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Top Student Achievers Defy ‘The Norm’

2008-08-13 07:00:00

20 Students Named Davidson Fellows and Receive $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000


    WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 /EMWNews/ -- Recent research by The Thomas B.

Fordham Institute concludes that many high-achieving students do not

receive the support to reach their full potential. However, 20 young people

named as 2008 Davidson Fellows exemplify the extraordinary work that can be

achieved by students who are given opportunities to excel.

    From a plan to create alternative energy from wastewater, to a

promising treatment for HIV, the accomplishments of the Davidson Fellows,

who range in age from 12 to 17, are a testament to effective teaching and

mentoring, supportive families and individual determination. Based on their

achievements in the fields of science, technology, mathematics, music,

literature, philosophy and "outside the box," these 20 students will

receive $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 scholarships from the Davidson

Institute for Talent Development, a national nonprofit organization

headquartered in Reno, Nev. that supports profoundly gifted youth.

    "We are thrilled to recognize the 2008 Davidson Fellows not only for

their incredible projects, but also for the journey they forged to reach

this point," said Bob Davidson, co-founder of the Davidson Institute. "Each

year the breadth and depth of Fellows' accomplishments overwhelm us. With

nurturing, gifted students will be among those who will solve the world's

most vexing problems, now and in the future."

    The 2008 Davidson Fellows have accomplished important work in a variety

of subjects, such as:

-- Invented a new type of solar panel; -- Designed a computer model to aid physicians in patient diagnosis; -- Bridged the relevance of classical music to younger generations; -- Improved the mathematics of digital signal representations used in cell phones and music players; and -- Discovered a technology to more effectively treat breast cancer. Each 2008 Davidson Fellow has worked tirelessly to obtain the resources that enable them to make advances in their fields. Unfortunately, not all gifted students get the support they need according to the Fordham Institute's study, "High Achieving Students in the Era of NCLB" released in June. The findings show that top pupils have "languished" academically. In addition, a national teacher survey found that while most teachers believe all students deserve equal attention, advanced pupils are a lower priority in their schools, receiving dramatically less attention than low-achievers. View the full report at "Our goal is to not have any student left behind," said Jan Davidson, Ph.D., co-founder of the Davidson Institute. "We applaud the tenacity of these and other profoundly gifted children, who often take it upon themselves to gather the resources they need to succeed." In addition to creating the Davidson Institute in 1999, Bob and Jan Davidson are co-authors, with Laura Vanderkam, of Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds ( In 2006 the Davidsons opened The Davidson Academy of Nevada, a free, public school for profoundly gifted students on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno ( For more information on the Davidson Institute, or to learn more about the 2008 Davidson Fellows, please visit
2008 Davidson Fellow Laureates $50,000 Scholarships -- Mr. Akhil Mathew, 16, Madison, N.J. -- Mr. Sikandar Porter-Gill, 17, Gaithersburg, Md. -- Miss Christine Shrock, 17, Setauket, N.Y. -- Mr. Philip Streich, 17, Platteville, Wis. -- Mr. Conrad Tao, 14, New York, N.Y. 2008 Davidson Fellows $25,000 Scholarships -- Mr. Michael Cherkassky, 16, Minneapolis, Minn. -- Miss August Siena Thomas, 17, Montague, Mass. -- Miss Hilda Huang, 12, Palo Alto, Calif. -- Miss Jasmine Miller, 17, Nashville, Tenn. -- Miss Saraswathi Shukla, 17, Princeton, N.J. -- Mr. Vijay Venkatesh, 17, Laguna Niguel, Calif. -- Mr. William Yuan, 12, Portland, Ore. -- Mr. Charles Zhang, 17, Rochester, Mich. $10,000 Scholarships -- Mr. Nathan Georgette, 17, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. -- Miss Molly Hensley-Clancy, 16, Minneapolis, Minn. -- Mr. Kyle Hutzler, 16, Huntingtown, Md. -- Mr. Michael Leap, 17, Okemos, Mich. -- Miss Divya Nag, 17, El Dorado Hills, Calif. -- Miss Avanthi Raghavan, 17, Orlando, Fla. -- Miss Sarah Waliany, 16, Arcadia, Calif. Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Bob and Jan Davidson" target="_new">

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