the Dresher Center for the Humanities. She was Director of Program Administration for UMBC’s Center for Digital History and Education in the Department of History for 12 years. She has also worked in education marketing and program development at University of Baltimore and Maryland Public Television. In 2019, she was the recipient of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Staff Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Institution. She has an M.A. in Historical Studies from UMBC and a B.F.A. in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. | 410-455-3580

Amy Schneider
Assistant Director for Research Administration

Amy Schneider began her career at UMBC in 1999. She has over 18 years of experience with research administration, during which time she has developed a comprehensive understanding of pre- and post- award research administration. Amy is a UMBC alumna, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Economics and a Certificate in Management Science in December 2004.  She also completed her MBA from UMUC in 2009 and is a Certified Research Administrator. When not working, Amy enjoys spending time with her family, reading and especially, encouraging and supporting her niece’s love of horses. | 410-455-2487

Emma Wheatley
Manager for Research Administration

Emma Wheatley began working at UMBC in 2018 as an intern for the Center for Social Science Scholarship (CS3). As a Business Manager, Emma provides pre- and post-award support to faculty in CAHSS as well as managing staff in CARAT. Emma is an UMBC alumna graduating in 2019 with a degree in Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication. When not working, Emma enjoys traveling to new and exciting places. | 410-455-1086

Sara Qureshi
Senior Specialist for Research Administration

Sara Qureshi joined CARAT in April 2024, and has over 20 years’ experience as an arts administrator focused on developing and managing arts programs, including grant development and reporting. She brings this program administration perspective to contribute to CARAT’s arts and humanities efforts.  She has an M.S. in Arts Administration from Drexel University and a B.A in Theatre Arts from Virginia Tech. | 410-455-5882

Kathleen Browning
Specialist for Research Administration

Kathleen Browning began working with the Research Administration Division in June 2023.  As part of the team, she assists faculty in obtaining research funding and provides pre- and post-award coordination, support and administration of awards. Previously Kathleen worked on campus with the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars program and assisted other CAHSS academic departments including Global Studies and Africana Studies.   Kathleen earned a Master of Applied Anthropology from University of Maryland, College Park and a B.A. from State University of New York at Albany. When not on campus, Kathleen enjoys spending time with family and friends, yoga, camping, volunteering in the community, and experimenting with new methods turn her exuberant dog into a good citizen. | 410-455-1083

Taylor Jackson
Specialist for Research Administration

Taylor Jackson began working in research administration in June 2021. Taylor assists the Associate Director, coordinates travel, processes payroll, and handles purchasing and procurement. Prior to working for CARAT, Taylor held other positions at UMBC in the CAHSS and Political Science departments. Taylor earned a B.A in Sport Management from York College of Pennsylvania. | 410-455-1080

Jackson Kelly
Specialist for Research Administration

Jackson started working with the Research Administration Division in January 2023 as an intern and started working full time in May 2023. Jackson graduated from UMBC in 2023 with a degree in Information Systems and an Accounting Certificate. Jackson helps the teams by aiding the Business Managers and faculty. He mainly helps with the post-award but has recently started to work with the pre-award as well. Before working at UMBC, Jackson worked at University of Maryland, Baltimore, where he was an accounting intern. When not on campus, Jackson enjoys spending his time hanging out with his friends and family, watching sports, and playing golf. | 410-455-1085

RJ Harvilicz
Specialist for Research Administration

RJ joined UMBC in 2009 as an undergraduate majoring in English Literature and History. Having completed a fulfilling double major, RJ then became part of the inaugural cohort for the interdisciplinary Texts, Technologies, and Literature Master’s program. RJ, having published his thesis on late-17thand early-18thcentury coffee culture in London, then joined the Language, Literacy, and Culture doctoral program where he vigorously researches that which he refers to as ‘latent environmental memory’. RJ has remained consistently employed with UMBC during his academic tenure first as a student worker and then Contingent II for Special Projects with Human Resources. RJ then moved into a 10 year tenure in fundraising with UMBC’s Office of Institutional Advancement where he developed a nuanced understanding of campus charitable giving. RJ joined the Creative Achievement and Research Team in January 2024. When not working, RJ enjoys music, antiques, his cat Lillian Grace, and both literally and figuratively digging into the history just under the surface of his Catonsville property.

Sierra Jackson
General Assistant for Research Administration

Sierra began working in CARAT as a general assistant in June 2023, where she helps with office tasks and day-to-day administrative needs. Sierra is 6 credits from finishing her Degree in Criminal Justice from Community College of Baltimore County. Sierra has been a part of the UMBC community for over 4 years, working in different departments on campus. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family. | 410-455-1084