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Merrill Presidential Scholars Program
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Merrill Presidential Scholars Program

The 2009-2010 Merrill Presidential Scholars

See Pictures from the 2009 Luncheon

Jared Albert
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Angela Chiang
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences


Akshay Goyal
Robert H. Smith School of Business

Rachel Kirsch
College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Sarah Peitzmeier
College of Chemical and Life Sciences

Alycia Baker
College of Education

Emma Coll
College of Arts and Humanities


Laura Grammar
Philip Merrill School of Journalism


Talia Lewis
Undergraduate Studies


John Silberholz
Robert H. Smith School of Business


Adrienne Beaudoin
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences


Emma Crenshaw
School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation


Steven P. Hutzell
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources


Kevin McGehrin
College of Chemical and Life Sciences


Vineeta Singh
College of Arts and Humanities


Heather Bradshaw
A. James Clark School of Engineering


Aleksandar Damjanic
Robert H. Smith School of Business


Samuel Juh
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences


David McMichael
College of Arts and Humanities


Elizabeth (Kaitlyn) Tuley
College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences


Kamilia Butler-Peres
College of Arts and Humanities


Bonnie Dux
College of Education


Elizabeth Kenyon
A. James Clark School of Engineering


Steven Overly
Philip Merrill School of Journalism


Lyndsey Wilson
School of Public Health


Past Merrill Presidential Scholars

The 2008-2009 Merrill Scholars
Pictures and Statements

For a print version of the Scholars' statement and pictures.

View an image slideshow from the 2008 Merrill Presidential Scholars Luncheon
The Merrill Presidential Scholars were joined by high school teachers and university faculty at a luncheon honoring the students and their teachers.

The 2007-2008 Merrill Scholars
Pictures and statements.  

For a print version of the 2007-2008 Merrill Presidential Scholars

Pictures from the 2007 Merrill Presidential Scholars Luncheon
The Merrill Presidential Scholars were joined by high school teachers and university faculty at a luncheon honoring the students and their teachers.

The 2006-2007 Merrill Scholars
Pictures and statements.  
Pictures from the 2006 Merrill Presidential Scholars Luncheon
The Merrill Presidential Scholars were joined by high school teachers and university faculty at a luncheon honoring the students and their teachers.

The 2005-2006 Merrill Scholars
Pictures and statements.
Pictures from the 2005 Merrill Presidential Scholars Luncheon

The Merrill Presidential Scholars were joined by high school teachers and university faculty at a luncheon honoring the students and their teachers. Here are two slideshows of images from the event for you to view.

The 2004-2005 Merrill Scholars
Pictures and statements.

Jared AlbertJared Albert
Teachers have had a profound impact on my life. In high school, Ms. Carla Ingram served as a mentor and friend to me as my chambers chorus instructor, play director, and Music Theory teacher. In my four years in classes with Ms. Ingram, she showed each of her students her concern, patience, and her genuine interest in their lives. She had a great desire to see them succeed. Although I have not pursued music as a career path, Ms. Ingram has positively influenced my decisions, and has been a sincere and valued inspiration for my current endeavors. At the University of Maryland, Professor Virginia Haufler has served as a terrific mentor to me in my transition to college life. She is an excellent professor of Introduction to International Relations and International Political Economy classes, and she has helped me to succeed in those classes and at the University in general. She treats her students with overwhelming care and concern, and it is clear to me that she truly wants each of her students to succeed. I thank Ms. Carla Ingram, Professor Virginia Haufler, my family, and the entire Maryland community for affording me such a fulfilling and meaningful experience here.


