Senior At Centennial High School Named A Semifinalist For Presidential Scholar

April 23, 1997|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

A senior at Centennial High School has been named Howard County's only semifinalist in the 1997 Presidential Scholars Program.

Brian J. Lee, 18, of Dorsey Hall is one of 14 students in Maryland selected for the honor. He now competes with 560 other students nationwide. Announcement of the 141 finalists could be made next week.

Kimberly Watkins, executive director of the Presidential Scholars Program, said Lee was chosen from a pool of 2,600 qualified candidates.

"Academically, he stands out," she said. "He's done a lot of things in the community and in his school. He's a leader."

Lee, who scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT last year, said he was excited when he heard the news.

"I was very flattered," he said in a telephone interview from Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., where he is participating in a program that allows seniors to take college courses before they graduate. "But I try not to let these things go to my head."

Last summer, Lee was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. He tagged and studied a gene in cancer patients that makes them resistant to chemotherapy.

He also co-authored an article with researchers from the Lipid Research Arteriosclerosis Unit at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine that described efforts to track a certain form of heart disease.

Lee is a cadet airman of the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and a member of Appalachian Search and Rescue, the only high school group on the East Coast that conducts overnight searches for missing persons in the Appalachian Mountains.

In addition, he participated with Habitat for Humanity and the Warm Hearts Program at the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter in Washington. He is a member of his school's varsity tennis team and a cellist with the Maryland F.A.M.E. (For the Advancement of Music Ensemble) Orchestra.

Pub Date: 4/23/97

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