Scholarships and Awards
Scholarships and Awards
The Alumni Association awarded 20 scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year, totaling $68,250. These scholarships are made possible by the dues paying members of the University of Maryland Alumni Association and by generous supporters of the Alumni Association Student Scholarship Fund.
2023-2024 Alumni Association Scholarship Application
The Alumni Association Scholarship Application for the 2023-2024 year is now closed. All applicants will be notified of their status by the end of May 2023. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Jessica Lee at email@example.com.
The next application cycle for 2024-2025 will reopen in Spring 2024.
Scholarship Application FAQ
The online application (google form) includes: personal information, short answers, essay question, unofficial transcript file upload, resume upload, and reference letter submission to AAscholarship@umd.edu. All file uploads should be .PDF files named: ApplicantLastName_ApplicantFirstName.PDF.
Please feel free to upload either a CV or resume, depending on what your preference is.
The reference letter be from a professor, mentor, supervisor, or other professional -- it should not be a friend or family member. Reference letters should be from someone who can attest to your involvement and Terp pride, leadership, creativity and academic excellence. Reference letters should also address why you are deserving of the scholarship.
Reference letters should be sent as a PDF file named: ApplicantLastName_ApplicantFirstName.PDF.
No - it is on each individual applicant to contact their reference directly regarding the letter submission. All references should be sent via email to AAscholarship@umd.edu by the application deadline of Friday, April 7th. Any applications missing a reference letter submission will not be considered.
Yes, you can, as long as you are still eligible to apply.
The scholarship applications are reviewed by a committee of alums, which consists of members from the Alumni Association Board of Governors as well as alum leaders of various academic boards, affinity, and regional networks.
Recipients will receive a $3,500 award, $1750 each semester (Fall 2023 and Spring 2024).
Meet our 2023-2024 Scholarship Recipients
Nelson Chen '24
Sara-Laure Faraji '24
Vainavi Gambhir '25
Lia Gorbach '26
Sam Jane '26
Joyce Koo '27
Meghana Kotraiah '24
Faith LeBrun '26
Iman Mansoor '24
Nicole Miko '24
Sarah O’Donnell '24
Olabisi Omoniyi-Alake '24
M Pease '28
Nicholas Saoud '24
Neha Sripathi '25
Nneoma Ugwu '24
Kaitlin Wachter '24
Alexis Walston ‘24
Ella Williams '26
Previous Scholarship Recipients
- Muhammad Abbasi '24 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Information Systems | Hometown: Baltimore, MD | Muhammad's fearless idea is to create a UMD free speech space where individuals can gather and discuss anything and everything they'd like to. They can discuss topics that are controversial freely such as religion, race, culture, politics, etc.
- Diksha Bali '25 | Graduate Student | PhD Candidate: School Psychology | Hometown: Dubai, UAE and Kerala, India | Diksha's fearless idea is to disseminate well-being and conflict reduction resources free, accessible and in a culturally relevant manner across the US and worldwide. This would improve mental health and hopefully reduce some threats to mental well-being (violence), as well. I also have some ideas for economic policy that I can hopefully one day advocate for.
- Shane Bonkowski '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Aerospace Engineering | Hometown: Queenstown, MD | Shane's fearless idea is: As the current president of UMD Loop, I lead a team of 50 engineers through the design, analysis, and construction of an innovative Tunnel Boring Machine. For years the Tunnel Boring industry has been stagnant, with tunnels such as the ones that the purple line will rest in costing upwards of $1 billion per mile. The goal of UMD Loop in innovating tunnel boring is to not only revolutionize the field of tunnel boring, but also make the cost and accessibility of tunnels much more practical. Tunnels have the power to eliminate traffic, open paths for public transportation, and connect cities. My dream is that our work at UMD Loop leads to the next generation of Tunnel Boring Machines, paving the way to the future of transportation.
