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RPI Hosts Honors Convocation, Awards Rensselaer Medals

The Albany Times Union reports that Rensselaer held its honors convocation on Sunday at the Alumni Sports and Recreation Center in Troy. At this event, over 300 students were awarded the Rensselaer Medal, a recognition of excellence in science and mathematics during their junior years in high school. According to the article:

For more than 85 years, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in conjunction with high schools around the world, has awarded the Rensselaer Medal to high school juniors who have distinguished themselves in math and science.

The Rensselaer Medal carries with it a $15,000 annual scholarship. The scholarship is guaranteed for a maximum of four years to each medalist who is accepted by and enrolls at RPI.

RPI President Shirley Ann Jackson, who was a Rensselaer Medal winner herself, said the program is a wonderful way for RPI to "identify talented students who excel in science and math." Conversely, for students and their parents, the scholarship that accompanies the medal "enables young persons to avail themselves" of the educational opportunities offered at RPI. The yearly scholarship was increased from $10,000 to $15,000 in 2002.

A number of other awards and recognitions took place at the convocation, including the Founders Award, to 68 students for "creativity, leadership, discovery, and the values of pride and responsibility", and an honorary doctorate to New York State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.

Faculty recognitions included:

  • Dr. Georges Belfort for his induction to the National Academy of Engineering,
  • Dr. Igor Vamos for winning a Guggenheim Fellowship,
  • Dr. Robert Linhardt for assuming the Ann and John H. Broadbent Jr. 59 Senior Constellation Chair in Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering, and
  • Jong-Shi Pang for assuming the Margaret A. Darrin Distinguished Professor in Applied Mathematics.

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