Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

Sarah Thomas

Stamps 1693 Scholarsarah_thomas

Stamps logo


Clarksburg, MD (Clarksburg HS)

Academic Interests

Biology, integrative conservation, philosophy, and the environmental humanities

Why W&M

I describe myself as "inhabiting the in-betweens." I belong to cultures across two continents, am the middle daughter, favor the twilight hours of the day, and I am drawn to studying both the sciences and humanities. It was fitting that William & Mary would appeal to me as much as it did as it is an institution that artfully transcends apparent boundaries, blurring the elusive lines between them.

I applied to schools that ran the gamut from larger research universities to smaller liberal arts colleges, as the hallmark features of each appealed to me. I was intrigued by the prospect of high research activity on campus, but also craved an intimate, holistic learning experience. My first video call with Professor Cristol, where he described the undergraduate-focused teaching, opportunities for research, and cozy campus, had me immediately hooked, and my fascination with W&M only grew from there.

I was certain that I wanted my collegiate experience to be interdisciplinary, and W&M embodies this ideal from multiple angles: from the COLL seminars that weave together diverse fields of thought to the Charles Center’s initiatives to promote interdisciplinary study to the environmental humanities major, there is a multitude of opportunities at the intersections of science, English, math, philosophy, history, and everything in between.

The student body at W&M also strikes the perfect balance between playful and professional, as I discovered during the 1693 Finalist Weekend. It was clear that W&M offered ample opportunity to pursue both academic and leisure interests in tandem, as evidenced by the array of extracurriculars that include a scuba club, a Russian musical ensemble, a historical swordsmanship group, a music composition club, and the infamous cheese club. The conversations I had with other scholars touched on Helmholtz’s theory of perception, the colors we associate with various academic subjects, classic literature recommendations, and worm farming. I was simultaneously impressed by the intellectual diversity the other scholars brought to the table and entertained by their ability to switch between serious discussion and light-hearted joviality.

Although the aforementioned qualities drew me to admire the College, what caused me to fall in love with William & Mary was its existence as an institution that is more than just a school—it is a home. Upon arriving on campus, we were each given tote bags emblazoned with the phrase: "those who come here, belong here," and that sentiment was proven time and time again over the weekend. The finalists ate together at Murray House with a few professors, all of whom treated us as equals. We all volunteered to try Bhangra dance together. We crowded into the elevator together at our hotel and squeezed a dozen chairs around a diminutive table at breakfast so that nobody sat alone. We sang Disney songs at the Meridian. And, we huddled in a group hug before parting ways to our respective home states at the end of the Finalist Weekend. 

When I received the phone call offering me a 1693 scholarship, I committed to W&M on the spot; it was the single most indubitable decision I have made. I am honored to be joining the Tribe and delighted to call William & Mary my new home.

W&M Activities 
High School Activities 
  • SheSoft 501(c)(3) director of partnerships
  • FrogWatch USA citizen science participant
  • Zooniverse citizen science participant
  • Discover Life Cricket Crawl citizen science participant
  • Montgomery County First Aid Unit member and instructor
  • One Montgomery Green Clean Headwaters program participant
  • Rock Creek Conservancy Stream Team Leader and water quality monitor
  • Advanced Placement Power Scholars capstone project on intersections of sciences and humanities
  • Co-president of Clarksburg chapter of Montgomery County Students for Change
  • Private tutor of mathematics
  • Intern at Pepco Holdings, Inc.
  • Indoor winds marching ensemble member and soloist
  • Academy of Saint Cecilia Youth Orchestra - symphonic orchestra and flute choir member
Awards / Distinctions
  • 2022 National Merit Scholarship recipient
  • 2022 Presidential Scholar of the state of Maryland
  • Principal’s Pillars of Achievement Award: Scholarship
  • Montgomery County Public Schools Certificate of Meritorious Service
  • Completion of Advanced Placement Power Scholars four-year cohort
  • National Honors Society
  • Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica (Spanish Honors Society)
  • National AP Scholar With Distinction
  • Ten departmental awards in English, foreign language, science, and mathematics
  • Clarksburg High School Top 25 Seniors