Volume 13 No. 1 SPRING 2012

Smith MBA is Army’s Top Cadet

When Mariya Golotyuk ’10 moved to the United States from Ukraine, she never expected that less than a decade later she would be recognized as the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s Cadet of the Year. Golotyuk, a second year MBA student, also captured the top spot on the Order of Merit List, which ranks all Army ROTC seniors across the nation.

Born in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, Golotyuk came to the United States to coach tennis at Trinity College in San Antonio, Texas. She moved to Washington, D.C., to attend the University of Maryland, originally intending to study engineering. When many of her credits from her home country wouldn’t transfer she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a minor in economics.

“In Ukraine, you get to apply to one school and all you do is study, study, study. Here, I got to try different subjects – that was the most exciting thing for me,” Golotyuk said. “I also got to apply the things I was learning to real life instead of learning only theories. I got to get out and try stuff. … I think this school is amazing.”

During her time as an undergraduate, she looked into joining the ROTC program on campus but was unable to join because she wasn’t a U.S. citizen. Her citizenship came through two months after she graduated in 2010, and Golotyuk immediately came back to the Smith School and the university to get her MBA at Shady Grove and to join the ROTC program.

When she graduates this year, Golotyuk will be commissioned as a military intelligence officer with the Maryland Army National Guard: “At the University of Maryland, I encourage our cadets to become champions in everything they do – champions as students, sons or daughters, cadets, volunteers, and so forth. I can honestly say that Cadet Mariya Golotyuk is a champion in every aspect of her life,” Lt. Col. Samuel Cook, professor of military science at the university, said about her accomplishments.

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