This is the highest honor bestowed on a graduating senior. 

In the disquiet of an emergency room, on the floor of the University Senate or across the table from a struggling math student, the five finalists for the 2023 University of Maryland medalist advocated, empowered and changed their university and world.

The highest honor bestowed on a graduating senior, the university medal commends academic achievement, service to the community and exceptional character. Finalists earned at least a 3.96 GPA and 60 or more credits during their undergraduate career at UMD.

For Sriya Potluri, mathematics is as universal a language as the spoken word—and one she uses fluently. As a mentor, researcher, accomplished student and peer, Potluri has relied on math to explore her passion for life sciences, connect with classmates, discover her talents as a leader and to help others find success.

A mathematics major in the Integrated Life Sciences honors program with a 4.0 GPA, Potluri has bridged math and science to contribute to integral research—including four publications—for mathematics Lecturer Wiseley Wong and Distinguished University Professor of biology William Fagan, where she developed a mathematical disease model for optimal resource allocation. Among her awards and scholarships, she was awarded the Presidential Scholarship.

“In the 11 years I have been teaching, I have never come across a pre-med student with such a strong ability in mathematics,” said Wong. “The intuition she is developing from problem solving in mathematics will be invaluable to the medical research she does in the future.”

Outside of the lab, Potluri was a mainstay in Maryland’s Math Club, where she helped shape the program as president. She tutored students in math throughout her undergraduate experience; during the pandemic, she partnered with a nonprofit to offer a free virtual summer program for middle school students. Potluri will matriculate to the M.D./Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine after graduation.

Written by Maggie Haslam

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