UM College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Student Wins Competitive Scholarship and Attains Honor as a Member of the Iron Arrow Honor Society

Kara McCormack, a graduate student at the University of Miami (UM) College of Arts & Sciences Department of Mathematics and captain of the UM diving team, was recently awarded the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Scholarship Award for $5,000. Out of the many applicants who applied from 15 schools in the U.S., McCormack was one of 43 students recognized.

‌The ACC scholarship is awarded to only a select group of students who excel athletically, academically, and in community service. The scholarship will go towards McCormack’s graduate degree in mathematics. McCormack was also tapped into the Iron Arrow Honor Society in February 2016, the highest honor one can attain at UM. She plans on graduating in May 2016. 

UM’s Associate Athletic Director for Academic Services David Wyman reached out to McCormack about submitting an application for the ACC scholarship when hearing of her interest in pursuing a graduate degree. After sending all the necessary paperwork, McCormack was notified of her award.‌

“It’s a great opportunity to help me in my graduate studies,” said McCormack, who is a native from Austin, Texas, and the ACC student-athlete representative for UM; ACC Champion on the 10-meter platform in 2014; and the NCAA All-American Finalist from 2012 to 2014.

Recovering from a shoulder injury that occurred over a year ago, McCormack boldly participated in a recent conference championship competition, which served as a precursor to the national qualifying diving meet held on March 4th.

During her time as an undergraduate in the College of Arts & Sciences, McCormack earned a 3.96 GPA and was routinely recognized in the Dean’s List and on the President’s Honor Roll from 2011 to 2015. She was also inducted into the prestigious Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society in 2013, and the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society in 2015. The Department of Mathematics also recognized her as “Outstanding Senior Mathematics Major” in her senior year.

When asked about her secret to success, her response was simple: “I think it came from just being raised to have a dedicated work ethic, starting in elementary school,” said McCormack. “My mom wouldn’t let me watch television unless I completed my homework. That was always the mentality, work hard now and relax later. I tried to carry that into college, and I quickly realized with so many classes, that you got to spread it out and deal with it, and not wait until the last minute.”

On top of her many athletic and academic accomplishments, McCormack was also recognized for volunteering and community service both nationally and internationally. In 2014, she was honored as one of the NCAA’s “Top Six for Service” award for her involvement in community service and was the team liaison in collecting and donating toiletry items on athletic trips for the Miami Mission Homeless Shelter. Most notably, she spent three weeks in 2015 teaching physics to ninth-graders in rural Vietnam.

“I’ve done a lot of community service, and I love the opportunity to give back whenever I can,” said McCormack. “I know that I am in this unique position of just having so many opportunities ahead of me, so whenever I get the chance to kind of share that and help out other people, it just means the world to me.”

Despite her many accomplishments and accolades, McCormack still has high expectations for the future. “I see myself being a professor in the future, but also want to use my math background to do some valuable research in biostatistics or public health,” she adds. “I do want to complete a Ph.D. degree in the near future, so it’s just a matter of finding my niche in the research arena and figuring out how can I make an impact.”

 

March 08, 2016