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Dean's Graduate Scholars 2010

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Graduate Scholar

Lisa Bethune
Mentor: Mentor: Olivia Carter-Pokras

Ms. Lisa Bethune is a second year MPH-Epidemiology student, with a 3.8 grade point average. She has served as a graduate research assistant for Dr. Olivia Carter-Pokras since September 2008. During summer 2009, she worked as a paid summer student in the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, where she developed her own project to assess the source of salmonella outbreaks from poultry. We have a very competitive program, and Ms. Bethune received one of the few paid research assistantship positions in our Department. Ms. Bethune so impressed our colleagues in ASPE, that they created the summer student position just for her.

Ms. Bethune is a hard worker, conscientious and a pleasure to work with. While in our MPH program, she coauthored two peer-reviewed publications (Annals of Epidemiology 2009 Apr;19(4):268-75 and Social Science and Medicine. 2009 doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.06.042), and is completing two other manuscripts with Dr. Carter-Pokras. She has also presented research posters during the School of Public Health's research interaction day.

Family Science Graduate Scholar

Lindsey Hoskins
Mentor: Elaine Anderson

Lindsey Hoskins plans to graduate in 2010, with a doctoral degree in Family Science. She has made contributions for in her research, teaching and service activities; few current graduate students have made the kinds of exemplary contributions as has Lindsey. Lindsey has taught FMSC 381, Poverty, Affluence, and Families, and FMSC 485, Introduction to Family Therapy, for several semesters. She was instrumental in the early development and expansion of the department's Preparing Future Faculty and Family Professionals (PFFFP) program, a local chapter for preparing Ph.D. students for careers in the academic and professional research arenas. Lindsey served as the PFFFP Coordinator for the FMSC department during the 2006-2007 academic year. Additionally, Lindsey served as a member of the UMCP Graduate Council Student Affairs Committee, 2006-2008. Lindsey was also involved as President and member in the departmental student chapter of the University of Maryland Council on Family Relations (UMCFR), a student chapter representing the National Council on Family Relations, one of the major professional associations consisting of academic family science professionals across the country. In her research study, "Family History, Risk Perception, Couple Relationships, and Family Formation Ideals as Important Elements in Risk-Reduction Decision-Making in Young BRCA1/2-Positive Women: A Qualitative Study," FMSC Doctoral Candidate Lindsey Hoskins used qualitative methods and grounded theory to analyze in-depth interviews with forty BRCA1/2-positive women aged 18-35. Although older carriers and cancer survivors have been extensively studied, little attention has been paid to the lived experiences of this younger group of women who have up to a 90% risk of breast cancer and as high as 54% risk of ovarian cancer. Ms. Hoskins' research platform, which has been the focus of her Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, has examined these health factors for the individual woman, her partnered relationship, and for health educators. The data and suggested model indicate that risk perception and management decisions are closely tied to family and couple relationship experiences, and that young mutation carriers utilize agency to find a new path through the life course that accommodates the demands of the mutation with minimal sacrifice to their family and relationship ideals.

During her academic career, Ms. Hoskins has presented her current and past research over thirteen times at domestic and international conferences such as the International Meeting on Psychosocial Aspects of Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer, National Institutes of Health, Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions, Association for the Advancement of Behavioral Therapies, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and Annual Joining FORCEs Conference, FORCE.

Health Service Administration Scholar

A. Ginelle Jurlano
Mentor: Laura Wilson

Ms. Jurlano is completing her Masters in Health Administration and expects to graduate in May, 2010. In addition to having excellent grades and being a strong scholar in our department, Ms. Jurlano has made significant contributions to the School of Public Health. She is the founding president of the school's s student organization, PHEAR (Public Health Engaging and Representing) students. In setting this organization up, she researched other student organizations, worked on a mission and logo, did recruitment, and developed and planned meetings and events . She also linked the PHEAR student service activities to the service activities of the SPH Prevention Research Center. Other significant school participation by Ms. Jurlano include: serving as a member of the Dean's Student Advisory Council, serving as a student ambassador for the mock site visit and the actual site visit for CEPH accreditation, and serving on the SPH Community-based Research and Service Learning Committee. Within the department, Ms. Jurlano helped to develop, testify for, and implement the legislation for Maryland House Bill 419 that established a pilot for the Maryland Health and Wellness Commission. She has also helped develop and implement the Healthy Futures Program that emerged from this bill. This program focuses on obesity prevention for 0-3 year olds. Ms. Jurlano has exhibited innovation, leadership and initiative in both her departmental and school actions.

