Coolidge Scholars

Class of 2024

Carson Collins – Austin, Texas

Carson Collins is a homeschooled student from Austin, Texas. He is dual-enrolled at Austin Community College, where he is pursuing an Associate of Arts Degree in Radio-Television-Film. He has written, filmed, and produced multiple short documentaries on America’s founding principles that have received awards in national video competitions, including C-SPAN’s StudentCam, Constituting America’s We the Future, and Stossel in the Classroom. He is interested in politics and public policy and debates constitutional issues through the YMCA Youth and Government Appellate Court program. In 2023, he placed second at the National Judicial Conference. Carson was named a Top Attorney at the Texas High School Mock Trial Competition and has won several regional and national writing competitions.

Because of his interest in film, Carson created volunteer videos for the YMCA and the Audubon Society to publicize their work. He has also volunteered 500 hours inspecting, cleaning, and sorting food at the Central Texas Food Bank Product Recovery Warehouse. Carson is an Eagle Scout and has received the Congressional Award Silver Medal. He is a competitive rower for the Texas Rowing Center. He placed first in the Under-17 Men’s Double at the 2022 USRowing Youth National Championship and placed third in the Under-19 Men’s Quad at the 2023 USRowing Youth National Championship. He also teaches teens and adults how to row and assists with corporate leadership events. Carson enjoys chess, jiu-jitsu, and ultra-marathons. He is the son of Kevin Collins and Shannon Lamm.

Jonathan Dorminy – McDonough, Georgia

Jonathan Dorminy is a homeschooled student from McDonough, Georgia. Fascinated by radio from an early age, he enjoys researching radio history and modern developments in radio science. Jonathan’s research on the impact of radio throughout history has won second and third-place medals in the National History Day competition. He has qualified three times for the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) with communication-related projects. Last year at ISEF, he won awards from Qorvo Technologies, TÜBİTAK, and a scholarship from MS&T. Through his research experience, Jonathan became an associate member of Sigma Xi. He is a recipient of the Rookie of the Year award from the 3905 Century Amateur Radio Club for his volunteer efforts as a net controller.

Jonathan has many other interests beyond radio. His engineering team from Soli Deo Gloria Home Education Foundation has twice qualified for the Technology Students Association TEAMS national competition after back-to-back state championship victories in Georgia. In addition, Jonathan leads 4-H clubs and runs with the Clover Glove racing series, raising funds for scholarships and camps for youth. He is a three-time Georgia champion in the 4-H Shooting Sports Quiz bowl. Last year, Jonathan experienced hands-on exposure to mining and explosives at the Missouri Science and Technology Explosives and Mining Engineering camp. He will participate in the Beaver Works Summer Institute at MIT this year. Jonathan’s hobbies include amateur radio, hunting, fishing, and running. He is the youngest of six children raised on a farm by John and Ann Dorminy.

James Dover – Belmont, North Carolina

James Dover is a student at South Point High School in Belmont, North Carolina, and the North Carolina School of Science and Math online program. Diagnosed with profound single-sided deafness at birth, James shares in common with Grace Coolidge a commitment to the Deaf community. James founded the only Junior National Association of the Deaf chapter in North Carolina and serves as a mentor for Beginnings for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Inc. Appointed a youth advisory team leader for the Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center, he designs projects and programs to allow parents of disabled children to implement individualized education programs and 504 plans within North Carolina school systems. He was selected by the Alexander Graham Bell Foundation to attend their leadership conference at Georgetown University and to serve as a national panelist for their parent support sessions. He is the youngest invited member of the Consumer Advocacy Network for the American Cochlear Implant Alliance, a public policy initiative to advance access to cochlear implants through research, advocacy, and awareness.

