What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
A leader is defined as “a person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.” However my understanding of a leader and leadership goes much farther. I believe that a leader can be anyone, with or without a title, who influences others not solely by voice but by example. To be a leader does not mean to be in charge but to be a person that is committed to fulfilling the desired goal or mission and furthering the success of a group of people.
However, describing “what” leadership is, to me, seems less important than truly exhibiting and embodying leadership. From my personal experiences in leadership roles and observing others in leadership positions, I believe that I have made an impact in advancing the interests of not only Maryland students but also of the broader Maryland community.
Over the course of my career at the University of Maryland, I have had the privilege to take on many leadership roles both on and off campus. But, I have found the most enjoyment in teaching and mentoring my fellow students and peers. My most rewarding and impactful leadership experience has been the opportunity to serve as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) for two challenging science courses. In the fall of 2011, I was a first time UTA for BSCI222: Introduction to Genetics. As a UTA, it was my responsibility to independently lead a group of twenty-two students over the course of the semester. Viewing the classroom from a completely different perspective, I was able to truly take on the role as leader. Teaching a two-hour discussion each week, I created and administered weekly quizzes, graded homework problem sets, quizzes and exams, addressed student questions and concerns, and served as a liaison between my students and the professor. I worked diligently to help my students gain a better understanding of genetics, create an open forum in the classroom, and build solid relationships with each of my students. Helping my students grasp difficult concepts and expand their scientific knowledge throughout the semester, I proudly felt that the support I provided made a difference in their experience of and success in the course.
Along with being a UTA for three semesters, I have also been a tutor for Maryland Athletics' Academic Support and Career Development Unit (ASCDU) for the past two years. As an ASCDU tutor, I strive to enhance the academic progress, encourage the career development, and foster the overall growth and maturation of each of my student-athletes. I have also been a Supplemental Instructor for Maryland's Academic Achievement Program (AAP). As an AAP Supplemental Instructor, I assisted my students obtain a clearer picture of their course material and encouraged them to develop their own study techniques through one-on-one sessions. In each of my teaching and mentoring experiences, it was and continues to be my goal to help my students build confidence in their abilities to handle the complex issues that arise inside and outside the classroom.
In addition to the impact I believe that I have had on the academic achievement of my peers and fellow students, I have had the pleasure of leading my brothers and sisters of Delta Epsilon Mu, Maryland’s only professional, pre-health fraternity. Over the past three years, I have had the opportunity to partake in numerous, rewarding community service and education events as a member of DEM. I have been involved in planning DEM’s first campus-wide health fair, “Terps Devotion to Motion,” during which we aimed to promote wellness, exercise and healthier life-choices to the campus community. I was also Social Chair of DEM during 2012. Under the title of that position, I worked diligently to uphold the family aspect and professionalism of our organization. As college students, we all strive for academic excellence. Having attained my ultimate goal for academic achievement, receiving a 4.0 GPA.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
When I was ten, my parents divorced, and since that time, my mother has raised my two sisters and me essentially by herself. My father provides little extra support and contributes little financially to my schooling and other activities. Even though my mother is self-employed and works from our home, she supports each of my sister’s and my endeavors and never allows financial considerations to impede the pursuit our goals. However, she works extremely hard so that she can pay for my tuition and so that my sisters and I are able to achieve our dreams and desired careers.
Therefore, the Goff Family Memorial Scholarship has meant a great deal to my mother and me. While I was extremely fortunate to receive the Dean’s Scholarship during my first two years here at the University of Maryland, paying for college these past two years has proven to be more difficult. I have lofty aspirations and I am currently working exceptionally hard to ensure that I attain those goals. This scholarship has allowed me to continue to pursue my academic and non-academic goals without having to worry as much about money and paying for tuition. Even though, I have never allowed my financial situation to deter me from reaching my future aspirations, receiving the Goff Family Memorial Scholarship has been a great honor and has helped bring me closer to my goals.