Amber Chaney Experiences TDPS as the First in Her Family to Attend a University

April 20, 2018


We know that the School of Theatre Dance and Performance Studies (TDPS) is a special place where collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship in the performing arts is nurtured but it’s wonderful to hear first hand how our amazing faculty impact the education and lives of our students.

Amber Chaney (Spring ‘18 candidate) came to the University of Maryland (UMD) as the first in her family to attend college. “I am truly blown away by the support I have received here at TDPS and the impact that a support system can have on a dream” says Amber.


Amber’s Story

The passion, respect, and commitment at in the TDPS program is contagious. I was pushed to do beyond what I thought was possible. Scot Reese was by my side when I went onstage opening night as the understudy for Intimate Apparel. I have had my back against the wall many times in life but nothing changed my life more than that moment when Scot said, I would not fail, as I was amongst friends. Susan Miller advised me to go from half time to a full time student, although I worked full time. I had never been a full time student. Leslie Felbain volunteered her time for independent study to help me learn how to join McNair Scholars as a theater major. Cary Gillett introduced me to theater management, which is what I applied to graduate school. The most exceptional thing about Cary is the way she talks to you with the utmost confidence and respect. Faedra Carpenter read and reread my application to graduate school, in addition to spending 30 minutes on the phone with me prior to my interview.  Most importantly, UMD has demanded the best of me. This is not an easy school by any means. I was expected to show up on time, prepared, and well-read for every assignment both inside and out of the classroom.

I would not be where I am if not for the University of Maryland’s School of Theatre Dance and Performance Studies. I thank TDPS for being my support and family, as this is what I needed the most coming from a situation where my parents had severe substance abuse issues and I was the first and only of five children to attend a university. I am excited for the next chapter of my life where I will carry UMD's TDPS wherever I go.

I am truly blown away by the support I have received here at TDPS and the impact that a support system can have on a dream.” -Amber Chaney

We wish Amber the best in her future endeavors. 
By Kenia Prophet