Cecil College students take first place in 2023 Maryland Scholars Summit

Published on May 9, 2023


NORTH EAST, Md. – Congratulations to Seahawks Jillian Neuhof and Abigail Graham for placing first in their respective categories at the 2023 Maryland Scholars Summit. On Saturday, April 29th, scholars from eight Maryland colleges presented their work at Harford Community College.

Jillian Neuhof won the poster board presentation category for her research Wrongful Convictions and Exonerations with DNA: Freeing the Innocent. She writes in her research, “One of the greatest tragedies in the criminal justice system is the conviction of a person for a crime they did not commit. Erroneous convictions can have immeasurable consequences for exonerees, original crime victims, and families.” The statistics are striking. Dating back to 1989, “375 DNA exonerees have been released from prisons across our country due to DNA testing.”

Abigail Graham won in the creative works category for her painting Aching for Motivation. She said the painting is “about my struggle with self-motivation when it comes to making art and brings attention to the minds of other artists who struggle with motivation.”

In a moving explanation, Abigail spoke to the audience about managing dyslexia and what the painting expresses. “Being dyslexic, I find it hard to remember things unless they are visual thoughts or creative ideas. The creative ideas come out as golden diamonds, meaning that my ideas are grand and unique” Her greatest fear is that these ideas will “overflow and eventually fade into lost memories.”

Faculty members Ashley Fundack and Mark Donohue were in attendance as presentation judges and proud mentors of the winners.