Alycia BakerAlycia Baker
As an education student, I have had many teachers who have inspired me to follow in their footsteps. During my senior year in high school, I interned in Ms. Debra Schwartz’s kindergarten class every day for the entire year. I vividly remember the enthusiasm and love that Ms. Schwartz brought into her classroom and to her students. It was contagious. As a mentor, she helped me to better understand what it means to be a teacher and the amount of work that it takes. She showed me that the fulfillment and rewards of teaching make all the work worthwhile. In part because of Ms. Schwartz, I knew that I wanted to be an education major. At the University of Maryland, I met Dr. Brenda Jones Harden through the Advocates for Children program. Dr. Harden brings passion and knowledge to her field and into her classes. She has forced me to look at different aspects of education and child development; this has allowed me to become a more diverse thinker in the classroom. I believe that I will become a better teacher because of the knowledge and experiences that she has shared with my classmates and me over the last four years.

Adrienne Beaudoin
I have been fortunate to be a student of Ms. Ruth Thompson and Dr. Linda Moghadam, two exceptional teachers for whom I am eternally grateful. Throughout her career, Ms. Thompson, my 9th grade English and Writing teacher and National Honor Society advisor, has maintained a passion for her subject and for the well-being of her students. From the start of our relationship, Ms. Thompson fostered my love of learning and literature; she encouraged, challenged, and motivated me to become the writer I am today. Her advice and effort, both within and outside the classroom, were invaluable. Dr. Moghadam is both the Undergraduate Sociology Director as well as an instructor of Sociology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Moghadam is not only a dedicated teacher, but also has provided me with insight and advice with regard to my degree, always communicating a concern for my success. Dr. Moghadam taught my Contemporary Social Problems course freshman year. My experience in this class inspired me to pursue a sociology degree. In each class, Dr. Moghadam communicated her wealth of knowledge, consistently led thought-provoking discussions, and challenged students to think about our world and other perspectives. Dr. Moghadam’s class changed my perspective on social issues, and I plan to pursue this avenue of work and study upon graduation.


Heather BradshawHeather Bradshaw
Outstanding mentors tap into students’ talents and help them to realize their full potential. Ms. Beth Dibble, my 11th grade Honors English teacher at King George High School, inspires students by unlocking their hearts and minds to release their creativity. Her classes are imaginative and fun, from acting out skits from famous literature, to writing and singing a parody of the Bohemian Rhapsody. In an engaging and lively atmosphere, her students learn life lessons. With love, encouragement, high expectations, and rewards, she challenged us and expected nothing but our best. Dr. William Fourney is also an inspiration to his students. His integrity and quiet support of students encourages them to work harder and reach higher. As a prospective student visiting Maryland, I was struggling with which engineering major to choose. Dr. Fourney took the time, as Chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, to sit down with me and share his insights and experiences. During my first semester at Maryland, Dr. Fourney was my professor for Statics. I admired that he always placed students first, helping them with homework questions and understanding concepts. Dr. Fourney has a passion for seeing students succeed. His enthusiasm for his areas of research and study serves as an example for students. Throughout my four years at Maryland, I have valued his insight on career choices, research paths, and graduate school decisions. His support and advice have been invaluable and have guided my experiences at the university.


Kamilia Butler-PeresKamilia Butler-Peres
My middle school, high school, and university are all located on the same street less than five miles apart. Within this community, I have been fortunate to work with stellar teachers and mentors. One such teacher is Mr. John Goldman, who chose to become a teacher instead of a lawyer like everyone else in his family. This decision to mentor and work with young students reflects his commitment to education. I first met Mr. Goldman in my tenth grade Media Literacy class at Montgomery Blair High School, and studied with him again during my senior seminar. Mr. Goldman is committed to individual students, and mentors them through their school work, college applications, and personal challenges. Coming to the University of Maryland, I was apprehensive about drowning in such a large university. However, I have had the privilege of working with inspiring and caring faculty members each semester. In particular, I worked with Susan Whyte Simon this past year in a public relations seminar and on an extensive research project. Like Mr. Goldman, Professor Simon reaches out to students and works individually with each of them. She readily provides feedback for an assignment or editing a paper, even in a time crunch. Her commitment to teaching and to her students, combined with her extensive professional experience, make her an ideal mentor. She and Mr. Goldman are inspiring role models, who remind me how meaningful it can be to recognize individual talent and goals among a large group of first-rate students.


