Thursday, October 1, 2020

Seven OHS Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Front row, L to R: Anna Kang, Claire Cizdziel, Emma Teng, Ann Claire Rester. Back row, L to R: Edmund Doerksen, Alex Mobley, Kareem Elgohry. 

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has announced the names of semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state on the PSAT test.

Oxford High seniors who are among this distinguished list are: Claire Cizdziel, Edmund Doerksen, Kareem Elgohry, Anna Kang, Alexander Mobley, Ann Rester and Emma Teng.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. Over 90% of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

About the students: 

Claire Cizdziel

Current GPA: 4.49

Top 3 College Choices: Yale, Duke, University of Michigan

College Major: Environmental Engineering/Policy

High School Achievements: Lincoln-Douglas Debate Co-Captain, National Tournament Qualifier, Envirothon Co-Captain, 5th at International Envirothon Competition, 4 years Dance Team, 2nd at state, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Finalist. Harvard Science and Research Conference attendee

Parents: James Cizdziel and Liming Song-Cizdziel

Edmund Doerksen

Current GPA: 4.60

Top 3 College Choices: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),  University of Pennsylvania, Yale

College Major: Materials Engineering

High School Achievements: First-authored research paper was the cover article of ACS Earth and Space Chemistry journal, 2x US National Chemistry Olympiad top 150, Science Bowl captain (reached nationals twice), All-State Orchestra first chair cello

Parents: Yu-Chu Chen and Robert Doerksen

Kareem Elgohry

Current GPA: 4.58

College Choice: Stanford

College Major: Computer Science

High School Achievements: Public Forum Captain of the debate team, Competed at Ocean Bowl Nationals

Parents: Moustafa Elgohry and Mona Haron

Anna Kang

Current GPA: 4.44

Top 3 College Choices: Honors College University of Mississippi, Emory University, Case Western

College Major: Public Health and a Foreign Language (Pre-med)
High School Achievements: Academic All-American for Speech and Debate; Envirothon Nationals (5th Place); Mississippi All-State Orchestra (9 – 11th grades); Qualifier for National Catholic Forensic League (10th and 11th grade)

Parents: Minsoo Kang and  Inhee Kim

Alexander Mobley

Current GPA: 4.5
Top 3 College Choices: Vanderbilt, Washington University in St. Louis, and Georgia Tech

College Major: Biology

High School Achievements: Captain of High School Soccer Team, AB Calculus Award, AP European History Award, AP Chemistry Award, qualified for JCFL, Star Student, National Honors Society Memberf

Parents: Joel Mobley and Mary Beth Mobley

Ann Claire Rester

Current GPA: 4.44

Top 3 College Choices: Auburn, Tulane, and Ole Miss

College Major: Biochemistry or Biomedical Engineering, Pre-Med

High School Achievements: AP Chemistry Award, AP Calculus BC Award, member of Cross Country and Soccer teams, Senior Class Secretary

Parents: Eddie and Audra Rester

Emma Teng

Current GPA: 4.35

Top 3 College Choices: Yale, University of Chicago, Princeton

College Major: Molecular Biology, Architecture

High School Achievements: 5th at National Envirothon, Envirothon Co-Captain, National Debate Qualifier, Speech Captain, 3rd at MS Poetry Out Loud, Scholastic Gold Key, earning over 900 debate competition points, starting an art shop on Instagram

Parents: Chalet Tan and Quincy Teng


Courtesy of the OSD