UMES fashion student forges ahead with travel plans in face of pandemic | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

UMES fashion student forges ahead with travel plans in face of pandemic

  • Aleecia JoofPRINCESS ANNE, MD- May 21, 2020- University of Maryland Eastern Shore sophomore Aleecia Joof has big plans for next year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.  Joof, who is concentrating in fashion merchandising at the university, plans on attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in the fall and studying at the Council on International Educational Exchange Global Institute in Paris next summer.

    Joof, who calls Greenbelt, Maryland home, has never traveled outside of the U.S.  A fellow student in UMES’ Human Ecology Department who had studied abroad in Milan inspired Joof to apply for the Frederick Douglass Summer Scholars Program through the CIEE.  She submitted an essay and produced a video describing who she was, her goals and why she was interested in a study abroad experience.  In March, she was notified that she would receive a $1,500 grant and $500 toward airfare as part of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship.

    “I was really looking forward to doing study abroad this upcoming summer, however the COVID-19 pandemic has affected several of my opportunities," Joof said.  “I’m appreciative that my scholarship will extend into next summer, when I will go.  Involving my plans for FIT in the fall, I honestly hope that I’ll be able to get my educational experience and be granted face-to-face learning while in the heart of New York.”

    As a participant in FIT’s Visiting Student Program of which UMES is a partner, Joof will spend one year in New York earning a degree in advertising and marketing communications to add to her UMES bachelor’s in human ecology.  She will also graduate from UMES’ program with a minor in business administration.

    “Many fashion experts have been an inspiration to me such as fashion designer Virgil Abloh and image stylist Aleali May,” Joof said.  “I’ve followed their works and customs and they’ve inspired me to become the creative I am today.”

    Joof plans on using this inspiration in her study of fashion business in Paris in the summer of 2021 where she “will be hands-on with people in the international fashion industry, making connections and learning a new language.”

    “Being accepted to these opportunities led me to an accomplished semester (at UMES) despite the fact that I, like my fellow students, were forced to finish the semester online,” Joof said.  “Even though this pandemic is unpredictable, I still remain positive and continue to look forward to the amazing experiences ahead of me.”

    Gail Stephens, agricultural communications and media associate, School  of Agricultural & Natural Sciences, 410-621-3850,