James is an avid tennis player. As a member of Charlotte’s Olde Providence Tennis Academy, he has amassed over 35 first- and second-place finishes in USTA tournaments in singles and doubles, is the first person in his school’s history to be named All-State in tennis, and led his high school team to its first ever state championship. Together with his brothers, James established the Belmont chapter of Abilities Tennis, an organization that provides tennis clinics to individuals with intellectual disabilities. In recognition of this work, the Dover family was honored with the Blount and Dargan M. Williams USTA of North Carolina Family of the Year Award. He is an active volunteer for Wheel Serve NC, promoting wheelchair tennis, as well as the United Tennis Organization, advancing accessibility of the sport in North Carolina. Outside of tennis, James was a quarterfinalist in the 2019 and 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. He coached his younger brother Rex to the Spelling Bee quarterfinals the very next year. James is the son of Stanley and Amy Dover.

Sidney Lin – Forest Hills, New York

Sidney Lin is a student at The Bronx High School of Science in Bronx, New York. Sidney has conducted stem cell research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, helping to verify a new high-efficiency protocol to chemically reprogram adult human somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells using small molecules. Sidney has also performed stroke data research, studying relationships between time, angiographic, and perfusion variables that may help streamline treatment decision-making. These results were published in multiple categories at the 2024 International Stroke Conference where Sidney was the youngest presenter. Recognizing the burgeoning use of artificial intelligence in biology and medicine, she is now delving into machine learning and neural networks at the MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute Medlytics Program.

Inspired by her grandmother’s battle with cerebrovascular disease, Sidney is committed to advancing stroke awareness, especially in underserved communities. As a junior member of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, she has collaborated with New York Presbyterian Queens to educate local residents on the signs and symptoms of acute stroke. Sidney also volunteers with the Ronald McDonald House to help support families traveling to New York City for medical treatments of pediatric cancers and other serious illnesses.

A varsity member of Bronx Science’s top-ranked speech and debate team, Sidney is a two-time champion in declamation and original oratory in the New York Catholic Forensics League and has competed in several national tournaments. She is also the spotlight editor for The Science Survey, Bronx Science’s online newspaper. She has enjoyed writing articles on a wide range of topics from the Queens night market to the cultural rebirth of the city of Berlin. Sidney is the daughter of Christine Chong and Ke Lin.

Akilan Sankaran – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Akilan Sankaran is a student at Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An avid mathematician, Akilan has conducted extensive research in both pure and applied mathematics. His investigations in number theory and computational chemistry were recognized at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, where he won the first prize grand award in both the Mathematics and Chemistry categories. Akilan’s research has also been awarded the Broadcom MASTERS Samueli Foundation Prize. He is a Spirit of Ramanujan fellow, a two-time national gold medal winner in the USA Mathematics Talent Search, and the winner of the Steven H. Strogatz Prize for Mathematics Communication for his expository Twitter threads. He plans to extend his research at MIT’s Research Science Institute.

Akilan is a classical pianist, and was invited to attend the Cliburn Junior Piano Competition and Festival, as well as the Verbier Festival. He performed in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and has performed several concerti with professional orchestras. Akilan is a winner of the Music Teachers’ National Association New Mexico Senior Competition, a two-time recipient of the Royal Conservatory of Music National Gold Medal, and the winner of the Jackie McGehee Concerto Competition.

Akilan competes in cross country, and serves as a captain of his high school’s team. He volunteers in his community and has established initiatives to foster curiosity in mathematics and music among younger students. As a class officer and a leader on the Student Wellness Advisory Board at his school, he has organized efforts to foster mental health awareness. Akilan also enjoys contributing to his school newspaper and debating in the Public Forum format. He is the son of Sivasankaran Rajamanickam and Sridevi Kumaravelu.

Class of 2023

Matthew Califano is a student at Craftsbury Academy in Craftsbury Common, Vermont. Matthew was named a 2023 Vermont Presidential Scholar in the Arts and has won numerous awards for his writing, including first prize in the Dorset Theatre Festival Young Playwrights Competition, the Scholastic National Medal, and the NCTE Achievement Award in Writing First Class. Matthew is particularly interested in the lessons to be learned from the legal and economic policies of the ancient world. He is a member of the National Junior Classical League’s (NJCL) Latin and Greek Honor Societies and has won multiple gold medals on each of NJCL’s exams on National Roman Civilization, Hellenic Civilization, Classical Etymology, Latin Vocabulary, and Mythology. He is also a four-time National Latin Exam gold medalist and is a recipient of the Lillie B. Hamilton Award for the highest ranking student at NJCL’s annual convention. 

Matthew serves as a teacher’s assistant for his school’s freshman English courses and volunteers with the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. He serves as a mentor for Americorps’ DREAM Program and as a member of its Vermont Advisory Board. He has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award gold medal, the Congressional Award’s bronze medal, a Daughters of the American Revolution Youth Citizenship Award, and the University of Vermont’s Citizen-Scholar Book Award. Matthew has won multiple cross country and track state championships in Vermont and recently qualified for the 2024 New York City Marathon. In addition, he has won gold medals for track at the AAU/USATF National Championships and in rowing at the US Rowing Indoor Nationals. Matthew is the son of Dr. Anca Rosca and Richard Califano.

Kendall Gee is a student at Lebanon Trail High School in Frisco, Texas. Kendall’s interest in policy and government led her to work as a project coordinator for the Institute for Youth in Policy and serve as a student attorney on the Collin County Teen Court, where she has helped more than 250 teens. In addition, she dedicates time to the Local Good Center, where she teaches classes to those seeking citizenship, and was selected for the Congressional Youth Advisory Council.

Kendall enjoys pursuing interests in both history and business. She is a Citizen Bee State Champion, a two-time qualifier for the National U.S. History Bee, a runner-up in the RoundPier Investment Competition, and a DECA International Champion in Marketing Management Team Decision Making. In her community, Kendall has served as her Scouts BSA troop’s senior patrol leader and participated in the MENA-USA Empowering Resilient Girls Exchange. She has also been recognized as a Congressional Gold Medalist, a Dallas/Fort Worth World Affairs Council 20 Under 20 honoree, and a President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award recipient. Kendall founded a chapter of the Junior World Affairs Council at her school. Her chapter packed nearly 10,000 meals for people in Ukraine and Guatemala. She is the senior vice president of the orchestra, the president of National Honor Society, and the mascot on the varsity cheerleading team. Kendall is the daughter of Jennifer and Brian Gee.

Griffin Hon is a student at Syosset High School in Syosset, New York. Griffin has conducted biomedical research at SUNY Old Westbury, where his work revealed pro-cancer effects of cephalexin, a common antibiotic. His research has received recognition, including the second place award in Biomedical and Health Sciences from the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair, the first place Grand Award at the Long Island Science & Engineering Fair, and first place at the NSPC Health Science Competition. He is a Partner for the Future at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Griffin enjoys communicating ideas in science and diplomacy. He was named the international winner of the Steven H. Strogatz Prize for Math Communication for his short-form videos explaining mathematics concepts. His writings on trends in metascience have won Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, including a Gold Key. He contributes and directs blog content about the UN Development Goals for Next Generation Diplomacy. 

Griffin is the founder and president of the HOSA – Future Health Professionals chapter at his school and a two-time state champion in the Medical Math and Pathophysiology events. A trivia competitor, Griffin was the National Science Bee Second Place Champion and a Top Six Finalist in the US Academic Bee. He captained his school’s Quiz Bowl team to place first in Long Island. He organizes local donation drives for hospitals and nursing homes, provides weekly English lessons to a student in Ukraine through ENGin, and volunteers at his local library. Griffin serves as an international Student Ambassador for Smile Train and is a Long Island Young Scholar of Mathematics. Griffin participated in the Davidson THINK Institute, the Johns Hopkins Study of Exceptional Talent, and the Columbia University Science Honors Program. Griffin is the son of Mabel and Justin Hon.

John McPhie is a student at University High School in Irvine, California. He serves as drum major of the marching band and plays tuba in the wind symphony. A classically-trained pianist, John has won prizes in several competitions. John also studies organ, sings with Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, and performs with his school’s ComedySportz improv troupe.

John served as president of his school’s chapter of the Junior Classical League. He captained the first place Certamen team in California three years in a row and earned two gold medals on the National Latin Exam. An avid Boy Scout, John has staffed multiple National Youth Leadership Training courses as well as Philmont’s National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience. For his Eagle project, John led a variety of projects to benefit our deployed troops, first responders, and veterans. John enjoys the outdoors and has also done extensive habitat restoration work. John’s birdwatching field notebooks have been featured in the American Birding Association’s Birding magazine. John is an active member of his church youth group and the city of Irvine’s Youth Action Team. He has volunteered at assisted living facilities, disability centers, food banks, and homeless shelters. John enjoys studying philosophy as a high school fellow with the Witherspoon Institute. He is the son of Erin and David McPhie.

Eric Zou is a student at BASIS Shavano in San Antonio, Texas. His favorite area of study is physics, and he has competed in the USA Physics Olympiad for several years, earning Bronze and Silver Medals in 2022 and 2023, respectively. In addition, he is the captain of his school’s Science Bowl team and led the team to a top 16 finish at the 2023 National Finals. Eric is also a researcher who has spent several years investigating photoacoustics, placing third in Embedded Systems at the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair for his work. He is an Associate Member of Sigma Xi, a Carson Scholar, and an American Invitational Mathematics Examination Qualifier with AMC Distinction.

Eric is committed to the advancement of children’s education and is involved in a variety of organizations that work toward that end. He has tutored with San Antonio Math Include since its founding, teaching subjects from competition math to physics to computer science. For two years, he has also been the Director of Development for the San Antonio Book Pool, an organization that delivers books to underserved communities. Moved by his experiences as an officer in his school’s chapters of Mu Alpha Theta and Science National Honor Society, he aspires to become a scientific communicator encouraging the next generation of scientific trailblazers. Eric is the son of Xiaoming Bao and Jun Zou.

Class of 2022

Hannah Guan is a freshman at Harvard College. She is a graduate of Basis Shavano in San Antonio, Texas. Hannah enjoys studying math and participates in the USA Mathematical Olympiad, the USA Physics Olympiad, and the USA Computing Olympiad in the Gold Division. She was named an AMC 12A Young Women in Mathematics winner and a NCWIT Aspirations in Computing national winner. She is a Spirit of Ramanujan fellow, a World Science Scholar, and a Carson Scholar. 

Hannah has research experience in the interdisciplinary fields of statistics, artificial intelligence, and genomics. She uses statistical models and machine learning algorithms to conduct genetic studies on aging and age-related diseases. Her research has received numerous awards, including: recognition on the Broadcom MASTERS Top 30 list, the fourth place prize in Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair’s Computational Biology and Bioinformatics category, the 2nd Special Award of the American Statistical Association, and MAA’s Outstanding Undergraduate Presentation Award. Like President Coolidge, Hannah devotes time to public service. She founded San Antonio Math Include, an organization that offers free classes and summer camps for students in grades K-12. Hannah is the daughter of Yu Zhang and Weihua Guan.

Elizabeth Shaffer is a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a graduate of Pine-Richland High School in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. She is interested in studying engineering along with the humanities to bring a unique approach to public policy. To share her love of engineering and history, Elizabeth designed and directed “Crossing the Rhine with Caesar,” a workshop teaching middle school students bridge engineering principles in the context of ancient Roman history. Elizabeth has also participated in Pennsylvania’s Technology Student Association Teams Engineering competition. 

To pursue her interest in public policy, Elizabeth completed the Hillsdale College online course, “Public Policy from a Constitutional Viewpoint.” She was selected to participate in the Miracle in Rwanda Global Classroom, a virtual, international student workshop focusing on the causes of genocide. Elizabeth is a member of the National Honor Society and served as captain of her school’s Hometown High-Q team. As a leader in her community, Elizabeth volunteers in the children’s programs at her church and Teen Leadership Project, a mission outreach fostering team building and community service. Elizabeth has been a competitive year-round swimmer for nine years. She was elected captain of her varsity swim team and competes on her club team at USA Swimming Sectional and Zone meets. Elizabeth enjoys volunteering as a swim instructor to young children and working as a lifeguard. She is the daughter of Jeremy and Stacey Shaffer.

Warren Shepherd is a freshman at Princeton University. Warren is from from Evans, Georgia where he pursued a homeschool education and took courses at Augusta University. Interested in engineering and housing development, Warren recently completed an internship with a civil and structural engineering firm. He plans to work this summer for a local home renovator. 

Active in academic competitions, Warren was the Ubuntu specialist of his CyberPatriot team. The team placed third in Georgia, garnering special commendation by the National Security Agency. Warren has won awards in physics, codebreaking, civil engineering, and rocketry in Science Olympiad, as well as individual and team awards in collegiate math tournaments. Captain of a state champion cross country team and state runner-up track team in the Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools, Warren has also won individual state titles in the 1600-meter, 800-meter, 4×400-meter relay, and pole vault. He was named high point individual at the state track and field championship. An officer in the National Honor Society and Beta Club, Warren has been the leader of local trail upkeep projects in conjunction with the Southern Off-Road Biking Association. He has volunteered with nursing homes, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Broad Street Ministries of Augusta, and children’s ministries. Warren participates in chorus and drama, performing in Fiddler on the Roof and The Music Man. He is the son of Scott and Sydney Shepherd.

Ellen Xu, is a freshman at Stanford University. She is a graduate of Del Norte High School. Inspired by her younger sister, who had Kawasaki disease, Ellen conducted research at the University of California San Diego Kawasaki Disease Research Center / Rady Children’s Hospital. She helped to develop a deep learning algorithm for the early diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease. She has presented her findings at the triennial International Kawasaki Disease Symposium in Tokyo, Scripps Research Symposium, and multiple other scientific conferences. Ellen has been inducted into Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society and was honored as a Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair Grand Award Third Place winner. She volunteers with the Kawasaki Disease Foundation and the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair.  

Through Zipline Theory, an organization she started, Ellen has led a cybersecurity program for girls of military families. She has received the National Center for Women in Technology Impact Award, the George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award, and her team was crowned the CyberPatriot National Champion by the Air Force Association in 2021. As a competitive saber fencer, Ellen represented the USA at the Romania Fencing World Cup, winning 5th place individually for her age group, and captained the Junior Olympic silver medalist team in 2020. Ellen has served as Co-Editor in Chief of The Featheralist, a student publication at her high school. Ellen is the daughter of Lin Jiang and Hao Xu.

Himani Yarlagadda is a freshman at Harvard College. She is a graduate of Detroit Country Day Upper School. Himani is an AP Scholar with Distinction and an inductee into her school’s Cum Laude Society. She is interested in the interdependency between the health sciences and mathematics, with a special interest in allergies. She was named in the honors list for the US National Chemistry Olympiad and conducts research on denaturing food allergens via chemical and physical means. She hopes to broaden the flexibility of those who suffer from severe allergies. Himani is a four-time American Invitational Mathematics Examination qualifier and is the president of the math club at the Indus Center for Academic Excellence. She enjoys her study of Latin, receiving Summa Cum Laude twice on the National Latin Exam. She competes in Model United Nations and is a two-time State Champion in Epidemiology at HOSA.

Himani is involved in several education-related initiatives for younger students. She is the founder of the Root 4 Girls math club at her local middle school; coaches the middle school Science Olympiad Disease Detectives team; tutors at her high school, and co-runs MEMO—a local elementary and middle school math competition. She also enjoys her time at the Friendship Circle, a nonprofit organization for children with special needs. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and playing the flute. Himani is the daughter of Raghu and Vanaja Yarlagadda.

Class of 2021

Peyton Crevasse is a sophomore at Yale College. She is a graduate of Nease High School. At Nease she participated in the International Baccalaureate Program and has qualified as an AP Scholar, National AP Scholar, and an AP Scholar with Distinction. Peyton is interested in chemistry and its applications within medical research, a passion that was deepened through her volunteer service for the Park Avenue Project at S.T.A.R.S. Rehab, where she works directly with Parkinson’s patients.

Peyton recently worked with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year Campaign to raise funds for blood cancer research. Peyton’s team raised over $23,000, and finished as runner-up in the Jacksonville competition. Peyton currently serves on the Student Leadership Board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society providing input and assistance for upcoming campaigns. Peyton is also involved with Dance Marathon, a program that supports pediatric hospitals, acting as her school’s Fundraising Coordinator. She is dedicated to her community and has participated in Youth Leadership Jacksonville, a year-long program that prepares students with demonstrated leadership skills to become ethical community leaders.

Peyton is captain of her recreational soccer team and has volunteered as a youth coach. She competes on Nease’s varsity soccer and track teams and takes part in National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and HOSA, where she qualified for states in the Medical Math Category. Peyton also serves as a district-wide ambassador for her school’s Communications Academy. She is the daughter of Brian and Katherine Crevasse.

Emma Finn is a sophomore at Harvard College. She is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. At Exeter, Emma is pursued a Classical Diploma and has a strong interest in Latin and Attic Greek. She has twice earned the Gold Medal, summa cum laude, on the National Latin Exam and has also earned a perfect score on the National Greek Exam. Emma has won multiple awards for excellence in the classics at Phillips Exeter, including the Haig Ramage Prize for Classical Scholarship. During the summer of 2021, she worked with Exeter’s Classics faculty to help revise the Academy’s Attic Greek textbook.

 Emma is also interested in history and economics. In 2020, she earned her school’s Negley Prize in history and in June 2021 was awarded Exeter’s Prize for Academic Achievement in the Study of Economics. Emma is the co-head of Exeter’s Economics Club and Microfinance Club, which makes loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world. She is the president of Exeter’s Student Service Organization and has interned with the New-York Historical Society. 

Emma enjoys equestrian riding and volunteers her time helping care for abandoned horses. She is the daughter of Arti Finn and Christopher Grewe.

Matthew Gilbert is a sophomore at Cornell University. He is a graduate of Greely High School in Cumberland, Maine. Matthew has conducted multiple year-long research projects for National History Day, placing first in the nation in the Junior Group Documentary division for his documentary on the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement. He enjoys sharing his knowledge by mentoring middle school students in the program and giving presentations at teacher workshops. For the past five summers Matthew has volunteered as a museum docent at historic Eagle Island. An accomplished musician in piano, trumpet, and voice, Matthew performs in six ensembles and has been selected for the All-State Choir, All-State Jazz Band, All-Eastern Choir, and All-National Choir.

Matthew is especially passionate about ornithology and is able to identify over 170 bird species by sound alone. He logged the most species in Maine in 2020 on eBird, the citizen science database of Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology. He volunteers in surveying, breeding, and wintering birds in counts run by the Audubon Society, and has conducted research into protandry in migrant warblers.

Matthew markets and sells the bird artwork of the late Fr. Paul Plante for the benefit of the Catholic Diocese of Portland, and is an altar server for both daily and weekend Mass. He loves the outdoors, and through Boy Scouts has canoed the Allagash River and climbed Mount Katahdin multiple times. Matthew is the son of Paul and Lisa Gilbert. 

Johnny Miri is a sophomore at Harvard College. He is a graduate of St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School in Austin, Texas. Johnny has conducted independent research in the history of science, authoring a 14,000-word article that was recently published in Volume 51, Issue 4 of the peer-reviewed journal Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences. Johnny’s research explores American science policy in the mid-twentieth century, particularly the interplay between Cold War institutions and personal networks. He delivered a talk on his work to the History & Philosophy of Science Colloquium, a group sponsored by the History Department of the University of Texas.

Johnny ranked fifth in the world at the International History Olympiad in Berlin, Germany, and placed first in the Physics National Championship Tournament. He captained his quiz bowl team to its first national tournament, and placed fourth at the Individual Player National Championship Tournament. Johnny is president of his school’s Mu Alpha Theta chapter, Physics Club, and Computer Science Club, and serves as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. Since his freshman year, Johnny has volunteered at the Feed My People ministry, waking up on Thursdays at 3:00 AM to serve breakfast to Austin’s homeless population.

Johnny has played piano for over ten years, earning a Superior Plus rating from the National Guild Auditions yearly, memorizing and performing up to ten songs for a judge. He is a volunteer physics tutor at his local library, and attended the HOBY World Leadership Conference. Johnny is the son of Ellen and John Miri.

Adie Selassie is a sophomore at Harvard College. She is a graduate of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. Her interests include mathematics and neuroscience, including their application in the education and justice systems. Adie conducted research on the impact of plastic toxins on the neurodevelopment of zebrafish, and presented her findings at multiple scientific conferences. She completed a neuroscience internship at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research at the University of California, San Diego, and is currently engaged in neuroscience research at Children’s National Medical Center. Adie also completed an internship at the FDA. As a mental health advocate, Adie serves as a Youth Advisory Board Member at the American Psychological Association.

Having identified a community in need, Adie founded Live in The Lights, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing solar power to the colonias – an impoverished border community in Texas. Her organization has provided solar panels to more than 50 homes and has been honored with a George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award and recognized by the Brower Youth Awards for Environmental Leadership.

When not competing for her school’s cross country and track teams, Adie enjoys tutoring students at her church. She is the daughter of Yodit Belew and Brook Selassie.  

Class of 2020

Sarah Chen is a junior at Stanford University. She is a graduate of 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 junior at Baylor University. He is a graduate of Harlan Community High School in Harlan, Iowa.

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 junior at Yale College. He is a graduate of 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 junior at Yale College. He is a graduate of 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 senior 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 is a junior at Princeton University and is  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 sophomore 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 senior 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 2023 graduate of 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 2023 graduate of Yale College where she pursued 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 2023 graduate of Harvard College where she concentrated in Statistics with a secondary in Linguistics. She served as a course assistant for both introductory computer science and statistics. Alison conducted 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 2023 graduate of the University of Chicago, where he majored in English Literature and Economics. At the University of Chicago, he was 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 2022 graduate of Grove City College where she majored in Mechanical Engineering and minored 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 2022 graduate of Harvard College where she studied 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 2022 graduate of Harvard College where she studied 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 2022 graduate of Harvard College where he majored 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 graduated magna cum laude from Rice University in May 2021 with a degree in Kinesiology and minor in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and is taking a gap year before starting medical school. He currently works as a Senior Research Data Coordinator at MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Department of Radiation Oncology, where he studies physiological changes elicited by radiation therapy. Recently appointed as an adjunct instructor, Sam also teaches the Introduction to Emergency Medical Care course at Rice University.

For two years, Sam led Rice Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the university’s first responder organization. Under his leadership, Rice EMS was named the National Collegiate EMS Organization of the Year and received the Texas First Responder Award in 2019. Sam also served as the Head Mentor of the Wiess Mentor Society, volunteered with the Baylor College of Medicine Patient Discharge Initiative, and provided standby medical services at large-scale events in Houston with Harris County Emergency Corps. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sam worked on the front-lines as a first responder and assisted the Rice Crisis Management Team in organizing and executing multiple vaccination drives for the community. At graduation, Sam was inducted into the Rice Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, received a special service award, and was recognized as one of ten outstanding seniors who contributed the most to the excellence of the university.

During his time as an undergraduate, Sam was heavily involved in 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 later investigated serious morbidities in premature babies in a neonatology lab at Texas Children’s Hospital.

In 2017, Sam graduated as valedictorian from Evangelical Christian School in Memphis, TN. He is the son of Gene and Jennifer Reddick.