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STS Scholar Named Finalist for 2024 University Medal

Only five students are selected to vie for the most prestigious award for a graduating University of Maryland senior. The University Medal stands as the highest honor bestowed on a graduating senior. The award recognizes academic achievement, service to the community and exceptional character. Nominees must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.96 and 60 or more credits during their undergraduate career at UMD.

One of the finalists was Guise Pham, a Science, Technology and Society (STS) Scholar.

Fleeing postwar Vietnam, Pham’s mother dreamed of a better future for her children.

Today, the mechanical engineering major is proud to say that a spacecraft he worked on for Northrop Grumman as an intern will be blasting off to resupply the International Space Station.

“Without my mother’s support and sacrifices, I would not be who I am today,” said Pham, who earned a 4.0 GPA. As he pursues mechatronics systems research in graduate school, he hopes to “continue leveraging engineering for discovery and societal advancement.”

He’s already on his way. As a member of the Clark Scholars Program, he designed a micro-bioretention garden to manage water runoff from a university parking lot. Through the College Park Scholars program, he taught Lego Mindstorms robotics to students at College Park Academy. And among his peers, Pham has become a respected leader in classes and in the engineering honor society Tau Beta Phi.

“He is truly outstanding … (in) his ability to solve technical problems, learn new things, communicate, manage projects and work with others,” said engineering Keystone Professor Christopher Cadou.

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