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Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014
Education

This year’s Tribune Scholars

Published:

Marc Berson

High School: Freedom

College Plans: Bowdoin College, studying international relations

Parents: Michael and Ilene Berson, professors, College of Education, University of South Florida

Hobbies: Swimming, biking, traveling

Favorite book: “I Am the Messenger,” by Markus Zusak

Watches television: Four hours per week

Social networking: 20 hours per week

Advice to other students: “Never underestimate what you’re capable of achieving. Always take risks and push yourself to try new experiences, mentally and in the classroom.”

Most influential teacher: Arthur Roberts, Advanced Placement English literature teacher and newspaper advisor, senior year. “He reinvigorated my love of literature. His teaching style solidified my decision to go to a selective liberal arts college. He would open up the floor to the students to lead the discussion.”

Excerpts from winning essay: “The previous generations valued increased access to information. They have been consumers and curators of knowledge. We replaced consumption and curation with creation, believing knowledge is trivial unless we can do something with this information. We are the sharing generation, tech savvy innovators who prize open access to knowledge that can seed our inspiration.”

Brian Do

High School: Strawberry Crest International Baccalaureate program

College plans: Georgia Institute of Technology, majoring in mechanical engineering

Parents: David, an engineering contractor, and Leslie, a U.S. Postal Service worker

Hobbies: Reading history, science and fiction; trivia contests

Favorite book: “The Elegant Universe,” by Brian Greene

Watches television: None some weeks; otherwise, one to two hours per week

Social networking: One and a half to two hours per week

Advice to other students: “Give everything your best effort, it’s down to quality. … It’s always about a long-term goal. With education — without a solid foundation — it’s impossible to move on.”

Most influential teacher: James Brockman, International Baccalaureate physics teacher, junior and senior years. “He let me pursue many different aspects of science and allowed me to see how they interconnect. He was instrumental in helping me start a robotics club, a science Olympiad team and the science quiz bowl team. Even though he has young children, he devotes so much time to our activities at school. It’s something I really appreciate.”

Excerpts from winning essay: “Rather than fueling narcissism, technology has led this generation to spend more time reflecting and learning about others. In reaction to superficial connections and vapid posts, we increasingly value sincerity and introspection. ... Although such values might be foolhardy, it highlights the inherent optimism of this generation. This generation sees the best of all mankind around the world. Technology bridges our differences in unparalleled ways and allows recognition of our shared heritage.”

Allison Kaslow

High School: Newsome

College plans: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to study brain and cognitive sciences leading to neurosurgery or research.

Parents: Rose and Michael Kaslow, a quality assurance analyst for JP Morgan Chase

Hobbies: Playing lacrosse, running, reading, watching television, volunteering

Favorite book: “The Giver,” by Lois Lowry

Watches television: Three hours a week

Social networking: Seven hours per week

Advice to other students: “Go beyond the minimum credentials, put in the extra effort — even when things do not appear to count as much.”

Most influential teacher: Kristen King, Advanced Placement English language and composition teacher, junior year. “English was my hardest subject … she met with me on a regular basis outside of class, taught me how to formulate an essay. We talked about the world, society and different issues. This year she helped me sponsor a club that ended up raising over $11,000 for a local food bank.”

Excerpts from winning essay: “Growing up with the Internet, we have the entire world at our fingertips. We can connect with people anywhere, from Rio de Janeiro to Hong Kong. We can explore the world virtually, be updated instantly, and communicate across the globe in seconds, and because of this, we are aware. We are aware of people in sub-Saharan Africa who do not have access to clean water or proper sanitation. We are aware that every 3.6 seconds someone starves to death.”

Mark Schumaker

High School: Newsome

College plans: University of Florida, studying foreign languages, foreign affairs, finance and engineering

Parents: Laura, a business administrator with Edward Jones, and Sean Schumaker, deceased

Hobbies: Theater, acting, singing, reading

Favorite book: “Of Mice and Men,” by John Steinbeck

Watches television: Rarely

Social networking: Seven hours per week

Advice to other students: “Just breathe, everything will work itself out. People often reflect on negative things. Focus on what’s going right, not what’s going wrong.”

Most influential teacher: Carolyn Nixon, Advanced Placement English literature teacher, senior year. “Genuinely the most intelligent person I have known. She is so eloquent when she speaks, so competent, so understanding. She’s responsible for me wanting to do so many things, even my college choices.”

Excerpts from winning essay: “My generation is able to give a voice to everyone. The ability to express one’s view on the Internet is widespread, and has given rise to modern Internet activism. Along with the rapid development of communication, my generation is also growing up in a world that values the equality of humans and condemns oppression. The things that have historically defined subjugation such as gender, race, and sexual orientation are being erased.

Marilyn Brown

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