Kinesiology Graduate Scholar

Nathan Jenkins
Mentor: James Hagberg

Despite the fact that Mr. Nathan Jenkins has not yet completed three years of his PhD program, he already has developed an impressive history of productivity here at the University of Maryland. He entered the program after having just completed a very applied cycling performance masters thesis project at the University of Georgia. Upon his arrival at the University of Maryland he then immersed himself in the genetics and cellular and molecular biology of exercise. A very strong indication of the degree to which he mastered these new fields is that his first publication in this area was published last year in the very prestigious American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. This was clearly a very impressive first step for him or anyone making such a huge shift in the direction of their training. He also already has another very impressive publication in the Journal of Applied Physiology documenting the effects of a novel genetic variant on the degree to which older men and women improve their cardiovascular disease risk factors with exercise training. Besides these research benchmarks, Mr. Jenkins is also an excellent citizen within the School, Department, and within our laboratories. Thus, in every way Mr. Jenkins is truly an outstanding individual and clearly deserving of the Dean's Outstanding Scholar Award.

Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health Graduate Scholar

Rachel Rosenberg
Mentor: Amy Sapkota

Rachel Elizabeth Rosenberg Goldstein earned her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She later worked for an environmental consulting firm, providing support to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In 2008, she was a delegate to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Rachel joined the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health in the fall of 2008 and has been working in Dr. Amy Sapkota's lab on projects identifying environmental sources of human pathogens. At the 2009 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Rachel was awarded with the Environment Section's Student Achievement Poster Award. She also received a poster award at the University of Maryland's Bioscience & Technology review day. Rachel was recently awarded with a Summer Graduate Fellowship from the Maryland Water Resources Research Center. Rachel expects to graduate from the MPH program in Environmental Health Sciences this May and continue as a PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics here at the University of Maryland, College Park in the fall.

Public and Community Health Graduate Scholar

Sylvette La Touche-Howard (PhD Student)
Mentor: Stacey Daughters

Sylvette holds a Bachelors degree in psychology and women's studies from McGill University and earned her Master of Arts Degree in Community Counseling from Andrews University. Her doctoral research interests include Women's Health Issues, Health Disparities and Health Communication. Sylvette has a graduate assistantship and is currently working with Dr. Stacey Daughters on the (1) Let's ACT project using behavioral interventions to assist substance users in adopting healthier lifestyle behaviors to replace former substance use; & (2) ACT HEALTHY project integrating treatment to increase HIV medication adherence and decrease depression and sexual risk taking behavior among depressed, HIV positive minority substance users. She has also worked with Dr. Nancy Atkinson to explore the issues surrounding HIV and African American women between the ages of 50-65, to create an awareness campaign and preventative intervention to eliminate the health disparity that exists in this area. She has formerly worked with Dr. Nancy Atkinson on the Eat Smart, Be Fit! - a Maryland project ( - a statewide campaign to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, physical activity and overall healthy behaviors with lower income women and their children. Sylvette also passionately loves teaching HLTH 140:Personal Health and HLTH471: Women's Health.