- Paisley Brockmeyer '25 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Biological Sciences: Physiology & Neurobiology | Hometown: Joppa, MD | Paisley's fearless idea is: I believe that every student should graduate UMD prepared and ready for life after college, no matter what that future may look like. I have been working in SGA and with Faculty and Administration to make this a reality. Every student should have access to an adaptable and individualized career readiness plan that meets them where they are and prepares them for every aspect of life beyond undergrad.
- Skylar Chan '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Computer Science; Minor: Humanities, Health and Medicine | Hometown: Germantown, MD | Skylar's fearless idea is to apply artificial intelligence, machine learning, and bioinformatics towards precision oncology and personalized cancer therapies. Help doctors diagnose and treat all kinds of cancers more efficiently and effectively, from cancers with well-established treatment guidelines to rare and complex cancers no one has ever seen. Conduct and promote reproducible, open-source, and open-data medical research.
- Delyar Delavari '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Biological Sciences: Physiology & Neurobiology | Hometown: Rockville, MD | Delyar's favorite UMD fact is that paths on McKeldin mall were shaped by students. They were not originally planned to be made like that and the president waited until the students formed the paths by walking through the mall. The paths feel personalized for UMD students and it feels like they have a story rather than them just being planned out by landscapers. I am glad to attend a University that considers the input of students for even the pathways. It makes me hopeful that on issues bigger than this, the opinions of students will be considered and valued. The mall is such a special place and it is my favorite location on campus.
- Alisa Forsberg '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Biological Sciences: Physiology & Neurobiology; Minor: Humanities, Health, and Medicine | Hometown: Bethesda, MD | Alisa's fearless idea is to use an education in physiology, public policy, and the health humanities to create a career advocating for vulnerable populations in medicine while addressing systemic inequities in healthcare.
- Vainavi Gambhir '25 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Biological Sciences | Hometown: Bethesda, MD | Vainavi's favorite UMD alum is my father. He sold his books to buy a ticket to the U.S and attend this university because he believed in UMD’s commitment to inclusive opportunity. I have constantly heard him express gratitude to the University of Maryland for the career development opportunities that helped him receive his first job after graduation, and gratitude to professors who were accommodating and understanding. Now, as an adjunct professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, he emphasizes growth over letter grades and ensures every student perspective is represented. His journey has taught me how ‘Staying Fearless’ is more than a slogan–it is a lifelong commitment to determination and open-mindedness, and this is the spirit I hope to carry forward with me in my leadership and service.
- Georgia Hammond '25 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Bioengineering | Hometown: Freeland, MD | Georgia's favorite UMD alum is Dominique Dawes. She is an Olympic gymnast whose battle with illness tested her resilience. I am inspired by how this strong woman stopped at nothing to pursue her goals. Along with her determined attitude, I am touched by the work she did in spreading awareness about youth issues. Dominique’s dedication to her interests and her community resonates with me.
- Caroline Howser '24 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Government & Politics; Minor: Global Terrorism Studies | Hometown: Parkton, MD | Caroline's favorite UMD alum is Page Croyder. After experiencing sex-based discrimination on the basketball team, Croyder was part of a lawsuit that expanded the rights of women in sports, and later continued fighting for the justice of others as she worked in the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office. I share in her passion for fighting sex-based discrimination, and as such I’m on the pre-law track and am a part of the Title IX Advisory Board and the Sexual Misconduct Prevention Committee of the Student Government Association. Additionally, Croyder attended The George Washington University for law school, which is currently one of my top choices for law school.
- Kaylee Kim '25 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Computer Science | Hometown: Ellicott City, MD | Kaylee's favorite UMD moment so far was the first look fair! It was incredible to see all the different clubs UMD fosters. There were communities I didn't even know existed, and it was amazing to see how passionate these students were about their clubs. I truly appreciated the effort put into the fair, and was able to find communities of people with the same hobbies or values as me, making the transition into college much easier
- Isabella Kushner '24 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Civil & Environmental Engineering | Hometown: Ellicott City, MD | Isabella's fearless idea is to travel all over the world to areas devastated by natural disasters and help to rebuild a more sustainable community. This past winter break, I went to Puerto Rico on a volunteer trip to help rebuild homes devastated by the hurricane. I already had ideas like this in the past, but after seeing the results of my work, I realized that it was actually possible to make a difference in these communities. My passions for helping people and civil/environmental engineering are able to come together and create a more beautiful world through this fearless idea.
