Kelly Dalla Tezza, a Fulbright scholar who planned a career in the
Family members said she had a flat tire while driving on a road near Rabat and lost control of the vehicle.
"She was the most fearless person I have ever known," said a close friend, Ashleen Williams of
Born in Baltimore and raised in Parkville, she attended Villa Cresta Elementary School and Loch Raven Academy Middle School. She was a 2007 graduate of Towson High School, where she participated in the school's Law and Public Policy Program. She was her class salutatorian.
Her mother said that throughout much of her childhood, she competed in Baltimore County gymnastics. From ages 3 to 10, she took dance lessons at
"I was there to cheer her on," said her mother, Meg Doxzen Dalla Tezza of Parkville. "She never followed the crowd. She just followed her dreams. She worked very hard to achieve all her successes."
Ms. Dalla Tezza earned a bachelor's degree in Islamic civilization from
"She was the hardest-working person I have ever met," said her cousin, Baltimore attorney Joseph Tivvis, for whom she worked at times in the summers. "She always went above the call of her position. She learned fast and often looked for new assignments. She was quiet but not a pushover, and very serious about her job. When her day was done, she enjoyed a joke."
He said that while she was a summer worker, she made valuable suggestions to improve his law office downtown.
"If she needed to get something under my nose, she pushed ahead and did it," said Mr. Tivvis. "If someone else were not working hard, she had a way of giving them a certain look."
Ms. Dalla Tezza had recently passed the
At the time of her death, she was a graduate Fulbright researcher at the Institute for International Education in Bahrain. According to her resume, she was conducting research on "women's political influence in Bahrain" and had been interviewing women prominent in civil society. This month, she had spoken at a Fulbright-sponsored conference, held in Morocco, on women's political roles in Bahrain.
Ms. Dalla Tezza also kept a blog of her experiences in the Islamic world. She traveled widely throughout the Middle East and mixed easily with those she met.
In one post, she wrote, "Adopt a Kuwaiti grandpa." She said that after leaving the National Memorial Museum, she met a Kuwaiti "who hangs out for fun at the super depressing museum."
He offered to drive her and friends "around for the rest of the day," she wrote on the blog. "This included rocking out to
A funeral Mass will be held at St. Dominic's Roman Catholic Church,
In addition to her mother, survivors include her father, Chester Dalla Tezza of Parkville; a brother, Jeffrey Dalla Tezza, a