By Aria Brent,
AFRO Staff Writer
The term “Young, gifted and Black” is the phrase to describe 22-year-old Mariah Campbell.
The Clarksville, Md. native is a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. After completing her degree at the University of Maryland, College Park, (UMD) majoring in agricultural and natural resource economics, she will head to Taiwan to complete her graduate degree in agricultural economics at National Taiwan University.
The Fulbright scholarship is a very prestigious, internationally funded scholarship that many students seek when studying internationally. The application requires several essays and can take multiple months to complete.
The young scholar explained her application process to be strenuous but not intimidating.
“Go in with the expectation that you’re going to get the scholarship because I definitely went in knowing that this is exactly what I wanted to do,” said Campbell. “I was well qualified for this scholarship and I was a competitive candidate. I went in with full confidence and the mindset that this is for me.”
Confidence is something that has always come naturally for the soon-to-be graduate, according to her parents, Marlene and David Campbell. Known for marching to the beat of her own drum, she is a socially-conscious, trailblazer with a passion for activism.
“She’s very conscious about the environment and doing whatever she could to not hurt the environment and animals. She doesn’t drink out of plastic water bottles or use straws! From a very early age–before we even realized it was a thing–she was aware of these issues,” said Marlene Campbell. “She’s always been interested in her community in terms of decisions that impact women like her. She’s totally tapped into that.”
Never one to step away from a challenge, Campbell is extremely determined and this is clear to everyone she meets.
Her unwavering focus and follow through helped lead her to this path of success. Francis Duvinage, Ph.D is the director of the national scholarship office at UMD and served as Campbell’s advisor throughout her application process. He spoke to the AFRO about her character and what she’s like as a student.
“From the very beginning she was really focused on her objectives. She’s really passionate about her field of study–agricultural economics– and she was really eager to gain an international perspective on that by studying abroad. I would describe her using three adjectives: focused, passionate and eager,” stated Duvinage.
To say her parents are proud would be an understatement, but the biggest emotion they feel amidst this very exciting time for the bright, young lady is happiness.
“I was very happy that she got what she had been seeking. Yes, I’m very proud of her but I’m careful in saying that. People say ‘Oh you must be proud,’ but I would be proud of her even if she didn’t receive the scholarship” said David Campbell. “I’m proud of her no matter what. I’m more so happy for her because this is something she wanted and she really worked hard for it.”
Undoubtedly, the future is very full and bright for Campbell.