- Sage Leone '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Computer Science; Minor: Mathematics | Hometown: Elkton, MD | Sage's favorite UMD fact is that we host the world's largest hackathon for underrepresented genders in technology every year, called Technica. I participated in my freshman year, and it provided an incredible community for me to feel comfortable in a major where it is easy to feel alone. I have continued on as an organizer and love that UMD is a part of creating this, now global, community to uplift people in technology.
- Gabrielle Mahapat '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Information Science; Minor: General Business | Hometown: Laurel, MD | Gabrielle's fearless idea is to provide to those in need and give back to my community. I aspire to use my education and resources to support those who are overlooked and under-represented. Specifically, first-generation Americans who need assistance and advice on how to optimize their abilities. Furthermore, giving a voice to women in STEM.
- Sarah Meklir '25 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Journalism | Hometown: Columbia, MD | Sarah's favorite UMD fact is every interaction here is important and valued by each participant. If I ask a question of a professor, it will be given the same consideration as if it were a question from a peer. When I speak to upperclassmen or mentors, our interactions lead to future collaboration and follow-ups. These interactions have allowed me to find and take advantage of opportunities as a freshman that I may not have discovered in other universities until I was an upperclassman.
- Astrid Mendoza '25 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Psychology; Minor: Human Development | Hometown: Hyattsville, MD | Astrid's fearless idea is for students of undocumented, immigrant, and/or mixed status to be able to receive higher education with as little obstacles as possible. One step toward this goal would be for UMD to allow undocumented students to be considered for merit scholarships when submitting their application by the Early Action deadline. Undocumented students face a plethora of barriers leading up to receiving a post-secondary education, including financial instability, and being considered for the same merit based financial aid as documented students would be a large contribution to our dreams. For me personally, my goal prior to attending a university was to do everything in my power to help fund my education and relieve my parents of as much of the financial stress as I could, so discovering that I wouldn’t have access to the same resources as my peers led to a series of emotional set-backs. I plan on continuing to advocate for this effect in the future to prevent other undocumented students from feeling the same level of neglect and distress.
- Zoe Nicholson '24 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Information Systems | Hometown: Parkton, MD | Zoe's fearless idea is that UMD students become stronger and more resilient after every obstacle they face and use their experiences to better themselves both in and outside the classroom.
- Ewaoluwa Ogundana '23 | Graduate Student | Major: Public Policy | Hometown: Upper Marlboro, MD | Ewaoluwa's fearless idea is to find effective ways institutional leaders can use policy, and inclusive practices to eliminate barriers to higher education access for undocumented students. With Congress not passing an immigration package for over 30 years now, the undocumented student population continues to grow with few available resources for them to attain a higher education. I have presently been working to use my writing as a form of advocacy. I’ve pitched op-eds, written blog posts, and shared my work with policymakers and practitioners to grow more awareness to the kinds of barriers in place that prevent undocumented students from fully being successful in this country.
- Olatokunbo Olaniyan '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Psychology; Minor: Humanities, Health, and Medicine | Hometown: Woodstock, MD | Olatokunbo's fearless idea is to question one's own comforts. To extend an invitation to those who are seemingly different. I say seemingly because upon further evaluation, subtle similarities may begin to arise, serving to bridge any divides or misconceptions.
