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Exceptional Youth Rewarded For Unmatched Achievement

20 Students Named 2014 Davidson Fellows and Receive $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 Scholarships

RENO, Nev., Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Producing highly-qualified professionals, including scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs is critical to maintaining economic productivity in the United States. Public discourse on our nation's competitiveness tends to focus on the needs of low-performing students. As important to our country's future success are the most capable of students, who are reaching high levels of academic excellence and, if given the proper support, can help propel the United States forward in an ever-competitive world.

Among these high achievers, 20 bright young people named as 2014 Davidson Fellows exemplify the extraordinary work that can be accomplished by U.S. students who are given opportunities to excel.  The Class of 2014 includes eight students from California, two siblings of past Davidson Fellows,  a young woman whose project was inspired by her own experience with a rare pediatric liver cancer, as well as a young man who created a high efficiency extraction method of oil from the algae that makes algae biodiesel production an economic viability.

The Davidson Fellows program offers $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships to students 18 or younger, who have created significant projects that have the potential to benefit society in the fields of science, technology, mathematics, literature, music and philosophy.  The Davidson Fellows scholarship program has provided more than $5.8 million in scholarship funds to 246 Fellows since its inception in 2001, and has been named one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships by U.S. News & World Report. The Davidson Fellows scholarship is a program of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Reno, Nev. that supports profoundly gifted youth.

"The Davidson Institute is built on the belief that individuals, who have extraordinary intelligence and talents, when encouraged and supported, can improve the quality of life for us all," said Bob Davidson, co-founder of the Davidson Institute. "We are delighted to recognize this group of resourceful and distinguished young people for their fascinating projects – projects that have the potential to benefit society."

Positive contributions to society made by the 2014 Davidson Fellows include:

  • Developing insights into the complexities of cognitive function and dysfunction, extending our understanding of human perception and potentially leading to cures for neural pathologies such as Parkinson's disease.
  • Developing new influenza inhibitors to a number of flu targets, which show promise for development into real medicine or even a combination therapy, which could prevent viral resistance.
  • Creating a blood-testing device for the early diagnosis of cancers and insight into individualized treatment of cancers.
  • Developing low-cost wearable sensors for real-time, reliable detection of dementia patients' wanderings. 

The 2014 Davidson Fellows Award Ceremony is scheduled for Fri., Sept. 26 in Washington, D.C. with all scholarship recipients attending. The following students are this year's Davidson Fellows:

2014 Davidson Fellow Laureates
$50,000 Scholarships

  • Mr. Ravi Jagadeesan, 18, Naperville, Ill.
  • Miss Sara Kornfeld Simpson, 17, San Diego
  • Mr. Ray Ushikubo, 13, Riverside, Calif.
  • Miss Alice Zhai, 16, La Canada, Calif.

2014 Davidson Fellows
$25,000 Scholarships

  • Mr. Eric Chen, 18, San Diego
  • Mr. Neil Davey, 18, Gaithersburg, Md.
  • Miss Valerie Ding, 17, Portland, Ore.
  • Miss Alexandra LaGrassa, 17, Douglastown, N.Y.
  • Mr. Ritesh Ragavender, 17, Kendall Park, N.J.
  • Mr. Kenneth Shinozuka, 15, New York
  • Miss Elana Simon, 18, New York
  • Miss Emily Wang, 18, Palo Alto, Calif.

$10,000 Scholarships

  • Miss Sofia Bramante, 17, Fairfield, Conn.
  • Miss Isabel DeBre, 17, Los Angeles
  • Miss Smriti Kanangat, 17, Hinsdale, Ill.
  • Miss Tuong-Phi Le, 18, Houston
  • Mr. Kevin Lee, 17, Irvine, Calif.
  • Mr. Michael Parsons, 18, Long Hill, N.J.
  • Mr. Josh Wolf, 18, Elk River, Minn.
  • Miss Romi Yount, 16, San Francisco

About the Davidson Institute
Founded by Bob and Jan Davidson in 1999, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development recognizes, nurtures and supports profoundly intelligent young people, and provides opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference. For more information about the 2014 Davidson Fellows, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org/Fellows.  

High-resolution photos and more information are available at www.2014DavidsonFellows.com.

Coordinate interview opportunities with the Davidson Fellows and their nominators by emailing [email protected].

SOURCE Davidson Institute for Talent Development

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