Coolidge Scholars

Class of 2020

Sarah Chen, of Houston, Texas, is a senior at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Sarah has conducted research through the Research Science Institute, the MIT PRIMES program, and as an industry intern. In her work, Sarah applies computational methods to interdisciplinary problems. In 2019, Sarah received an International Silver Prize from the S-T Yau High School Science Award competition.

Sarah brings her passion for computer science to her community. At school, she leads technology clubs that connect like-minded peers and works as a lead peer tutor in computer science and other subjects. She has also worked to introduce K-8 students to robotics at the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence and at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. She has received the President’s Volunteer Service Silver Award.

Sarah also enjoys writing and has won national gold medals from the Scholastic Writing Awards. In addition to her interest in English literature, she, like President Coolidge, is an avid classicist. She studies both Latin and Greek and has earned highest honors on the National Latin Exam. More broadly, Sarah is interested in technology, storytelling, and the role for public policy in maintaining accountability with respect to new technologies. Sarah is the daughter of Peng Li and Bill Chen.


Jack Klitgaard is a senior at Harlan Community High School in Harlan, Iowa, where he is a dedicated student and has been dual-enrolled in college courses since sophomore year.

An accomplished classical pianist, Jack has earned fifteen consecutive superior ratings at the annual National Federation Music Festival. His passion for jazz piano led to selection for the Iowa All State Jazz Band, the Young Lions All-Star Big Band, and Harlan’s state champion jazz band. Jack is the drumline section leader for his school’s marching band. He has been selected for the Southwest Iowa Honor Concert and Marching Bands. Jack is an avid outdoorsman. He has biked 200+ miles, camped 125 nights, and hiked 400+ miles through Boy Scouts, earning the prestigious National Medal for Outdoor Achievement. For his Eagle Scout service project, Jack planned and led the construction of an outdoor, life-sized, eagle nest educational exhibit which took him and his team over 300 man-hours to complete. Jack has earned all 137 Boy Scout merit badges, a feat that fewer than 500 scouts have ever completed. He served as youth leader at the 2017 National Jamboree and crew leader at Philmont National Scout Ranch. He helped develop the Star Spangled Streets program, placing 425 flags around his community throughout the year.

Jack has been selected for both National Honor Society and the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminar. He runs cross country, volunteers in a wide variety of community activities, and is active in church youth and mission programs. Jack is the son of Dr. Don and Laurel Klitgaard.


Pranav Pattatathunaduvil is a senior at Plano West Senior High School in Plano, Texas. An avid public speaker, he placed second in extemporaneous speaking at both the 2020 Harvard Tournament and the 2019 National Speech and Debate Tournament, and first at the 2019 New York City Tournament. Pranav was also a member of one of the top 16 teams in the world at the 2019 International Public Policy Forum tournament.

Pranav is interested in economics, international relations, and business. As president of his school’s Junior World Affairs Council, Pranav led his team to victory at the 2019 WorldQuest National Championship competition and received an all-expenses paid study tour of Doha, Qatar. He is a National AP Scholar and was named “Mr. Jag,” an award given annually to one male student who exemplifies his school’s values of academic excellence, leadership, and community service.

Like President Coolidge, Pranav is dedicated to serving his community. He is a leader of Be the Light Youth Association, a student-run nonprofit organization that conducts speech and debate classes for students across North Texas and raises funds to support charities that serve disadvantaged children. Pranav is a 2nd degree black belt in taekwondo, an All-Region choir member, and the regional administrator of the Texas Junior State of America. Pranav is the son of Gopinadhan Arangassery and Priya Pattatathunaduvil.


Wade Wahlig is a senior at Falmouth High School in Falmouth, Maine. He served as a United States Senate Page for Senator Susan Collins while pursuing studies at the U.S. Senate Page School in Washington, D.C.

Recently Wade attended the Research Science Institute (RSI), an international science research program founded by Admiral H.G. Rickover in 1984. There, Wade modeled drone movement paths through complex environments using rapidly-exploring random tree algorithms. He is the Maine winner of the 2019 Google Science Fair, where he designed and built a device capable of jamming drone video transmission. Founder and president of the Falmouth Aeronautics Club, Wade led his team to a fifth-place finish at the 2019 UAS4STEM Drone Challenge National Championship. He holds an FAA Part 107 commercial drone operator certificate.