Angela ChiangAngela Chiang
Ms. Sara Goodman, an alumna of Maryland, was my high school journalism teacher and student newspaper staff advisor. She was the first teacher I knew who really related to her students. By incorporating real world experiences as part of her teaching, she was able to motivate students to take what they learned and make an impact on society. Ms. Goodman helped me develop my writing, and although I did not end up majoring in journalism, I apply the skills I learned from her every day. I worked closely with her for three years. Hearing about her experience at Maryland played an important part in my decision to come here. Dr. Bonnie Dixon was my professor for three semesters of chemistry at Maryland. Over that time, I noticed that she is unlike any other professor I have had. She is dedicated to her students, and truly desires for each one to succeed. I spent many hours in her office receiving individual attention and instruction. I owe my success in chemistry to her patience and commitment. In addition, she genuinely cares for each student, and makes an effort to get to know everyone who walks into her office. Thanks to these exceptional teachers, I am able to be the student I am today.


Emma CollEmma Coll
I have been fortunate to study with two women who have pushed me intellectually and encouraged me to voice opinions and challenge the norms. Ms. Jennifer Webster, my AP U.S. History teacher, urged me to speak up during class and debate historical interpretations and political views with my classmates. Although I was painfully shy during high school, Ms. Webster provided a comfortable learning environment that enabled me to actively participate while learning the essentials of historical writing and documentation analysis. Her enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of U.S. history inspired me to pursue a track in History and American Studies at the University of Maryland. Dr. Judith Freidenberg of the Anthropology Department at Maryland, challenged me to move outside the classroom and work with community members in cultivating a new perspective in education. Her emphasis on using volunteer work as a means of academic study inspired me to extend a paper that I wrote in her class into my honors thesis in American Studies. In addition, working with Dr. Freidenberg on a conference on immigration allowed me to learn first-hand, real-world skills in creating political change, as well as the power of education in fostering cultural understanding. These two remarkable teachers have played critical roles in my academic and intellectual growth; I am grateful for their wisdom and encouragement.


Emma CrenshawEmma Crenshaw
The two years spanning my senior year of high school and my freshman year in college were very formative thanks to two important educators. During my first three years at Winston Churchill High School, I was convinced I was to become a scientist like so many of my classmates. I had little exposure to the analysis of art and design until I took AP Art History my senior year with Mr. Paul Dermont. This class gave me new insight into the practical application of art. I realized how human creativity has shaped our world and how I can take part in it. At the University of Maryland, I realized that I could major in a design field related to my new-found passion. I saw the links between art history and architectural history, which is where I encountered Professor Robert Vann. This is when I learned what I love to do. I studied in Italy with Professor Vann, where I learned about the ancient ruins at Pompeii. I began to connect my knowledge of art and architectural history to design, understanding how to learn today from ancient civilizations. With the ability to connect ideas of the past and the future, I feel better equipped to enter a design profession. I look forward to continuing to integrate the skills and passions I've developed with the help of Mr. Dermont and Professor Vann to become a better a designer.


Aleksandar DamjanicAleksandar Damjanic
Professor Iva Kranjcevic has been my mentor from the very first day of my sophomore year in Zagreb, Croatia. She has helped me to become successful in both academics and athletics, and she played an important role in developing my personal motivation for excellence in all arenas of life. Under her supervision, I was able to grow as an individual, student-athlete, and leader. Professor Kranjcevic taught me the importance of maintaining a positive attitude at all times and setting challenging goals that do not limit what I can accomplish. Through her help and advice, I improved as an athlete, participating in European and World Swimming Championships. I also improved as a student, excelling in the classroom and community service activities. Dr. Mark Wellman, my mentor in the Management and Leadership class at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, relentlessly seeks new ideas, concepts, and areas of improvement. His unique approach and passion for teaching fostered my motivation for academics, encouraged me to expand my experiences beyond the classroom, and encouraged me to be involved on campus. His innovative class style helped me expand my knowledge of some of the most important concepts in life and professional careers. I have learned how to challenge my personal status quo in positioning myself as a stronger individual and effective leader. I am truly honored to have these two mentors as part of my academic experience; I would not be where I am today without them.


