Giving Thanks: Scholarship Recipient Hopes to Work in Health Care Policy Reform to Improve Whole Communities

by | Nov 27, 2019 | Faces of Fulbright, In Their Own Words, Scholarships, Student Success

This holiday season, members of our Fulbright College Family are sharing expressions of gratitude, letters of thanks and their appreciation for those who have helped make their educational journey possible.

Meet Cindy Mao, who thanks to the Jessamy Eve Samuels Memorial Scholarship, is one step closer to her dream career in health care policy reform and community improvement

Cindy MaoJessamy Eve Samuels Memorial Scholarship Recipient Cindy Mao

Hometown: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Graduation: 2023
Major(s)/Minor(s):Majoring in Public Health and Psychology, minoring in Spanish
Activities/Interests: I love hammocking, reading and listening to music. In high school, I was extremely active and successful on the debate team as well as Model United Nations. I also dedicate a lot of my time to volunteering and service projects around Northwest Arkansas. I volunteer at the Fayetteville Public Library, the Yvonne Richardson Community Center, and the Ronald McDonald House. I am also a mentor for Girl Scouts and the Dream B.I.G. program through Big Brothers Big Sisters at J.O. Kelly Middle School in Springdale.
Career Aspirations: I plan to go into research in the field of public health and possibly take the policy/federal governmental side of it as well. Health policy is very interesting and I am intrigued as to how psychology can be incorporated. I would like to study the impacts of psychological/sociological topics in accordance to community development to analyze how it affects the community as a whole.

In her own words:

Dear Mr. Mark and Mrs. Sallyann Samuels, 

Thank you for your support of this gracious scholarship. I was notified by the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences that I am a 2019 recipient of the Jessamy Eve Samuels Memorial Scholarship. 

I am beyond thankful that I have the opportunity to further my academic and extracurricular endeavors. Thank you both so much for your assistance and generosity. 

I graduated with Distinguished Honors from Fayetteville High School in May of 2019. During my time in high school, I was extremely involved in the debate team and Model United Nations and was passionate about community service and civic engagement around Northwest Arkansas. 

I am currently a first semester freshman pursuing a double major in Public Health and Psychology and a minor in Spanish.

While I am still deciding on what career path I would eventually like to take, I am confident it will be in health care policy reform and research. After I graduate, I plan to work to get my master’s in Public Health. 

Outside of school, I enjoy painting, listening to music and volunteering. I currently volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, the Fayetteville Public Library, and am a mentor for both Girl Scouts of America and Big Brothers Big Sisters at J.O. Kelly Middle School in Springdale. 

This scholarship greatly helps me financially. I have been working at Shake’s Frozen Custard, a small custard shop, for two years, trying to earn money to cover the rest of my costs of tuition and textbooks.

Because of this scholarship, however, I will no longer carry the burden of balancing being a full-time student and part-time worker. In replacement of my job, I will be able to invest more time in studying, research, and potential study abroad opportunities in Colombia or Sweden.

Again, I express extreme gratitude toward this honor. Thank you for supporting my education and dreams. 

I am a proud recipient of the Jessamy Eve Samuels Memorial Scholarship, continuing her passion for political advocacy and love and care for others. 

I appreciate the opportunities that both you and the University of Arkansas have prepared me with.


Cindy Mao

For more information about the Jessamy Eve Samuels Memorial Scholarship, or to make a year-end gift to support it, please give online now, or contact Fulbright College’s Office of Development and External Relations at 479-575-3712 or email

Andra Parrish Liwag

Director of Communications, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences 

479-575-4393 //