An American citizen since age 12, Fang Cao came to the University Maryland as a Banneker/Key Scholar and is leaving as a Rhodes Scholar with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, specializing in physiology and neurobiology.
Cao is the university’s first Rhodes Scholar in four decades. He was also the first Maryland student to be awarded both a Goldwater Scholarship and a Truman Scholarship. He also won National Merit scholarships and the President’s Volunteer Service Award. He has conducted research in the university’s Department of Biology, as well as at the National Institutes of Health and Children’s National Medical Center.
In addition, Cao started two science, technology, engineering and mathematics tutoring programs at nearby Northwestern High School. More than 35 tutors have worked with 100 minority students to improve Advanced Placement scores and college acceptance rates. With the support of the Integrated Life Sciences honors program and College of Education, the tutoring will continue after Cao graduates.
This year’s University Medalist, Cao is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Kappa Beta, the W.E.B. Du Bois Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa and the university’s Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education Academic Excellence Society.
With the Rhodes Scholarship, Cao will study pharmacology at the University of Oxford. His long-term plans include a career in medicine and public health policy.
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About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 7,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college's 10 departments and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $150 million.