Ben and Maria are Merrill Presidential Scholars

Ben and Maria are Merrill Presidential Scholars: congratulations to seniors Ben Van Doren and Maria Smith for being honored today as Merrill Presidential Scholars, which means that among other leadership contributions and accomplishments they each rank academically in the top 1% of their soon-to-be graduating class. A super-neat aspect of this recognition is that the Merrill scholars get to invite the high school teacher who most influenced them to the Cornell campus for a two-day event, culminating in today’s luncheon with a who’s-who of Cornell deans, the provost, etc. It was great to meet Les Roby, Ben’s former calculus teacher and the mentor for the highly accomplished White Plains High School quiz bowl team. Likewise it was fun to hear how Charles Ashcraft of Glenelg high School helped inspire Maria to get involved in serious research on animal behavior, a track that she has certainly continued as an undergraduate!IMG_1209

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