An Eagle Scout, Wade’s Eagle project benefitted SailMaine, a community sailing center that provides affordable access to the water. He volunteers for Honor Flight Maine, a program that flies veterans to Washington, D.C., to experience and reflect on their memorials. Wade is an altar server for Holy Martyrs Catholic Church and he studies classical violin under the direction of Ronald Lantz. Wade is the son of Jennifer and John Wahlig.


Class of 2019

Nico Brayton is a freshman at Yale College. He is a graduate of Middlebury Union High School in Middlebury, Vermont. An AP Scholar with honor, Nico led his high school’s Scholars Bowl team to the state semifinals in 2018 and 2019, placing second in the state as an individual. Nico holds a special passion for mathematics and has competed in several national math competitions, including the 2019 Mathworks Math Modeling Challenge, in which he worked with a team for fourteen consecutive hours to model the spread and impact of substance abuse.

An accomplished pianist of eleven years, Nico was the Vermont representative for the Music Teachers National Association competition for solo piano in 2018. He has been invited to perform Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with both his school’s concert band and the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra. Nico also performs frequently at benefit recitals for the homeless and concerts for the elderly, and volunteers at community suppers and local nursing homes. In high school, Nico was president of the Student Council, was a member of the National Honors Society, and captained the boys’ varsity cross country team. He also enjoys creative writing and was nominated for the New England Young Writers’ Conference in 2018. Nico is the son of Dan Brayton and Antonia Losano.


Julianna Lee will enter Princeton University this fall as a prospective Public and International Affairs major. She is a graduate of Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest in Demarest, New Jersey. Julianna is a 2020 United Sates Presidential Scholar representing the state of New Jersey, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a National Merit Scholar.

After being denied entrance with her guide dog at numerous facilities, Julianna co-founded VITA (Visually Impaired Total Access) in 2018 to spread awareness about access laws and was awarded the Grassroots Leadership Award for her efforts. She has also founded a networking group for visually impaired teens in North Jersey, which has now grown nationwide. In 2019, she was invited to speak as a panelist at the United Nations Headquarters on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the theme of sports as an enabler for empowerment.

Julianna is passionate about politics, serving as a legislative intern for her state assemblyman and volunteering for local and national campaigns. She is an active member of the Aquinas Institute, Princeton’s Catholic Campus Ministry. In high school, she served as a lector for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and volunteered at a girls’ shelter in Guatemala. At Northern Valley, Julianna was a member of her school’s Senate, Mock Trial team, Academic Team, newspaper staff, National Honor Society, and track team. She won a regional gold key in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and one of her written pieces was published in Dovetales, an International Journal of the Arts. She also won first place in the Orlando Saa Foreign Language Poetry Recitation Contest in Spanish and qualified for the National US History Bee. Julianna is the daughter of Jong Cheol Lee and You Ki Sohn.


Katherine McPhie is a freshman at Harvard College, majoring in Computer Science. She serves as an Associate Director of Tech & Media for Harvard Women Engineers Code, and is a member of the Harvard Open Data Project, the Harvard Computer Society, and Harvard Women in Computer Science. Last summer she completed Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute. Katherine enjoys singing with the Harvard University Choir and playing trumpet in the Harvard Wind Ensemble. She is active in her church community, and is a member of the Christian Faith and Action club and the Latter-day Saint Student Association.

Katherine is a graduate of University High School in Irvine, California, where she served as a Drum Major for the marching band. She studied classical piano for eleven years, and sang with Millennial Choirs and Orchestras for ten. Katherine served on the board of her high school’s Junior Classical League and was a National Latin Exam winner. She also competed on her school’s International Space Settlement Design Competition team at the Kennedy Space Center. Katherine worked as a research intern at the University of California at Irvine, performing mathematical modeling of unstructured proteins. She is a national winner of the NCWIT Computing Award and the General Motors STEM for Changemaking Challenge. The Orange County Register named her as one of their Top 100 Most Influential People in Orange County, and Diversity in Action magazine named her “20 Under 20: Young Innovators Who Are Already Changing the World.” She won the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes and the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for her work in the tech-for-good space. Katherine is the daughter of David and Erin McPhie.


