EMPOWER Hands Together

EMPOWER is a community based program specifically for transfer students who self-identify as women and femmes of color.

The purpose of this program is to provide new and current transfer students a place that is just for you! Through this program, you will be able to get to know other transfer students like yourself, be exposed to UMBC resources, and attend social or career-focused events.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to achieve a university where all transfer women of color at the university experience success, leadership, visibility, and representation.

Complete the EMPOWER Contact Form to Connect with Us!

Meet the EMPOWER Advisors


Krista Wallace (She/Her)


Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Ms. Krista Wallace joined the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in July 2019 as the Transfer Success Advisor for the Post-Transfer Pathways (PTP) Program in the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT). In her current role of Assistant Director of Pre-Transfer Advising & Special programs, she provides academic advising to prospective and current transfer students interested in pursuing computing and engineering majors at UMBC. Krista is passionate about working with transfer students, particularly from underrepresented populations. It is rewarding to help and be a resource for them as they navigate their educational journey through graduation.

Why EMPOWER? It’s all about building community and connections! Transferring to a 4-year university can be new and exciting and scary and just a myriad of other things. Creating a place just for transfer students and particularly women or femmes of color is something that is needed at UMBC. I’m SO excited to be working with our amazing staff and students on this program

Fun Facts: I’m an AVID Harry Potter fan and have read the books and seen the movies more times than I can count. I love all things arts & crafts and especially buying new arts & crafts materials, haha!


Bri Gumbs (She/Her/Ella)


Hometown: San Diego, CA

Bri identifies herself as an unapologetic queer, multi-racial Latinx, womxn. Born and raised in San Diego, CA Bri has devoted her work to being an educator, femtor and advocate for increasing and improving access, representation and retention for students with underrepresented identities in higher education by using an intersectional feminist framework. Bri hopes to empower others to speak their truth, mobilize and cultivate community care and joy in their various communities. Bri loves her two cats and her extensive hat collection! Bri expresses her truth through zine making, personal narratives, affirmations, and through the various community programs she continues to create and facilitate. Bri holds a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Counseling and Social Change and an M.A. in Student Affairs.


Ericka Thompson (She/Her)


Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

 Hello. My name is Ericka Thompson and I’m a proud alum of UMBC.  I’m happily married to my college sweetheart and we have 2 sons together.  I’m excited to be a resource for transfer women of color. I currently serve as the Assistant Director for Allied Health Programs and I truly enjoy advising students.  I currently live in Baltimore but love to travel. I also love sports and food, especially Trini food. I look forward to getting to know you!


Grace De Oro (She/Her)


Hometown: Montgomery County

Hi, my name is Grace De Oro (she/her). I am currently a Ph.D. Student in Public Policy at UMBC and a Graduate Assistant serving the Adult Learner population at Off-Campus Student Services.

I grew up in Montgomery County and currently live on a small 5-acre farm in Western Howard County. As a first-generation college student and a Latinx woman, I am excited to help bring EMPOWER to life to support the next generation of women and femmes of color transfer students. I believe in shared knowledge and that our knowledge is power and shared wealth.