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

Stamps Banneker/Key Scholars at University of Maryland

The Banneker/Key Scholarship Program at University of Maryland is pleased to partner with the Stamps Charitable Foundation  to offer the Stamps Banneker/Key Scholarship to a very select group of Banneker/Key Scholars.

The Stamps Banneker/Key Scholars join a select group of approximately 400 students from across the nation supported by the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation and are also part of the Stamps Banneker/Key Scholarship Program at University of Maryland.

Each of these students has been awarded a full merit scholarship that covers the entire cost of tuition, room, board, and a book allowance each year for four years of undergraduate study. The Stamps Banneker/Key Scholarship also provides up to $5000 per student to be used for research opportunities, internship experiences, travel to  professional meetings to present, study abroad, or other student-initiated learning opportunities approved on a case-by-case basis.

The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. gives grants to its partner colleges and universities to support student scholarships and fellowships. For more information about the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation -»

Meet the 2015 Stamps Banneker/Key Scholars

Andrés-Mauricio Arbelaez Andrés-Mauricio Arbelaez was one of the top graduates from Dulaney High School in Baltimore County, Maryland. He is a Computer Sciencemajor on a pre-med track and a member of the Gemstone program in the Honors College. In high school, Andrés-Mauricio served as captain of the school’s varsity soccer team, during which time he was named to the First Team All-County and Senior All-Star teams. Andrés-Mauricio was also an Associate Editor of the school’s Columbia Scholastic Press Gold Crown newspaper The Griffin, as well as a founder and head of the school’s Hispanic club, La Voz Hispana. During his senior year in high school, he interned in a Spanish AVID class, mentoring native Spanish-speaking students to become college-bound under the nationally-accredited AVID program. In his free time, Andrés-Mauricio enjoys playing soccer, listening to rap and jazz music, and tossing around the old hacky-sack.

Eric Ding Eric Ding graduated in the top five of his class from Elkton High School in Cecil County, Maryland. He studies Computer Engineering while enrolled in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program in the Honors College at the University of Maryland. In high school, he qualified as a baritone for All County Chorus twice and All State Mixed Chorus in his senior year and hopes to sing with the University Choir as well. Eric played Warbucks in Elkton High’s production of the musical Annie. He also enjoyed running track and cross-country and participating in Tri-M and the National Honor Society. Eric founded a computer club that competed at the University of Maryland Computer Science Competition and a school film club that produces video coverage of school spirit events. He was recognized as an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Merit Finalist. In his free time, Eric enjoys singing and playing basketball. 

Caroline Simon Caroline Simon graduated among the very top students in her class from Glenelg High School in Howard County, MD. She is pursuing a Pre-Med major and is a member of the Gemstone program in the Honors College at the University of Maryland. In high school, Caroline was the President and Secretary of her class and a member of four national honor societies and AP Scholars. She also participated in various school clubs and sports teams. Caroline interned at Select Eye Care, studying advanced cataract surgery methods. She also enjoys spending her time volunteering at Howard County DrugFree and Copper Ridge, a home for the memory impaired. As a result of her many volunteer hours, she received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Caroline looks forward to furthering her Alzheimer’s research at UMD.


2014 Stamps Banneker/Key Scholars

Muftiat Ogunsanya Muftiat Ogunsanya graduated number one in her class from Reservoir High School in Howard County. She studies computer science and is a member of the Design Cultures, and Creativity (DCC) Honors program in the Honors College. She is currently an undergraduate research assistant for the University of Maryland’s Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. Additionally, Muftiat is a recruitment ambassador for the College of Mathematical and Natural Sciences and a lab manager for DCC. Muftiat’s hobbies include traveling, participating in community service, and listening to music.

Joseph Piscitelli Joseph Piscitelli was one of the top graduates from Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Florida. He is a Business major with interest in pursing Marketing, Information Systems, or Accounting. At the University of Maryland, he is a member of both the QUEST Honors Fellows Program and the University Honors program. During Freshman year, he served the Residence Hall Association as Vice President of Communications for Hagerstown Hall. Thanks to the Stamps Scholars program, he was able to attend the national convention in Atlanta, Georgia and serve as a Stamps Scholar board member. In summer 2015, he worked as a camp counselor at the University of Miami's Mini Canes Sports Recreational Camp. In his free time, Joseph enjoys rooting for Philadelphia and Miami sports teams, playing golf, watching The Office, and hanging out with friends.

