Fang Cao—who is double majoring in biological sciences and computer science, and is a member of the Integrated Life Sciences program in the Honors College—received the University's 2014 Spirit of Maryland Award. The award was presented at the University of Maryland homecoming football game versus Iowa on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014.
Cao is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, and is the first UMD student to be awarded both a Goldwater scholarship and a Truman scholarship. In addition, he has received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute undergraduate research fellowship, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) intramural training research award and an NIH exceptional summer intern award. He has conducted molecular and computational neuroscience research in the laboratories of Jeffrey Smith at NIH and Daniel Butts at UMD. He was also selected to serve as one of four UMD representatives to present at the 2013 Meeting of the Minds regional conference.
Further, he has extensive leadership and community service accomplishments. As a sophomore, Cao founded a program at a local high school to tutor disadvantaged minority students in college-level biology. With Cao’s help, the school’s average AP biology exam score improved significantly. Inspired by these results, Cao founded an additional tutoring program at the school to help students obtain their high school diploma and consider attending community and four-year colleges. The program now boasts two-dozen UMD students serving as mentors.
Cao is a graduate of Montgomery Blair High School’s Science, Mathematics and Computer Science Magnet Program in Silver Spring, Md.
The University of Maryland version of Homecoming King and Queen, the “Spirit of Maryland” Award is presented to two outstanding senior student leaders—one woman and one man—at halftime during the homecoming football game. The award is presented to those senior students who most exemplify the “spirit” of the University of Maryland. Criteria for the award include outstanding scholarship, leadership, campus involvement, community service and communication skills.
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.