Cohort & Community: Introducing the Lombardi & Stamps Scholars Class of 2024

The UF Honors Program welcomes eleven outstanding scholars.

The Honors Program at the University of Florida welcomes a distinguished community among the Class of 2024 in the form of eight Lombardi and three Stamps Scholars. Recipients of these premier undergraduate scholarships participate in four summers of enrichment experiences: three international programs along with a weeklong domestic leadership expedition. On campus, they commit to their community as scholars and trailblazers, held to the highest academic and leadership standards.

Each student has achieved multitudes of personal and academic accomplishments and community service. Below, a selection from each student’s CV offers, in their own words, a glimpse at their uncommon experiences.


The John V. Lombardi Scholarship was established in 2002 to honor Dr. Lombardi, a former UF president whose leadership and spirit played a significant role in the University’s ascension to the top tier of public research universities.

Graham Linehan

Cardinal Mooney High School

“I have been an intern at Mote Marine Laboratory, a marine biology research institute, for the past four years and have conducted research in the spotted eagle ray and crustacean departments alongside senior biologists. Additionally, I volunteer in a local middle school helping kids learn English and Spanish.”

Arman Mahmood

William T. McFatter Technical High School

“The culturally diverse locale of Ft. Lauderdale exposed me to the importance of diversity and inclusion as the key to success; a breadth of ideas and perspectives contributes to a continually improving system. I plan to attend medical school to become a physician and work in the field of global health, a vocation that I find to have the most noticeable and widespread impact on the well-being of humanity.”


Shreya Mathur

Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School

“My passion for serving people in need has led me to dedicate over 300 hours to the Humane Society, Feeding Tampa Bay, and Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful. It also led me to invent and eventually patent a massager attachment, known as the StressMaster, which won second place in the Florida Invention Convention against 7,000 other inventions.” 

Serra Sowers

Seminole High School

“Combining my commitment to the arts and passion for developing others, I founded Seminole’s Got Talent: a club showcasing student performers in a judgment-free program to build confidence and raise money for arts scholarships. Off-campus, I volunteer with the Marine Discovery Center as a camp counselor and with the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts as a Teen Ambassador.”


Madigan Wilford

Braden River High School

“I am the president and founder of Students Stand Up, a club dedicated to nonpartisan political education and the development of skills such as public speaking, research, and debating. Most recently, Students Stand Up organized a Ballot Breakdown for the Florida presidential primary election.”


Mia Bieringer

Viera High School

Originally from Yeonggwang, South Korea, I moved to the United States at the age of nine. Throughout high school, I performed regularly with the chamber music program “Quartet Movement,” Brevard All-County Orchestras, and the Space Coast Symphony Youth Orchestra, where I sit as principal second violinist and concertmaster.”


Sophia De La Cruz

Harrison School for the Arts

“I founded Girls Here and There, an international literacy and empowerment mentorship program for girls. After pitching my idea at the Youth Impact Forum in New York City, I formed partnerships in Zimbabwe and Dominican Republic. I’ve participated in the 2019 National Security Language Initiative for Youth Russian program, joined Sister Cities and was invited to participate in a Bulgarian exchange.”

Alan Halaly

Deerfield Beach High School

“I am on the executive board of a youth-led and South Florida-based organization called The Safe Sex Project. It was created by a group of my peers and is centered around advocating for comprehensive and inclusive sex education in schools, hosting large-scale panel events at universities throughout South Florida as well as creating online programming about sexual health via social media.”


The University of Florida partners with the Stamps Scholars Program to award multi-year scholarships to driven and talented student leaders. Stamps Scholars join a community of students and alumni from around the world with whom they network and share experiences.

Sihini Atalugama

Land O’ Lakes High

“Bright Light is my nonprofit organization that connects impoverished students in Sri Lanka to sponsors so they may stay in school, rather than enter child marriages or the workforce to support their families. Despite the technical struggles of facilitating communication between people in the US and Sri Lanka, I have kept in contact with the students and their sponsors and provided student letters/reports.” 


Kylie Fernandez

Pembroke Pines Charter High School

“As the Captain of my school’s Speech and Debate Team, I regularly hold practices for our novice members and judge at after school tournaments. I recently qualified for and competed in the Florida State Debate Tournament and have also begun extending our team to the middle and elementary schools in the area.”


Mateusz Plaza

Palm Harbor University High School

“Born in Poland, I started school in the United States speaking no English. Today, I’m an IB student and some days I spend more time at the robotics club than in class. I’ve been a head programmer four times, a team captain as an underclassman, a 3-time world championship qualifier, and winner of the 2019 FIRST Tech Challenge world championship.” 

Lombardi & Stamps Scholars come together at formal and informal events throughout the academic year including the fully funded summer enrichment experiences. Each plan with an academic advisor how to best engage in opportunities that UF provides for research, travel and experiential learning, and receive a stipend of $2700 each fall and spring for eight semesters or until the students earn an undergraduate degree.

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