More than a thousand College Park Scholars arrived on campus in fall 2016, the largest freshman class in Scholars history. This citation class went on to make an impact across the community, including raising a record-setting $19,315 for charities in the Scholars Cup competition. On Friday, Sept. 24, College Park Scholars celebrated this class with our annual Citation Awards Ceremony.
The Scholars Citation Awards celebrates those select citation earners who have enriched the life of our community by putting Scholars values into action. Four students from each of the 12 programs were recognized with Outstanding Achievement and Outstanding Citizenship Awards (two for each category for each program).
A handful of Scholars alumni were also honored for exemplifying the founding ideals and values of College Park Scholars.
Read on to learn about the impressive students who received Founders Awards and scholarships this year.
Meghan Price Scholarship for Leadership and Public Service: Katie Bemb and Devin Cain, Public Leadership (PL)
The Meghan Price Scholarship for Leadership and Public Service honors the life and legacy of Public Leadership alumna Meghan Price. Price was in one of the first PL cohorts and was elected president of the Student Government Association in her senior year. She was only 20 when she died in a car accident. Katie Bemb (in this photo with PL Director Susannah Washburn, left, and Scholars Executive Director Marilee Lindemann) and Devin Cain, both Public Leadership Scholars, received the Meghan Price Award for their leadership efforts on and off campus. Each received a $1,500 scholarship as part of their award.
Since she came to the University of Maryland, Bemb has been taking on leadership roles across campus. From PL, she went on to the Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows program, and later, to Global Fellows. Bemb has been a passionate activist on the issue of human trafficking, even publishing a book, Voices Against Sex Slavery in America, a compilation of more than 30 perspectives on human trafficking in the United States. She’s interned at the American Red Cross and AARP, and has also worked since January of 2016 as part of the communications team in College Park Scholars. Bemb is currently interning as a health reporter with Street Sense Media. Bemb will be graduating in December with a degree in journalism. She hopes to use her communication skills and leadership experience to effect social change through domestic policy and human rights development.
“Katie is a caring leader and student who has selflessly given of herself to support activities, events and programs all across campus,” said Mayu Mishina, assistant director for communications for College Park Scholars. “She has repeatedly shown poise, grit, and determination to make a contribution on campus.”
Cain is a mechanical engineering major minoring in Engineering Leadership Development and Technology Entrepreneurship. He is also a member of the Faux Paz, an a capella singing group. One of his most impressive contributions to Scholars began as a capstone project for PL. Cain, who lost his mother to cancer when he was in first grade, worked to build a UMD chapter of Camp Kesem, a summer camp for children whose parents have been affected by cancer. For two years, he led the effort to build the chapter, get it approved, hire counselors and raise the money--more than $50,00--to make the camp a reality. The first session of Maryland’s Camp Kesem took place in August--a week before Devin took off for Spain for his semester abroad. (He was unable to attend the Citation Awards Ceremony because he is still in Spain.)
Martha and Ira Berlin Legacy Fund Scholarship: Christin Salley, Science, Technology and Society (STS)
The Martha and Ira Berlin Legacy Fund Scholarship was established to support the work of students who have contributed to the community of Scholars, demonstrated a commitment to learning from diversity, and developed a well-defined and innovative scholarly or creative project. Christin Salley (pictured with STS’s Nicole Mogul, STS assistant director, left; Matt Aruch, STS assistant director; and Lindemann) is a fire protection engineering major who earned her STS citation in 2017 but has stayed connected to the program as a teaching assistant for an STS colloquium course and by speaking on panels at open houses for admitted students.
“Christin is a strong, creative student with superb analytical skills and a desire to expand her knowledge about engineering education to make it a more diverse and inclusive profession,” said David Tomblin, director of the STS program.
That desire has been channeled into research she has done with Dr. Bruk Berhane in the School of Engineering on African American experiences in predominantly white private schools. Salley conducted the research on a volunteer basis because she was interested in learning why African-Americans are underrepresented in the engineering profession. She subsequently worked with Tomblin to earn credit for her research as part of her STS capstone. For that project, she developed an annotated bibliography and literature review, studied critical race theory and learned how to do basic ethnographic coding. She applied for the Berlin Scholarship to keep working with Dr. Berhane through last summer and this academic year, where she will continue investigating what can be done to enhance the educational environment and promote the success of women of color in STEM fields.
Ira Berlin Writing Award: Michael Flickinger, Justice and Legal Thought (JLT)
The Ira Berlin Writing Award acknowledges Scholars who have demonstrated excellence in technical or creative writing. Michael Flickinger’s JLT paper, “The Nature of Human Rights: Looking at the Four Schools Through a Mathematical Lens,” employed a philosophy of mathematics to analyze human rights models.
Flickinger (pictured here with JLT Program Director Robert Koulish and Lindemann) grew up in Towson, Md., and graduated from Towson High School’s law and public policy magnet program in 2016. He is majoring in material science and engineering with a specialization in soft and biomaterials. Currently, Flickinger is working at the Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory on campus, investigating wetting and wicking in porous bimodal powders as a part of a project funded by the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
Nancy and Ira Shapiro Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award: Ethan Hyde, Science, Technology and Society (STS)
The Nancy and Ira Shapiro Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award honors Scholars who have completed projects that demonstrate active collaboration between a student and a faculty mentor. Ethan Hyde’s STS capstone, “Atomic Layer Deposition: Protecting Cultural Heritage for the Future,” was selected for the Shapiro Research Award for its thoughtful attention to a fundamental STS problem: How do we deploy a well-intentioned and promising tool, whose social benefit is apparent, when a careful critique also identifies the ways in which it creates risk? Hyde relied on interdisciplinary thinking--conservation theory, archaeology, museum studies, and materials science--a hallmark of Scholars, to raise questions after his research.
