Graduating Cornell University can easily be considered one of the greatest achievements a person has in life.
Doing it as a Merrill Presidential Scholar, which is bestowed on just 1-percent of the graduating class in seven different concentrations, well, that’s another story.
That’s exactly the story being written by Parsippany’s Beth Wright, who was recently named a Merrill Scholar while graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering.
Wright, who graduated Parsippany Hills High School, will continue her graduate studies in structural engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall.
What’s even more rewarding for both the student and her teachers was the ability to name the educators who have helped her conquer the path she has taken.
As a Merrill Scholar, each student writes a brief essay recognizing one high school teacher and one Cornell University professor as those who have helped them along the way. Wright spoke strongly of Parsippany Hills’ Robert Stevenson.
“I took various technical and architectural drawing classes with Mr. Stevenson during all four years of high school. Every day, I looked forward to attending his class because he kept me excited about the material and pushed my critical thinking skills. My junior year, I joined the Technology Student Association, which Mr. Stevenson was the advisor of. When working on projects for TSA, Mr. Stevenson was always there to provide advice and encourage me on my progress. I can honestly say that my involvement in that club, as well as Mr. Stevenson’s classes, drove me to study engineering in college,” Wright wrote in her essay.
“Merrill scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholastic accomplishments, but also because they have ‘demonstrated remarkable intellectual drive, energetic leadership abilities and a propensity to contribute to the betterment of society,’” according to an article in the Cornell Chronicle.