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Meet the Winners of the 2017 Graduate School Holiday Card Contest

December 12, 2017

Julie Colatrella's artworkThe Graduate School is pleased to announce the winners of its first holiday card contest. In the contest, graduate students were asked to submit original artwork for the Graduate School holiday card that evoked some aspect of their experience as a graduate student at the University of Maryland. The following two entries were selected as winners from the pool of entrants. Due to the competitiveness of the pool of entrants, and the diversity in types of artwork submitted, the panel of judges at the Graduate School opted to select two winners

Julie Colatrella's painting, "A Snowy Friend," was selected to be the image used on the Graduate School's printed cards. Colatrella is pursuing a master's degree in school counseling, and plans to gradaute in Spring photo of Julie Colatrella2018. As noted in the brief biography she submitted with her winning entry, Julie "finds any way she can to incorporate art into her work with young people. She has used art therapeutically with her clients, created classroom curriculum and visual aids, and led painting classes of students, faculty, and staff across UMD’s campus. This painting, “A Snowy Friend,” was created as an example for a paint-and-sip class for undergraduate students at UMD....After graduate school, Julie hopes to find employment helping teens develop socially and emotionally, and is looking forward to continuing work on her graphic novel. She hopes one day to have the opportunity to illustrate children’s books." 

You can see more of Julie's work at

Upal Mahbub's artworkThe second winner was Upal Mahbub, a doctoral candndate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, working under the supervision of Rama Chellappa, Distinguished University Professor, Minta Martin Professor of Engineering and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Mahbub's dissertation research is focused on the problem of active user authentication on smartphones using pattern recognition and machine learning techniques. Upal's research has been published in many conferences of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and many journals, and has won several prominent awards. Outside of his academic work, Upal has a keen interest in arts and paper crafts, and has been exploring Zentangle and Quilling techniques.

Upal's piece, "Life of a Grad Student: Holiday is Calling!", is done in Zentangle style, using colored pens on paper. He describes his piece in the followingUpal Mahbub way: "I was thinking how I can portray different objects in our office rooms on the 4th floor of A.V. Williams that are associated with each of us, the grad students. The art contains Josh's Rubik's cube and cola cans, Ankan's bike, my poster tubes, Sayantan's pile of books, our discussions and plans on the whiteboard, and many such things that are deeply connected with the graduate student lives of myself and my friends. The imaginary grad student who occupies the desk in my artwork was looking at the academic calendar for the vacation dates, made plans on the whiteboard, marked dates on the wall calendar, and is currently traveling for the holidays." Upal's artwork will be used in the Graduate School's electronic card.

Contact Information

The Graduate School, University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742