Dean's Senior Scholars

Family Science Scholar

Samantha Ascanio
Mentor: Elaine Anderson

Samantha Ascanio has been an outstanding student throughout her academic career. Several FMSC Faculty have said that they have had few students who challenge them intellectually in such a positive way as does Samantha, and they have had few students who make greater contributions to the class discussion. FMSC Chair Dr. Elaine Anderson recently stated, "I can think of few recent undergraduates with whom I've worked that I would recommend as a Senior Scholar more than Samantha Ascanio." Samantha has been the recipient of the Sophomore and Junior Undergraduate Scholars awards, earned a position on her School and College Dean's List since 2007, and served as a board member of her major-related honor societies. She has been a member these past two years of the Family Science Chairs' Undergraduate Advisory Committee and served as an FMSC Teaching Assistant. Samantha has also volunteered as an Intern in the Infants and Toddler's Program at the Arc of Prince George's County, a Lobbyist with the Eating Disorders Coalition, a Facilitator for CDC Parent Education Classes, a student researcher with University of Maryland Children's Developmental Clinic, and as a communication coder with the University of Maryland Couples Abuse Prevention Program. More recently, Samantha has worked with FMSC Chair Dr. Elaine Anderson and an FMSC doctoral student on a poster presentation that was presented at an international conference this past fall and they are currently working on an article that is being prepared for publication. She also has collaborated with another doctoral student to collect and analyze a series of qualitative interviews being conducted with child care workers and parents for an empirical study. Samantha will graduate this Spring with a double degree in Family Science and Psychology. She plans to attend Graduate School in Fall 2010.

Kinesiology Scholar

Yassameen B. Behzadi
Mentor: Jo Zimmerman

Yassameen transferred to the University of Maryland - College Park (UMCP) from Montgomery College (MC) the Fall semester of her Sophomore year as a kinesiology student where she learned about the Children's Developmental Clinic. This turned out to be a wonderful experience. She was admitted into a physical therapy program her senior year and became an intern at the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Washington, DC. She was given an opportunity to work as an undergraduate teaching assistant for Dr. Shims biomechanics course. She currently volunteers for the therapeutic riding program at the Potomac Horse Center in Potomac, Maryland. Her future plans involve the Physical Therapy program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She plans to graduate with an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in May of 2013.

Kinesiology Scholar

Laura Beynon
Mentor: Marc Rogers

Laura, a Kinesiology major from the start, took advantage of the vast opportunities that Maryland has to offer and got involved in several extracurricular activities over the next four years. As a member of the Women's Club soccer team during her freshman and sophomore year, she loved practicing with her teammates and competing against other collegiate teams on the east coast while representing the University of Maryland. Additionally, she is involved with Greek life on campus as a lifetime member of the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and served on the 2008-2009 Executive Board as the Vice President of Membership Development. She has enjoyed participating in various community service activities through the University of Maryland as well as alongside her Alpha Chi sisters. During summer and winter breaks, she has worked in a local physical therapy office and volunteered in the spinal cord unit at the Kernan Hospital in Woodlawn, Maryland. Following graduation in May, she plans to continue working and volunteering this summer at the Kernan Hospital and will begin her first year in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the George Washington University in Washington, DC this fall.

Public and Community Health Scholar

Meleah Boyle
Mentor: Robin Sawyer

Meleah Boyle is a senior Community Health major. Before joining the University of Maryland community she served as a mental health technician in the United States Air Force, providing health education to fellow military members. After the Air Force, she worked for several years while taking night classes at Montgomery College and raising her awesome son, Jacob. Meleah is passionate about food and nutrition and hopes to use this passion along with her new public and community health knowledge to help improve the health of our nation. She hopes to continue her education in graduate school after accumulating work experience in the field.

Kinesiology Scholar

Leah Bush
Mentor: Jane Clark

Leah has been a volunteer at the Children's Developmental Clinic for five semesters. She is a member of the Pre-Physical Therapy Association. She is a part of the Kinesiology Honors Program and a member of Phi Alpha Epsilon, the School of Public Health Honors Society. Leah is currently working in the Cognitive Motor Neuroscience Lab with the Motor Development Lab group, assisting in research projects for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Next year, Leah plans to take the year off before applying to Physical Therapy School, to gain some more experience working in Physical Therapy.

