24 Science Terps Honored as Senior Marshals
Program recognizes students for academic, extracurricular and personal accomplishments
With flags waving on Monday evening, nearly 80 stellar students will lead graduating Terps into commencement—including 24 students from the University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.
The senior marshals, who carry the banners for schools, colleges and departments, are Spring, Winter and Summer graduates who have stood out during their time at the University of Maryland for academic excellence, service to the university community, noteworthy extracurriculars and good character.
“It is a joy and honor to lead the commencement procession with such terrific student leaders,” said Marsha Guenzler-Stevens, director of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, who oversees the senior marshals program along with Robert Infantino, associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. “We feel honored to work with the student marshals at this pivotal moment in their University of Maryland journey.”
Read on to learn more about these exceptional students from CMNS.
Sam Bai (majors: computer science, mathematics; minor: Asian American studies) served as internal vice president and co-historian of the Taiwanese American Student Association, vice president and secretary of TerpWushu, operations and executive organizer for Technica, and teaching outreach ambassador for the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing. He also served as a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, a peer mentor for the First-Year Innovation and Research Experience program, and a peer academic leader for the University Honors program in the Honors College. Bai collaborated with the Asian American Student Union to promote advocacy and awareness within the APIDA community. Following graduation, in addition to taking a position as a software engineer at Capital One, he hopes to continue working with underrepresented groups in tech and minority communities in his spare time.
Rakshita Balaji (major: neuroscience) is passionate about neuroscience research. She was an undergraduate researcher in the Caras Lab, served as a teaching assistant in the neuroscience department, a student course facilitator in the biology department, a student ambassador for the neuroscience major and the Honors College, and co-president of the Rising Researchers Club. After graduation, Balaji will conduct research for two years at the National Institutes of Health before applying to doctoral programs in neuroscience.
Hammad Baqai (majors: biological sciences, public health science) earned a citation from the Integrated Life Sciences program in the Honors College. He served on the executive boards of Maryland Mauj (director), Penny Appeal (president), Phi Delta Epsilon (vice president of recruitment) and the Pakistani Student Association (historian). He was a volunteer tutor/mentor for Peer to Peer, a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, a site leader for One Tent Health and a volunteer for MEDLIFE, traveling to Peru to help close health-care disparity gaps. He plans to enroll at the University of Maryland School of Medicine next year to begin an M.D./M.P.H. program, where he hopes to cultivate skills to continue helping medically underserved communities.
Urvi Chowdhury (major: biological sciences; minor: statistics) is graduating with a citation from the Integrated Life Sciences Honors Program and a fellowship in global policy and leadership. On campus, she served as president of UNICEF UMD and ran a “Disability During COVID-19” photojournalism project. Off-campus, she was director of community projects at United Against Inequities in Disease and a health policy and advocacy intern for Project HOPE and interned for the United Nations Foundation. Her career aspirations include combining medicine, public health, policy and advocacy to combat health inequities.
Zoe Davidson (major: biological sciences; minor: humanities, health and medicine; certificate: women, gender, and sexuality studies) completed her Honors College citation from the Integrated Life Sciences program. She worked as a teaching assistant for Honors “Cellular Biology and Physiology” and “Bodies in Contention,” was an undergraduate researcher in a developmental biology lab and founder of Move Those Paws. Davidson has served her community of Howard County and College Park as a Gilchrist Hospice volunteer and an animal shelter volunteer at Humane Rescue Alliance.
Delyar Delavari (major: biological sciences) was in the Gemstone program of the Honors College. She was involved in the American Medical Association, College Mentors for Kids, the Department of Resident Life, the Iranian Student Foundation and the Help Center, and was a teaching assistant. After graduation, she hopes to continue her path toward medicine.
Argen Gian Detoito (major: physics; minor: computer science) was a member of the Student Government Association’s First Year Council, co-treasurer of the Filipino Cultural Association, secretary of the Undergraduate Quantum Association and a member of the Sigma Pi Sigma honor society. He was also involved in research with the First-Year Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE) Simulating Particle Detection stream, UMD’s Department of Physics and the High-Energy Astrophysics group at Caltech. After graduating, Detoito will pursue a Ph.D. in physics with hopes of becoming an academic or government researcher.
