Lake County Academic Team, 2016-2017

Elizabeth Bartusiak, Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

Hometown: Lake Forest

Parents: Paul and Alison Bartusiak

Sponsor: Christine Schmidt, principal

GPA: 5.41 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Computer science

Awards, honors: National Merit Commended Scholar, Robotics Club president, AP Scholar

Personal statement: "During the summer prior to my junior year of high school, I was selected to participate in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at Groupon in Chicago. Ultimately, I would love to work in the field of cybersecurity for a government agency in order to expand national security. I want to build a career in cybersecurity in order to protect those who are not particularly technologically savvy."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Over the past 20 years, I have taught hundreds of intelligent, capable young men and women. Yet, only a handful of these precocious youths are true mathematicians. Elizabeth is one of them. "

Ryan Bogan, Libertyville High School

Ryan R. Bogan, Libertyville High School

Hometown: Libertyville

Parents: Tom Bogan and Gwen Keller

Sponsor: Kelly Angelos

GPA: 4.65 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Computer science

Awards, honors: Math Team State Individual Placement, WYSE fifth in State 2016, placed sixth in Scholastic Bowl

Personal statement: "My academic accomplishments enabled me to pursue my dreams and attend a top five computer science program in the world. My primary goal is to explore the different fields within computer science to discover one that I want to pursue for my career. I had a similar experience during a course at Stanford University's Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes in which I explored the field of artificial intelligence. The graduate-level class stretched my capabilities beyond what I thought possible."

Sponsor's endorsement: "One of Ryan's dreams came true this summer when he participated in Stanford's Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute and completed a three-week artificial intelligence graduate-level course. He is the co-founder of our Coding Cats and is an advanced computer scientist."

James Corbin, Mundelein High School

James Corbin, Mundelein High School

Hometown: Hawthorn Woods

Parents: Rich and Linda Corbin

Sponsor: Elena Martinez, counselor

GPA: 4.39 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34; SAT: 1520

Planned major: Engineering

Awards, honors: Commended Student in National Merit Scholarship Program, Illinois State Scholar, Highest Honor Roll throughout all of high school

Personal statement: "I've been inspired by those who have made a difference. Whether this includes traveling to another country and implementing water treatment systems or researching in a lab and designing artificial organs, engineering is certainly a life-changing occupation. This desire to improve and save lives is what drives me to explore the exciting field of engineering."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Aside from his strong academic abilities, I strongly believe that one of James' most endearing characteristics is his dedication to his school. I can honestly state that James has been involved in more extracurricular activities both within the school as well as within his community than any other student I have worked with. James has had to work twice as hard in school due to his hearing loss."

Ashwini Deshpande, Vernon Hills High School

Ashwini Deshpande, Vernon Hills High School

Hometown: Vernon Hills

Parents: Veda and Prajwal Deshpande

Sponsor: Nick Austin, counselor

GPA: 4.56

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Biochemistry

Awards, honors: Sugarman Award for Excellence in Spanish Language (2014-2016), Presidential Scholar candidate, National Merit Commended Scholar

Personal statement: "I am drawn to medicine because a physician can hold a patient's life and transform it for the better. However, it takes the creative talent of visionary artist and the unfettered boldness of a scientist to work at the forefront of medicine. My academic accomplishments will enable me to contribute to medicine in its entirety - delve into research for uncured diseases, and expand global access to health care by opening clinics in underprivileged areas."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Ashwini's Indian heritage has caused her to visit India. ... Ashwini was struck by the limited access people had to proper medical treatment. One of her goals is to open a medical clinic in rural India so that the poor can have access to medical care."

Samantha Dickmann, Carmel Catholic High School

Samantha Dickmann, Carmel Catholic High School

Hometown: Grayslake

Parents: Karen and Jeffrey Dickmann

Sponsor: John Titterton

GPA: 4.5 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 1580

Planned major: Aeronautical and astronautical engineering

Awards, honors: 2-time Science Department Award winner, 3-time Math Department Award winner, 2-time Social Studies Department Award winner

Personal statement: "I love math - I love its logic and ability to shear the mystery from nature's complexities. Beyond taking advanced math classes, I have pursued my love for math through competing on my school's math team. Math team has taught me to treasure the art of problem solving, those moments when, after much head scratching and brain straining, the dark clouds part and the yellow-brick path to the answer shines like a beacon."

Sponsor's endorsement: "I typically use a standard letter of recommendation, but that will not work for Sammy. She is a member of a slew of clubs and Honor Societies, and she has won more awards than I could possibly list here. Sammy's best attributes are her warmth, humility and giving attitude."