Kinesiology Scholar

Michele Cilenti
Mentor: Espen Spangenberg

Since Michele began at the University of Maryland she has earned a spot on the Dean's list every semester. In addition, she challenged herself academically by joining the Kinesiology honors program where she has been involved in a senior research thesis with Dr. Spangenburg examining the effects of menopause on liver tissue in mice. In addition to the honors program she is also heavily involved in various honor societies such as the school of public health's Phi Alpha Epsilon. She is also a member of the Primannum Honor Society on campus which acknowledges academic excellence in the first year of college. She is currently acting as the secretary of the Pre-Physical Therapy Association and trying to help students interested in following the same career path. She is also heavily involved in the University of Maryland's club field hockey team. As a captain of the team, she has taken on a great amount of responsibility and have acted as the defensive coach to my team. In addition to staying involved at school, Michele volunteers at various clinics in order to pursue a career in physical therapy including time at Holy Cross Hospital as well as sports rehab clinics in her hometown. Upon graduation from Maryland, she will begin work on her doctorate of physical therapy at New York University starting in June.

Public and Community Health Scholar

Katherine Cole
Mentor: Sharon Desmond

Katie Cole is a senior in the department of Community health and will be graduating this May. Katie is currently interning at Westat, a research corporation in Rockville, Maryland, collaborating with Westat staff to develop the evaluation plan for the Knowledge Application Program. She has been on the University of Maryland Dean's list since Fall 2008 and was a Renaissance Scholar at Montgomery College. In 2009, under the guidance of Dr. Nancy Atkinson, Katie created a health belief survey on hookah smoking among students here at Maryland. She plans to present the results at the Johns Hopkins University Undergraduate Conference in Public Health. In addition, Katie serves as secretary of the Epsilon chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, a national health honorary focusing on teaching, service, research and health advocacy. In her spare time Katie enjoys painting and drawing.

Public and Community Health Scholar

Anna Czinn
Mentor: Donna Howard

Anna Czinn will be graduating this December with a degree in Public and Community Health and a Minor in Art History. She has also completed the Environmental Studies College Park Scholars Program. Anna is a member of the Phi Alpha Epsilon Public Health Honors Society, Primannum Honor Society, and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. In addition to her academic studies, Anna is currently a Student Health Advisory Committee board member acting as a liaison between students and the University Health Center. She is also a board member of the Policies and Practices Committee, a branch of the Wellness Coalition. This fall she will complete her semester long community health internship and after gradation will pursue her Master's in Occupational Therapy.

Family Science Scholar

Diana Femat
Mentor: Jinhee Kim

Diana Femet is scheduled to graduate this summer with a 3.9 grade point average and a Bachelor's of Science in Family Science. She has been a Teacher with the Takoma Children's School since 2004 and is utilizing her Bilingual skills in Spanish and English volunteering this spring as a Partners in Print mentor with America Reads America Counts. In 2005, Diana was the recipient of a Transfer Academic Excellence Scholarship and, more recently, a 2010 Newcombe Scholarship. Prior to attending the University of Maryland, Diana earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Montgomery College, was a member of their Phi Theta Kappa academic honor society, and completed 90 hours of Certified Early Childhood Program training. Upon graduation, Diana hopes to work as an outreach specialist in the non-profit sector. Within the next few years she also plans to attend graduate school and work towards her ultimate goal of becoming a researcher on family well-being.

Kinesiology Scholar

William Ferrante
Mentor: Elizabeth Brown

William entered the University of Maryland on scholarship as an engineering major. But soon after he started to get into fitness, and changed his major to kinesiology. While serving on the executive board for Sigma Nu, we were recognized as the most improved Sigma Nu chapter in the nation. We also received the same honor (most improved chapter) at the University of Maryland. He was awarded the Alice Love Scholarship for an SPH major my junior year. He plans on attending Stony Brook University on Long Island to receive a doctorate in physical therapy.

Public and Community Health Scholar

Jared Frank
Mentors: Sharon Desmond

Jared Frank is a senior graduating this May with his degree in public and community health and a minor in Spanish Language & Culture. Jared has had a very active undergraduate career-in 2007 he worked on Donors for Life, Inc. in conjunction with the American Red Cross, recruiting for and organizing blood drives here on campus. In 2008, he worked in the University Health Center in the Laboratory and Urgent Care departments. He also served as a research assistant with Dr. Haider, working on various Global Health projects such as Avian Influenza in Pakistan and Neonatal Health in South Asia. In 2009, Jared became a research assistant for Dr. Cheryl Holt examining how religion affects health outcomes in African American populations. Jared is a member of the Eta Sigma Gamma and Phi Alpha Epsilon Honor Societies. Currently he is the undergraduate representative for the School of Public Health in the University Senate and President of Phi Alpha Epsilon. This semester Jared is interning at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), helping to identify and prevent Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse. He plans to pursue his MPH following graduation.

