Leyla Merlo ’19, who graduated with a degree in public health science, has been awarded the USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship. It provides up to $96,000 in benefits over two years for graduate school, internships and professional development activities to prepare for a career in the USAID Foreign Service. Merlo is one of nine fellows selected from across the nation and UMD’s first recipient of this award.
Currently a faculty research assistant at the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy at the UMD School of Public Health and a former McNair Scholar, Merlo plans to pursue a master’s degree this fall in international development studies with a specialization in global health at the George Washington University.
A former member and president of the UMD student-run organization ROOTS Africa, Merlo hopes to be a role model for other prospective foreign service officers from underrepresented backgrounds.
Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.
Faculty, staff and students receive the daily Maryland Today e-newsletter. To be added to the subscription list, sign up here:Subscribe