Alums Receive Presidential Leadership Medal

MHS Alums Receive Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence from UC
Posted on 09/16/2019

Two Mason High School alums received the Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence from the University of Cincinnati, a prestigious honor awarded by the University President to exceptional graduating students who best exemplify scholarship, leadership, character, service and the ideals of the University of Cincinnati.

MHS 2015 graduate Rahul Sandella and 2014 graduate Rickey Terrell were two of this year's six recipients of the award. 

Sandella came to the university while in high school to be part of an annual district science fair and discovered a niche.

“Every time I came to UC’s campus it felt like a university where I belonged,” says Sandella, is a fourth-year medical sciences major in the College of Medicine. He will graduate this spring, has a near perfect GPA of 3.96, and is scheduled to attend medical school at UC during the fall.

“I haven’t yet decided on a specialty in medicine, but rare diseases greatly interest me,” says Sandella. “When I was a sophomore, I worked with Dr. Myers in the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute at Cincinnati Children’s. When you work with a rare patient population, it seems like any improvement you can make has a profound impact on people’s lives. It might not be widespread, but to a certain group of people, you are giving them a voice which they may not have had in their treatment.”

Terrell is a graduating chemical engineering student in the University of Cincinnati Honors program. He says he is grateful for being raised in a family with strong academic values and especially for the passion he developed to support other students of color.

“For many students of color, it’s difficult to envision graduating high school and attending college to pursue a STEM career, let alone pursuing advanced degrees in these fields,” says Terrell. “It is important to expose these students to educational opportunities and STEM professions to show them that they can succeed in these spaces.”

Terrell began his involvement with Cincinnati's Hughes STEM High School science students through UC’s Center of Community Engagement, developing an after-school program for students interested in doing individualized scientific research. Building on this work, Terrell took his initial vision one step further by creating the first science fair program for their high school’s senior engineering capstone class.

Terrell will begin his graduate studies at Stanford University this fall.

"As I transition into graduate school and my future career, I look forward to developing eco-friendly technologies while also working to provide opportunities to students of color pursuing STEM,” says Terrell. “The combination of these two visions will help me build a sustainable future through energy research and contribute to the ongoing future of our STEM community.”  
Alums Receive Presidential Leadership MedalAlums Receive Presidential Leadership Medal
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