2020 Scholarship Recipients UMD National Scholarships Office

Boren Awards

Six UMD students received Boren scholarships to study abroad in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

Left: Aisac Accad (Indonesia); Right: David Eijbergen (Indonesia)

Not pictured: Jonah Anderson (Morocco), Erin Auteri (Tajikistan), Krasimir Lenard (Japan- declined), Jahi Madzimoyo (Senegal)

"Receiving the Boren Scholarship to study Indonesian will have a tremendous impact on my understanding of current U.S.-Indonesia political and economic relations. I cannot wait to gain the language skills and cultural understanding that is necessary for the creation of U.S. security policy." - Aisac Accad
The Bridging Project offers scholarships to American undergraduate students participating in study abroad programs in Japan. One UMD Student was chosen.
Xinyao Chen

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program

Gaither Junior Fellows work as research assistants to senior scholars at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Jacqueline Stomski

Winston Churchill Scholarship

Tanay Wakhare will spend a year in the master's program with the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Group in the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.
“This award will give me freedom to explore multiple labs and fields, which I can hopefully synthesize in new and interesting ways." - Tanay Wakhare

Clarendon Fund

Supports academically outstanding graduate students through their studies at the University of Oxford.

Michael Nastac

"My opportunity to go to the University of Oxford on a Clarendon Scholarship would not have been possible without the nurturing undergraduate environment UMD has given me—among others, I am grateful to my research mentors, course instructors, and peers. This award will allow me to pursue a PhD in theoretical physics, bringing me closer to achieving my dream of becoming a practicing physicist."

Critical Language Scholarships

Seven students received these summer study abroad opportunities to learn languages essential to America’s engagement with the world.

Top: Abigail Kamp (Portuguese), Blair Smith (Indonesian), Genevieve Hiltebrand (Portuguese); Bottom: Margaret McWeeney (Indonesian), Munjireen Sifat (Arabic); Not pictured: Samantha Smith (Swahli), Caroline Angle (Arabic)

English Opens Doors

Nisha Seebachan

Nisha was awarded a semester abroad scholarship supported by the Chilean Ministry of Education to improve the English instruction of students. "While I am sadly not participating in this scholarship, I want to say thank you to UMD's National Scholarship Office for their constant support in my ambitious ideas and global endeavors... I encourage everyone to apply, write out your application early, make edits, and be ready for a life-changing experience."


The Freeman-ASIA program supports study abroad in East or Southeast Asia.

Elias Kallon

Country: Japan

"Pursuing an engineering career in Japan is a reality I am considering for my future. Because of that, I knew that studying abroad in Japan would be an essential experience. Thanks to the Freeman-ASIA award and everyone involved in my application process, I will be able to continue my Japanese language and engineering studies abroad."

Fulbright Scholars

Thirteen UMD students were chosen as Fulbright Scholars. The program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students.

Anna Grafov

Country: Belgium

Robert Jansen

Country: Argentina

Ivana Ke

Country: China

Nicholas Viggiano

Country: Kyrgyzstan

Alexis Anderson

Country: Spain

"Throughout my time in university, I have worked and volunteered as a teacher, mentor, and tutor to students of many backgrounds. My diverse experiences as an educator helped prepare me for the valuable journey I will undergo as a Fulbright ETA in Spain. And a special shoutout to all my students, and coworkers who helped me learn Spanish."

Hannah Doxzen

Country: Kenya

“I was inspired to apply for an ETA Fulbright in Kenya after serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer English Teacher in Ethiopia. I hope to use my Fulbright experience to launch a career in the nonprofit sector in East Africa!”

Sean Rao

Country: Israel

“I am thankful to my family and all the faculty who have inspired and strengthened my interest in world politics. I look forward to furthering my doctoral study on political activity and ideology through the Fulbright award in Israel.”

Mikol Bailey

Country: Poland

"I am grateful for the opportunity to do my research project in Lublin, Poland. My first time in Poland was for an intensive Polish language summer program in Lublin. I fell in love with the city and its history, which seemed to call out from every stone and brick. I have designed a dissertation project centered around the city’s Jewish population in the early modern period. I look forward to conducting archival research and sharing my scholarship with Poland’s academic community."

