University of Maryland Individual Studies Program

Current Student News

Below are some of the accomplishments and experiences that IVSP students have had while they are in the Individual Studies Program. To see what our alumni have accomplished since graduation, please visit Alumni Updates.  If you are an IVSP student, please contact the IVSP office (individualstudies@umd.edu) to update us on your activities and accomplishments!

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Spring 2016: Congratulations to Sade Ayinde (Global Economic Development & Policy) for being named a William E. Kirwan Award finalist! The Kirwan Award is presented to a junior who will be a member of the May 2017 graduating class and who has exhibited outstanding leadership and commitment to the college community. Nominees will be evaluated on their academic performance; involvement in student activities; community service; and promotion of campus diversity/race relations, international relations and/or international understanding.


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Spring 2016: Congratulations to Meredith Lightstone (Global Health and Development) for winning the Meghan Price Scholarship Award for Leadership and Public Service! The scholarship recognizes a junior or senior alum of College Park Scholars for dedication to leadership and service. Meredith is an alumna of the Public Leadership Scholars Program and is currently studying Italian, integrated communications, and international development at the American University of Rome.


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Spring 2016: Sade Ayinde (Global Economic Development & Policy) who was selected to attend the prestigious Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship Program at Princeton University this summer. The Junior Summer Institute offers student participants a rigorous seven-week program of coursework designed to improve the participants’ analytical and quantitative skills vital to success at top-level graduate programs in public policy and international affairs as well as law school. Additionally, the Institute includes a variety of activities intended to give participants a comprehensive knowledge of the opportunities for professional careers in public service.

She was also selected as a Rosalie Reilly Gubernatorial Fellow, awarded by the University of Maryland Graduate School of Public Policy, to complete a civically oriented service project. Sade focused her area of study on urban and rural development at Christ University in India this past winter break. Working with a local non-profit called the Centre for Social Action, she focused her data on urban and disadvantaged women in Janakirum, the largest slum in Bangalore, India. During her time abroad, she completed field visits, volunteered, and conducted interviews to contribute to a final report which analyzed contributing socio-economic factors, demographics, and incentives to sustainable economic development in the region.

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Spring 2015: Sierra Kelley-Chung (Minority Advocacy & Public Policy) was named to President Loh's Student Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion. The Council consists of 18 students at the University from various disciplines and academic levels and advises President Loh on the campus climate for diversity.

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Spring 2015: Shade Pratt (Design and the Built Environment) was featured in a video at graduation! Watch the video.

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Spring 2015: Erik Martin (New Media & Global Civics) was recently featured in a Fedscoop article about how he is the Department of Education's first engagement and games specialist, where he combines his love for gaming with his desire to see games used in education.

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Spring 2015: Congratulations to Mackenzie Burnett (International Relations: Democracy and Diplomacy) who has been named as the Undergraduate Commencement Speaker for the Spring 2015 ceremony! The article that highlights her accomplishments can be found here.

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Spring 2015: Congratulations to Mohammad Zia (Global Diplomacy and Development) who was recently selected as a Humanity in Action Fellow for Summer 2015!

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Spring 2015: Zak Malamed (Engagement and Media) was recently featured in an article summarizing the South by SouthWest Education Conference, talking about how students are standing up and asserting their rights as students.

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Spring 2014: Jennifer Pearse (Global Development and Diplomacy) was recently featured in an article talking about how she advocates for Social Change in Nigeria, where she grew up.

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Spring 2014: Erik Martin (Global Civics and New Media) has been very busy this spring semester! He was selected as one of Dell's Youth Innovation Advisors. Erik also spoke on the plenary panel at Youth Tech Health Live on youth and youth health/education in San Francisco. He is also leading a group of students in launching a new education initiative called the Student Bill of Rights. He was also interviewed by Anthony Salcito, VP of Education at Microsoft's blog and WoW Insider.

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May 2014: Congratulations to Sagar Doshi (Social Innovation and Philanthropic Management) who was part of winning team, Students Helping Honduras, in UMD's Do Good Challenge. Students Helping Honduras seeks to help mitigate education issues in Honduras.

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Spring 2014: Jennifer Pearse (Global Development and Diplomacy) was named the 2014 Alternative Break Connection Active Citizen of the Year. Congratulations Jen!

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Spring 2014: Mohammad Zia (Global Diplomacy and Development) was recently named a Boren Scholar.  The Boren Scholarship provides up to $20,000 to support undergraduate students pursuing overseas study of critical languages.  Starting in September 2014, Mohammad will be in Amman, Jordan for 9 moths of Arabic study.  Mohmammad is currently spending the Spring 2014 semester in Jordan where he is working on his IVSP420 Capstone, co-authoring a study on regional entrepreneurship, and volunteering with Syrian refugees.  Mohmammad is looking forward to studying Arabic, eating lots of hummus/falafel, and going hiking across Jordan. 