Bonnie DuxBonnie Dux
I have been blessed with great teachers throughout my time as a student. I will remember two of them for the rest of my life. The first is Ms. Lisa Narges, a teacher at Woodfield Elementary School in Damascus, MD. During my senior year in high school, Lisa welcomed me into her classroom as a student intern. Under her guidance, I realized my love for teaching. Since then, she has served as an inspiration to me in the field of education. Her love for teaching and dedication to her students makes her a fantastic role model. Another very important teacher in my life is Dr. Lisa Boté, a professor in the University of Maryland’s College of Education. Dr. Boté has taught me a variety of creative methods for teaching my future students. From dressing up to creating lively discussions, Dr. Boté has modeled countless practices that I plan to replicate. She has also taught me the importance of building community in a classroom. Through her teaching style, she has proved that a caring teacher can have a huge impact on a class. I will continue to see these women as role models for the type of teacher I hope to become.


Akshay GoyalAkshay Goyal
Mr. John Pisanic, my high school physics teacher, has been one of the most influential people in my life. In addition to providing me with a great education, he helped me to identify my strengths and pushed me to grow and improve. Due to his efforts, I have been able to become a successful student at the University of Maryland. In addition to being a great educator, Mr. Pisanic has also been a great friend and mentor who has provided me with invaluable advice and support in times of need. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from Mr. Pisanic. During my time at the University of Maryland, Dr. Susan White has been one of the most important forces behind my success. Being fortunate enough to have taken both Introduction to Finance and Advanced Financial Management with her, I have gained significant knowledge about finance and its application to the real world. This experience has helped me succeed in the academic world and prepare for the real world. In addition to being a great educator, Dr. White has also provided me with great advice whenever I have reached out to her. Furthermore, she has provided me with support through recommendation letters, help with preparation for competitions, and encouragement for entrepreneurial endeavors. I am very fortunate to have the support of a professor like Dr. White.


Laura GrammarLaura Grammar
When I entered high school, I knew that I wanted to try writing for our school’s paper, The Warrior. In order to do so, I had to take a journalism class with Mr. Peter Huck. From him I learned the foundations of writing, editing, and producing a newspaper. When I graduated in 2006, I was inspired to pick journalism as my major. So much of my success in college has come from what I learned while working on The Warrior, and I am thankful for the guidance that Mr. Huck gave me. In college, I was one of the lucky people to have David Lightman for Advanced Newswriting. Going in, I was terrified. Even after my years at The Warrior and three semesters working at The Diamondback as an editor, I still didn’t like reporting. But Mr. Lightman taught me how to look at any story with a critical eye, draw out what is really important on the topic, and write concisely and effectively. Together, these two teachers have helped shape my desire of becoming a copy editor.


Steven P. HutzellSteven P. Hutzell
Ms. Constance Lenhart, my AP Environmental Science teacher, was the first person to help me realize how much of an impact the human race can have on the environment. I had already decided to pursue a career in turf management, but it wasn’t until I attended her class that I understood that certain practices at the majority of golf courses have a negative impact on the earth. She challenged me to approach my college career with the attitude that I could make changes in the turf management industry. It was an honor to have been taught by a teacher who could relate to my interests and guide me in my studies. At the University of Maryland, Dr. Mark Carroll has been instrumental in my success as an undergraduate student. Professors are often busy with graduate students and their own research, but Dr. Carroll has always made time to sit down and discuss the nature of the dynamic turf industry and has assisted me in finding financial aid. He has led me in the direction that I wish to go, and even introduced me to the current superintendent at the Chevy Chase Club near Washington, D.C.—the golf course where I have decided to fulfill my summer internship requirement. Dr. Carroll has everything that one can wish for in a mentor.


