Two Seniors Honored as 2017 Merrill Presidential Scholars

Two seniors with ties to Biology have been named 2017 Merrill Presidential Scholars. The Merrill Presidential Scholars Program honors the university’s most successful seniors, who each recognize a UMD faculty member and high school teacher for contributing to their education.

William O'Connor, a biological sciences major (general biology specialization), honored Lindsay Mossa of Severna Park High School in Severna Park, Maryland, and Reid Compton, principal lecturer of biology and director of the College Park Scholars Life Sciences program. “[Dr. Compton] understands the challenges and excitement that college students feel, and he strives to promote the ideal learning environment for me and my classmates," O'Connor said. "[Dr. Compton's] guidance and support make him stand out among my other professors at Maryland, and I know I can always turn to him for advice now and in the future."

Tiffany Wang, a biological sciences (physiology and neurobiology specialization) and anthropology dual-degree student, honored Ronald Frezzo of Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland, and Catherine Carr, a Distinguished University Professor of Biology. “[Professor Carr] has gone out of her way to give me opportunities to learn new skills and underlying theories and participate in the presentation of our research,” Wang said. “She is deeply involved and accomplished in her research, yet she always makes time for her undergraduate students, lending an understanding ear for happenings in my life and offering her learned and compassionate wisdom.”

The Merrill Presidential Scholars Program honors the University of Maryland’s most successful seniors and their designated faculty and K-12 teachers for their mentorship. The legacy of academic excellence, teaching and mentoring continues as scholarships are awarded in the K-12 teacher’s name to a new first-year student from that teacher’s high school or school district.

UMD President Wallace D. Loh welcomed Merrill Scholars, faculty members and teachers at a luncheon celebration on November 17, 2017, at University House.

Written by Irene Ying