On being happy with her decision to attend UMD
ORAL HISTORY TRANSCRIPT
Interview with Tiffany Hill Brittain (1994-1998)
Interview Date: November 17, 2021
Interviewer: Francena Turner
Method: Zoom recording
Length: 30:26 minutes
Transcription software: otter.ai
Transcription edited by: Francena Turner
NARRATOR BIO: Tiffany Hill Brittain came to the University of Maryland, College Park in 1994 from Mount Pocono, PA and graduated in 1998 with a business degree. Brittain also earned a master’s in organizational leadership from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Brittain is currently Vice President and Chief of Staff at MVB Bank in Virginia. While at UMD, Brittain was an active member of Dance Africa.
KEYWORDS: Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, Pocono Mountain High School, Conferences and Visitor Services, dance Africa, Banneker Scholar, Dorchester Hall, Leonardtown Apartments, Dance Place, Aaron McGruder, Nyumburu Cultural Center, Black Student Union (BSU), Human Resources.
Francena Turner 00:02
My name is Francena Turner and I’m conducting an oral history interview with the Reparative Histories and the Black Experience at UMD Oral History Project with Ms. Tiffany Hill Brittain. First things first, am I pronouncing the three parts of your name correctly?
Tiffany Hill Brittain 0:21
Francena Turner 0:22
Okay. Can you tell me what years you entered and graduated from? UMD?
Tiffany Hill Brittain 0:28
Yes, I entered in ‘94 and graduated in ‘98.
Francena Turner 0:28
What’s your hometown?
Tiffany Hill Brittain 00:39
Originally from a small area in Pennsylvania, in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania. Currently, I’m in Northern Virginia.
Francena Turner 00:52
How would you describe your life prior to coming to the University of Maryland in terms of family composition, maybe schools you attended, your home community,and those kinds of things?
Tiffany Hill Brittain 01:05
Where I grew up, it was a predominantly white area somewhere in between suburban and rural. I grew up in a two parent household. I have a sibling. My sister actually attended the University of Maryland for a while there as well. Coming to Maryland was an opportunity. I really wanted to be closer to Washington, DC because of the opportunities I felt like there were going to be inside of the business world as I was a business student. As well as being closer to an African American population. I did apply to a couple of HBCUs. But chose Maryland, ultimately.
Francena Turner 02:00
How did you come to decide on business as a major?
Tiffany Hill Brittain 02:11
Honestly, I’m a first generation college student.I think my parents were great. They didn’t really pressure me one way or another. But at the same time, because I’m a first generation college student, I don’t think I had a lot of exposure beyond traditional career paths. When I was in high school, I did a couple of summer programs that emphasized business and engineering for minority students. Business just seemed like a good fit for me. It seemed like something that I couldn’t go wrong with and Maryland had, at the time, a great business school.
Francena Turner 02:57
So which high school did you attend?
Tiffany Hill Brittain 03:02
It’s called Pocono Mountain High School.
Francena Turner 03:05
If you could, walk me through your memories of the first time you experienced campus as a freshman.
Tiffany Hill Brittain 03:14
I was a Banneker Scholar. Because I was a Banneker Scholar, we had a weekend where we came and stayed on campus before actually coming on campus as a freshman. And that really shaped my experience or my decision because I had an opportunity to go to other schools. Honestly, Maryland wasn’t my first choice; I really did want to go to an HBCU. I was on the fence going into that program that weekend. I think Maryland doesn’t have the Banneker scholarship anymore. That was for students of color. It was an academic scholarship program. And so they brought all of the Banneker Scholars on campus for a weekend before whenever you had to make a decision to experience campus life and paired you with other either Baneker Scholars or just people who would sponsor guests for the weekend. That was a great experience for me because I wanted to be around more African American students, and being in that kind of academic trajectory of being a high performing academic student, being around other students that fell in that same category really was energizing for me. Maryland’s just an exciting campus all by itself, but you add that on top of being able to come into my freshman year with friends. I had already known those people from that weekend and we did a lot of fun things together. It was a great experience. Okay.
For the full transcript, please email university archivist, Lae’l Hughes-Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.