CCA student earns silver medal


The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) recently announced that four-member Team USA was awarded three gold medals and one silver medal at the 27th International Biology Olympiad (IBO) held in Hanoi, Vietnam. This worldwide competition involved students from 71 countries.

Team USA 2016 silver medalist Varkey Alumootil, of Canyon Crest Academy, was among the event medalists.

“Team USA honored the United States at the International Biology Olympiad with receipt of three gold medals and one silver medal” said Joann DiGennaro, president of CEE. “Peter, Bowen, Thomas, and Varkey garnered world recognition with their academic excellence. They are exceptional academic scholars that are headed for outstanding careers in science.”

Nearly 10,500 U.S. students from across the U.S. registered for the highly competitive USABO. Twenty finalists from 10 states were selected to compete at the USABO Finals at Marymount University for their scores from the open and semifinal exams. Finalists also participated in lectures, study sessions and laboratory exercises led by biology experts in fields that include cellular and molecular biology, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, genetics and evolution, ecology, ethology, and biosystematics. This marks the first year Marymount University has hosted the finals with CEE.

The mission of the USABO is to encourage excellence in biology education throughout the United States and to challenge students and their teachers to reach the gold standard in biology. Alumni of the USABO have earned MacMillan Grants, Goldwater Scholarships, Hollings Scholarships (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), American Heart Association Undergraduate Fellowships, National Science Foundation Fellowships, The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, the Linen Prize in Chinese, and the Clara Levillain Prize. They have also received accolades as Marshall Scholars and Churchill Scholars.

The Center for Excellence in Education was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover and Joann P. DiGennaro, President of the Center. The Center’s mission is 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.

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