Student Chosen for Rickover Award

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Student Chosen for Prestigious Rickover Award at 37th annual Research Science Institute

McLean, VA (August 11, 2020) – Eldar Urkumbayev of Kazakhstan was chosen by his RSI peers for the top honor —Rickoid of the Year—at the Center for Excellence in Education’s (CEE) 37th annual Research Science Institute (RSI). The award recognizes academic acumen, leadership and personal demeanor, and is named for the late Admiral H.G. Rickover, father of the nuclear Navy and a founder of CEE. Mr.Urkumbayev is a student at Nazarbayev Intellectual School in Nur-Sultan.

Mr. Urkumbayev is one of the 84 top achieving U.S. high school and international scholars selected for the 2020 RSI, an intensive, six-week summer program jointly sponsored by CEE and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. RSI gives students the opportunity to conduct original, cutting-edge Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research in state-of-the-art university laboratories, hospitals and corporate research facilities, at no cost to the students. This year RSI was presented in virtual format June 21 through Aug. 1.

CEE President and founder Joann P. DiGennaro said, “Mr. Urkumbayev is a model student who demonstrates qualities that others want to emulate. To be chosen as Rickoid of the Year is an honor that he should hold in high regard for the rest of his life.”

RSI is offered cost-free by CEE to competitively-selected top achieving students. Students are selected by CEE’s committee of professional educators and RSI alumni based on high school records, personal essays, standardized test scores, teacher recommendations, research experience, potential for leadership, and honors and awards in math and science. 

Mr. Urkumbayev joins CEE’s nearly 3,000 successful alumni with a STEM career retention rate of 80 percent. CEE alumni enjoy referral, networking and enrichment activities throughout their collegiate and professional careers.

The RSI summer program consists of one week of theoretical classroom work, followed by four-and-a-half weeks of high-level research under the mentorship of leading scientists, engineers, and researchersin the students’ respective areas of interest. In their final week, students demonstrate their research work through written academic papers and oral presentations to their peers and a panel of judges.

In addition to 53 U.S. high school rising seniors, 31 international students participated this summer from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.

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).

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

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