ULS graduate student earns stamp of approval at U of M

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 8, 2020

 Maria Fields

Maria Fields

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS/ANN ARBOR — Several family members of Maria Fields attended the University of Michigan, and now she is following in their footsteps.

“I was born blue,” she joked.

The 2020 University of Liggett graduate received a Stamps Scholarship to attend U of M. 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. 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.

Fields, who grew up in Grosse Pointe Park, learned she was a recipient while in class last year at ULS.

“I was surprised,” Fields said. “It definitely made my day better. It was really a blessing.”

Because of COVID-19, Fields is attending U of M classes online. She is enrolled in the College of Engineering with a schedule of 18 credit hours.

“The classes are going well. I like my professors,” the college student said, adding that her education at Liggett made her “a well-rounded person.”

Fields has several interests and plans to continue her studies upon graduation from U of M. The goal is to either attend graduate school for a PhD or medical school.

At school, Fields is currently involved in a research project with the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, which provides funding and/or credit to undergraduate students who volunteer for faculty-mentored research projects and then present their findings.

The focus of Fields’ project is to find a compound that occurs naturally within the body to make opioids less addicting.

“They try to find a pathway that reduces the side effects of addiction of opioids,” Fields said. “I’m in the lab part of the time. It’s a lot of fun.”

Along with her academics, Fields has joined several organizations. She’s on the Black History Month Leadership Committee and is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers.

“It’s a good way to meet people,” she said.

In addition to Fields, two students who attended Warren Consolidated Schools’ Macomb Mathematics Science and Technology Center were named 2020 Stamps Scholars: Selma Zuhrić and Victoria Kovac.

“I was honestly really shocked and excited for the opportunity,” Zuhrić said. “Without the scholarship, I don’t know if I would have gone to Michigan.”

When Kovac learned she was a Stamps Scholar, 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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