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Ram Spotlight

Rachel Bani

Class of 2015

Major: Music Education

Hometown: Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Current city: Tallahassee, Florida

“The musical, educational, and leadership opportunities afforded to me through both Shepherd University’s music department and honors program prepared me to pursue my current course of study in musicology at Florida State University. Since attending Shepherd, I have travelled to national conferences and spoken with leading scholars in my field. In addition, I recently received grant funding to travel to Scotland, where I conducted research and gathered materials related to my forthcoming master’s thesis, in which I examine the lives of historically underrepresented Jacobite Scotswomen through their eyes, their words, and their songs.”


Dr. James Michael Cherry

Class of 1996

Major: Biology

Hometown: Germantown, Maryland

Current city: Frederick, Maryland

“I had mentors from Shepherd who got me where I am and took me under their wing when I got to Shepherd, starting with Dr. Burt Lidgerding, Dr. Phil Simpson, and Dr. John Landolt, who are all retired, and Dr. Bob Warburton, and Coach Monte Cater. They all played a role in giving me guidance, getting me to Shepherd, and sending me off to continue being successful in the graduate schools I went to. Shepherd allowed me to be exposed to areas that I potentially might not have been exposed to if it wasn’t a liberal arts college. I was able to take Dr. Lidgerding’s general biology class, and he recognized my ability to do biology and enjoy it. That allowed me to be exposed to something that I potentially would be afraid to explore without his guidance, mentoring, and pushing to be successful. That was one of the beauties of being at Shepherd. I think the road that I traveled has played a big role in allowing me to deal with some of the adversities. It’s hard to accept failure because when you fail you feel you’ve lost. Looking back, failure is a part of success. Especially in science, you’re going to fail more than you succeed. That’s something you’ve got to get used to.”
Cherry works at the National Cancer Institute, Frederick Campus, (NCI at Frederick) as scientific program director for the laboratory of animal science program and the advance biomedical computing center, scientific advisor for student internship program.

Maigen Briana Lawson

Class of 2013

Major: Sociology

Hometown: Frederick, Maryland

Current city: Baltimore, Maryland

The leadership opportunities at Shepherd, including the Multicultural Leadership Team, Relay for Life, and Alternative Spring Break programs, ignited my passion for giving back and serving others. This passion then fueled my post graduate career. Since graduating, I have used those experiences and the skills gained from my degree to uplift impoverished communities in Baltimore City, develop Veteran’s service programs on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, create pathways for anti-hunger programming throughout Maryland, and serve in a leadership capacity to strengthen national service programming across the U.S. In addition, I am an AmeriCorps State and AmeriCorps VISTA alum and I have also served as a member of the Governor’s Partnership to End Childhood Hunger in Maryland, the Baltimore City Partnership to End Childhood Hunger, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Director’s Association. I currently serve as the Maryland/Delaware State Program Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service and am an active member of the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism for both Maryland and Delaware.


Ryan Manuel

Class of 2010

Major: Biology

Hometown: Front Royal, Virginia

Current city: Rapid City, South Dakota

“Shepherd’s bioscience, field ecology, and laboratory research opportunities paved my way to a career in backcountry field science and environmental research. I have had the opportunity to conduct research in some of the countries wildest places across 20 different states and am currently studying long term vegetative trends in the Northern Great Plains.”

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