MMSTC students receive Stamps Scholarships

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published October 23, 2020

 Fraser High School 2020 graduate Victoria Kovac, left, who attended the Warren Consolidated Schools’ Macomb Mathematics Science and Technology Center, is a Stamps Scholar.

Fraser High School 2020 graduate Victoria Kovac, left, who attended the Warren Consolidated Schools’ Macomb Mathematics Science and Technology Center, is a Stamps Scholar.

Photo provided by Victoria Kovac

 Sterling Heights High School 2020 graduate Selma Zuhric is studying biomedical engineering with her Stamps Scholarship.

Sterling Heights High School 2020 graduate Selma Zuhric is studying biomedical engineering with her Stamps Scholarship.

Photo provided by Selma Zuhrić

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WARREN/FRASER/STERLING HEIGHTS — Two students who attended Warren Consolidated Schools’ Macomb Mathematics Science and Technology Center were named 2020 Stamps Scholars.

Selma Zuhrić and Victoria Kovac, who both graduated in 2020 from MMSTC, are currently attending the University of Michigan tuition-free because of their Stamps Scholarships.

The Stamps Scholarships cover up to the total estimated cost of attendance for four years of undergraduate study, plus the students’ essentials, including room and board, and books. It also includes enrichment funds scholar recipients can use for academic and professional development, ranging from studying abroad to internships.

Stamps Scholars is based in Atlanta, Georgia. According to a Stamps Scholars press release, in 2006, Penny and Roe Stamps created merit scholarship programs for undergraduates at their alma maters: Penny, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Roe, Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The recipients must attend either university. Penny Stamps died in December 2018.

The MMSTC, located at 27500 Cosgrove in Warren, was designed to offer students courses in mathematics, science and technology. Classes cover several subjects, including geometry, biology, interdisciplinary studies, calculus and physics. Students attend the program half of their school day and their home school for the other half.

Zuhrić attended Sterling Heights High School and Kovac attended Fraser High School while both attending the MMSTC. Zuhrić began attending the math and science center in seventh grade. She remained a student in the program all the way up to the 12th grade.

“I enjoyed it a lot because it was nice to be able to interact with people from other schools in the area,” Zuhrić said. “We would conduct research projects every year. That was really fun. I was always a STEM-minded person. I had more opportunity to pursue my interests at MMSTC.”

Zuhrić is studying biomedical engineering at the university. After Michigan, she has plans to attend graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. Zuhrić would ultimately like to run a laboratory and also become a college professor.

“I’ll be a principal investigator in my own lab,” Zuhrić said.

She has been attending class in person at Michigan.

“It’s nice to have the independence,” she said. “Because of COVID, things are a little less than ideal. I’m just extremely thankful for having an education that has gotten me to this point. I’m very thankful for the scholarship. There’s a lot of things I wouldn’t be able to do.”

When Zuhrić learned she was a Stamps Scholarship recipient, “I was honestly really shocked and excited for the opportunity.” Without the scholarship, “I don’t know if I would have gone to Michigan.”

At Michigan, Kovac is studying business administration in the Ross School of Business. Because of COVID-19, her classes have been online.

“I’m kind of bummed out because there’s a lot of stuff we can’t really do,” she said. But she is making the most of it. “I like my classes. They’re pretty interesting.”

As far as pursuing business administration, “there’s a broad range of what I can pick from,” she said. “I might go into marketing. Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m just really grateful for the school. I really like (Michigan).”

Kovac always wanted to attend the MMSTC after her brother, one year older, began attending the program.

“He really liked his teachers,” she said.

Kovac studied hard while in the program. She also liked the smaller class sizes.

“It was rigorous. I wanted to challenge myself and get into a good college,” she said. “It was very science and math heavy.”

While there, she enrolled in geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus I and II, biology, chemistry and physics.

“I always liked science, but I was more of a math person,” Kovac said. “Math always clicked for me better. Science kind of shows how the world works.”

When Kovac learned she was a Stamps Scholars, she couldn’t hold back her emotions.

“I started crying,” she said. “I was really excited. It was the highlight of my year.”

For more on Stamps Scholars, visit stampsscholars.org.

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