- The Washington Times - Monday, June 1, 2009

CITIZEN JOURNALISM:

Only one graduating college student in the state can win the prestigious Maryland Top 100 Women Circle of Excellence Scholarship award. This year, Baltimore’s Daily Record gave that award to senior Jenna M. Aidikoff, a bioengineering major at the University of Maryland. She will also be one of the first students to graduate with a minor in leadership studies from the university’s College of Education.

Ms. Aidikoff, of Syosset, N.Y., was publicly honored at a ceremony May 11 at Baltimore’s Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The award includes a $3,000 scholarship.

In its article announcing the award, the Daily Record wrote, “While her bioengineering major and impressive GPA say plenty of her intelligence, discipline and work ethic, it is her civic involvement that speaks volumes.”

Ms. Aidikoff was selected for her exceptional scholarship in engineering and education, as well as her research on Down syndrome at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. She has mentored countless undergraduate students on campus as well as at Camp Pals, a community for those living with Down syndrome. Ms. Aidikoff has also displayed a deep commitment to the University of Maryland community through her leadership in the Student Government Association, participation in the O.N.E. (Organizing, Networking and Empowering) UM Student Leaders Conference, as a resident assistant and as a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership honor society.

“Jenna is a bright young lady,” says Adel Shirmohammadi, Fischell Department of Bioengineering professor and undergraduate program director. “Besides her outstanding academic achievements, she is a kind individual with a passion for the well-being of others. Her performance in my Senior Capstone Design Course was outstanding. She always showed leadership qualities and had a smile on her face, regardless of the challenges of the day.”

“Jenna’s ability to mentor others, create sustainable long-lasting change and be an accomplished scholar make her the perfect recipient for this honor,” says Ramsey Jabaji, the university’s coordinator for Leadership Development Programs. “Jenna is a wonderful testament to the University of Maryland and its commitment to multiculturalism, scholarship and community engagement. Her ability to mentor her peers to be social change agents is remarkable, and I have met only a few students who approach her level of character, maturity and intellect during my time as an educator.”

After graduating, Ms. Aidikoff plans to accept a consultant position with Citrix Systems Inc., which specializes in applications delivery for virtualization and remote access.

Students from the University of Maryland have won the Circle of Excellence Scholarship award given by the Daily Record three of the last seven years.

This article is from the University of Maryland Newswire. David Ottalini is a spokesman for the University of Maryland.

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