Merrill P. Freeman Medals

Dr. Merrill Freeman was born in Ohio in 1844 and served the University of Arizona as a regent and as a chancellor. His will provided for two medals to be awarded annually to students selected by the UA administration.
Qualifications include outstanding moral force of character. Additional factors which may be considered are: popularity, receipt of athletic awards, membership in organizations, service on committees and as officers. This is a medal award.
2016 Outstanding Senior Award Recipients:

Adam Geyer
Adam Geyer will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science and a minor in Music.  An Arizona native from Phoenix, Adam was attracted to the University of Arizona by the unique neuroscience program, as well as the pride that the entire Tucson community has in the institution.

Adam’s involvement on campus started early with his participation in student government.  He became the first freshman to be selected to the ASUA Appropriations Board, where he served as a director for two years before becoming ASUA’s State Affairs Director.  As State Affairs Director, Adam helped spearhead the student-run “It’s On Us” campaign to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus.

Adam found his niche in Greek Life, serving on the Interfraternity Council (IFC) as the Vice President of Membership and then as President. During his two terms on the IFC, Adam oversaw and executed the formalization of the fall fraternity recruitment process, which allowed 87% of potential new members to receive an invitation to join a fraternity, compared to previous years where only 40% of men were offered the informal format.  In recognition of his efforts and leadership in the Greek community, Adam was named 2015 Greek Person of the Year.

This past year Adam served as a member of the Bobcats Senior Honorary and as chapter president of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. As president, he and his executive board were able to eliminate the organization’s $80,000 of debt, and improve their chapter’s Standards of Excellence score from 70% to 99%.  He also oversaw the Lute Olson Cancer Center Run, where he helped expand the event to include corporate sponsors, which raised $35,000 for the Arizona Cancer Center.

In the community, Adam has volunteered at the University Medical Center, the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, and coaches a baseball team in Tucson Mountain Little League.

After graduation, Adam will spend the summer in Budapest as an Atlantis Program fellow before returning to Arizona to study for the MCAT and work on his medical school applications.

Shivani Misra
Shivani Misra will graduate from the Honors College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, with a Development and Aging emphasis.  Additionally, she will receive minors in Public Health and Biochemistry, and a Certificate in Developmental Disabilities.  She is a Flinn Scholar, a Galileo Scholar, and the Most Outstanding Senior for both her department and the College of Science.

Shivani is a first generation American who is passionate about making this world a better place.  She is interested in Maternal and Child Health and sits on the Board of Directors for the Southern Arizona Division of the March of Dimes.  She has conducted many social awareness campaigns, including one she organized in the slums of Odisha, India, to generate awareness about the importance of proper nutrition and folic acid intake during pregnancy.

Shivani aspires to decrease the stigma and eliminate the disparity associated with disability.  As a Sonoran University Center for Excellence in Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDD) trainee, she teaches Pilates and movement to students from the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind.  She is also a research assistant in Dr. Jamie Edgin’s Memory Development and Disorders and Down Syndrome Research Group Labs.  There she is completing her Honors Thesis about how inefficient sleep of infants with Down syndrome affects their language outcomes.  Additionally, she spent three months in Melbourne, Australia, conducting research at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

On campus, she is an ambassador for the College of Science, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, the Undergraduate Biology Research Program, the Pre-MD, and the Honors College.  Through these avenues, Shivani tries to bridge the gap between science and the community.  She has hosted outreach events and given presentations at various venues.  She helped create a peer-mentoring program within her major, and helped set up the annual show, Symbiosis—an art showcase representing the coalescence of art and science.

Shivani is thrilled to continue learning and helping the world at the University of Arizona College of Medicine—Phoenix, where she will pursue an MD/MPH.