Kinesiology Scholar

Melody Gannon
Mentor: Ana Palla-Kane

In her nearly four years at the University of Maryland, Melody has been able to balance academics along with being an active member of PESO, the Physical Education Student Organization. Melody has maintained at least a 3.0 GPA every semester and most recently earned a 4.0 GPA for the fall term. As a result of achieving this GPA, Melody received the Quinn scholarship for having the top GPA of Physical Education student teachers. She has also been the gracious recipient of three Alice Morgan Love scholarships throughout the past year. As a member of PESO, Melody has acted as a volunteer for many events including Maryland Day and Maryland Madness and has attended three MAHPERD conventions and most recently, the AAHPERD convention, which are organized by the state and national Physical Education associations. Upon graduating, Melody plans to continue her involvement in professional organizations and put into practice the education she has received that has emphasized lifelong physical activity.

Family Science Scholar

Wen Ji
Mentor: Kerry Tripp

Wen Ji may already be recognizable from her recent Internet exposure. She served as the voice of Maryland's undergraduates when she interviewed President Mote about the University's budget and other issues in a virtual fireside chat representing the School of Public Health in a grand fashion. Wen is a senior in the Family Science Department with a 4.0 GPA, a student representative to the School of Public Health, and a Teaching Assistant in FMSC 332, Children and Families. In this class and others, she has lectured on international perspectives on children including China's "one child" policy and other comparisons of Chinese and American children's lives. She has also served as a student ambassador by speaking to student groups on other aspects of Chinese culture, including attitudes and communication. Hopefully, her efforts to enrich student's understanding of how people live in the fastest growing economy will help University of Maryland students build a better relationship with Chinese people, not only on campus but as international citizens as well. She also was a team leader in the Fed Challenge - a national economic competition, where she analyzed the U.S. current economy. Her presentation to eight judges from all over the states helped her team to win first place in the regional competition and third place, nationally. She has served as a student mentor in many capacities, from mentoring Maryland athletes to International Students. For the last two years, Wen has been an intern at DHS department of ICF Marco International Inc., a department that contracts with the U.S. AIDS and World Health Organization. So impressed were they by her prowess that they made their first exception in 18 years and offered her a full time job with only a Bachelor's degree.

While these accomplishments alone stand to merit Wen's receipt of a Dean Scholar's Honor, I think that her compelling personal story needs to be mentioned as well. Not long ago, Wen arrived in this country from China, alone, with no relatives and more challenging, no English language skills. Buy pure perseverance and intelligence, Wen quickly taught herself English and enrolled in a local community college. So successful was she in this challenge that by the time she graduated, she was one of the community college's best students. At Prince George's County Community College (PGCC), she made a request to President Williams to open a Chinese language class and also helped to teach Dr. Battaglia, PGCC Vice President, about Chinese etiquette for a business trip to China. It is no wonder, then, that Wen was selected to receive a full Transfer Academic Excellence Scholarship with the University of Maryland. As is evident by her tremendous accomplishments, this funding has been well invested.

Public and Community Health Scholar

Naomi Kruger
Mentor: Anne Anderson-Sawyer

Naomi Kruger is graduating this coming May with a Bachelors of Science in Community Health Education. During her final semester Naomi is interning at the National Network for Youth, a D.C- based non-profit whose mission is to champion the needs of runaway, homeless, and other disconnected youth. Naomi is also currently the DC Youth Ambassador for the Jerusalem AIDS Project. She is a member of "HEAL(Health Education and Advocacy Leaders) the Turtle," a peer- educator student group dedicated to raising awareness of preventive healthcare. She is also a member of Phi Alpha Epsilon, the Public Health Honors Society within the School of Public Health, and Phi Kappa Phi. Naomi plans to continue her education with a Masters degree in Global Health.