Krithika Ramanathan

Country: Sri Lanka

“When I entered my first computer science classroom I was shocked to see only three women in my class of thirty. The gender and racial disparity that exists in the field of computer science is one that has pushed me towards the education sector. In many ways, it's also what motivated to me apply to the Fulbright ETA program in hopes of understanding how to bring inclusivity into my own classroom."

Katelyn Turner

Country: Mauritius

"As a descendant of enslaved Africans, I understood the importance of paying it forward at a very young age; resultantly, my personal and academic endeavors have focused primarily on examining and dismantling systemic inequities in the US. However, after taking advantage of study abroad programs at Maryland, I recognized the value of being exposed to familiar challenges from entirely new perspectives. Having secured a Fulbright research grant, I am eager to not only continue to advocate on behalf of marginalized communities, but also to further my understanding of the common problems, ideals, and values shared between the US and other countries."

Amritha Jayanti

Country: Netherlands

Alina Saif

Country: Indonesia

Not pictured: Edward Zhang

Gates - Cambridge

Abishek Goel received the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to offer scholarships to the University of Cambridge.


The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, supports study abroad experiences designed to prepare students to thrive in the global economy.

Twenty-one UMD students received Gilman scholarships for study abroad.

Salena Chaudhry and Joshua Brown
Caitlin Moore and Shivani Amin
Brooke Smith, Kinza Mahmood, and Dashika Wijegooneratne

Not pictured: Daniel Akrong, Jennifer Alberti, Roger Arangorin Jr., Jenny Chen, Sabrina De Nicola, Jonathan Fuentes, Brian Gomez, Winnie Ho (declined), Thomas King, Jared Ordonez, Chanoe Park, Kyle Pressley (declined), Alex Rodriguez, Paul Seibert

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Four UMD juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering were awarded scholarships.

Daniel Seungtaek Oh, Jesse Matthews, Pavan Ravindra, Scott Moroch
"My work in Dr. Kofinas's lab has provided me with countless valuable opportunities, like collaborating with experienced scientists and mentoring high school students on a summer research project. I hope this award will help with my goal of working under an established battery researcher during a PhD program." - Jesse Matthews

NOAA Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

Three UMD students in environmental science or policy will receive tuition support & paid summer internships with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Olivia Mihok and Samuel Varga (Not pictured: Ciara Donegan)
"Working with other students on a WRF model gave me a real world application for what I've learned and has helped me learn about weather prediction and computer science." - Samuel Varga

The George J. Mitchell Scholarship

One student received a Mitchell Scholarship, a one-year graduate fellowship for study in Ireland or Northern Ireland, sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance.
Adler "A.J." Pruitt

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG)

Three UMD students were awarded three-year fellowships by the Department of Defense to pursue doctoral degrees in science, math, or engineering.

Alex Hanson

"I think this award is really a reflection of all the help and guidance I’ve received from my advisor, Prof. Abhinav Shrivastava, from Prof. David Jacobs and Prof. Larry Davis, and from numerous other mentors and peers here at UMD."

Not pictured: Michael Nastac and Nicholas Poniatowski

National Science Foundation

Twenty-nine UMD undergraduates and recent alumni, and ten UMD graduate students will receive 3 years of support for PhD studies from the National Science Foundation.

"Driven by a lifelong curiosity to develop tools for human health, I have been fortunate to perform research in drug delivery platforms and virus engineering, and to be involved in greater communities through associate advising and Engineers Without Borders. At Maryland, I look forward to using synthetic biology to explore new avenues for diagnostics and therapeutics." - Fauziah Rahma Zakaria

Top row: Emma Dixon, Raychel Gordon; Bottom row: Lillian Huang, Makena Castillo-Martin

"Receiving the NSF GRF would not have been possible without the help of many mentors, colleagues, friends and most importantly people with dementia who gave their input and critique on my research plan. I hope to use this award to deepen our understanding of how people with dementia currently self-manage their condition and design new technologies to assist with their self-management, enabling people to take an active stance in their own health and well-being through supportive decision making and recovery-focused approaches." - Emma Dixon

Top row: Anna Grafov, Dylan Kirsch, John Martyn

“The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship has given me the opportunity to study Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at University of California, Berkley, where I can continue to pursue research at the intersection of control theory and machine learning. I am fortunate to have received an award that will help me pursue an exciting career in research.” - Sara Pohland

