Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence today announced the winners of the 2016 Mr. and Miss Math and Science awards. The Mr. and Miss Math and Science awards aim to recognize students who have exemplary achievements in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classes and extracurricular activities. Each winner will receive a $1,000 college scholarship through Indiana’s CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan.
“It is a privilege to honor these outstanding young Hoosiers for their early successes and pursuit of excellence in the fields of science and mathematics,” said Governor Pence. “Their accomplishments are certain to inspire others, and I have every confidence that the future of Indiana is bright in the hands of students like these. This administration is proud to continue to promote STEM education and inspire our state’s science and industry leaders of tomorrow.”
Fort Wayne’s Eric Baeza and Indianapolis’ Jasmine Kalia are named 2016 Mr. and Miss Math, and Terre Haute’s Sabin Karki and Tingyue Cui are named 2016 Mr. and Miss Science.
Eric Baeza, 2016 Mr. Math, is a senior at South Side High School in Fort Wayne, where he is a member of Key Club, Table Tennis Club, National Honors Society, the soccer team, and speech and debate team. He serves as President of Math Club, which placed first at a regional competition, and the Math Academic Team, in which he qualified for state. Eric has enrolled in International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and honors courses all four years of his high school career.
Jasmine Kalia, 2016 Miss Math, graduates this spring from Franklin Central High School as class valedictorian. She is a National Merit Scholar, U.S. Presidential Scholars semifinalist, Indiana Association of School Principals Academic All-Stars recipient, Senator Richard G. Lugar Distinguished Student Leadership Award recipient, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a three-time National Center for Women in Technology Indiana Affiliate winner and a 2016 national runner-up. She won the Excellence Award at the City of Indianapolis VEX Championship in November 2013 and was a school nominee and participant in the Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders. Kalia was a VEX Robotics Student Ambassador at the 2015 VEX Robotics World Championships. She volunteered as a mentor to the Franklin Central Middle School East Robotics Team, is a member of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Museum Apprentice Program, is a varsity tennis player, and a National Honor Society inductee. She has also conducted research with professors at the IUPUI Physics Laboratory and the Nanotechnology Discovery Academy and participated in the Preparing Outstanding Women for Engineering Roles camp.
Sabin Karki, 2016 Mr. Science, attends Terre Haute South Vigo High School, where he led the Science Bowl and Science Olympiads teams. Karki has presented bioinformatics research at the 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, 2015 U.S. Army Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, and the 2015 and 2013 Hoosier State Science and Engineering Fairs. In 2013, he was awarded an Indiana Academy of Science Research Grant to conduct microbiological research on drug resistance. Karki has traveled to Nepal for a variety of causes, including conducting cervical cancer research, volunteering with a group of engineers to build solar-powered computers for schoolchildren, and coordinating the efforts of a humanitarian team of Indiana doctors and nurses in the aftermath of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake. Following graduation this spring, Karki plans to attend John Hopkins University to study biomedical engineering and later pursue dual MD/MBA degrees.
Tingyue Cui, 2016 Miss Science, will graduate from Terre Haute South Vigo High School this spring. Cui was an Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist, placed third in chemistry at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, placed third in the Indiana Science Talent Search, placed second in the Indiana State Science Fair, and was a member of the state champion Math Super Bowl team. Cui also represented the state of Indiana at the National Science and Humanities Symposium and in the American Regions Mathematics League. Upon graduation, Cui hopes to study chemistry in college and graduate school, with the eventual goal of working in academia as a professor and researcher.
Indiana’s top math and science students were nominated earlier this year, and a panel of STEM professionals, teachers, and university representatives selected the winners based on academic performance, work in research, leadership, community service, and extracurricular involvement. Nominations for the 2017 Mr. and Miss Math and Science awards will open next spring.