Academic Achievement: Spring 2016

Five of USM’s Top Scientists Compete at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

For the second consecutive year, five USM students earned the opportunity to represent the School as finalists at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix this May. After progressing through the Upper School Science Fair and the Badger State Science and Engineering Fair, each participating student defended his or her work to a group of scientists, all with Ph.D.s, at Intel ISEF. Students also presented as part of a public viewing, where they explained their projects to school groups and interested visitors numbering in the thousands.

Congratulations to the following students:

Anshul Bhatnagar ’17 – “Development of a Computational Method
for Rapid Identification of Organic Molecules for Efficient Solar
Energy Conversion”

Daniel Glazer ’17 – “Galaxy Clusters, New Discoveries to Fill in the Gaps”

Arundhati Pillai ’17 – “Next Generation Surgical Tool Using Three-Dimensional (3D) Printing for Cerebral Aneurysm Treatment”

Nabeel Quryshi ’18 – “Chemotherapeutic Induced Cellular Death
(Apoptosis/Necrosis) Inhibition/Restoration of Microvascular Vasodilatory Function Through Telomerase Modulation”

Candace Walther ’17 – “Isolation and Characterization of Bacteriophages Effective at Killing Enterococcus Faecalis”

As a result of their efforts, SM students earned several awards. Bhatnagar earned the University of Arizona Presidential Award; Glazer won the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Fourth Place Award and the West Virginia University Presidential Award; and Walther earned the Fourth Place Award in Microbiology. For more on USM’s student finalists at Intel ISEF, please see page 26.

USM Chess Shines at City, State Meets

The USM K-12 chess team dramatically improved its standing at the 2016 Wisconsin State Scholastic Chess Tournament, held March 18-20 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

In Division 1, USM’s K8 team of Hadi Najeeb ’20, Divya Pandey ’22, Ritika Pandey ’20, Aditya Pillai ’23, and Hersh Singh ’24 placed fourth, despite competing against a field of high school teams. In Division 2, USM’s team of Jordan Benard ’16, Jack Glusman ’19, Vinay Jain ’16, Yaseen Najeeb ’16, and Noah Schatz ’16 improved upon last year’s seventh-place finish to earn fourth place.

Additionally, the USM team of Schatz, Singh, Alexander Strunets ’18, and coaches Ryan Murphy ’11, Chris Seaman ’93, and Fred Lange took first place in the blitz tournament (teams are allowed only five minutes per side, per game).

Congratulations to the team of Jain, Kaur, Natey Ruzell ’22, Singh, and Strunets, which won the Division 1 City Chess Championships earlier in March. USM hosted the championship meet, which included 125 players from 11 schools in the greater Milwaukee area. The city championship was USM’s first in five years.

7th-Grade Student Places Eighth at National Geography Bee


Thomas Wright ’21 finished in a tie for eighth place at the National Geographic Bee, held at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. from May 22-25. Wright advanced through a field of more than two and a half million contestants, representing more than 11,000 schools from across the country, after winning the Wisconsin State Geography Bee to qualify for the national competition.

School Musicians Earn Top Honors at State Solo and Ensemble

In April, Middle School and Upper School musicians participated in the Wisconsin School Music Association’s State Solo and Ensemble Festival at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Students performed for a panel of judges in either a solo or ensemble capacity. All of USM’s students received Outstanding scores.

Congratulations to the following participants:

Middle School:

Rehan Dhala ’20, Jacob Gold ’20, Addison Elliott ’20, Blakely Martin ’20, Jordan Puetz ’20, Ethan Shin ’21, Lisa Wong ’20, and Jose Zarate ’20.

Upper School:

Karlie Allen ’16, Jonah Baade ’18, Kristen Chou ’17, Mia Jaeger ’18, Max Levatich ’16, Savannah Miracle ’18, Gaby Musickant ’18, Andrew Puetz ’17, Nabeel Quryshi ’18, Ethan Shuler ’16, Emma Smith ’17, Trevor Smith ’19, Meg Stewart ’19, Kyra Swanson ’16, and Candace Walther ’17.

Several students were also nominated for the Exemplary Award, the top award given at State. This year, USM had six nominees and three winners:

Exemplary Award Nominees and Winners
Max Levatich ’16 – Musical Theatre (winner)
Ethan Shin ’21 – Violin (winner)
Ethan Shuler ’16 – Classical Voice
Trevor Smith ’19 – Classical Voice
Meg Stewart ’19 – Classical Voice
Evan Stroud ’16 – Cello (winner)

Three Projects Advance to National History Day Finals


Congratulations to all 30 USM young historians who participated in the Wisconsin State National History Day Competition on Saturday, April 23 in Madison, Wis.

As a result of their excellent work, three USM projects advanced to the national competition in College Park, Md. on June 12-16, and five additional projects were tabbed as alternates.

Congratulations to the following 8th-grade state and national finalists:

National Finalists:
Group Documentary: Jessica Cain, Aidanne DePoy, and Teddy Kies – “Subjugation of a Nation – The Overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani”
Individual Documentary: Stephanie Guy – “Politics in Full View – 1960 First Televised Debates”
Group Exhibit: Caroline Keppler and Lily Steinbach – “The Protest that Changed the Pageant”

National Alternates:
Group Documentary: Athena Borca and Mira Stephens – “The Birth of the War on Terror”
Group Exhibit: Murphy Mellowes and Caroline Sheehan – “The Match that Leveled the Game”
Individual Exhibit: Manasi Simhan – “Apollo Soyuz – The Rendezvous Mission”
Individual Paper: Amogh Bhatnagar – “A Civil Exchange”
Individual Documentary: Jordan Puetz – “Generations of Pride – The Civilian Conservation Corps in Milwaukee and Cudahy”
(Puetz also won the Local History Award for his Individual Documentary.)

State Finalists:
Addison Elliott, Stephanie Goris, Shreya Gundelly, Thomas Hadcock, Ardeshir Irani, Emma Keuler, Caleb Kiehnau, Quinn Kingwill, Blakely Martin, Eleanor Mellin, Mustafa Motlani, Kennedy Perez, Isabella Peterson, Lucia Rondini, Bella Smith, Jose Zarate, and Ryan Zwief.

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