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Diamondback 08-05-2010 (Romas)

Michelle Humanick, 1966-2010

‘An extraordinary woman’

By Maria Romas

Thursday, August 5, 2010

For more than a decade, Michelle Humanick helped welcome hundreds of freshmen to this university.

As a graphic designer for the Department of Resident Life, one of Humanick’s roles when she worked at the university until 2007 was designing the T-shirts given to incoming students at their summer orientation.

Humanick, 44, died July 25 when a violent thunderstorm knocked a tree onto her car as she drove along Rhode Island Avenue near her home in northern College Park.

Humanick — who is survived by her husband, Clay Gump, and two young daughters, Sophie and Amelia — was remembered as a caring and passionate friend, mother and colleague.

John Romano was a close family friend but said Humanick could have been his sister.

“She’s the kind of person who is just full of life,” he said. “She had this sparkle in her eye, and you just immediately felt a connection to her.”

Humanick worked as a successful retail manager before going back to school later in life. As an undergraduate student, she began her work at Resident Life as a part-time publications assistant in 1996.

After graduating in 1997, she continued as a full-time senior graphic designer and was later promoted in 2000 to the department’s coordinator, and then manager, of design and publications.

“Michelle was an extraordinary woman who so warmly touched the lives of all who knew her and who took such joy in family life,” wrote Resident Life Director Deborah Grandner in an appreciation for Humanick on the department’s website. “A gifted artist, Michelle could understand what was on your mind and in your heart and would create the visual symbols that represented all that you had thought and felt.”

Humanick left full-time employment at the university in 2007 to raise her daughters, but friends said she never stopped giving back to the community.

“She loved art, wanted to become a graphic designer, so she went back to school. I realized how much that if she set her mind on something, it would get done,” Romano said. “A long time ago, she told me, ‘I’m going to be the store manager.’ She did it. She told me, ‘I’m going to go to school.’ She did it.”