Kinesiology Scholar

Christina "Niki" Lau
Mentor: Elizabeth Brown

In her 4 years of attendance at Maryland, Niki has accomplished much. She spent the summer between her junior and senior year volunteering as a research assistant at the Center for the Intrepid at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX, an outpatient rehabilitation institute that provides care to wounded warriors who have suffered amputation, limb salvage and some burn patients. She has also spent time interning in the sports performance training industry. Niki was recently accepted into Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and is in contention for the University Medal award - one of the most prestigious awards for graduating seniors. During the past four years, Niki has had success both in the classroom and on the playing field as a part of the University of Maryland intercollegiate softball team. She has been instrumental to the leadership of the team through representation on Team Council, an elected captain, and a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. She has garnered All-ACC Academic team, CoSIDA distract team, and ACC Honor roll honors. After receiving her bachelor's degree this May, Niki plans on working toward both an EMT and personal training certification, while working on applying to a professional degree program in the medical field.

Kinesiology Scholar

Maggie McKeever
Mentor: Elizabeth Brown

Maggie received a full athletic scholarship to play on the varsity tennis team and learned about hard work and time management in the process. This year she was named co-captian of the team and has been given the opportunity to play in the #1 doubles position and, as high as, the #1 singles position.

After declaring her major in Kinesiological Sciences, she has been named to the Dean's List every semester and have also been named to the All-ACC academic team for the past two years. Her team was the recipient of the 2009 President's Cup Award for the highest team GPA at the University, and she received the President's Cup award for the highest individual GPA on my team.

Upon graduation she plans to attend Physician's Assistant school. She hopes to get a masters degree in PA and go on to work in orthopedics or neurology.

Family Science Scholar

Kelly Ringer
Mentor: Kevin Roy

Kelly Ringer graduated in December 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Family Science. She earned 3.9 overall and 4.0 major grade point averages and was a member of the Primmanum, Tau Sigma, and Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Societies. She is currently working as the Assistant Coordinator for the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Program and a tutor at the Academic Support and Career Development Unit at UMCP. Both positions evolved from internship and volunteer positions during Kelly's undergraduate career. As an undergraduate student she also worked as a coder for the Couples Abuse Prevention Program through the Center for Healthy Families. Kelly plans to start graduate studies in Fall 2010 at either the University of Maryland School of Social Work or the Clinical Community Counseling Program at Johns Hopkins.

Kinesiology Scholar

Russell Rosenberg
Mentor: Stephen Roth

Throughout college, Russell has excelled academically as part of both the University and Departmental Honors Programs. For the past two years he has conducted research in the Cognitive Motor Neuroscience Laboratory. As an NIH undergraduate fellow Russell developed an independent research project investigating visual biofeedback's effect on postural control during locomotion, which was presented as a poster at Gait 2010: The 3rd International Congress on Gait and Mental Function. He recently had a separate abstract accepted for a poster presentation at the Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference. As a member of the Dean's Student Advisory Council, he played an integral role in the accreditation of the new School of Public Health. Additionally, Ihe served a term as an Undergraduate University Senator, representing his college in the University Senate. Beginning in August, he will attend Jefferson Medical College to pursue a degree in medicine.

Public and Community Health Scholar

Zahra Saboori
Mentor: Dave Hyde

Zahra Saboori is a senior community health major who intends to pursue a pediatric emergency medical career after graduating. Through honorary memberships in the UMD pre-medical society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Phi Alpha Epsilon, Zahra has devoted much of her time to serving the community. While at Maryland, she has served as a peer health educator, adult health and development mentor, children's developmental clinic mentor, Martha's Table tutor, and a clinical intern. In her spare time she enjoys tutoring kids, playing the violin, shadowing physicians and reading stories about emergency rooms. She is also interested in global and maternal and child health and intends to devote her life to serving underprivileged communities in third world countries.