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November 2013: Rebecca Silverman (Global Women's Health) has been named a Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar for the 2013-2014 year. She has named Dr. Donna Howard as her University of Maryland Faculty Advisor and Rebecca Schorsch as her Teacher Mentor. Her profile for the program, which highlights why she chose these extraordinary women as her most influential mentors, can be seen here.

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October 2013: Erik Martin (New Media and Global Civics) gave a TED talk at TEDxRedmond on gaming and education.  The video of his talk can be viewed here.

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September 2013: Rebecca Silverman (Global Women's Health) has written a blog posting for Intel for Change about the impact of Girls' Empowerment Clubs and can be seen here.

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Summer 2013: Mohammad Zia (Global Diplomacy and Development) is currently attending Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program (PPIA) at Princeton University.

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Summer 2013: Congratulations to Rebecca Silverman (Global Women's Health) for being named Intel for Change's Student Ambassador to Ecuador. Intel for Change is a campaign to create change to spread awareness and inspire action about the social change that can come from educating girls around the world. Rebecca traveled to Ecuador, where she got to observe the obstacles that girls face while pursuing an education. Watch these videos about her experiences in Ecuador:
Life of a San Miguel Girl and San Miguel Community Welcome.


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Spring 2013: Congratulations to Jeremy Bennie (Leadership in a Diverse Society) for being named as one the University of Maryland's Top Ten Freshman Leaders!

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Spring 2013: Mohammad Zia (Global Diplomacy and Development) has just been selected as a 2013 Truman Scholar! The Truman Scholarship is the nation's most selective and prestigious award for underclassmen with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service.

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Spring 2013: Congratulations to Daniel Granot (Global Development) for being awarded the Byrd Citizenship Award!

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Spring 2013: Nicholas Gerontianos's (Digital Innovations Management Studies) company, MotionVibe, which was founded using the education that he gained in IVSP, made the semifinals for UMD's competitive $75k business competition. This has generated good public relations, through which MotionVibe and Nick are listed in such sources as the Wall Street Journal and TD Ameritrade.

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Spring 2013: Julia Kohler (Health Education Reform) has launched her Capstone website, Naturally Active Students, that is targeted for adolescents. Naturally Active Students highlights health topics through video clips for adolescents.

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Fall 2012: Congratulations to Daniel Granot (Global Development), for receiving the 2012 Spirit of Maryland Award. The award is presented annually to a male and female member of the senior class who through their achievements have most exemplified the "spirit" of the University of Maryland. Finalists excel in outstanding scholarship, leadership, campus involvement, community service and communication skills. The award was presented during the Homecoming football game on   October 20th.

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Fall 2012: Mohammad Zia (Global Diplomacy and Development) has been featured in the Honors College Student Profiles. You can read his profile here.

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Fall 2012: Susan Kelly (Peace-Building and Social Change) has been named as a 2012-2013 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar. She has named Dr. Joan Burton as her University of Maryland Mentor and Mr. Warrenfeltz as her Teacher Mentor. See her profile here which explains why she chose these extraordinary people as her most influential mentors!

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Summer 2012: Mohammad Zia (Global Diplomacy and Development) has been named as a 2012 Rangel Scholar. The Charles B. Rangel International Affair Program is an undergraduate International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program that provides undergraduates with the opportunity to enhance their skills, knowledge and understanding about U.S. foreign policy.

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Summer 2012: Ziyad El Baz (Middle Eastern Studies) is one of the 25 summer interns for the National Council on US-Arab Relations.

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Spring 2012: Congratulations to Roya Motazedi (International Relations and East Asia) who has been chosen as a fellow for the Princeton in Asia program. She will be working to teach kindergardeners and nursery school-aged children in Yakage, Japan after graduation.

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Spring 2012: Meg Eden (Cognitive Science and Written Communication) was awared the Spiegel Creative Writing Award from the Department of English! She also was awared the Sebastian Herbstein Memorial Award for an excerpt of her novel 9-8 (written as her capstone project)! Congratulations, Meg!


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February 2012: Mohammad Zia (Global Diplomacy and Development) traveled to Morocco to volunteer with disabled youth over the 2012 winter break. Read his February 28,2012 article about his experience as submitted to America's Unofficial Ambassadors.  You can also read about his continuing adventures at mzia57.blogspot.com.

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Winter 2011: Mohammad Zia (Global Diplomacy and Development) is working in an African orphanage, and wrote the following letter to IVSP about his experiences:

Jambo! (Hello in Swahili)
Today is my first full day back in the U.S. since I left for Africa. My experience has been life changing. The orphanage had little electricity, no
running water, no working toilets, and also hakuna matata (Swahili for no worries). The people were remarkably content with so little.

The orphans I worked with were suffering from HIV and have endured a lot. Despite all of that, they were extremely kind, caring, and thankful. Even though it was difficult at times, this trip has been very rewarding. I uploaded three videos as a part of the independent study and to remember my experience. The first video gives a glimpse of how it was and the second is a short slide show of pictures from the orphanage. The third video is of my short two day vacation to Zanzibar and around Dar Es Salaam. Also, I attached a copy of the newspaper article written about a fundraiser I did to collect donation money to buy a water motor for families in the rural Kilimanjaro region. Also, before leaving for Africa I was able to raise over $1,500 for the orphanage in addition to the $700 to buy two irrigation motors.

