Bits & Pieces: Vitagliano and Qui win Davidson scholarships

Adriana Vitagliano of Atholton High School and River Hill's Eric Qui have been declared the winners of the 2012 Robert Davidson Scholar/Athlete Awards. Hammond's Nicole Dawson and Mt. Hebron's Andrew Risinger were the runners-up. Once again the competition was very close. The winners receive $2,000 each, while the runners-up get $1,000 each.

Adriana is a straight A student with a weighted grade-point average of 4.71. In sports as diverse as soccer, basketball and lacrosse, she has earned 11 varsity letters. "I cherish every (sports) experience," she wrote in her application.

Adriana is the editor-in-chief and sports editor of Atholton's school newspaper. She has her eye set on attending an Ivy League school and wants to pursue a career in international relations. "I discovered I have ardor for fighting social injustice and this passion will drive me to create change through my work. I am excited to make a difference for the Hispanic community and myself."

Eric lettered in basketball and outdoor track at River Hill. He has a weighted GPA of 4.69 and by the time he graduates he will have taken all of the AP mathematics and social studies classes offered by Howard County.

Eric did internships at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and in the public policy office of The ARC in Washington. "Eric's greatest strengths lie in his conscientiousness, maturity, patience and natural intelligence," wrote Annie Acosta, his mentor at The ARC.

Eric has received early acceptance to the University of Chicago where he will double major in math and economics.

Nicole is a standout in her own right, earning 11 varsity letters between cross country, indoor and outdoor track while maintaining a weighted GPA of 4.67. She was praised by one of her teachers, Ben Grabenstein, as being his "go-to student, the one I checked myself against."

Among Nicole's athletic highlights are a county championship in the 3,200 during the 2010-11 indoor season, and several top three finishes at states in that same race during indoor and outdoor track. She will attend UMBC and study computer engineering.

Andrew has a weighted GPA of 4.71. He received seven 5's on his AP tests. Athletically, Andrew earned 10 varsity letters between cross country, indoor and outdoor track. His coach, Todd DeCrispino, describes him as "a great leader who rallies younger athletes to perform to their best abilities." Andrew plans to study computer engineering in college.

The David Tripp Scholar/Athlete Award winners have also been announced, with the selected runners receiving $1,500 each. The recipients are Hammond's Nicole Dawson, Oakland Mills' Tiffany Lang and River Hill's LeAnne Young.

The Worley Humanitarian Award winners ($500) have been named as well — Wilde Lake's Gillian Sawyer and Long Reach's Adam Mercado.

With our sympathy

It goes without saying that there are a lot of people at Glenelg High School that will miss Jim Schmidt. Jim, who was an assistant softball coach at Glenelg, was struck down by cancer and died on May 13.

Jim had it all. He had the technical know-how, he provided leadership for a great many young people and, most importantly, treated everyone fairly. He was gregarious, loved people and gained the deep respect of both his own players and those on opposing teams.

We were fortunate to have him as long as we did and he leaves us saddened, but grateful that he passed our way and touched so many people with his warmth and kindness.

A viewing is scheduled for Thursday, May 17 from 9:30-11 a.m., at the Grace Community Church in Fulton. A service will follow.

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