School: Atholton High School
Tara, a senior at Atholton, carries a 4.0 grade-point average. Her honors and awards include being named a Maryland Distinguished Scholar finalist, a National Merit Scholar honorable mention, membership in the National Honor Society, a Rensselaer Medal for Excellence in Science and Mathematics and a Rensselaer Scholarship.
Tara's musical endeavors have included participating with her church as a backup singer to Barry Manilow at Merriweather Post Pavilion during her freshman year. Mr. Manilow uses local singers for backup during his performances. About 25 to 30 singers practiced three weeks before the performance and rehearsed with Mr. Manilow.
Tara took a musical theater class at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and takes private voice lessons. At school, she participates in the jazz choir, concert choir, women's choir, Madrigals and gospel choir.
She has managed and compiled statistics for the varsity boys' basketball, baseball and soccer teams.
As a freshman, she took a trip to France through the American Council for International Studies.
Tara has been on the math team, is a member of the American Computer Science League, participated in the U.S. Department
of Energy Bowl and is a peer tutor.
She has volunteered at Howard County General Hospital for four years, and as a junior she volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.
This summer she participated in the Women in Engineering Program at the University of Maryland. During the six-week program, she took an introduction to engineering design and the world of engineering classes, which earned her six college credits.
Awards and honors include being a Western Maryland College Scholar and receiving a Community Service Award from Howard County General Hospital. She took third place in the Maryland Regional Science Bowl.
At Atholton, she won a perfect attendance award; was on the principal's honor roll; and received varsity letters for basketball, baseball, soccer, concert choir and academics. She was also selected to the all-county math team.
Her hobbies include singing, sports, computer programming and weightlifting. She has participated in the Atholton Lift-a-Thon, and was a weight-class winner.
Plans: Tara plans a college major in electrical engineering with a concentration in computer science. She is considering Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an engineering school in Troy, N.Y.
Her comments: "You get used to being busy. I can't sit around. The more you have to do, the more efficient you are and you don't put off things you have to do."
On why she has decided to pursue engineering: "I really enjoy math, science and computers. During my engineering program this summer, I got to try one lab in each of the engineering programs at the University of Maryland. It was then I decided electrical engineering was for me."
Tara added that she looks forward to the challenge of being a female in a male-dominated curriculum. "I am very comfortable around the boys. I have been around them a lot with managing the sports teams."
Send nominations to Jill L. Kubatko, Student Standout, The Sun for Howard County, 5570 Sterrett Place, Suite 300, Columbia 21044. Please enclose a brief description of the student's
activities and a phone number for the student.