Students Reflect on Mentors Suarez, Kudisch and Bailey. And Vice Versa
Three pairs of Maryland Smith students-faculty mentors were recognized in a recent event honoring this year’s graduating class of University of Maryland Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars.
The program further cited a K-12 teacher-mentor of each scholar:
- Ariana Riske, operations management: Faculty mentor J. Gerald Suarez and K-12 mentor Janean Ruschioni, Stoughton (Mass.) High School.
- Doron Tadmor, operations management and business analytics: Faculty mentor Joseph P. Bailey and K-12 mentor Shelley Jackson, Sherwood (Sandy Spring, Md.) High School.
- David Rosenstein, marketing and management: Faculty mentor Jeffrey Kudisch and K-12 mentor Ellen Wallace, New Rochelle (NY) High School.
“This program honors an unbroken chain of teacher excellence—from K-12 through college— that leads to student success,” said Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “Then it builds on that success through scholarships to rising students in those schools. Loh hosted the event, with the namesake-Merrill family, at the University House on Nov. 15, 2019.
Suarez, professor of the practice in systems thinking and design, first connected with Riske through a study abroad innovation and design-thinking course in Spain. He said the Merrill Scholar recognition (previously received in 2008-2009) comes directly from very accomplished students, which makes it all the more rewarding. “Ari leads by example, her academic accomplishments are impressive and her quiet and unassuming demeanor belies her drive and remarkable commitment to excellence,” he said. “In my view she exemplifies how humility empowers leadership. It was a great honor for me to share that moment with Ari.”
Riske, likewise, reflected: “Professor Suarez pushes his students to think differently about how human-centered design plays a role in people in people interacting with spaces and cities.”
In her remarks during the ceremony Riske paid tribute to both Suarez and her high school AP language teacher, Ruschioni: “She taught me what it meant to be an educated, empowered and confident female. She taught me how to have an opinion and debate with people healthily on those. My second mentor Professor Suarez taught me the importance of living in the moment, enjoying life and embracing what is important: my own happiness.”
Rosenstein during the ceremony credited his mentors (Wallace and Kudisch) for “lessons I will continue to use beyond my academic journey.”
“I met Professor Kudisch when he coached my [student] club’s executive board to help us with recruiting and identifying our club’s future leaders,” Rosenstein said. “The next semester I enrolled in all of the courses he taught, and each week I was eager for his thought-provoking lectures. Professor Kudisch, or ‘Dr. K’ to his students, provided me with individualized, professional career support and helped me improve my leadership abilities.”
Kudisch, clinical professor of management and organization, said Rosenstein embodies many great leadership attributes “including his willingness to coach and grow his fellow Terps, his passion, intellectual curiosity, humor, and teaming skills, and his keen ability to inspire others through his “humbition” (humility and ambition) and heart.”
“Not surprisingly, David has had a transformative impact on our Maryland Smith community,” Kudisch added. “Sharing this special day with David was a true honor and reinforces why I love to mentor and help fuel the transformation of amazing Terps."
Bailey, associate research professor and executive director of the Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Program, noted his relationship via QUEST with Tadmor: “Doron exemplifies many of the wonderful attributes of the students in our program.”
“He is incredibly intelligent, hardworking and ambitious, Bailey added. “Moreover, he is a great team player who inspires others to learn and grow while engaging in a common goal. Additionally, Doron is an incredibly kind and empathetic person who demonstrates incredible character and integrity in all that he does. I'm honored that Doron selected me as his faculty mentor because it has been my great pleasure being his professor.”
Tadmor during the ceremony said: “Professor Bailey has all the qualities that I admire and strive toward: brilliant intellect, warm personality and a kind heart.”
The late Philip Merrill, UMD supporter and long-time Washington area publisher, initiated the Merrill Presidential Scholar program in 2004 to build a community of scholars, faculty members, and K-12 teachers to promote “teaching and mentoring the next generation.”