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15 South Asians Among 141 Presidential Scholars
Several South Asians are among the 141 Presidential Scholars announced May 2 by Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Two high school seniors from each state are named Presidential Scholars in recognition of their accomplishments in academics or the arts. Nine of the 15 South Asians are girls and none of the South Asians on the list are in the arts category. Both Presidential Scholars from Oregon are Indian-Americans; and the two from Virginia are of South Asian origin, at least one of them Indian-American; there is one Sri Lankan-American from Wisconsin.
The 2012 ceremony sponsored by the White House will be held June 16, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion. Presidential Scholars enjoy an expense-paid weekend trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people, as well as visit museums and monuments, attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies. A number of them have gone on to work as interns at the White House and gained considerable recognition later in life.
2012 Presidential Scholars
Rakesh Goli, The Altamont School, Birmingham, Ala.
Akshat Shekhar, The Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury, Mass.
Amna H. Hashmi, The Bryn Mawr School, Baltimore, Md.
Siddhartha G. Jena, International Academy, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Indira Puri, Durham Academy Upper School, Durham, N.C.
Anupa Murali, Bishop Brady High School, Concord, N.H.
Priyanka Goyal, Watchung Hills Regional High School, Warren, N.J.
Nishant B. Karandikar, Southridge High School, Beaverton, Ore.
Pratyusa Mukherjee, Westview High School, Portland, Ore.
Afia Z. Khan, Spring Valley High School, Columbia, S.C.
Priya Krishnan, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, Alexandria, Va.
Sameer M. Sarkar, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, Richmond, Va.
Monisha Gulabani, Eastlake High School, Sammamish, Wash.
Suman Gunasekaran, James Madison Memorial High School, Madison, Wis.
Swetha K. Doppalapudi, Morgantown High School, Morgantown, W.Va.