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Tops in Maryland!
BALTIMORE, MD—The Baltimore-based business and legal journal The Daily Record has named Washington College senior Mariel Shilling the winner of its 2015 Top 100 Women Scholarship. The award recognizes a female Maryland college junior or senior who demonstrates leadership and a passion for mentoring others in her community. Shilling will receive a $3,000 check, be recognized at a special reception June 1 in Baltimore, and be profiled in 2015 Maryland Top 100 Women, a special publication that will be distributed to Daily Record subscribers.
The Daily Record established the scholarship 13 years ago to supplement its Maryland’s Top 100 Women awards, now in their 20th year. Members of the prestigious “Circle of Excellence,” professional women who have been included in the Top 100 at least three times, select the winner each year.
Mariel Shilling is a double major in international studies and Spanish, with a minor in economics. She has studied abroad at the Universidad Catolica Del Peru in Lima, Peru and in the Tanzania Seminar, which enabled her to visit various tribes and schools to learn about the politics and culture of the African nation.
Last spring, as part of a Civil Engagement/Leadership Forum project at the Washington Center in D.C., she interned at the GlobalGiving Foundation and tutored first graders at Brightwood Elementary School in the District. And as a member of the Washington College Cater Society of Junior Fellows, she earned two research project grants that supported trips to Zanzibar and Thailand. After six weeks of teaching English in Tanzania, she studied the efficacy of such short term teaching stints and produced a report titled, “Are We Actually Helping: An in-depth study of American volunteers teaching abroad.” Her assessment: “ Yes, we are helping, but six weeks is too little time. By the time I understood my students and found my rhythm as a teacher, it was time to leave.” A second study she conducted for the Smiles on Wings program assessed the value of adding an education component to the nonprofit’s dental mission work in Thailand.
On the Washington College campus Shilling has served as a Peer Mentor, helping first year students in their transition to college. She also has worked in the College’s Global Education Office as an International Student Services Assistant, mentored the Chinese Student Union, and interned with the Center for Career Development. At Commencement exercises on May 16, she was awarded the Eugene B. Casey Medal, which recognizes a senior woman who is “outstanding in the qualities of scholarship, character, leadership and campus citizenship.”
Shilling says she was unaware that Washington College Associate Provost Patrice DiQuinzio had nominated her for the scholarship and was surprised and thrilled to learn she would be honored. “The idea of being recognized on the same stage with these great professional women from throughout Maryland is really exciting for me,” she says. The Silver Spring native wants to garner more experience teaching abroad before thinking about graduate school or job prospects back in Washington. She recently accepted a job as a Visiting English Tutor at Lingnan University in Hong Kong and will start the new position in August.