Family Science Scholar

Caitlyn Thomas
Mentor: Kevin Roy

This May, Caitlin Thomas will graduate with a Bachelor's of Science in both Family Science and Psychology. Since Fall 2007, Caitlin has been selected on the University of Maryland Academic Honor Roll and received University Honors. She is a recipient of the 2010 Jerry P Wrenn Memorial Scholarship, District Seven Delegate Scholarship, Maryland Senatorial Scholarship, and University Dean's Scholarship. Caitlin is currently volunteering as a Research Assistant on the Couples Abuse Prevention Program through the Center for Healthy Families, a Teaching Assistant for FMSC 332, Children and Families, and an Honors Ambassador to the University (since Fall 2007). In addition to Caitlin's academic achievements, she has also participated in several University activities including the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band and University of Maryland Pep Band, and High Risers, a volunteer program to host prospective students. Amidst this busy schedule, Caitlin has also found time to work as a Program Registrar in the University of Maryland Orientation Office and previously as a Clinician with the Children's Developmental Clinic. In Fall 2011, Caitlin plans to begin studies at the University of Maryland School of Nursing where she plans to earn a Bachelor's and Master's in Nursing and work as a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Practitioner.

Kinesiology Scholar

Jessica Uagbor
Mentor: Elizabeth Brown

Jessica Uagbor has been a Kinesiology major at the University of Maryland, College Park for four years. She has been a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship award for the duration of her matriculation at the University of Maryland. As a Gates Millennium Scholar for the University of Maryland, she has been an ambassador where she goes to local high schools encouraging students to continue along the higher-educational track. In addition, Jessica is a member of Phi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society where she has been a volunteer of S.O.M.E, So Others Might Eat, organization and she has been an active volunteer at the University Health Center. After graduation, Jessica will be attending physical therapy school at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine.

Family Science Scholar

Shauntia White
Mentor: Norman Epstein

Shauntia White is graduating this spring with a Bachelor's in Family Science and a minor in Rhetoric-with a focus in Entrepreneurship and Research. Shauntia has been the recipient of both a Hillman Entrepreneurs and Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program Scholarship. As part of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, she presented at the 2008 MTECH Business Plan Competition, where she was a member of one of the two teams that were finalists. Shauntia has also presented her research at a number of professional conferences such as the National Association of Ethnic Studies, National Council on Family Relations, and the Ronald E. McNair Research Conference. Her most recent research, "Associations of In-Law Acceptance and Demographic Characteristics with Couples' Marital Satisfaction and Psychological and Physical Aggression," has been completed under the mentorship of FMSC Professor Dr. Norman Epstein. During her undergraduate academic career, Shauntia has also worked with the Washington Center for Psychiatry and Maryland ADHD Program, volunteered as a Teaching Assistant with the Hillman Entrepreneurship Program, was a student intern with family support programs at Andrews Air Force Base, and was a research coordinator with the student organization Maryland Council for Family Relations. This June she will begin working toward completing a master's degree in Human Development and Family Science at Oklahoma State University. She has received a Graduate Research Assistantship through McNair funding to work on the NSF Alaska Native Grandparent Study to investigate the roles, strengths, and needs of Alaska Native grandparents residing in rural and semi-urban areas, examining sociopolitical factors that shape grandparenthood. As one can see, Shauntia's time with the Family Science Department and University has been well spent. She truly appreciates the entire experience, having recently stated, "I am going to miss the FMSC department. Joining this department as a transfer student was the best decision in all of my undergraduate career!"

Kinesiology Scholar

Lyndsey Wilson
Mentor: Elizabeth Brown

Lindsey entered the University of Maryland, College Park with only a thought that physical therapy would be her future profession. Over the past four years, her experiences have both cultivated and perpetuated her initial thought into a true passion. She had the distinct pleasure of being able to work with different populations in the physical therapy field. In her freshman year, she worked at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, mainly with the geriatric population and individuals recovering from orthopedic surgery. For the majority of her college career, Lindsey was a Student Athletic Trainer with the football team, working with our athletes in their rehabilitative efforts. Most recently, she has procured a job at an outpatient physical therapy clinic working with a variety of populations, including, children, high school athletes as well as the "weekend warriors." Her most rewarding experience was volunteering as a mentor in the America Counts program, which assists fourth graders with improving their math skills. Her most humbling moment came in October of this year when shewas named the Presidential Merrill Scholar representing the School of Public Health. Lindsey will be enrolling in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at either the University of Maryland at Baltimore or Drexel University.

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