Three Graduating Biology Students Named Senior Marshals

A diverse and accomplished group that includes musicians, athletes, scientists in training, humanitarians and entrepreneurs will serve as Winter 2021 senior marshals, ushering graduating Terps into the campus-wide commencement ceremony to be held on Dec. 20, 2021.

Founded in 1991, the senior marshal program recognizes graduating Terps who demonstrate the highest levels of scholarship, service, extracurricular activity and personal growth.

The 32 students honored this semester are August and December 2021 graduates who were nominated by faculty and staff members, and chosen by a committee. They represent their colleges and the entire class at the ceremony, assisting with the processional and receiving a medallion commemorating their achievements.

As did their peers who graduated this spring, Winter 2021 graduates persevered through a unique and challenging experience as the coronavirus pandemic made their college experience largely virtual for more than a year. Normal campus life resumed this semester, allowing winter graduates a final semester of in-person college life.

“We congratulate the Class of 2021 for their achievement amid such unprecedented times, but also remember and recognize the Class of 2020 graduates just before them who did not have the same commencement opportunity as we now can, once again,” said Marsha Guenzler-Stevens, director of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union-Center for Campus Life, who oversees the program along with Robert Infantino, associate dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. “We celebrate the achievement of graduation for all of these Terps!”

Three awardees with ties to the Department of Biology are:

Ethan Cheng (majors: biological sciences, computer science) was in the Integrated Life Sciences program in the Honors College and spent time as a College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences ambassador, radio show host at WMUC 88.1, leader of a student blog for science writing, and teaching assistant/course designer in the Department of English and Department of Biology. He was also a neuroscience research intern at the National Institutes of Health and in Associate Professor Daniel's Butts' NeuroTheory Lab. He intends to pursue a doctorate in computational neuroscience and hopes to have a rich, interdisciplinary career as a researcher and science educator/communicator.

Arman Daneshpayeh (major: biological sciences) is a first-generation Iranian-American college graduate. He served as a resident assistant and undergraduate learning assistant for the Department of Biology, and completed the FIRE research program. He also was director of service for the National Residence Hall Honorary and a volunteer with Terps for Change as a tutor. He is currently taking a gap year applying to dental school and hopes to pursue a career as a dentist.

Andrea Orpia (major: biological sciences; minor: humanities, health and medicine) was president of Vintage Voices, founding artistic director of Healing Harmonies, research assistant in Professor Joshua Singer's lab and teaching assistant for “Mammalian Physiology.” She received the Portz Outstanding Student Award for her role in the University Honors program, serving as an HONR100 section leader, peer academic leader and member of the University Honors Transition Council. As a member of the Biology Departmental Honors Program, she wrote a thesis on synaptic transmission in the mammalian retina, research she plans to continue before applying to medical school.

To see the full list, visit the Maryland Today website.