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Members of The Retriever and WMBC at their shared space in UC 214. Photo courtesy of Ronan Guilfoyle

Where Have We Been: The Retriever Updates

For the past year, UMBC’s independent, student-run newspaper, The Retriever, has been quiet. Running a newspaper as college students with virtually no professional business experience can be tough, but without an advisor, the work becomes increasingly difficult and impossible to manage. 

As the semester’s have gone by, we have finally acquired a wonderful media advisor, Ann Tropea, who has helped us massively with finding advertisers, organizing our documents, and most importantly, advocating for us as a student organization. 

Ann is a licensed attorney in both Louisiana and the District of Columbia. She holds a law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and is highly experienced as she is a published author, public speaker, represented a multitude of clients on both the federal and state court litigation, and most recently was the editor-in-chief of Seapower Magazine, the official publication of the Navy League of the United States. 

When asked why she wanted to be The Retriever’s media advisor, Ann said, “I saw an incredible opportunity to use my editorial, publishing, and legal experience to support student-run media at UMBC and look forward to helping The Retriever, WMBC, and other media grow and thrive in the coming years.”

At UMBC, Ann works not only as The Retriever’s media advisor, but also the media advisor/assistant director of the Center for Democracy and Civic Life.

She has brought security to The Retriever, and has allowed us to focus on the art of journalism, rather than the stress of administrative worries. More information about Ann Tropea can be found at 

In recent years, student media on campus has been hanging on by a thread. For instance, UMBC’s student radio station, WMBC, has faced constant threat of disintegration into the obscurity of radio. However, with the help of our advisor Ann Tropea, and the support of the SVP of Student Affairs, Renique Kersh, WMBC is now merging with The Retriever in our office in the University Center room 214, in order to save WMBC and create stronger ties with student media at UMBC.

With the merger of WMBC beginning, we also have been renovating and redecorating our office.  A fresh coat of paint drying by the time we got back from winter break, and a full Amazon shopping cart, UC 214 is getting a makeover. 

We intend to create a space that is inviting and relaxing, but will also stimulate productivity. A space where our staff can comfortably express their creativity, write their articles, and even finish their homework or study. 

Although building the newspaper from the ground up cannot happen overnight, we are tirelessly working to get all of our documents updated, our office renovated, and the merger with WMBC settled. We most likely cannot finish all of the rebuilding until the Fall 2024 semester, as we are only taking small steps right now, however we will be busy over the summer to complete all the work needed to be done.

Currently, our focus is to get consistent, bi-weekly print issues produced and distributed. We intend to make quite a bit of noise this year, so be on the lookout for our newsstands, and pick up a paper when you see it.

If you would like to see The Retriever grow as an organization, consider applying to work for us. Available positions include but are not limited to, writers, photographers, graphic designers, advertising, business, production, and social media assistants, and more. If interested, please contact our editor-in-chief, Ash Shehzad at, and our content managing editor, Arpa Shahnazarian at for more information.

Arpa Shahnazarian is a sophomore mathematics and economics double major, and the Content Managing Editor at The Retriever. Contact Arpa at