Month: January 2019


First Year Student of the Month

School: University of Pittsburgh Region: CAACURH
Nominee: Elizabeth Mountz Nominator: Anita Bargaje

On-Campus Population: 6200 Chapter Size: 30

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

Nowadays incoming students believe that they have to devote the majority of their time towards gaining knowledge aligned with their discipline of study in order to get excellent grades. However, exceptional students realize earlier rather than later that being an active member of the community and learning to go after other worthwhile opportunities that present themselves is also beneficial in addition to great academics. To succeed in a future occupation, a person needs more than a good academic standing. Throughout the month of January, Elizabeth Mountz has shown the validity of those words by dedicating countless hours to her community.

Despite Elizabeth Mountz having many commitments and priorities due to being enrolled in the Swanson School of Engineering, she values and understands that it is important to be active in the community. Starting in January, Elizabeth began volunteering Thursdays and Fridays at the Children’s Institute. This institute integrates specialized education, health care, and social services for young children with special needs in order for the children to reach their maximum potentials and experience better qualities of life. When Elizabeth visits the Children’s Institute, she assists the instructors with a program called gymbop. The program combines physical therapy with musical therapy to stimulate different muscles and body movements. Elizabeth assists the children during the different activities and exercise therapies that the children perform at various stations across the room. With her and the faculty’s dedicated efforts, the children get to experience new sensations and new possibilities such as walking and talking. Through conversing with Elizabeth, she truly feels accomplished and rewarded when the children smile and push forward despite any inability that may hold them back. I along with the children and faculty admire her for not only her academic success but also her involvement in the community.

Elizabeth Mountz also began shadowing a professor, Dr. McKone, while he conducted his research on artificial photosynthesis this January. She exhibits well-rounded communication skills and an ambition and true passion to conduct her own research in the future. Elizabeth selected Dr. McKone’s research lab because she supports his research and believes that mimicking photosynthesis to make fuels such as hydrogen fuel could be a solution to decrease fossil fuel combustion. The sun is an unlimited energy source and the cleanest source of energy that the world produces she says. Her support of sustainable practices to improve the environment is seen in every activity she takes upon herself.

Overall Elizabeth is a huge advocate for sustainable practices which is shown through her pursuits in Dr. McKone’s research lab. She understands that it is possible and important to both have a good academic standing but also dedicate time to help out and be involved in the community. A quote Elizabeth once told me was, “The point of life and schooling is to educate people in order for them to be able to serve their communities later.” Even though Elizabeth hasn’t even finished her undergraduate career, she has embodied this quote and continues to exhibit leadership qualities in every activity that she applies herself to. She is a great student that deserves recognition because of her contributions towards others and her community.

Word Count: 527

Date of entry into database: 2019-01-28 11:31:04

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