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7 engineering seniors honored as 2016 Merrill Presidential Scholars

Friday, May 27, 2016

Seven Cornell Engineering students spent a portion of Senior Week not only celebrating their own accomplishments, but also celebrating the educators who inspired them to be the scholars they are.

The seniors were named Merrill Presidential Scholars—one of the highest honors for undergraduates at Cornell—and were recognized at a luncheon on May 25 in the Willard Straight Hall Memorial Room.

Merrill Scholars rank among the top one percent of the class in their respective colleges and only 35 students are chosen each year. The program also recognizing the teachers who have played a significant role in ensuring their success. Each scholar is given an opportunity to recognize the high school teacher who most inspired his or her scholastic development and the Cornell faculty member who most significantly contributed to his or her college experience.

“Finding out that I was selected as a Merrill Scholar was one of the most exciting moments of my four years at Cornell,” said Gulnar Mirza, an accomplished ECE senior minoring in computer science. “At first I was in disbelief since I knew this award was given to a very small amount of graduating seniors.”

Mirza, a graduate of Mayo High School in Rochester, Minn., recognized her mathematics teacher Vince Wagner, who she says helped her succeed in his AP statistics class. “Mr. Wagner always welcomed and encouraged his students to ask questions, and this helped me gain confidence in my ability to take on technical classes,” said Mirza. “Overall, he was one of the most outstanding and dedicated teachers I have met, and I am very grateful to have been one of his students.”

Mirza also recognized José Martínez, ECE associate professor, who has been her faculty advisor throughout her time at Cornell.

The seven engineering Merrill Scholars are:

  • Nina Andrejevic of Libertyville, Illinois; Mark Buesing of Libertyville High School; David Muller of the Department of Applied and Engineering Physics.
  • Addie Lederman of Ossining, New York; Ralph Mazzio of Yorktown High School; Ken Hover, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • Corinne Lippe of Hershey, Pennsylvania; John Walizer of Hershey High School; Mason Peck, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
  • Gulnar Mirza of Rochester, Minnesota; Vince Wagner of Mayo High School; José Martínez, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • Sarah Sinclair of Columbus, Ohio; Adam Johnston of Columbus Alternative High School; Monroe Weber-Shirk, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • Carolyn Soo of Singapore; Benjamin Chan of Anglo-Chinese School; Leslie Trotter, School of Operations Research and Information Engineering.
  • Michael Statt of Rochester, New York; Ellen Lamb of School of the Arts; Lynden Archer of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

You can read more about the 2016 Merrill Scholars in the Cornell Chronicle.

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