Samuel Juh
Throughout my education, I have been lucky enough to have teachers who are extremely knowledgeable in their subject areas and dedicated to teaching. This combination has engaged in my studies and made me passionate about world affairs. Mr. Robert Thomas, my 12th grade AP European History teacher first exposed me to international affairs and history with his stirring and oftentimes humorous lectures of warfare, state building, and political maneuvering over the past 600 years in Europe. He demonstrated a strong concern for all of his students but always managed to challenge us. Mr. Thomas taught me the value of hard work and gave me a critical eye with which to evaluate and analyze complicated issues. At the University of Maryland I was fortunate to study with Professor Scott Kastner who teaches courses in East Asian politics and U.S Taiwan and China relations. He, like Mr. Thomas, has an unparalleled grasp of his subject area and manages to challenge and engage his students in captivating issues. I am grateful to both of these men for greatly affecting my academic career, and the careers of so many others.


Elizabeth KeynonElizabeth Keynon
Every teacher I have had throughout my education has made an impact on me. Some of them have taught me math, some have taught me English, some have taught me history, but the best have taught me much more. I have been fortunate enough to know Ms. Jan Adams my entire life, but it was her teaching of AP U.S. Government and AP Comparative Government that most impacted me in high school. She fostered my love for politics, and encouraged me to develop thoughtful and critical opinions about the world around me. Ms. Adams also served as my college guidance counselor, helping me navigate the bumpy road between high school and college. When I arrived at college, I met Dr. Bruce Jacob, an extraordinary professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. As my assigned mentor, it has been a joy to meet with Dr. Jacob every semester before scheduling for classes. He has guided me through my time in the A. James Clark School of Engineering and has been a wonderful resource for all my questions.


Rachel KirschRachel Kirsch
Ms. Judy Shapiro was my fifth grade teacher. Her enthusiasm and support for me in those early years led directly to my present interest in mathematics. Ms. Shapiro was first and foremost a great teacher; she figured out techniques and exercises for making learning fun, and it worked. Ms. Shapiro noticed and nurtured my particular interest in math and helped me realize and appreciate my mathematical abilities. She pushed for me to enter the most advanced math track in middle school. Her strong belief in me changed my life forever and led to everything that followed. Professor William Goldman has watched over me and fostered my studies from my first year at Maryland, making my experience at the University a personal, inviting, and nurturing one. He welcomed me into the Experimental Geometry Lab as a freshman, providing valuable research and advanced mathematical experience. Ever since then, he has provided important guidance about courses and my intended career as a math professor, introduced me to colleagues, offered to undertake individualized advanced-level studies with me, made sure that I had valuable summer undergraduate research experiences to promote my education, and even helped me travel to an international mathematics conference in Hungary to present one of my math research papers. He has not only promoted my career as a mathematician, but also made me feel very much at home at Maryland.


Talia LewisTalia Lewis
My 12th grade English teacher, Ms. Rita Schuman, inspired greater self-expression and creativity in my work. As my faculty yearbook adviser, she helped me discover a confidence in myself that has grown a great deal since graduating high school. She kept me in check when I made mistakes and taught me the importance of working with others. While guiding me through a very stressful process and teaching me valuable lessons along the way, Ms. Schuman showed me I could be a leader. At the University of Maryland, Dr. Sharon Desmond has made my area of study possible. As both my professor and Individual Studies academic adviser, she has been with me since before "Health, Culture and Inequality Studies" existed. While assisting me in developing this major, Dr. Desmond has also helped me develop my passion for health and social justice in a very inspiring, yet realistic way. She has taught me to challenge myself without going overboard, and she has provided me with ideas, insight, encouragement and confidence. I know that my goals for the future would not be as clear without her guidance. I have been lucky to have had these teachers in my life. Their lessons have impacted me in a profound way; I can never thank them enough.


