Chow and Niezelski Named 2015-2016 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars
Ryan Chow and Sarah Niezelski, seniors in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, have been named Phillip Merrill Presidential Scholars for the 2015-2016 year. The program honors seniors from departments and schools across the University of Maryland (UMD), and the faculty and K-12 teachers who have contributed to their success.
Ryan and Sarah are two of the 25 students highlighted for their success this year. Through a focus on mentorship, the program aims to build a community of scholars who understand and celebrate the importance of teaching and guiding the next generation. Additionally, the program awards a scholarship in honor of each named K-12 teacher to a new first year student from the teacher’s high school or school district.
Ryan cited Mr. David Thomas from Middletown High School in Middletown, Md., and Department of Mechanical Engineering Professor Kenneth Kiger as being important mentors in his academic career. Chow said of Kiger, “As a professor, he has taught me valuable technical skills that are crucial to my engineering career. As a mentor, he has inspired me to approach life with the same genuine curiosity that he transpires through his personal comportment.”
Sarah named Mr. Vann Prime from Mt. Hebron High School in Ellicott City, Md., and Dr. Paige Smith, Director of the Women in Engineering Program at UMD. She wrote of her university faculty mentor, “Professor Paige Smith has made a lasting impact on my life by going above and beyond in her dedication to leading and empowering young women like me. She has unquestionably shaped my college experience and future through her diligent guidance and encouragement.”
The program will host a luncheon on Friday, November 13, 2015 at 11:30am to honor these successful students and their mentors. Following the luncheon will be a workshop focused on collaboration and the importance of teaching and mentorship.
Published October 15, 2015