- Renee Paulraj '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Government & Politics and Information Science | Hometown: Ellicott City, MD | Renee's favorite UMD fact is before it became a state university, UMD was actually an agricultural school. As someone whose father was initially a farmer and whose grandparents were farmers, it reminds me of my own roots and family history. My grandmother, in particular, was a farmer who didn’t have equal access to education and never made it past elementary school. So, to me, this fact is also a symbol of education access and opportunity and keeps me self-aware of my privilege.
- Ian Penny '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Information Systems | Hometown: Fort Washington, MD | Ian's fearless idea is to be able to create, live, learn and be in any space one desires. Since being on campus anything I have imagined or wanted to do I have pushed myself to follow through with it. Coming into UMD I really did not know what I wanted to do and to a degree I was lost. But seeing the opportunities and the amazing fearless people on campus, I knew that I would find my way but I had to take that next step.
- Kristin Perry '25 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Business Management and International Business | Hometown: Laurel, MD | Kristin's fearless idea is to be a corporate attorney, and I think that this career choice will give me a multitude of opportunities to give back to my community. Being a black woman striving to be in a career that I am underrepresented in, will allow me to show others in the same situations that it is possible to do so. I could use my knowledge of the law and my career to do pro bono work to help those who might not be able to afford a lawyer. I also want to be a role model to show other minorities and women that they can succeed in careers that they are not heavily represented in. If my corporate career progresses as I hope, I would want to give back to the University of Maryland to help other students in any way that I can.
- Sriya Potluri '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Applied Mathematics; Minor: French Studies | Hometown: Clarksville, MD | Sriya's fearless idea is studying medicine by combining mathematics and science. Constructing and analyzing mathematical models of scientific phenomena allows us to approach biological and medical problems from a more theoretical and abstract perspective. Bridging the gap between mathematicians and scientists offers greater opportunities to solve these mysteries and improve our understanding of the laws that govern science.
- Tyler Przygocki '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Biological Sciences: Physiology & Neurobiology | Hometown: Silver Spring, MD | Tyler's fearless idea is to challenge current health care systems in Maryland to go out of their way to provide quality healthcare services to less fortunate and underserved populations in their communities. I want to encourage these health care systems to make quality medical services more accessible and easier to navigate, especially for underrepresented groups. In order to do this, I plan to become a well-trained and compassionate physician, first working in my own community to provide quality health care so that all individuals that I treat can have a better quality of life. In this role, I will actively advocate for initiatives that benefit all groups of people, especially those in underserved communities, in order to lessen the presence of disparities within the healthcare system.
- Salwa Shan '25 | Graduate Student | PhD Candidate: Family Science | Hometown: Frederick, MD | Salwa's favorite UMD alum is Jim Henson! His work and creations on Sesame Street provided an avenue of educating children and adults about a multitude of issues, and created an environment of inclusivity through art!
- Tesia Shi '23 | Undergraduate Student | Majors: Psychology and Biological Sciences: Physiology & Neurobiology | Hometown: North Potomac, MD | Tesia's favorite UMD fact is 50 individually painted Testudo statues were created for UMD’s 150th anniversary! My favorite is Kertle, located in Stamp.
- Savanna Smith '23 | Undergraduate Student | Majors: Nutrition and Food Science: Dietetics; Minor: Sustainability | Hometown: Centreville, MD | Savanna's fearless idea is to create a society in which all individuals eat sustainably in a way that is protective of our bodies and the planet. Ultimately, if healthy food is available to all, it will lower the prevalence of chronic disease without compromising the planet for generations to come.
- Neha Sripathi '25 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Biological Sciences: Microbiology | Hometown: Burke, VA | Neha's favorite UMD alumna is Dr. Naghmeh Tebyanian, a cardiologist at Amelia Heart and Vascular Center who I was lucky enough to shadow during January 2022. Dr. Tebyanian graduated as part of the class of ’89, and after finishing medical school she started Amelia Heart with a colleague she met as an undergraduate at UMD. In a heavily male-dominated specialty, Dr. Tebyanian has established a thriving cardiology practice specializing in women’s health. During the month that I shadowed her, I could see firsthand the impact of women receiving care from a female doctor that could understand the intricacies of concerns that specifically affected them. She has inspired me to carve my own path as I pursue a medical career, and she has shown me the value of taking my life experiences with me on that journey.