Mitchell Robson is a freshman at the University of Chicago majoring in Physics and Molecular Engineering. At the University of Chicago, he is a Senior Analysis Editor and writer for the Chicago Thinker, a new campus publication devoted to defending conservative and libertarian perspectives. Mitchell is a graduate of St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Massachusetts, where he was an AP Scholar, co-captain of his school’s Academic Bowl team, co-president of his school’s Mock Trial team, and one of two co-valedictorians. He competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2014, 2015, and 2016, qualifying in 2016 for the ESPN primetime final ten, eventually tying for seventh place. Mitchell works as a personal spelling coach for Hexco while also freelancing as a math and science tutor.

In 2017, Mitchell received the Brother Linus Scholarship, a full one-year merit scholarship awarded to a student, who, in his teachers’ eyes, is an outstanding individual and model of academic achievement and involvement in school activities. A Boy Scout since first grade, Mitchell earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Like President Coolidge, Mitchell is deeply invested in community efforts, including as a volunteer and training mentor for a Boston crisis center hotline. In 2018, he was named a Holocaust Legacy Fellow which included travel to Germany and Poland to be educated in preserving memories of the Holocaust. Mitchell is the son of Lena and Dwight Robson.


Class of 2018

Matt Muellner is a sophomore at Yale College. A Neuroscience and Computer Science major, Matt is motivated by a strong belief in the power of research and analytics to improve the lives of others. Most recently this has been in the lab of Dr. Marian Urban, where Matt studied the impact of brain death and lack of oxygen on the outcomes of heart transplants. He will present his work at the 2021 meeting of The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. At Yale, he works in various clubs that seek to address healthcare inequalities, serving as research director for the Yale Health Equity Initiative and as a referrals team member for the HAVEN Free Clinic. Matt has also worked as camp counselor for Tech4Teens, a New Haven nonprofit that teaches the fundamentals of website design and media editing to Connecticut teens.

A 2019 graduate of Creighton Preparatory School, Matt was valedictorian of his class and was named to the Omaha World-Herald Academic All-State Team. He competed at the national-level in Academic Decathlon, earning a gold medal in math and has competed in state and national Quiz Bowls. He also carried out research for two summers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, focusing on the development of a simian model for HIV. A dedicated volunteer, Matt was on the Core Team for Operation Others, an organization that collects and delivers food to over 1,200 families at Christmas. He is an Eagle Scout and was a member of his high school’s Campus Ministry Advisory Board. Matt is the son of Mike and Barb Muellner.


Katherine Sylvester is a sophomore at Yale College pursuing a degree in Statistics & Data Science and a certificate in Computer Programming. She has been extensively involved in debate for years; currently, she competes as a member of the Yale Debate Association and serves as the Coaching and Curriculum Director for the New Haven Urban Debate League. She also coaches the debate team at her former high school. Outside of debate, she enjoys working as a research assistant at Yale’s Cognitive and Neural Computation Laboratory, as well as playing on the women’s club frisbee team, Ramona Quimby.

Katherine is a graduate of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland. There, she served as student president of the speech and debate club and won several national awards for Public Forum debate, including top speaker at the Columbia and Georgetown University Invitationals and qualification to the Tournament of Champions. She also served as an editorial board member and opinion editor on her school’s award-winning student newspaper The Black & White. Throughout high school, she enjoyed cooking fresh food for the homeless through her club Spoonful of Hope, which is still running at Whitman today. Katherine is the daughter of Brett Sylvester and Xin Chen.


Alison Xin is a sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in Statistics with a secondary in Linguistics. She serves as a course assistant for both introductory computer science and statistics. Alison conducts research with the Neurodynamics and Neural Decoding Group at Massachusetts General and contributed to an abstract accepted by the Society for the Neurobiology of Language. She is a Fellowship Chair for Harvard College Effective Altruism, designing and leading the Arete Fellowship, a discussion series that introduce students to impactful philanthropy and charity. Additionally, at HSYLC-X, a leadership conference for secondary school students in China, she led a seminar on behavior and ethics. She also works as a Business Development Intern at Biohaven Pharmaceuticals.

She graduated from Hathaway Brown in Shaker Heights, Ohio with the Virginia Osborne Charman Award in English, Saltzman Family Excellence in Science Research Prize, and Alumnae Honor Award. In high school, Alison conducted research in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University, developing an open-source computational model for polymer-drug interactions. She has attended ISEF 2018 and 2019, winning five awards total. Additionally, Alison plays piano and has performed at Carnegie Hall four times on invite from American Protégé, the World Piano Competition, and the American Fine Arts Festival. She is the daughter of Drs. Lan Zhou and Wei Xin.


