Center for Excellence in Education to represent Team USA 2012 at the International Biology Olympiad in Singapore from July 8-15."> Team USA selected from competition at Purdue for International Biology Olympiad in Singapore

Team USA selected from competition at Purdue for International Biology Olympiad in Singapore

June 26, 2012

Counselors give Team USA 2012 members training tips in dissection at a laboratory in Purdue University's Lilly Hall in preparation for the International Biology Olympiad in Singapore in July. Pictured, from left, are counselor Rebecca Shi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Team USA members Lei Ding and Nikhil Buduma, counselor Eric Liaw of Stanford University, Team USA members Kevin Ma and Jing "Raymond" Liu, and counselor Chelsea Voss, also of MIT. (Purdue News Service photo/Mark Simons)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - High school students from California, Delaware and New Jersey have been announced by the Center for Excellence in Education to represent Team USA 2012 at the International Biology Olympiad in Singapore from July 8-15.

Lei Ding of The Charter School of Wilmington in Delaware; Kevin Ma of East Brunswick High School in New Jersey; Nikhil Buduma of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, Calif.; and Jing "Raymond" Liu of Mission San Jose High School in Fremont in Calif., were picked during the two-week USA Biology Olympiad National Finals competition hosted by Purdue University.

"Team USA 2012 is comprised of the four students who scored the highest on the theoretical and practical, earning gold medals at the USA Biology Olympiad," said Joann DiGennaro, president of the Center for Excellence in Education and a Purdue alumnus from Logansport, Ind. "CEE never ceases to be amazed by the academic prowess that is exuded during the National Finals at Purdue University."

Twenty finalists from across the country participated in the 10th annual USA Biology Olympiad at Purdue. They were selected as finalists based on their scores from the USABO open and semifinal exams among nearly 10,500 students registered nationally for the annual event.

Ding, Ma, Buduma and Lie were selected during an awards ceremony on June 14 at Purdue's Dauch Alumni Center. The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) partnered with Purdue for the third consecutive year to host the finals. 

Korean Air, the official airline of the 2012 USABO, is providing tickets for Team USA and the coaches to attend the International Biology Olympiad, a competition involving student teams from 60 countries. Accompanying Team USA at Singapore will be Kathy Frame, director of the USA Biology Olympiad; and Clark Gedney, director of the Bio Media Center for Instructional Computing at Purdue and campus liaison for the USA Biology Olympiad.

"I believe these students are going to change the world, and I'm not just talking about the four students selected during this event at Purdue to represent the United States at the International Biology Olympiad," Gedney said.

"Experts say the United States is not keeping pace in the world in launching leaders of tomorrow, but I believe the future for science in this country is getting brighter every day. Just look at last year's Team USA results at the International Biology Olympiad: Team USA achieved the coveted No. 1 Team with first-, third-, fourth- and seventh-place individual finishes in the world."

Added Frame: "Each year Team USA is the ambassador to the 60 countries participating in the International Biology Olympiad. In this role and through their outstanding accomplishments, they bring a very special recognition to the United States. This year, we again have four remarkable young people who will represent the USA at the IBO."

The 20 finalists participated in intensive theoretical and practical tutorials during the two-week competition, studying with leading U.S. biologists who are experts in cellular biology, microbiology, biotechnology, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, ethology, genetics and evolution, ecology and biosystematics.

They also toured research laboratories in Discovery Park and elsewhere on the Purdue campus. At the conclusion of the two weeks, the students took two exams, a practical and a theoretical.  The four highest scorers were named to Team USA 2012.

Named silver medalists at the 2012 USA Biology Olympiad are:

* David Hao, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Denton, Texas; Bryce Hwang, Foothill High School, Pleasanton, Calif.; Ray Wang, Holmdel High School, Holmdel, N.J.; and Yuqing Zhang, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, Alexandria, Va.

This year's bronze medalists are:

* Owen Gray, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, Alexandria, Va; James Ha, Punahou, Honolulu; Andrew Jiang, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, Alexandria, Va.; and Siddharth Trehan, Mira Loma High School, Sacramento, Calif.

The other high school students participating in USABO 2012 at Purdue were:

* California: Daniel Bork, North Hollywood High School; Rachel Paris, Santa Monica High School; and Hamilton Trinh, Mission San Jose, Fremont.

* Massachusetts: Sitara Chapman, Framingham High School.

* North Carolina: Oliver Sun, Ardrey Kell High School, Charlotte; and Tejas Sundaresan, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham.

* Texas: Dominic Yurk, R.L. Paschal High School, Fort Worth.

* Virginia: Min Cheol Kim, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, Alexandria.

About the Center for Excellence in Education

The Center for Excellence in Education, which was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover and DiGennaro, is working 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, the USA Biology Olympiad and the Teacher Enrichment Program.

Media Contacts:  Maureen Palmer, 703-448-9062 ext. 222,                               
                                Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,
                               Danny Burgess,

Sources:  Joann P. DiGennaro, 703-448-9062,                   
                   Kathy Frame, 571-228-0098,                   
                   Clark Gedney, 765-494-0157,