Katie Goetz Katie Goetz was the number one graduate in her class from Oakdale High School, just outside of Frederick, Maryland. She is a sophomore materials science and engineering major in the University Honors program. At the University of Maryland, she is active in Engineers without Borders. She also is the Vice President of Membership Programming for the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Through the Stamps Scholars program she has had the opportunity to serve and as a Stamps Scholar board member, attend the national convention in Atlanta, GA, and attend a robotics conference at the US Naval Academy. During summer 2015, she participated in a NSF Research Experience for Undergrads in the Mechanical Engineering department of the University of Arkansas. In the fall, she will be a teaching fellow for the Introduction to Engineering course. Her hobbies include painting, watching sports, and traveling. In August 2015 she will be backpacking around Europe for two weeks. 

Christopher Bambic Christopher Bambic graduated within the top ten students of his class at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio. At Maryland, he majors in both physics and astronomy and conducts research at the HAWC Gamma-Ray Observatory. He is in the University Honors program and plays saxophone in the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band. Christopher’s hobbies include sports, music, baton and mace twirling, and researching all aspects of astrophysics.



2013 Stamps Banneker/Key Scholars

Aayush ThapaAayush Thapa was one of the top graduates from Watkins Mill High School in Montgomery County. He studies Engineering and is a member of the Gemstone Program at Maryland. His interdisciplinary research team within the Gemstone program examines the role of cattail fiber in cleaning oil spills. Aayush’s hobbies include playing cricket and table tennis and painting. Having already volunteered in Nepal, Aayush has played a leadership role in raising relief funds for the victims of the Nepal earthquake. In 2015, Aayush participated in an NSF funded REU at Georgia Tech. He has also served as an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow for Mechanics I class and participated in Clark School of Engineering's RISE Leadership Academy.

Matt BalfourMatt Balfour is a dual degree candidate studying Theater and Management. In his underclassman years at the university, he has performed in The Matchmaker, The Waiting Room, The Me Nobody Knows, and most recently in The Lost World as William/T-Rex. He has also discovered the wonderful world of stage management, and he has been an assistant stage manager for Shared Graduate Dance Concert 2014, Dance: Rhythm/ Sound & Space, and most recently The Human Capacity world premier this past May. He also stage managed a staged reading of Chupacabra with the English Department as well as Not Every Card at the Capital Fringe Festival 2014 and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theater in Summer 2015. Next year, Matt looks forward to assistant stage managing Intimate Apparel for the School of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) MainStage season in October, stage managing Tom in the Machine/ My Devil Dance for the TDPS Second Season and stage managing the New Visions/New Voices 2015: New Work for Young Audiences co-production between the Kennedy Center and TDPS next spring. Visit for more updates.


2012 Stamps Banneker/Key Scholars

Nadia Abutaleb

Nadia Abutaleb graduated as a leader in her senior class from Poolesville High School in Montgomery County. She studies Bioengineering and is a member of University Honors. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family and friends, playing sports, and participating in community service. She serves as a campus tour guide and an ambassador for the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Nadia also leads a section of HONR 100, a course designed to introduce students to University Honors and college life, and she participates in the Clark School RISE Leadership Academy, a two-year program that cultivates skills in research, instruction, service, and entrepreneurship.  Over the summer, Nadia worked at the National Institutes of Health as part of their Bioengineering Summer Internship Program.  Nadia is currently completing her honors thesis.

Autusa Pahlavan Autusa Pahlavan graduated in the top 1% of her class from Winston Churchill High School in Montgomery County. She studies Biological Sciences and is a member of the Gemstone Program in the Honors College. In the Gemstone program, Autusa is the leader of her interdisciplinary research team, which is investigating whether therapeutic small RNAs can be efficiently and specifically delivered into primary cells. Autusa is the Vice President for Finance in the Iranian Students Foundation, and she assisted at the Iran Cultural and Educational Center’s 25th Anniversary Conference in fall 2013. She has interned at the Food and Drug Administration as part of the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Program between the University of Maryland and the FDA. In addition, Autusa has volunteered at a mobile clinic in Peru and at the Emergency Department of Prince Georges Hospital Center.

Emily Ruppel Emily Ruppel was number one in her class at Loch Raven High School in Baltimore County where she was an award-winning scholar athlete (cross-country). She studies Engineering and is a member of the Gemstone Program. Emily is an active member of her interdisciplinary research team, which is trying to create a “smartlock” that would enable stationless bikeshare on campus. Emily was the Gemstone Class of 2016 Rookie of the Year in 2013 and has studied abroad with the School of Engineering in several winter and summer term courses. She is Vice President of Terp Runners, the running club on campus. Emily has served as a Teaching Assistant for a course on Intermediate Programming Concepts for Engineering, and she has interned with Boeing in Huntington Beach, California.