Exonian Excellence

Students excel in science, math, English, writing and more. 

Sarah Pruitt '95
May 10, 2022
Exeter's mock trial team

Exeter's mock trial club.

Mock Trial Teams Finish 1-2-3 at State Championships

Exonian argumentative (and theatrical) talent ran deep during the New Hampshire Mock Trial Championships in February, with Big Red teams capturing the top three spots. John Lee ’22, Arhon Strauss ’23, Angela Zhang ’23, Teja Vankireddy ’22, Sav Bartkovich ’23, Michael Hsieh ’23 and Charles Potjer ’24 defeated their Exeter teammates Colin Jung ’24, Selim Kim ’24, Anderson Lynch ’23, Michael Nardone ’24, Liam Brown ’23, Angelina Gong ’25, David Goodall ’24, Alysha Lai ’23 and Amara Nwuneli ’25 by only four points in the final round, earning the chance to compete in the National High School Mock Trial Championship that will be held virtually in May.

Gold Medal in Academic Writing

Parmis Mokhtari-Dizaji ’24 won the gold medal in the fall 2021 cycle of the annual Academic Writing Contest held by the Harvard International Review, a quarterly magazine focusing on international affairs and featuring articles and commentary by leading scholars and policymakers worldwide. In addition to writing her essay, which explored the role of COVID-19 in isolating supply chain networks and accelerating deglobalization, Mokhtari-Dizaji gave a 15-minute presentation and oral defense of her argument before a board of the magazine’s judges.

Exonians Bound for Carnegie Hall

Two Exeter musicians have been selected to join the Carnegie Hall National Youth Orchestra, a monthlong summer program of intensive musical training and performance. Violinist Jane Park ’24 and bassoonist Adam Tang ’25 will join the prestigious youth ensemble starting in late July for a week in residence at Purchase College, State University of New York, then head to Miami to work side by side with the New World Symphony Orchestra and perform at the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center. The ensemble will then return to New York City for a week of training, culminating with a performance in Carnegie Hall’s famed Stern Auditorium.

Students, Faculty and Alums Collaborate on High-Level Research Study

Current Exeter student Ella Kim ’23 and recent grad Catherine Griffin ’19 are among the co-authors of a new study published in the journal G3:Genes|Genomes|Genetics this spring. Titled “Transgenic Drosophila Lines for LexA-dependent Gene and Growth Regulation,” the study highlights work that led to the CRISPR-based course taught in spring 2021 by Science Instructors Anne Rankin ’92 and Townley Chisholm, as well as a new curriculum developed by Exeter Summer teacher Liz Morse based on experimental genetics. Rankin, Chisholm and Morse are also among the study’s co-authors, along with Dr. Seung Kim ’81 of the Stanford University School of Medicine and students and instructors from the Lawrenceville School, Oxford University and Stanford.

National Ocean Sciences Bowl Debut

After officially launching during the winter term, Exeter’s new Ocean Awareness and Action Club (O2AC) got off to a running start thanks to a last-minute entry into the Nor’easter Bowl, a regional ocean science academic competition that is part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB). “We completely crushed it,” says club co-head Tanya Das ’22, who competed on the winning team alongside co-head Ariana Thornton ’24, Ayman Naseer ’24, Alexander Luna ’24 and Helena Kline ’24. They will now represent Exeter for the first time ever in the NOSB finals, held virtually on May 6-15, 2022. Meanwhile, Das and her fellow O2AC members are looking to continue educating themselves as well as recruit new members and potentially find alumni speakers to bolster the club’s focus on raising awareness about — and taking action to combat — marine pollution. “Our current project is the ocean link project, where we’re creating a website [that shows] different people at Exeter and their connection to the ocean,” she says. “Right now the ocean seems kind of far away, kind of separate, and we want to make it seem closer and show how we’re all connected to it.”

Math Club Hosts International Middle School Competition

The blizzard conditions on January 30 didn’t prevent 35 Exeter students —all members of the Math Club — from hosting a math competition attended by nearly 800 middle school students from around the world. Teams of up to four students faced off in the live online competition, which included an individual round, team round and a high-stakes “guts round” of 24 questions answered in only 75 minutes. Kevin Cong ’22, Neil Chowdhury ’22, Jacob David ’22, Lucy Xiao ’22, Eric Yang ’22, Max Xu ’23, Alan Bu ’24 and other Math Club leaders devoted long hours to writing and editing problems of varying difficulty, producing the competition, grading the responses and conducting statistical analysis. They also hosted two live panels during the competition, covering “Math Life at Exeter” and women and nonbinary-identifying people in the mathematical professions.

Editor's note: This article first appeared in the spring 2022 issue of The Exeter Bulletin.