Kevin McGehrinKevin McGehrin
Throughout my education, several teachers have had a significant impact on my life. While in middle school, Mr. Steven Showalter, my teacher for religion and Latin, had a huge impact on my education, instilling in me a passion for learning and a desire to succeed in all of my classes. He emphasized the values of honesty and hard work, while at the same time making class both fun and interesting. In college, I had the privilege of joining Dr. Hey-Kyoung Lee’s lab my sophomore year, where I am still studying the role of AMPA receptors in visual cortex synaptic plasticity. Dr. Lee has taught me many things in the brief period of time that I have known her. In the past two years, I have learned technical skills including how to perform electrophysiology recordings, as well as social skills such as how to work together in a group towards a common goal and how to present data among my peers. Dr. Lee’s dedication to our lab and insistence that I strive to do my best, have no doubt helped me to get to where I am today.


David McMichaelDavid McMichael
Growing up with a Latin teacher for a mother, I have always had an innate interest in languages. I began studying Latin in the 7th grade, and for my sophomore, junior, and senior years in high school I studied under the same teacher, Magistra Jill Alexander. She enabled me, through her own incredible passion for and knowledge of Latin, to move from a simple interest in languages to a long-term and ongoing exploration of them. Similarly, Professor Alvin Mayes has helped me deepen my own personal connection to my primary course of study, dance. I began working with Professor Mayes in the spring of my freshman year at Maryland, both as a technique professor and choreographer. The piece that we began that spring, a duet entitled "Nightly", wound up spanning four semesters, performed for the last time in the fall of 2008. Professor Mayes provided me with the rare opportunity to grow and live with a piece for an extended period of time, an experience that has had a profound impact upon both my physical and mental development as a dancer and artist.


Steven OverlySteven Overly
Mr. Peter Huck allowed me to skip class—and with good reason. As my high school journalism instructor, Mr. Huck let me leave his class (and a few others) to interview the principal, call public school officials, or design the news section of the monthly student newspaper. In Sherwood High School’s tiny newspaper office, I began to develop a sense of confidence that did not stem from grades or Advanced Placement tests. Mr. Huck instilled in me the idea that the questions I asked and stories I wrote as a journalist carried significance far beyond myself; I had a responsibility to bring readers balanced reporting and well-crafted writing. I came to understand that learning largely occurs outside the classroom, a belief I brought with me to the University of Maryland. As a sophomore preparing for Professor Diana Huffman’s News Editing class, I had heard she was feisty, sharp, and above all, a dedicated teacher. I found all that to be true, and it motivated me to register for her Media Law class. Professor Huffman encourages active debate; she rewards, rather than discourages, attempts to prove her wrong. She distributes her personal telephone number and E-mail address as part of the syllabus, which is indicative of her demeanor toward students. As editor in chief of The Diamondback, I often sought Professor Huffman’s advice on legal and ethical matters, sometimes as late as 10 p.m., because I knew she was the type of professor who would answer the phone and offer sage advice.


Sarah PeitzmeierSarah Peitzmeier
Dr. Patricia Miller, my biology teacher in high school, introduced me to the fascinating world of molecular biology and answered my incessant questions (usually, "But how does that molecule know what to do?") with good cheer and aplomb, nurturing my sense of inquiry until it became a bit more sophisticated. She also mentored my first foray into research during my senior year. A casual comment of hers – "You know, you would make a great scientist" – opened a door in my mind and led me to where I am today. Dr. Ian Mather, who oversees my research at Maryland, is not just a supervisor but a true mentor who has always gone beyond his obligations to help me make the most of my research. Unique among many of his colleagues, he not only stays engaged in my research projects and supports me through successes and failures, he also makes me keenly aware of my future—what happens once I leave his lab. He has made the most of his experiences in the field to give me opportunities to grow, both in his and his collaborators’ labs. I cannot imagine my undergraduate education without his guidance, and I know that he has truly prepared me for graduate school and whatever awaits me after college.


