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McLean, VA (June 15, 2020) – The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) announces that five Research Science Institute (RSI) alumni are among the high school seniors named U.S. Presidential Scholars for their accomplishments in academics,the arts, and career and technical education fields.

The Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts combined with evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

The following RSI ’19 alumni are members of the 56th Class of U.S. Presidential Scholars:

  • Lauren Chen, Irmo, SC - Dutch Fork High School
  • Helena Jiang, Gainesville, FL - Buchholz High School
  • Rhea Malhotra, Allentown, PA - Moravian Academy
  • Nadine Meister, Ellicott City, MD - Centennial High School
  • Emma Grace Sun, Sandy, UT - The Waterford School

“I am so proud of these RSI Alumni,” said Joann P. DiGennaro, CEE President. “They personify excellence in STEM.”

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer as public health circumstances permit. Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,600 of the nation's top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

For the past 36 years, the Research Science Institute 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 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 
CEE 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 sponsors the Research Science Institute (RSI), the USA Biolympiad (USABO), and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP). For more information, visit CEE’s web site,

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

Related websites:

Research Science Institute:
USA Biolympiad:
Teacher Enrichment Program:


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