David Diep (major: biological sciences; minor: human development) is graduating with a University Honors citation. He served as vice president of programming for Phi Delta Epsilon medical fraternity, a team leader and mentor for the Maryland Reading Program and an Honors College ambassador. Off-campus, Diep worked as a research assistant in the Sidorov Lab at Children's National Hospital, where he was a published author, a medical assistant at OrthoBethesda, an emergency medicine research assistant at Prince George’s Hospital Center and a volunteer at an urgent care clinic. Upon graduation, Diep plans to pursue a career in medicine.
Nikki Emamian (majors: biological sciences, public health science) is president of Peer to Peer, a group leader for the family mentoring program, a research assistant in an epidemiology lab in the School of Public Health, co-chair of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences’ recruitment ambassadors, senior adviser of the Iranian Students’ Foundation, and a teaching assistant for “Essentials of Public Health Biology.” Off campus, she is a clinical research associate at the University of Maryland Medical Center and a medical assistant in a pediatric office. She hopes to attend medical school after taking a gap year.
Sara Jain (major: neuroscience; minors: Asian American studies, public leadership) is a Banneker/Key Scholar graduating with a citation from the Integrated Life Sciences program in the Honors College. On campus, she served as president of Senior Council; president, events chair and correspondence officer of Doctors Without Borders/MSF UMD; vice president of recruitment for Phi Delta Epsilon medical fraternity; and as a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and club volleyball. Jain is also a volunteer EMT in Howard County, and engaged in independent research through both the Asian American Studies Program and Nathan Schnaper Intern Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. After graduation, Jain will attend medical school and plans to integrate her interests in advocacy, policy and health care by pursuing a joint M.D./M.P.P.
Ananya Krishnan (majors: biological sciences, anthropology) was a Banneker/Key Scholar and a member of the Gemstone program in the Honors College. She participated in the Federal Fellows Public Health Policy program and was a teaching assistant for neuroscience and global health anthropology courses, a volunteer with the National Sexual Assault Hotline, a Terps for Change coordinator, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, and the founder and president of Women's Health Network, an organization dedicated to providing students with accurate sexual and reproductive health information. She hopes to continue fostering her passion for women's health and pursue a career in medicine.
Sasvi Kulasinghe (majors: biological sciences, individual studies) is graduating with a citation from the University Honors program in Honors College. She was involved in the Student Health Advisory Committee, the Global Fellows program and the Sri Lankan Student Association. Kulasinghe was also a College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences ambassador, an undergraduate researcher in the cell biology and molecular genetics department, and a member of UMD Anokha, a South Asian fusion a cappella team with which she competed nationally. Outside of academics, she is a volunteer EMT at the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and co-founded MedSurplus United, a nonprofit organization that redistributes surplus medical supplies from the U.S. to hospitals in Sri Lanka. After graduating, she hopes to pursue an M.D./MPH.
Sahana Kundu (major: biological sciences; minor: general business) received her citation from the Integrated Life Sciences Honors program in the Honors College. She was co-founder and co-president of One Love UM, a College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences representative in the Student Government Association, a peer supporter for Lean on Me College Park, entertainment editor for The Hare, and vice president and former treasurer for the Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness program. She was also a teaching assistant, a research assistant at the Aphasia Research Center, inducted in Omicron Delta Kappa, a member of the Federal Fellows Program, and a yoga group fitness instructor at RecWell. Following graduation, she will join the managed care leadership development program at Cigna to learn about public-private partnerships in health care.
Shivasree Margam (major: computer science; minor: innovation and entrepreneurship) served as president of the Hindu Students’ Council, peer adviser for the computer science department, computing instructor for the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing, peer research mentor for the First-Year Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE), mentor developer of BitView, logistics organizer for Bitcamp and member of Alpha Omega Epsilon. Following graduation, she will work at Amazon Web Services.
Briana Mercado (major: biochemistry) is a first-generation student who served as president of the Multicultural Greek Council. She will pursue a graduate degree starting in the fall.
