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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Maryland: Undergraduates Shifali Matthew and Sari Lerner Chosen as Merrill Presidential Scholars

Two University of Maryland undergraduates, Ms. Shifali Mathews (a public health science major) and Ms. Sari Lerner (a family science major), were chosen as Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars for their excellence in academics.

The Merrill Presidential Scholars Program honors the University of Maryland’s most successful seniors and their formative teachers from both their university and K-12 years. About 20 students receive the award each year after being nominated by their academic colleges and major programs. 

“The Merrill Presidential Scholar program is an honor, and I appreciate its emphasis on mentorship, said Ms. Mathews. “My passion for learning and public health stems from the motivation of my mentors throughout high school and college.”

Ms. Mathews’ chosen mentors are Ms. Ashley Schreckengost, a math teacher from Wheaton High School, and Ms. Joanna Goger, a senior lecturer at UMD in the environmental science and policy department. 

A scholarship is also given to a first-year UMD student from the same high school as the recipients, establishing a connection between the University and surrounding K-12 schools and facilitating the success of future Terps.

Ms. Lerner, a family science double major, is working with her honors advisor Dr. Kerry Tripp on a thesis investigating the legal religious rights of health care providers and their impact on the LGBTQ community.

Ms. Lerner’s mentors are Mr. Scott Culclasure from American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, NC and Dr. Jade Olson from the University of Maryland’s Department of Communication.

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