I hope your winter break went well and I will try to stop by the IVSP office once the semester begins to discuss my trip in detail. Thank you and the entire IVSP program for all your support throughout the year.Mohammad in Senegal

Asante Sana! (Swahili for thank you so much.)"

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Fall 2011: Manka Banda (Global Public Health) was named as a 2011-2012 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar. She chose Dr. Donna Howard as her University of Maryland Mentor and Dr. Samuel Atechi as her Teacher Mentor. See her profile here which explains why she chose these extraordinary people as her most influential mentors!

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Fall 2010: Aaron Shapiro (Global Health) was named as a 2010-2011 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar. He chose Dr. Bonnie Dixon has his University of Maryland Mentor and Ms. Kimberly Agzigian as his Teacher Mentor. See his profile here which explains why he chose these extraordinary people as his most influential mentors!

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Fall 2010: Congratulations to Caitlin Marshall (Culture, Crime, and Family Health), who was awarded the Fall 2010 Super Stamper award! Caitlin is the Coordinator of Social Media. She is responsible for posting all Stamp marketing events to Facebook, Twitter, Free Stuff at MD, Today at MD, and FYI. She designs ads for AXIS TX and does the filming and editing for all the Stamp videos on the web. She is an invaluable asset to the Stamp Marketing Teams by providing social media presentations to different units as well as making sure the Stamp Street Team always has their welcome bags to distribute information of campus events. On top of being extremely busy Caitlin, handles all her responsibilities with patience and good humor.


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Aaron S.


 Spring 2010: Aaron Shapiro (Global Health), received the 2010 William E. Kirwan award for undergraduates for "outstanding leadership and commitment to the college community" while he was a student, here at the University of Maryland.



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Spring 2010: Congratulations to Hudson Taylor (Internactive Performance Art) for receiving the Maryland 2010 Athlete of the Year award.

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Fall 2009: Talia Lewis (Health, Culture, and Inequalities Studies) has just been selected to be a 2009-2010 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar. Talia named Dr. Sharon Desmond, Associate Professor of Public and Community Health and Talia's IVSP Faculty Mentor, as the faculty member who has made the most impact on her academic achievement. She has also been elected as the December 2009 University Commencement Speaker. Congratulations Talia!

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Spring 2009: Caitlin Marshall (Culture, Crime, and Family Health) is studying abroad in Spain, and wrote letter about her experiences:

Greetings from Spain!

Spain is a completely different world, but I love it. After a couple days I realized that ham is the staple food, if you don't play
soccer you must not be Spanish, and the 2pm-5pm siesta is not only real, but vital since 9pm is an early dinner and any kind of night life, whether it be a play or a pub, doesn't start until close to midnight. Europe's transportation system is incredible, and the ease of travel still surprises me. The Alhambra in Granada is breathtaking, the green seaside coast of Pontevedra is rejuvenating, and Madrid is always bustling with excitement. Each city is surrounded by a rich history shown through ancient architecture and art, but it is all encompassed with a modern way of life. I've discovered that there's nothing better than a trip to Sunday's open market, el Rastro, followed by a peaceful afternoon lounging around Madrid's "Central Park", el Retiro, and returning to the cozy suburb, Alcalá de Henares for tapas and café con leche."

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Spring 2009: Kristen Mui (Urban Studies and Planning) is studying abroad this semester through the Danish Institute for Study Abroad.

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February 2009: Elizabeth Steigel (Public Health Policy) is studying abroad in England, and wrote the following letter about her experiences:

Greetings from London!

What an amazing city! I've had such a great time since arriving here last month. There's always something to do and I'm very much enjoying my classes as well! My work placement turned out to be with the National Health Service, Department of Health, Health Inequalities Unit. I start next week and am very excited!! As for traveling, so far, I've been to Dover, England, Calais, France and Amsterdam. This weekend I'm headed to Edinburgh and Scotland!

-Elizabeth Striegel

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Fall 2008: Kristen Mui (Urban Studies and Planning), has been honored with the Philip Merrill Award (2008). The Merrill Presidential Scholars Program honors the University of Maryland's most successful seniors and their designated University faculty and K-12 teachers for their mentorship. Kristen Mui's IVSP mentor is Dr. James Cohen, Architecture. Congratulations, Kristen!

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December 2008: Cadet Joseph Nash (Meteorology), now Lieutenant Nash, receiving his National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Scholarship from General Schwartz, the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, and Mr. Doug Stewart, the NDIA Washington Chapter President. Cadet Nash received a $2,000 scholarship from NDIA. Congratulations, Joe!

 


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Individual Studies Program  Campus Location: 2407 Marie Mount Hall
Appointments: 301.314.0023  Email: individualstudies@umd.edu
IVSP is a degree granting academic program of the Office of Undergraduate Studies