John SilberholzJohn Silberholz
Ms. Mary Ann Dvorsky, my high school computer science teacher, introduced me to computer algorithms and helped me get excited about the subject. She provided me with a key introduction to the field and in turn, I've done research in this area during my entire undergraduate career. She also encouraged me to delve deeper into school assignments that I found interesting instead of just finishing them and moving on, a practice that continues to pay dividends. The instruction that Dr. Bruce Golden provided here at Maryland was in a different capacity—that of a research mentor. Dr. Golden agreed to begin research with me when I was still in the 11th grade, even though he typically only includes master's and Ph.D. students in his research projects. His faith in me gave me a chance to grow as a researcher over my high school and college years, and his continued guidance—both through our research and through his mentorship of my Gemstone team—has helped mold my current career plans to become a professor.

Vineeta SinghVineeta Singh
According to my transcript, Mr. John Leary taught me IB Spanish Level 4. Through short stories and news articles, Mr. Leary taught the imperfect subjunctive and double-object pronouns. His teaching went far beyond grammatical structures, however. Through the same stories and articles, Mr. Leary taught me to see the world through the eyes of others. He made each reading, whether it was about Cain and Abel meeting in the desert or about maquiladora workers struggling to make ends meet, not only a cultural voyage but an understanding of the human condition. His passion for social justice taught me to question the way things are, and his inexhaustible drive made me realize that even a 16-year-old can change the world. At the University of Maryland, I found another role model and mentor in Dr. Ana Patricia Rodríguez. In her class on Latin American Literatures and Cultures, Dr. Rodríguez encouraged us to explore the context that surrounds the production of literary works. At the same time, she motivated us to immerse ourselves in the literatures and cultures being produced around us. Teaching by example, she showed us not only how easily students at College Park can access great arts but also how we can contribute to our local community in Langley Park. Through her support and motivation, I found my niche here in College Park. These two teachers are role models who have shown me what I can be; they are mentors who guide me on my journey to becoming that person.


Elizabeth (Kaitlyn) TuleyElizabeth (Kaitlyn) Tuley
I only had Mr. Ryan Templeton as a teacher for 9th grade biology, but he continued to be a mentor for me all through high school. For the three years in which I participated in science fairs, Mr. Templeton always supplied guidance for the whole process. He helped me learn how to apply the scientific method, as well as how to write a scientific paper. Because of his help, I had the unique opportunity to present my research at national science fairs. Mr. Templeton helped me discover a passion for independent research. At the University of Maryland, I have been engaged in research with mathematics professor Dr. Kasso Okoudjou for two years. He helped me discover an enthusiasm for math research. In our weekly meetings, he challenges me to do my best. Both of these teachers have greatly influenced my choice of research as a career and have helped me become a better researcher.


Lyndsey WilsonLyndsey Wilson
Great teachers show a profound devotion to the subjects that they teach and the students who learn from them. In my academic career, I have encountered many "great" teachers but Mr. Sean Conley and Dr. Elizabeth Brown have been the most influential in my life. Mr. Conley, my fourth grade teacher, had a significant impact on my academic interests. He spearheaded my love of science with his unique demonstrations and encouraged me in math despite the pessimistic attitudes of previous teachers. But more than anything, when I was in his classroom I felt confident to be myself. In twelve years of public schooling and almost three years of undergrad, no other educator has topped that sense of security. Dr. Elizabeth Brown has been both my kinesiology advisor and professor at the University of Maryland. Her presence has always been a calming force in the whirlwind that has been my life over the last three years. Her deep compassion and enthusiasm for her students have both inspired and endeared me to her. I have the utmost respect for both of these individuals as teachers but more importantly as caring and compassionate people.




For more information about the Merrill Presidential Scholars Program contact:
Lisa Kiely, Assistant Dean, Office of Undergraduate Studies
2130 Mitchell Bldg. University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301)405-0966 Fax:(301)314-9896 Email: lkiely@umd.edu

Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Program
Office of Undergraduate Studies