Class of 2017

Joshua Kim is a junior at the University of Chicago, majoring in English Literature and Economics. At the University of Chicago, he is involved in research seeking to better understand the integration of AI into longitudinal care technologies for patients with chronic conditions. Joshua is a Dougan Scholar at the Chicago Booth School of Business, which offers a select undergraduate cohort special access to Chicago Booth mentorship and resources. On campus, he also works as a tour guide in the admissions office.  Outside of the university environment, Joshua has spent time working in professional sports and biotechnology. Joshua has worked for ASICS America’s Pro Basketball Training Division and worked to identify Companion Diagnostic Partnerships for the biotechnology firm, Ignyta. More recently, he worked for biotechnology startup, Erasca, conducting commercial assessments for early-stage licensing partners and advising asset development.

Joshua graduated as valedictorian from the Cambridge School in San Diego, California. Like President Coolidge, he is an accomplished student who has studied Latin extensively and received the rank of Maxima Cum Laude on the highest level of the National Latin Exam. He is a founding member of his high school’s debate team and was ranked among the top 25 debaters in the country in Public Forum debate. He has also won numerous speaker awards on the national level and serves as an assistant debate coach for his high school. Joshua is the son of Scott and Jean Kim.


Elissa Morgan is a junior at Grove City College majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Music. At Grove City she is a Trustee Fellow, a member of the college’s top honors program, which only admits eight students each year. Through the Trustee program, she has enjoyed opportunities such as mentoring an underclassman for a year and attending the 2018 Intercollegiate Colloquium on the Liberal Arts. She is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and serves as vice president of the Grove City student chapter. Along with a fellow undergraduate, she is conducting independent research on the relationship between the mechanical properties of musical chimes and the emotional response of listeners. An enthusiastic musician, Elissa is vice president of the Grove City Touring Choir and has performed at churches, schools, and nursing homes in multiple states. She also works as a private voice teacher for middle school students. Since the summer of 2017, she has worked for Relevant Business Solutions, where she is involved in graphic design and customer relations. A native of Loganville, Georgia, Elissa homeschooled throughout high school, graduating in 2018. She was named an AP Scholar with Distinction and a 2018 National Merit Scholar.

Like President Coolidge, Elissa has a deep interest in the classics. In high school, she participated in the Guardian Guild Literary Society and Guardian Guild Elocution Recitals and tutored beginner and intermediate students in Latin. She is currently working with another undergraduate to establish a Latin club at Grove City College. For many years, she was a youth leader and member of the Care Team at Reformed Presbyterian Church of Monroe, where she also sang in the choir. She now participates in community service projects with Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church. She is secretary of Life Advocates, a Grove City student organization that works alongside other pro-life groups and pregnancy crisis centers to spread awareness about the pro-life movement. Elissa is the daughter of Jeff and Amy Morgan.


Neha Seshadri is a junior at Harvard College studying Economics and History.  At Harvard, she has been named a John Harvard Scholar for ranking in the top 5% of her grade and she maintains a keen interest in the intersection between community impact and entrepreneurship. Neha serves as the Assistant Director at the Harvard College Consulting Group, a student-run consulting group that has provided actionable recommendations for Fortune 500, Non-Profit organizations, and other clients with a combined market capitalization of over 4.5 trillion dollars. She also engages with Women in Leadership at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School and leads the organization of Harvard Model United Nations Conferences. Neha has explored her interests in education policy at the American Enterprise Institute Undergraduate Honors Program in Washington, D.C.

Neha graduated summa cum laude from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was selected as a United States Presidential Scholar in 2018 by the Department of Education, representing her home state of Michigan. Neha started a non-profit, Helping Hands Going Global, to help underprivileged children around the world. She also coaches students with physical and mental disabilities for the Special Olympics. Neha was honored with the Michigan Governor’s Service Award for Youth Volunteer of the Year and named one of the Ann Arbor Community Foundation’s Young Citizens of the Year for her extensive public service record. She is an AP Scholar with Distinction, a two-time National AP Scholar, and a National Merit Scholar. She is the daughter of Shiv and Sabina Seshadri.