Left: Sara Pohland; Right: Jessica Shotwell

"At UMD, I have been fortunate to have great mentors: Johnpierre Paglione, Nick Butch, Rick Greene, and Chris Lobb to name a few. My experiences with them, their postdocs, and their graduate students, have been invaluable to my growth as a student of science and to my achievement of the NSF graduate research fellowship. I will never forget the long (but fun) evenings in the lab, creating or adjusting experiments, and how these days brought me to this point in my career." - Mark Zic

Left: Taiwo Mustafa; Right: Mark Zic

“Winning this award as an early-stage scholar will distinguish me in the pursuit of an academic position, and will signal my desirability to other funding sources in the future of my academic career.” - Taiwo Mustafa

Left: Linnea Warburton, Right: Callie Weber

"I am extremely grateful for my undergraduate research experience and the opportunities Dr. Clyne has provided me here at UMD working in her lab for Vascular Kinetics. I hope to use the funds from my NSF GRFP to further understanding of the role endothelial cell metabolism plays in development of neurodegenerative diseases." - Callie Weber

Left: Caitlyn Singam; Right: Michael Nastac

"The NSF grant brings to fruition my childhood love of biology and fascination with the heavens above. UMD's College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences tuned this flame of interest into a conflagration of curiosity, which the bioenginering program fueled and which the NSF grant will allow me to sate." - Caitlyn Singam

Top row: Caleb Harada, Jason Fan; Bottom row: Fauziah Rahma Zakaria, William Nguyen, Tanay Wakhare

"The NSF GRFP is a testament to the insight and support my mentors and peers have selflessly granted me. I am particularly proud that the NSF GRFP has affirmed the value and potential impact of my interdisciplinary research in computational biology." - Jason Fan

Not pictured: Max Ferlauto, Nicholas Franzese, Nicholas Poniatowski, Kristin Jayd, Rosemary K. Davidson, Lily Durkee, Alexander Rizzolo Epstein, Soliver Fusi, Deiaa Harraz, Yasmine Hentati, Ciara Horne, Morgan Elizabeth Janes, Erica Marie Ryan, Mariya Shevchuk, Abriana J. Stewart-Height, Michael P. Tobin, Aristotelis Zografos

The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program

Awarded to students interested in pursuing careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

"This award will give me the opportunity to immerse myself in the study of international development with a focus on global health." - Leyla Merlo
Leyla Merlo

Rangel Graduate Fellowship

A U.S. State Department program to prepare outstanding young people for careers as diplomats in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State

Santiago Rios

"Because of the financial and professional support that I will receive through the Rangel Fellowship, I have the opportunity to pursue my passion for diplomacy learning from accomplished mentors and pursue an elite education in International Affairs while maintaining financial peace. This opportunity is beyond what I could have ever hoped for!"

Rangel Summer Enrichment

Provides undergraduates with the opportunity to enhance their skills, knowledge and understanding about U.S. foreign policy during a six-week summer program

Julie Choi

"Overall, the most impactful part of my college career was researching and producing my own work about the beginnings of US-Korean diplomatic relations with my thesis advisor and amazing mentor Dr. Colleen Woods. Through the Rangel Summer Enrichment Program, I hope to learn more about what being a political officer in foreign service entails and what I can do to strengthen US-ROK relations in the future." - Julie Choi

Best wishes to every scholarship and fellowship recipient! We are confident that your studies will be meaningful. Everyone at UMD is incredibly proud of your accomplishments.
Created By
Laura Cech


Created with images by Keith Luke - "I captured this ruckus scene during the 2018 Commencement at Yale University. This was the School of Nursing." • Omar Elsharawy - "untitled image" • bantersnaps - "Food" • Jean-Luc Benazet - "untitled image" • Nicola Nuttall - "These were some random items found in Belton House, a wealthy English estate where many items have been preserved as left by the Brownlow family." • Iñaki del Olmo - "An old book store from the city of Bilbao." • Kyle Glenn - "untitled image" • Mahir Uysal - "A L O N E" • Jesse Gardner - "Doonagore Castle ("fort of the goats"), Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland" • Bill Oxford - "Test tubes in metal rack. Concept for science, medical, research. " • Joshua Sortino - "My friend (and co-worker) is colorblind. So the office pitched in to buy special glasses that change the color spectrum, allowing him to see color. Yesterday we visited Mt. Tam. where, for the first time, he was able to see an orange sunset."