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Department of Kinesiology Announces Naomi Gedion ’24 as Whitlark Scholar

Sidiki Keita ’23 Also Named as Second-Year Recipient of the Endowed Scholarship Award

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Headshot of Naomi Gedion, Whitlark Scholar

The Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland School of Public Health is proud to announce Naomi Gedion ’24 as the newest recipient of the Whitlark Endowed Scholarship in Kinesiology.

Established by Jane Clark, former School of Public Health dean and kinesiology professor emerita, and Jill Whitall, Ph.D. ’88, professor emerita in the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, this merit-based award supports transfer students from Maryland community colleges who are pursuing a bachelor degree in kinesiology and helps them gain exposure and experience to research within the field.

Gedion joined the School of Public Health in spring 2023 after earning her associate degree from Howard Community College. She is studying with Associate Professor Sushant Ranadive, exploring the effects of acute inflammation on vascular function and how those effects vary among different racial and demographic groups. 

Gedion said she is grateful to the Whitlark Scholarship program, Dr. Ranadive and the School of Public Health for supporting her on her academic journey.

“The Whitlark Scholarship will have a tangible impact on my educational pursuits in kinesiology at the University of Maryland,” Gedion said. “It will open doors to a world of research opportunities and collaboration with peers and professionals in the School of Public Health … This award is a true investment in my future.”

Headshot of Sidiki Keita
Sidiki Keita ’23

The department also named Sidiki Keita ’23 as a second-year recipient of the Whitlark Endowed Scholarship in Kinesiology.

Keita joined the School of Public Health in spring 2022 after earning his associate degree from Montgomery College. His research with Dr. Ranadive explores how stress caused by structural racism and other social factors impacts the physiology of young, otherwise healthy Black individuals.

Note: The Whitlark scholarship is awarded each spring to a student who holds academic excellence, the potential for future leadership in kinesiology and a commitment to research in the field of kinesiology. All eligible students must be an incoming kinesiology major from a Maryland Community College who has earned an associate degree and has successfully completed Anatomy and Physiology I and II. Awardees will be required to build a contract with their faculty research mentor, which will require a time commitment of three to 10 hours a week. 


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