Class of 2016

Regan Brady is a senior at Harvard College studying Economics and European Studies. Regan is very interested in the intersection between the public, private, and social sectors. At Harvard, she has been involved with economic policy research through the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, as well as, investing research with the Harvard College Impact Investing Group. Regan was an integral member of establishing and growing the Harvard College Effective Altruism club, serving on the board for two years. She has worked in the Consumer and Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs, as well as working as an associate at ImmerLearn, a social-enterprise startup seeking to utilize data science to improve outcomes of social-sector projects. Currently, she is a member of the strategy and finance team at Stride Funding, a fin-tech student lending startup.

In 2017, Regan graduated from Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio where she was a varsity athlete in cross country, lacrosse, and indoor track. In addition to sports, she competed on the debate team, worked as editor of the school newspaper, and was a co-president of both Hathaway Brown’s Mu Alpha Theta Chapter and GROW Foundation. A highly-accomplished student and AP Scholar, Regan enjoyed conducting neuroscience research at Case Western Reserve University throughout her high school years.

Regan is a national advocate for the hearing impaired, carrying on the legacy of Grace Coolidge who was a teacher at the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts. At age 11, Regan published Listening to the Waves, a book about her own experience overcoming hearing loss and growing up with cochlear implants. She volunteers with children who have experienced hearing loss and mentors families of newly diagnosed hearing-impaired children through the Auditory-Outcomes Project. Regan speaks often to audiology students on college campuses and at state and national conventions on early auditory intervention. In addition to her work advocating for the hearing impaired, Regan has raised significant funds to support wounded veterans through the Marine Corps Marathon’s 10K Race, collects food for the Cleveland Food Bank, and assists physically disabled children through Youth Challenge Sports. She is the daughter of Corey and Sharon Brady.


Joshua Moriarty is a senior at Harvard College majoring in Comparative Religion and Mathematics. An accomplished student, Joshua was one of twenty-four members of his class selected for junior-year induction into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society on the basis of extraordinary academic achievement. He has been named a John Harvard Scholar each year for ranking in the top 5% of his class and is a two-time recipient of the Weinstein Prize for best undergraduate essay in Jewish studies. In addition to his coursework, Joshua has explored his academic interests as an Undergraduate Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and through a semester of study at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.

Outside of the classroom, Joshua has worked as an editorial intern for Professor Walter Russell Mead’s Global View column in the Wall Street Journal and has researched education policy through Harvard’s Institute of Politics. He volunteers as a Resource Advocate at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, helping to connect Cambridge’s homeless population with essential resources. He is also an active member of the Jewish community on campus, serving as one of the leaders of the Student Conservative Minyan and studying Jewish texts each week with Meor at Harvard. Prior to college, Joshua attended Hunter College High School in New York City, where he served as co-president of the Speech and Debate team and ranked as high as second in the nation in Public Forum debate. He is the son of Patrick Moriarty and Elizabeth Philipp.


Sam Reddick is a senior at Rice University majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Through a university program, Sam became certified as an advanced emergency medical technician and has served as the captain of Rice Emergency Medical Services (EMS) since 2019. As the highest-ranked student, Sam oversees the leadership team and daily operations of the university’s first responder organization, which receives hundreds of emergency calls every year. Under Sam’s leadership, Rice EMS was named the National Collegiate EMS Organization of the Year and received the Texas First Responder Award in 2019. Sam also provides standby medical services at large-scale events around Houston with Harris County Emergency Corps. At Rice, Sam enjoys working as a teaching assistant, instructing CPR classes, and tutoring peers as a Head Mentor in the Wiess Mentor Society. Additionally, he volunteers with the Baylor College of Medicine Patient Discharge Initiative in the emergency department of a local hospital by connecting underserved patients with medical, financial, and social resources.

In addition to clinical work, Sam is passionate about pediatric research. In 2018, he led a project at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital focusing on the pharmacokinetic modeling and safety analysis of a chemotherapeutic drug used to treat children and infants with brain tumors. He now investigates serious morbidities in premature babies in a neonatology lab at Texas Children’s Hospital. Like President Coolidge, Sam is dedicated to serving his community. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has volunteered with the Harris County Medical Reserve Corps to conduct COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for the public. He also serves as a public health ambassador for his residential college and assists the medical branch of the Rice Crisis Management Team. Sam is a graduate of Evangelical Christian School in Memphis, TN where he was valedictorian. He is the son of Gene and Jennifer Reddick.