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Omotoso ’23, Wang ’23 Honored as Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars

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Headshots of 19 college students named Merrill Scholars.

The University of Maryland Office of Undergraduate Studies recently announced Deborah Omotoso ’23, a senior majoring in family science, and Katelyn Wang ’23, a senior majoring in kinesiology, as recipients of its annual Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Program.

Named for the late university supporter and Washington-area publisher, the Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Program recognizes top graduating seniors at the University of Maryland and the professors and K-12 teachers who mentored them.

Omotoso and Wang were among 19 recipients honored during a special event on November 4, along with the K-12 teachers and UMD faculty members who helped guide, inspire, coach, tutor and challenge them during their academic journeys.

Deborah Omotoso, a young woman wearing a grey blazer and blue collared short.
Deborah Omotoso ’23

Omotoso recognized Dana Shieh, her former teacher at Thomas G. Pullen Creative and Performing Arts Academy, and Scott Roberts, senior lecturer with the Department of Psychology.

“They have both demonstrated a level of intelligence and professionalism that would make one feel honored to work with them,” Omotoso said.

Katelyn Wang, a young woman wearing a black tank top and sunglasses on the top of her head.
Katelyn Wang ’23

Wang recognized Danielle Borgia, her former teacher and volleyball coach at Mount Hebron High School, and Elizabeth (Betty) Brown, senior lecturer with the Department of Kinesiology.

“Without these mentors I would not be able to achieve as much as I have so far and hope to continue with in the future,” Wang said

In addition to recognizing seniors’ achievements and mentors, the Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Program will award a $1,500 scholarship in each K-12 teacher’s name to a new, first-year UMD student from the teacher’s high school or school district.

“The late Philip Merrill created this program to build a community of scholars, faculty members and K-12 teachers who recognize the importance of teaching and mentoring the next generation,” said UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “We are grateful for a program that celebrates invaluable mentorship and for the many teachers who have a long-lasting impact on the lives of our students.”


  • Departments
  • Department of Kinesiology
  • Department of Family Science