A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Boren Scholars, Barack Obama Presidential Awardee, Student Commencement Speaker among START students

START students will take flight across the globe this summer after earning national and university accolades: three START students earned Boren Scholarships from the Department of Defense, one earned the UMD Barack Obama Presidential Award, and one was selected to be the student speaker at this spring’s commencement ceremony.

“START is most well-known as a research center, but I believe that our most meaningful contribution to the academic and professional community is the cadre of students that we help to educate, train and hopefully to inspire,” said START Director William Braniff.

Boren Scholarship Winners

Nearly half of the University of Maryland students to win Boren Scholarships were affiliated with START through the Global Terrorism Minor, research internships or both. The Boren Scholarship, a Department of Defense award, provides up to $20,000 for long-term (two semester or longer), language-focused study abroad. The scholarship is designed for students with a serious interest in using their language skills and regional knowledge in U.S. Government service. About 1,000 students compete for approximately 160 Boren Scholarships annually. Maryland ranked #1 in the nation for Boren Scholarships for the previous two award years.

The START students to receive Boren Scholarships are:

  • Margaret Hayden (award to study Arabic in Morocco)

Hayden is a senior pursuing degrees in both Arabic and French, as well as a minor in Global Terrorism Studies, and is a member of the Arabic Flagship Program. She has interned with both the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, and has worked as a student researcher for START’s Global Terrorism Database. Hadyen participated in the College Park Scholars International Studies program.

  • Ryan Garfinkel (award to study Swahili in Tanzania)

Garfinkel is a senior majoring in Government and minoring in International Development and Conflict Management. He has interned with the Department of Homeland Security as well as with Search for Common Ground, an NGO that develops community-based approaches to conflict resolution. He was a Community Resilience, Engagement, and Dialogue Fellow with START and participated in the College Park Scholars Public Leadership program.

  • Emily Marks (award to study French and Wolof in Senegal)

Marks is majoring in Government, and minoring in International Development and Conflict Management. She has held internships with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and with START. Marks participated in the Global Fellows Program and in the University Honors Program of the Honors College. She has also served as a Maryland Campus Tour Guide and as a Peer Advisor in the Government Department.

Barack Obama Presidential Award

The Barack Obama Presidential Award for Outstanding Organization President is awarded to a male and female student president of an organization at the University of Maryland. The award is based on outstanding services provided to the community.

  • Jasmine Washington

Washington, a Communications and Criminal Justice double major, received the UMD Barack Obama Presidential Award for Outstanding Organization President at the Nyumburu Cultural Center on campus on May 7, 2019. Washington is the president of the University of Maryland student chapter of the NAACP, as well as a former communications intern at START. She is also the media relations intern for the Maryland Terrapins and co-director of communications for the UMD Student Government Association.

Commencement Student Speaker

Each year, an undergraduate student is selected to speak during the campus-wide commencement ceremony alongside a main speaker. This year, the campus-wide ceremony was held May 24, presided over by Dr. Wallace Loh and featured addresses by entrepreneur and three-term mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, and student speaker Amy Iandiorio.

  • Amy Iandiorio

Iandiorio, a graduate from the Criminology and Criminal Justice Honors Program with minors in history and global terrorism, was selected to be the student speaker at the spring commencement ceremony. Iandiorio was an intern and is now a research assistant at START, as well as the outreach and development intern with the Maryland LEAD Program, where she assisted with the mission of creating socially responsible leadership through personal development courses.