Alexander Frumkin, Mundelein High School

Alexander Frumkin, Mundelein High School

Hometown: Indian Creek

Parents: Dr. Ellen Tkach

Sponsor: Jaime Thatcher, counselor

GPA: 4.55 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 1540

Planned major: Political science

Awards, honors: Presidential Scholar Candidate, National Merit Finalist, National AP Scholar

Personal statement: "Many view politics negatively, but my parents came from the USSR where citizens didn't even have free speech, so I know laws create change. I wanted to raise the standards of the global community, but I decided to start on a local level; I became a legislative intern for a state representative, and I started a philosophy club at my high school. These actions are small, but they're the start to a lifetime of improving the world around me."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Alex is passionate about philosophy and even began the philosophy club at our school, not an easy undertaking. He, on his own, spoke with staff members and found a club sponsor, recruited members, organized the club's foundation and meetings."

Amber Hu, Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Amber Hu, Stevenson High School

Hometown: Lake Zurich

Parents: Leilei Ying and Jie Hu

Sponsor: Lindsay Perkins, counselor

GPA: 4.81 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Math or engineering

Awards, honors: Three-time AIME Qualifier, Two-time Science Olympiad National Medalist, National AP Scholar

Personal statement: "Reflecting on these past four years, I've realized that my love for math and science has shaped me into a more curious, driven, and confident person. For me, learning has not only been a journey of self-discovery, but also a way to impact the world around me. Ultimately, I hope to devote my lifelong passion for math and science to tackling the world's greatest problems and inspire others to fearlessly pursue their own academic interests."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Compared to her peers, Amber stands out in every area. Her brilliant mind and intellectual curiosity allowed her to get nothing less than A's in the highest level classes we offer, a perfect 36 on her ACT, and most recently being named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. Her mind and thirst for knowledge never shut down and this enthusiasm for learning is truly astounding."

Annika McDermott-Hinman, Libertyville High School

Annika McDermott-Hinman, Libertyville High School

Hometown: Libertyville

Parents: Mira Hinman and Todd McDermott-Hinman

Sponsor: Lauren Pothast, counselor

GPA: 4.593 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2200

Planned major: Physics

Awards, honors: Presidential Scholar candidate; Gold 2015, 2016, 7th ranking 2016 in Le Concours National de Francais; National Merit Finalist

Personal statement: "When I am asked why I want to major in physics, I tell the truth. I'm going to be an astronaut. And perhaps I am a fool for studying physics with the hopes of one day traveling the universe, but if being a fool puts me in the same boat (rocket?) as Columbus or Magellan, then I'll take it."

Sponsor's endorsement: "She has an intrinsic curiosity to dive deeper into subjects she is studying. When learning formulas in AP Physics or AP Calculus, she will research on her own how and why the formula exists. She goes above and beyond expectations both in her academics and extracurricular activities."

Vincent Nguyen, Lake Zurich High School

Vincent Nguyen, Lake Zurich High School

Hometown: Lake Zurich

Parents: Cham Tran, Sonny Nguyen

Sponsor: Leslie Thomas

GPA: 5.13 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 34; SAT: 1520

Planned major: Computer science, engineering

Awards, honors: AP Scholar with Distinction, National Merit Finalist, High Honor Roll

Personal statement: "My goal is that I can use my passion in ... STEM fields to pursue an education in computer science or computer engineering. Ideally, I would like to study machine learning, which is an area of artificial intelligence where one studies how computers can develop and learn by themselves, and quantum computing, which is a field of computing that deals with atomic level calculations and data operations."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Independent, goal-oriented and ambitious are a few words that describe Vincent Nguyen. Academically, Vincent is among a handful of students who has taken every math class we offer and is currently enrolled in Calculus III through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also took Calculus A through a program developed by Stanford University titled Gifted and Talented for enrichment."

Ruchira Ray, Warren Township High School

Ruchira Ray, Warren Township High School

Hometown: Gurnee

Parents: Purba Goswami and Saurabh Ray

Sponsor: Trini Hartley, counselor

GPA: 4.7 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2330

Planned major: Biochemistry

Awards, honors: National Merit Finalist, Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Regional second place in Chemistry, National AP Scholar

Personal statement: "My uniform and badge from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America sit on my dresser. A biology assignment on lung cancer inspired me to start volunteering here. I digitize patient records and provide administrative support to the nurses at the hospital. It has been extremely rewarding to witness how compassionate care can bring comfort, hope, and strength to patients and their families."

Sponsor's endorsement: "She is undoubtedly the smartest student I have encountered in my 10-year-career as a counselor. Ruchira is in a league of her own when it comes to intelligence, and she is also extremely down to earth, personable and kind. I would further describe her as self-motivated, independent, curious, adaptive, positive, ambitious and funny."

Honorable mentions: Lake County Academic Team, 2016-2017

A big thank you to this year’s Academic Team judges ...

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