Rayshaun Pettit (major: biological sciences; minor: humanities, health and medicine) served as a teaching assistant for “Statistical Methods in Psychology” and was part of the CIVICUS living-learning program, where he served as an ambassador and peer guide. He was a four-year member of College Mentors for Kids, working with elementary school kids from Washington, D.C. He received the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, which he used to study abroad in Ghana and in the United Kingdom, and is a Ronald E. McNair scholar. He completed research in the School of Public Health and Department of Biology and defended an honors thesis. He will enroll in graduate school in the fall.
Tyler Przygocki (major: biological sciences) was a research assistant in the Hearing Brain Lab and at the UM Capital Region Medical Center, a volunteer team leader with Maryland Mentor Corps, a College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences ambassador, an undergraduate learning assistant, social relations chair of Delta Epsilon Mu, a 4-Maryland COVID-19 testing ambassador, and a member of Brain Exercise Initiative, Be the Match and KDSAP clubs. After graduation, Przygocki plans to take a gap year and work as a medical assistant before matriculating into medical school. He hopes to work with diverse and underserved populations to help mitigate health disparities.
Tesia Shi (majors: psychology, biological sciences) served as a biology teaching assistant, an Alternative Breaks co-lead and a peer outreach member and Step-UP Educator for CARE to Stop Violence. She co-founded Lean On Me College Park, a peer-to-peer non-crisis campus text line. Outside of service, she also pursued an honors thesis through the biology department and is a member of the Gemstone program in the Honors College.
Japneet Singh (major: biological sciences; minor: Spanish) is a three-time winner of the MedStar Health Women's Board Scholarship and a student ambassador for the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. She served as president for CIVICUS Living and is an active member of Phi Delta Epsilon, Omricon Delta Kappa and the Sikh Student Association. She was a teaching assistant for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and, upon graduation, plans to attend medical school.
Kevin Tu (major: biological sciences, economics) founded Combating Overdoses in Rural Areas and the satirical newspaper The Hare and co-founded Lean on Me College Park. He also taught a student-initiated course, served as a teaching assistant, ran the university’s Green Labs program, sat on the Student Government Association and the University Senate, and conducted research on cancer genetics. Following graduation, he will attend the University of Cambridge on a Churchill Scholarship and eventually matriculate into medical school.
Matthew Walsh (major: biological sciences) was a campus tour guide with Maryland Images and active in UMD Club Swim and the Student Alumni Leadership Council. He also participated in networking events and helped run large-scale events on campus, such as admitted student visit days.
Amber Wang (major: computer science; minor: business analytics; certificate: women, gender, and sexuality studies) was a teaching assistant for three courses, a guided study sessions leader for two math courses, and an intern for the Student Legal Aid Office. She served as president of Maryland Mock Trial, on the board of the Taiwanese American Student Association and the Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, and as an experience organizer for Technica, the world’s largest hackathon for underrepresented genders in technology. After graduation, she’ll move to Washington state to work as a software engineer for Microsoft.
Clarissa Xia (majors: biological sciences, psychology) is a Banneker/Key scholar graduating with a citation from the Integrated Life Sciences program in the Honors College. She served as co-president of Terps Against Hunger, co-president of the Taiwanese American Student Association, vice president of Brain Exercise Initiative, peer counselor at the Help Center, teaching assistant for "Honors Organismal Biology" and student ambassador for the Reed-Yorke Health Professions Advising Office. She was a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, Nu Rho Psi neuroscience honor society and the Student Health Advisory Committee. Xia was also involved in research on campus, exploring learning and decision-making in rats. She worked off-campus as a medical assistant and volunteered for the American Red Cross and Crisis Text Line. Xia hopes to work as a multilingual physician, providing patients with empathetic and culturally competent care in their native language.
Noam Yanay (majors: biological sciences, psychology) started the student organization J-Health and was involved in the Motivated Cognition Lab, Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honors society, Phi Delta Epsilon pre-medical fraternity, the Jewish Student Union and the Help Center. Yanay was also a resident assistant, a guided study session leader in “Biochemistry of Physiology” educator and an emergency medical responder for the College Park community. She was also a medical assistant for a local clinic and a research assistant at the National Institute of Mental Health. Yanay will continue her neuroscience research there and apply to medical school.