Banneker/Key welcome, UM Pres. C.D. Mote (center left)

The Banneker/Key Scholarship gets its name from two very prominent figures in American history, Benjamin Banneker and Francis Scott Key, both of whom resided in Maryland. This exceptional scholarship opportunity is offered to only a select group of applicants who have demonstrated significant academic leadership and accomplishment in high school.

All freshman applicants to the University of Maryland who are admitted to the Honors College are considered for nomination to the Banneker/Key Scholarship. No additional application materials are required. The Banneker/Key Scholarship Selection Committee members carefully review the entire application of each Banneker/Key Scholarship nominee. Semifinalists for the scholarship are invited to campus for an interview as part of the final selection process. Each fall, we welcome about 150 new Banneker/Key Scholars to campus.

In selecting Banneker/Key Scholars, the Committee seeks to identify potential academic leaders, who as individuals and as a group, will enrich and benefit from the campus learning environment.

Senior Banneker/Key Scholar Fang Cao has been named a 2015 Rhodes Scholar. Fang will pursue a graduate degree in medical anthropology at the University of Oxford. Fang won the Spirit of Maryland award in 2014 and is a Banneker/Key scholar pursuing a degree in biological sciences with a specialization in physiology and neurobiology. He was already the first University of Maryland student to be named both a Truman and Goldwater Scholar.

Congratulations to 2015-2016 BK Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Yumeng Wang, Thomas Voracek, Neomi Rao, Chrisotpher Hollrah, and Liya Ai!

Shane Falcinelli, Nathan Ng, and Iowis Zhu received the Goldwater Scholarship for 2015. Falcinellii is majoring in biological sciences and interested in pathogen research. Ng, a triple major in physics, mathematics, and economics, is interested in theoretical condensed matter physics and has plans to conduct research in high-temperature superconductivity. Iowis Zhu, a double major in biochemistry and biological sciences, is interested in developing new drug delivery methods that improve accuracy and precision. (More available at

Eva Morgun received a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Study Scholarship for Germany for 2015-2016. Eva will be working with the Department of Gene Therapy at the University of Ulm under Dr. Stefan Kochanek, developing a gene therapy approach for the treatment of Nienmann-Pick disease type C, a rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorder. (From

Banneker/Key Scholar Rafael Setra was awarded a scholarship by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, which encourages students to pursue advanced study and careers in the sciences, engineering and mathematics. Setra, a double major in mathematics and electrical engineering, conducts research with Thomas Murphy, electrical and computer engineering professor and director of the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics; Rajarshi Roy, physics professor and director of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology; and Wojciech Czaja, mathematics professor. Setra placed second nationally in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology in 2010. The Goldwater Scholarship program was created in 1986 to identify students of outstanding ability and promise in science, engineering and mathematics, and to encourage their pursuit of advanced study and research careers. The Goldwater Foundation has honored 47 University of Maryland winners since the program’s first award was given in 1989.

Morgan Goodspeed, Banneker/Key Scholar '09, Harvard Law School '12, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 2012 and was awarded the Fay Diploma, awarded to the graduating Harvard Law School graduate, by scholarship, conduct, and character, has given evidence of the greatest promise. Traditionally, the Fay Diploma is awarded to the person who graduates with the highest combined average for three years of study in residence at the Harvard Law School. Ms. Goodspeed will clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts and is now is now working for the DC law firm of Hogan & Lovells.

Banneker/Key Scholars led Commencement 2012! Heungkook "HK" Stephens shared his remarkable insight as the Student Speaker and Jenny Wang was honored as the University Medalist.

Carlos Sebastian Casarez wins Goldwater Scholarship in National Competition

Congratulations to Banneker/Key Scholar, Honors College, and Mechanical Engineering student Carlos Sebastian Casarez who has distinguished himself in research at Maryland, working under the mentorship of Prof. Sarah Bergbreiter, and during a summer 2011 placement in the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab at UC Berkeley. In the future, Carlos plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, and conduct research and development of robotic technologies in industry or at a university.

Erin Hylton as Maryland's latest "Udall Scholar" for 2012 in recognition of her substantial accomplishments in environmental studies and actions.

Erin, a junior Civil Engineering major, is among around 80 students selected from approx. 600 nominees nationally for this prestigious award. At Maryland she has greatly distinguished herself in our campus' outstanding Engineers Without Borders chapter, of which she is now President, and she also heads the newer Maryland Sustainability Engineering organization. Erin is also a Banneker/Key Scholar, a member of the Federal Semester program (Energy and Environmental Policy), and of the Honors College.