Congratulations to the Spirit of Maryland 2018 Finalists

Laila Abujuma and Kevin Li are the 2018 recipients of the Spirit of Maryland award
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Homecoming is a return to campus for many of our alumni, but it’s also a reminder if what makes the University of Maryland special. Our students are committed and engaged all across campus, giving back to UMD with their outstanding scholarship, leadership, campus involvement, community service, and communication skills. 

Every year, UMD recognizes students in the Senior class who, through their achievements, best exemplify the "spirit" of the University of Maryland.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s finalists:

Laila Abujuma is a Cell Biology and Genetics and Nutritional Sciences double major. She is from Waldorf, Maryland. Laila has served in leadership positions including being a Group Fitness Instructor at RecWell, a founding member of Phi Delta Upsilon, International Medical Society, and directing wellness efforts in the Muslim Students Association.  

Alexis Amos is a Business Management, Spanish and International Relations major and is from Silver Spring, Maryland. She has been a Lead Facilitator in the Maryland Leadership and Education Development Program, a Resident Assistant, and participated in the College Park Scholars Public Leadership Program.

Elizabeth Arentz is a Biological Sciences major with a focus on Neurobiology and Physiology from Queenstown, Maryland. She serves as Director of Prospective Member Education of Delta Epsilon Mu, Pre-Health Fraternity, Vice President of Intellectual Development of Alpha Chi Omega, and Resident Assistant in the South Campus Commons Community.

Katherine Bemb is a Journalism major from Forest Hill, Maryland. She is the Communications Manager for College Park Scholars, served as an editor for the Diamondback and Stories Beneath The Shell, and published a book on sex trafficking titled Voices Against Slavery in America through the Rawlings Leadership Fellows Program. 

Timothy Chen is a Finance and Computer Science double major from Clarksville, Maryland. He has served in a several leader positions for the Bitcamp and Technica hackathons, as well as the Honors College Student Programming Council. He won the Google Intern Hackathon in 2018.

Bryan Gallion is a Journalism major from Roseland, New Jersey. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in the CIVICUS Living and Learning Community and the Resident Hall Association, and is an Investigative Reporter for the Capitol News Service, a student-run news organization based out of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. 

Stephanie George is a Geographical Information Systems major from Ellicott City, Maryland. She is a  Peer Leader in the College of Letters and Sciences supporting transfer students with their transition into the University, a Learning Assistant for in the Office of Transfer and Off-Campus Student Life, and has been a Consultant in the Oral Communication Center, assisting students with public speaking.

Junellie Gonzalez Quiles is an Astronomy and Physics double major from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is President of AstroTerps, and a Squad Leader for the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band. She also is a Research Assistant at Johns Hopkins University.

Kevin Li is a double major in Marketing and Information Systems from Rockville, Maryland. He is the Comedy Director for the Student Entertainment Events student organization, President of the Senior Student Council, and the Director of Events and Lectures of Omicron Delta Kappa, an honorary leadership organization.

Stacey Mannuel is a Bioengineering major with a certificate in LGBT Studies from Jakarta, Indonesia. She is the Principal Investigator on a research experiment involving microgravity and bacterial growth being conducted on the International Space Station.  She is also a researcher at UMD’s Social Identity Lab and the President of the Out In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics student organization.

Jeffrey O’Neal is a Mechanical Engineering student from Ellicott City, Maryland. He is the President of Engineers Without Borders, Treasurer of the Terrapin Triathlon Club and the Vice President of Omicron Delta Kappa, an honorary leadership organization. 

Humzah Yahya is a double major in Accounting and Information Systems from Salisbury, Maryland. He is a member of the University of Maryland Drumline, an Orientation Advisor representing the School of Business, and is also conducting research on metaphysics for the Gemstone Honors Program.

Congratulations to all of our finalists.

And a special congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Spirit of Maryland award, Laila Abujuma and Kevin Li!

For more information about the Spirit of Maryland awards and to view the names of past finalists, please visit

Awards, School Spirit, Homecoming