High-Flying Falcons Eric Lin And Lorenz Rozal Land At Top Of Class


During the June 7 commencement ceremony for Severna Park High School’s class of 2024, friends Eric Lin and Lorenz Rozal were respectively named valedictorian and salutatorian. COVID slowed their freshman year, but the two scholars made up for the unique school year by excelling in the three that followed.

“I didn’t realize that I had a chance of becoming valedictorian until the first semester of senior year,” Lin said. “Up until then, I was certain that while I would be in the top five, I wouldn’t reach one.”

At the end of his junior year, right in the middle of Advanced Placement exam season, Lin also took on the challenge of campaigning for student member of the Board of Education for Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

“It was an extremely stressful time because I was taking five AP exams, which I needed to study for,” added Lin, who ultimately earned the prestigious student board member position, which he considers his greatest high school achievement. “I am extremely grateful for all of my teachers, especially Michele Staisloff, my AP Calculus teacher, for their (support) and understanding during that time.”

Lin also served as the Student Government Association (SGA) president and class treasurer. He credits Christina Bowman, the Impulse and SGA advisor, for her mentorship.

At the end of Rozal’s junior year, he had to make a difficult decision: take fewer classes to pursue internships and other activities or take a full schedule of eight AP classes. He decided on six AP classes and an incredible internship opportunity.

During his senior year, Rozal interned as a laboratory research assistant at the University of Maryland School of Medicine under professor of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine, Miroslaw Janowski, and postdoctoral fellow and neurosurgeon, Abdallah Salemdawod. Rozal had the opportunity to conduct research on the tuberous sclerosis genetic disorder in hopes of advancing treatments using genome sequencing and CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats). Rozal utilized the AlphaFold2 artificial intelligence system to model mutated proteins and collect and analyze data on their characteristics and differences. Additionally, he conducted DNA extractions, polymerase chain reactions, and gel electrophoresis experiments to amplify and analyze DNA segments. He plans to publish his research soon and continue conducting research in college.

Rozal was a member of the varsity tennis team and served as the vice president of the Science National Honor Society, and as an officer of the math and Spanish national honor societies. Rozal is thankful for Travis Guthrie, AP World History teacher, whom he said “brought out the best in me every day.”

Lin will study economics and finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Rozal will study aerospace engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.

“Severna Park High School is renowned for its competitiveness, whether in academics or athletics. There are many students who do not get the recognition they deserve,” Rozal said. “My class includes Ivy League students, full-ride scholars, future military officers, Division I athletes, and a number of other brilliant individuals, many of whom have pushed me to become the best version of myself.”

The top scholars had advice for current and future Falcons.

“Take calculated risks. Shoot your shots,” Rozal said. “The downside will never be as serious as you might think, but the upside can mean everything. Do what makes you happy and stay true to yourself.”

Lin said, “Four years goes by very fast, so make sure you use every minute of your time wisely. Make your goal to learn something new and better yourself every day.”

Eric Lin is the son of Tom and Tracy Lin. Lorenz Rozal is the son of Oliver and Lucy Rozal.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here