2015-2016 DuPage County Academic Team

 
Posted5/19/2016 5:00 AM
hello
  • The 2015-16 Daily Herald DuPage County Academic Team at the College of DuPage. Front row, from left: Ummesalmah Abdulbaseer, Islamic Foundation School; Apoorva Tummala, Neuqua Valley High School; Alex Lettenberger, Glenbard West High School; Nicole Marcus, Naperville North High School and Sally Nijim, Willowbrook High School. Back row, from left: Sarvasva Raghuvanshi, Neuqua Valley High School; Tomasz Rynkiewicz, Glenbard East High School; Timothy Pisarski, St. Francis High School and Kannon Nelms, Addison Trail High School. Not pictured: James Zhou, Hinsdale Central High School.

      The 2015-16 Daily Herald DuPage County Academic Team at the College of DuPage. Front row, from left: Ummesalmah Abdulbaseer, Islamic Foundation School; Apoorva Tummala, Neuqua Valley High School; Alex Lettenberger, Glenbard West High School; Nicole Marcus, Naperville North High School and Sally Nijim, Willowbrook High School. Back row, from left: Sarvasva Raghuvanshi, Neuqua Valley High School; Tomasz Rynkiewicz, Glenbard East High School; Timothy Pisarski, St. Francis High School and Kannon Nelms, Addison Trail High School. Not pictured: James Zhou, Hinsdale Central High School. Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

Ummesalmah Abdulbaseer, Islamic Foundation School
Ummesalmah Abdulbaseer, Islamic Foundation School
Ummesalmah Abdulbaseer, Islamic Foundation School

Hometown: Lombard

Parents: Asma Khatoon & Abdulbaseer Mohammed

Sponsor: Omar Qureshi, principal

Class rank: School does not rank

GPA: 5.172

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Communications, pre-med

Awards, honors: National Merit finalist, Illinois State Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction

Personal statement: "My other life goals include becoming a researcher, entrepreneur, speaker, patron of the sciences in my community, and a mentor. The drive to pursue such avenues for myself has increased as I continued to participate with my Student Government, Model United Nations, National Honor Society, Youth Committee, and Debate Club. Within each club, I have been able to plan events, raise awareness, or speak on behalf of others, thus broadening my people, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. All of which are key to the success of attaining future goals."

Sponsor's endorsement: "In addition to being an ideal student, she is an outstanding person."

Alex Lettenberger, Glenbard West High School
Alex Lettenberger, Glenbard West High School
Alex Lettenberger, Glenbard West High School

Hometown: Glen Ellyn

Parents: Tom and Anna Lettenberger

Sponsor: Christine Lubiniecki, counselor

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 5.766 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Aerospace engineering and astrophysics

Awards, honors: National Merit finalist, Honor roll, National Honor Society, AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "I have accomplished numerous things in high school, but I have to remember that my achievements should not stop there. I still have my whole life ahead of me, and I know that I still am able to leverage my talents to help others and impact the future. I'll always have a spot for my memories and successes in my heart, but I strive to learn from them and let them push me to greater success and happiness, instead of letting them be my primary source of contentment."

Sponsor's endorsement: "His great mind and kind heart will be an asset to any campus community. I also believe he will invent something that will truly benefit our world. I proudly look forward to hearing about his future contributions."

Nicole Marcus, Naperville North High School
Nicole Marcus, Naperville North High School
Nicole Marcus, Naperville North High School

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Steven and Maria Marcus

Sponsor: Sandy Parato-Toczylowski, English teacher

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 4.723 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2330

Planned major: International studies and economics

Awards, honors: National Latin Honor Society, National Latin Exam three-time gold medalist, DECA Principles of Marketing state champion, National Merit finalist, Honor roll, National Honor Society, AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "My career goal is to impact systematic change by communicating with different types of people and communities through civil service, diplomacy, and/or nonprofit work. I feel very prepared to enter into an interdisciplinary major like international studies that will lead me into a position where I can do those things."

Sponsor's endorsement: "In Nicole's mind, everyone has something to offer. Identifying with others is something she does with ease even if she hasn't done the proverbial walk in their shoes. Her biggest strengths are how she respects and cares for others."

Kannon Nelms, Addison Trail High School
Kannon Nelms, Addison Trail High School
Kannon Nelms, Addison Trail High School

Hometown: Addison

Parents: Steve and Carrie Nelms

Sponsor: Dan Styler, social studies teacher

Class rank: 2 out of 475

GPA: 4.74 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2150

Planned major: Undecided, but it will be in the engineering field

Awards, honors: Honor roll, National Honor Society, AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar, District 88's Best recognition

Personal statement: "One often overlooked aspect of someone's life goals is their own happiness. I find myself happiest only when I know I have done my best at a job, regardless of how important the job might be. Satisfaction from a job well done leads me to try more ambitious jobs, and is a large part of my success in the long run."

Sponsor's endorsement: "In retrospect, there is not enough room on this paper to effectively highlight the plethora of initiatives that Kannon partakes in to pay it forward. It is refreshing to see this young man fulfill a sense of service to others because it is the fiber of his being and not because he is looking for recognition."

