RTKL Award MFA Award | KO’D IMDA Award | Research Assistantships Additional Support 

Liza Alienkova 2023 MFA
RTKL Award

Rogers, Taliaferro, Kostritsky, & Lamb [ RTKL ] Fellowship is made possible through the generosity of RTKL Associates Incorporated. RTKL was founded in Baltimore in 1946 and has since become one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive architecture and design firms in the world, with expanded offices throughout most continents. IMDA and the Department of Visual Arts are grateful that RTKL is determined to support emerging, creative leaders in the field of art.

Each year upon achieving their MFA Candidacy, typically after their third semester, one IMDA graduate student is awarded the RTKL Fellowship based solely on the merit of their presentation on Graduate Review Day one year before they are eligible present their MFA Thesis Exhibition. The goal of this merit-based award is to give an emerging artist of creative and scholarly excellence who has demonstrated a promise to make an impact on the field. Award recipients deliver an artist lecture during their MFA Thesis Exhibition.

Anna Kroll MFA exhibit
Kathy O’Dell IMDA Award for most Outstanding MFA Written Thesis and Exhibition

Inspired by Dr. Mina Cheon (’02), who funded the IMDA Friends + Alumni MFA Award for the last five years, Dr. Kathy O’Dell, upon her retirement on August 1, 2022, established an endowment that will provide financial support for specific initiatives of the IMDA Program in perpetuity. Each year a qualified art professional will serve as a juror for the award. Want to be a part of this? Click here to contribute!

MFA Award

The IMDA Friends + Alumni fund was founded and inspired by IMDA alumna Mina Cheon ’02. The primary objective of the fund was to award $1000 for the most outstanding MFA exhibition and written thesis. This MFA Award was inspired by those who wish to boost the emerging career of promising IMDA alumni, especially impacting the transitional year following their MFA. It has been succeeded by the KO’D IMDA Award.

We are grateful to Mina Cheon, the founding alumna of this award.

Research Assistantships

The Intermedia + Digital Art [ IMDA ] program has over $400,000 in funds to support Research Assistantships [ RA ] for graduate students who qualify. Financial packages include half and full tuition remission, health care, and stipends. Students fulfill their RA by teaching a course; working in one of the Visual Art Department labs; assisting Faculty on a research project; or working with one of several research centers and partners at UMBC including the Imaging Research Center [ IRC ], the Center for Art Design and Visual Culture [ CADVC ], and others. Most IMDA students choose to teach as part of their RA. Eligible students have multiple opportunities to independently teach courses during their IMDA studies in an area of their expertise.

Additional Support

The Graduate Student Association [ GSA ] offers funding for graduate students to travel and purchase material for graduate students to produce their art.

MFA applicants who have served in the Peace Corps may apply for additional funding through the Shriver Peaceworker Fellowship program.

On-campus programs and facilities such as Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts [ CIRCA ] and the Dresher Center for the Humanities can provide additional research support.

UMBC’s Graduate School offers internal and external funding opportunities, including fellowships and information on financial aid.

Financial Smarts offers graduate students individual coaching for financial planning.

USMD Women’s History Month Award. This program provides 5 awards per year in the amount of $500.00 to female undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in a USM institution.


Images: Liza Aleinkova, The Chapel of Imagination (2023 RTKL Winner) | Anna Kroll, The Space is a Body and You Are In It (2023 KO’D Award Winner)