- Angela Sun '23 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Bioengineering; Minor: Spanish | Hometown: Rockville, MD | Angela's favorite UMD alumnus is Jeff Kinney, although it may not be for the obvious reason. While I did in fact read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books religiously as many kids my age did, the real reason I’m such a fan of Kinney is because he created Poptropica, my absolute favorite online game as a child. The premise of Poptropica was that there were lots of different “islands” that you could visit, and each island had a different quest filled with minigames and puzzles that you had to complete in order to earn the island’s medallion. Every island had a different theme—there was a superhero island, Greek mythology island, cryptids island, and my personal favorite, counterfeit island. Besides just being fun, Poptropica honestly taught me so much—through that game, I learned about so many different parts of the world and periods of history, and even honed my problem-solving and collaboration skills. Poptropica gave me a sense of adventure and a strong desire to explore the world and learn about new cultures—for that, I have to thank Jeff Kinney.
- Caroline Thorne '24 | Undergraduate Student | Major: Government & Politics; Minor: Sustainability | Hometown: Silver Spring, MD | Caroline's favorite UMD alumna is my former internship supervisor, Catherine Nardi. In high school, I did my Girl Scout Gold Award with the Montgomery County Food Council and worked primarily with Catherine. My project was focused on food waste in Montgomery County, and developed a program to educate residents. With Catherine’s help, I organized tabling at a dozen farmer’s markets, and ended up distributing 25 compost bins, 203 FAQ documents, had conversations with 600 residents at markets, and reached 15,000 on Facebook and 20,000 on Twitter. The Summer of 2020, right before I started at the University of Maryland, Catherine reached back out to me and offered me an internship position with the Food Council. I was able to grow in this position immensely, and I believe that Catherine helped me to jump start my professional career. Despite the on-going pandemic and uncertainty that summer, Catherine was able to get me excited about the University of Maryland, my major, and the extra curricular activities I’d be able to participate in. She was also a Government and Politics major, and gave me excellent advice. She encouraged me to get involved despite the online nature of school, and for that I am eternally grateful! I believe she epitomized the welcoming nature of the University of Maryland, even though I wasn’t able to yet step foot on campus. Without her, I would not be as involved as I am right now and I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have.
- Mairead Whitford Jones '23 | Graduate Student | Major: Environmental Science and Technology | Hometown: Germantown, MD | Mairead's favorite UMD fact is that we have seven Testudo statues, I plan to visit all seven before I graduate!
- Oliver Wild '24 | Graduate Student | Major: Aerospace Engineering | Hometown: Zurich, Switzerland | Oliver's fearless idea is to revolutionize mobility by designing aerodynamically efficient air, rail, and road vehicles. Aerodynamics is a key parameter to tackle the increasing challenges the mobility sector is currently facing. Therefore, becoming a professor educating and contributing towards novel vehicle designs with innovative aerodynamic concepts adjustable to the specific needs of a given application is my long-term goal. To reach this, my short-term target is to contribute as a researcher and educator to stem climate change. I am convinced that the University of Maryland with its outstanding community is the best place to initiate such a change for a greener future! Go TERPS!
- Clarissa Xia '23 | Undergraduate Student | Majors: Psychology and Biological Sciences: Physiology & Neurobiology | Hometown: Potomac, MD | Clarissa's favorite UMD moment so far was packaging over 100,000 meals at the Terps Against Hunger Homecoming Event! Making a positive impact on others is something that is deeply important to me, and it was personally fulfilling to watch the event I planned with the rest of the Terps Against Hunger executive board come together successfully. It was also amazing to watch the UMD community come together to contribute to the greater DC community and fight food insecurity. Seeing the passion, dedication, and willingness to serve others in all of the participants reminded me of why I love UMD.