When the Citation class of 2023 entered the University of Maryland, they were already adjusting to a rapidly changing world being constantly reshaped by the Covid-19 global pandemic. One thing that didn’t change – their commitment to excellence in the classroom. All who successfully completed the requirements of their respective Scholars program received their official Scholars citation. But there were some that went above and beyond the expectations, leaving a lasting impact on the community.
The following article originally appeared in Maryland Today: As a kid, Kara McGrath ’13 had to have her “pocket cheese”—string cheese she shoved, at her mother’s dismay, into every jacket and pant so she could have it on the go. In college, she blew her budget on fancy fromage during grocery runs with roommates. And when she got married in 2018, she served her guests a flowery, four-tiered cake made not from red velvet or buttercream, but wheels of Manchego, blue cheese and Harbison.
During Sona Chudamani’s first year at the University of Maryland, she volunteered to be a subject for a research project. Her reason? “I didn’t have much to do during my freshman year, especially with everything being online,” she says.
Students in College Park Scholars’s Citation Class of 2022 began their University of Maryland (UMD) careers in the fall of 2020, under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. They spent their first year almost entirely online: Some Zoomed into their program colloquium from their double-turned-single dorm rooms; others attended virtually from their families’ homes, away from campus.
Two Scholars alumni were among the 19 graduating seniors named this year’s Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars. The program recognizes the University of Maryland’s most successful seniors—as chosen by their academic colleges—and additionally honors the university faculty and K–12 teachers they cite for their mentorship. The two alums were: Alexia Ayuk, Business, Society and the Economy Katelyn Wang, Environment, Technology and Economy
The University of Maryland has announced its senior marshals for Spring Commencement, slated for Friday, May 20. Six College Park Scholars alumni number among the 60 graduating seniors serving as marshals: