RSI Alumni Earn Distinctive Recognition

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RSI Alumni Earn Distinctive Recognition


McLean, VA (October 15, 2020) – The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) is proud to announce that two 2020 Research Science Institute (RSI) alumni—Sarah Chen and Wade Wahlig—have earned the prestigious Coolidge Scholarship.

“CEE is so proud of these scholars and wishes them well as they embark on their studies. They personify excellence in STEM,” said Joann P. DiGennaro, CEE President.

    Sarah Chen   Sarah Chen is a senior at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In addition to RSI, she conducted research through the MIT PRIMES program and as an industry intern. In her research, 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
    Wade Wahlig   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. At RSI 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

    The Coolidge Scholars Program is a program of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, the official foundation dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of America’s thirtieth president. The Coolidge Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit based in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, the President’s birthplace. The Coolidge Scholarship is an “unconditional” merit scholarship. It covers tuition, room, board, and required fees for four years of undergraduate study. More information is here.

    Ms. Chen and Mr. Wahlig were also named Coolidge Senators along with three other 2020 RSI alumni: Ishan Khare of Ohio, Kaien Yang of Virginia, and Vivian Yee of Michigan. The Coolidge Senators Program is a distinct program from the Coolidge Scholarship that recognizes Coolidge Scholarship applicants who show a special interest in President Calvin Coolidge and demonstrate exceptional academic merit. Coolidge Senators are invited to take part, all-expenses-paid, in the annual Coolidge Senators Summit in Washington, D.C. During the multi-day Summit, Coolidge Senators tour the nation’s capital, discuss pressing issues in policy and business with renowned experts, and engage in formal debates on issues of national importance.

    For the past 36 years, RSI has provided students with the opportunity to conduct original, cutting-edge research in state-of-the-art university laboratories, hospitals and corporate research facilities in Boston and Cambridge, MA. The heart of RSI is the five-week research internship where students conduct individual projects under the tutelage of mentors who are experienced scientists and researchers. RSI is cost-free for students to attend. The RSI is collaboratively sponsored with MIT.

    About the Center for Excellence in Education 

    The Center for Excellence in Education was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover and Joann P. DiGennaro, President of the Center. The Center's mission is to nurture high school and university scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to encourage collaboration between and among leaders in the global community. CEE’s programs include the Research Science Institute (RSI), the USA Biolympiad (USABO), and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP). For more information, visit

    Media Contact:
    Tom Flavell, (703) 448-9062 ext. 237
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