Sally Nijim, Willowbrook High School
Sally Nijim, Willowbrook High School
Sally Nijim, Willowbrook High School

Hometown: Villa Park

Parents: Majd Nijim

Sponsor: Dana Whittaker, counselor

Class rank: 1 out of 483

GPA: 4.8511 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Biochemistry or the biological sciences

Awards, honors: 2016 Intel Science Talent Search national semifinalist, 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair international finalist, 2014 LMI Aerospace Inc. Award for Excellence in Research

Personal statement: "To extend my plans into a laboratory setting, I performed extensive searches for oncology research opportunities capable of supporting my passion and curiosity. Acting on the passion and curiosity of my ambitions, I utilized my scientific attitude, curiosity, and initiative to embark upon a journey through publications, finding and investigating the potential of pathways as oncogenic drivers and targets for cancer therapies."

Sponsor's endorsement: "She has taken the most challenging curriculum throughout high school and has performed outstanding in every course."

Timothy Pisarski, St. Francis High School
Timothy Pisarski, St. Francis High School
Timothy Pisarski, St. Francis High School

Hometown: Glen Ellyn

Parents: Tim and Dawn Pisarski

Sponsor: Trudy Rigney, director of guidance

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 5.3 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34

Planned major: Biomedical engineering

Awards, honors: Honor roll, National Honor Society, AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar, Valedictorian of Class of 2016

Personal statement: "In my life, I hope to start up my own prosthetic business after receiving my biomedical engineering degree. I will need a lot of hard work and leadership to make this possible. I believe my hard work in all of my extracurricular activities has prepared me to work and never give up in pursuit of my life goal."

Sponsor's endorsement: "While he grasps many concepts easily, he also works exceedingly hard when the material becomes challenging. This is a young man who loves learning for its own sake and sets a standard for everyone else in his classes. He can articulate his thoughts in a clear manner, helps to lead class discussion, and serves as the perfect role model in the classroom."

Sarvasva Raghuvanshi, Neuqua Valley High School
Sarvasva Raghuvanshi, Neuqua Valley High School
Sarvasva Raghuvanshi, Neuqua Valley High School

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Rajiva and Vandana Raghuvanshi

Sponsor: Babs Filkins, counselor

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 4.72 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2360

Planned major: Mathematics

Awards, honors: International silver medal in the Shing-Turg Yau Math Research Competition in China, National Merit finalist, Honor roll, AP Scholar, Presidential Scholar candidate, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "I have always had a deep interest in mathematics, especially exploring concepts in great depth and discovering my own ideas. Since I was in kindergarten, I have had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and new ideas. I have always been interested in the 'why' behind everything, not just the 'what.' This curiosity has led me to want to experience interactive, hands-on research and learning."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Savvy is a chameleon. He fits in wherever he is and as unassuming and unpretentious as he is, he just seems to fall into excellence."

Tomasz Rynkiewicz, Glenbard East High School
Tomasz Rynkiewicz, Glenbard East High School
Tomasz Rynkiewicz, Glenbard East High School

Hometown: Lombard

Parents: Mr. Zbigniew Rynkiewicz and Mrs. Renata Rynkiewicz

Sponsor: Monica Clark, social studies teacher

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 5.7347 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2390

Planned major: Civil engineering

Awards, honors: National Merit finalist, AP Scholar (with Distinction), Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "As a civil engineer, I plan to employ my expertise to improve the lives of others through the design of more efficient systems and structures. This idea symbolizes my contribution to the millennia-old scientific progress of mankind, and my personal aspiration. After all, engineering is both something I love, and something the world needs."

Sponsor's endorsement: "In watching Tomasz grow as a student, I am most impressed by his intellectual maturity. Although he is a high level scholar, Tomasz has an innate understanding that there is always more to learn. He is confident in his abilities, but does not assume he has achieved perfection."

Apoorva Tummala, Neuqua Valley High School
Apoorva Tummala, Neuqua Valley High School
Apoorva Tummala, Neuqua Valley High School

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Madhavi Alla

Sponsor: Babs Filkins, counselor

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 4.7143 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2370

Planned major: Pre-Medical; biology with a minor in creative writing

Awards, honors: National Merit finalist, Honor roll, AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar, Illinois General Assembly recognition, Student government member, Indian Prairie Scholar

Personal statement: "I believe medicine is an art: It is the art of harnessing science to heal and treat a fellow being. There are three main components to being a physician: the knowledge of science, the ability to aid other humans, and the inquisitiveness necessary to sustain a career in medicine. I have endeavored, through my academic accomplishments, to learn and prepare myself for my intended career choice of pediatric oncology."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Humble, respectful, thankful, generous and optimistic are all words that come to mind when I think of Apoorva."

James Zhou, Hinsdale Central High School
James Zhou, Hinsdale Central High School
James Zhou, Hinsdale Central High School

Hometown: Hinsdale

Parents: Yiqing Chi and Weiming Zhou

Sponsor: Gia Maniscalco, guidance counselor

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 5.96 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2370

Planned major: Environmental science/policy

Awards, honors: National Merit finalist, Honor roll, AP Scholar, Presidential Scholar candidate, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "I realized that if I wanted to learn something badly enough, from calculus to Dutch, the resources are there if I look hard enough, requiring no money, just love and time. Whether or not I will use either skill on a daily basis in a job in the environmental field remains to be seen, but the spirit of education by motivation is forever instilled in me, and can be applied to whatever pursuits I choose."

Sponsor's endorsement: "There is no challenge too great for James to accomplish. He has a very strong and diverse foundation of knowledge and abilities. James loves to learn, understands and retains the material, and uses each bit of knowledge to increase his skill set."

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.