As a junior studying material science and engineering, Hyde works in the Materials Engineering Lab with the Phaneuf research group to understand how thin layer films can protect cultural heritage material. In STS, Hyde participated in outreach programs at CASA de Maryland and College Park Academy. For the past two summers, he has interned at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in the Detector Characterization Lab, conducting cold metrology research. In this photo, Hyde is posing with Mogul, left; Aruch and Lindemann.
Katherine McAdams Leadership Award: Maggie Fritz, Science and Global Change (SGC)
The Katherine McAdams Leadership Award recognizes a broad range of leadership--from concerned student to campus governance officer. Maggie Fritz’s work on the SGC fundraising committee sparked her recognition that Scholars students want more opportunities to engage in community service beyond Service Day. That insight led to Fritz launching Scholars in Action with three of her SGC classmates. Scholars in Action seeks to forge connections across Scholars programs and with the greater College Park community through service.
In her sophomore year, Fritz (pictured with SGC Associate Director John Merck, left; SGC Director Tom Holtz; and Lindemann) was a Scholars peer mentor and the head of her program’s fundraising committee, which raised more than $1,000 for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. To complete her Scholars practicum, she volunteered at the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary in Dominical, Costa Rica. This fall, Maggie is a Federal Fellow in the energy and the environment track, a student staff member at the Farmers Market at Maryland. She is also teaches barre, zumba and DanceFit at Eppley Recreation Center.
Peres Award for Study Abroad: Veronica Yevsukov, Science, Technology and Society (STS)
The Peres Award for Study Abroad honors a Scholar who has demonstrated a strong interest in international and global affairs. Vera Yevsukov (pictured with Mogul, left; Aruch and Lindemann)wrote about being immersed in Ecuadorian culture during her CPSP 279T course in Cuenca in January 2017.
“For the majority of time spent in Cuenca, we worked with the Shina and Ranas village schools, whose populations are mostly indigenous,” Yevsukov wrote in her application essay. “This turned out to be one of the best, most hands-on ways to learn about the culture and practices of Ecuador. The people’s devotion to their roots in the face of dramatic shifts in the country’s culture was inspiring.”
Yevsukov says she wanted to continue her relationship with Ecuador after returning home. This past spring, therefore, she participated in STS’s first global classrooms course, which partnered with the University of Cuenca in Ecuador. In May, University of Cuenca students traveled to the University of Maryland (UMD) to take part in the Scholars Academic Showcase.
Yevsukov is a junior completing a double degree in neurobiology and Russian language and literature. She has studied six languages and will continue to investigate linguistics in UMD’s PULSAR Language Science Research Program. Within Scholars, she has served on the Scholars Student Advisory Board, initially as its first-ever commuter representative and later, as a sophomore program representative for STS. She has been recognized as a top peer mentor in her program and is working as a teaching assistant this semester for the STS freshman colloquium. Yevsukov hopes to pursue her doctorate in physical therapy and treat people with neurological disorders.
Beth and John Pattison Award for Creativity: Megan McClure, Arts
The Beth and John Pattison Award for Creativity honors a Scholar who has exhibited exceptional creativity and innovation in the arts, architecture, landscape architecture, science, research or service that has had a positive impact on the community. Megan McClure’s capstone project, completed alongside Tienne Mohs and Amanda Updegrove, taught elementary-school children about the power of environmental activism. The eight-week program at a Prince George’s County elementary school educated youth about important environmental topics through discussions and hands-on crafting.
“Creativity is holistic and all encompassing,” McClure wrote in her application essay. “It takes pieces of you and shares them with the world. It inspires others. It creates change. It changes you in return.”
During her time with Scholars, McClure participated in service opportunities, including Lakeland STARs, a group of volunteer Scholars who tutor local elementary school students. She is a psychology major, currently volunteering at Washington Adventist Hospital and also works as an associate therapist for children with disabilities through Little Leaves. Here she is pictured with Arts Director Harold Burgess, left, and Lindemann.
College Park Scholars Tri-Star Award for Academics, Community and Diversity: Marlen Cruz, Media, Self and Society
The College Park Scholars Tri-Star Award honors Scholars who have exemplified academic excellence, contributed to the community and demonstrated how they value the contributions of diversity to their learning. As a commuter student, Marlen Cruz (pictured with Media, Self and Society Director Kalyani Chadha, left, and Lindemann) was determined to enter into every aspect of the Scholars experience and make meaningful contributions to the community. She was a peer mentor, a Scholars ambassador, a member of Real Talk and a commuter representative on the Scholars Advisory Board.
Graduating in December with a degree in public health science, Cruz hopes to become a community health program coordinator and educator. She committed herself to studying health in college, yet chose to enroll into Media, Self and Society to broaden her academic experiences. Last summer, she interned at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park as a birth registrar’s assistant for her capstone; she plans to return as a volunteer.
Cruz added that she chose to participate in Scholars open houses and orientations “so that potential incoming and current students could see someone who looked like them” succeeding in Scholars and in college. She acknowledges experiencing a bit of culture shock when she first came to campus, having grown up as a woman of color in Prince George’s County, where the majority of her peers and teachers were also people of color.
“It took me a while to learn that it is okay to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Cruz wrote, “especially during discussions or situations in which I fully disagreed with my peers.” She credits Scholars with helping her to develop skills in listening and learning across lines of difference and the courage to speak up.