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School for Science and Math honors 23 MNPS seniors

May. 19, 2016, 1:31 PM

Photo courtesy of Michelle Barbero
Photo courtesy of Michelle Barbero

The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt held its sixth commencement exercises, celebrating 23 high school students from five Metro Nashville Public Schools.

The students have completed Vanderbilt’s four‐year honors program and are slated to attend prestigious institutions this fall, including Vanderbilt, Dartmouth, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Northwestern, University of Tennessee and University of Virginia.

Anna Shepherd, vice chair of the Metro Nashville Public School Board, was a distinguished guest and speaker at the ceremony. Camilla Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development, delivered the commencement address.

SSMV is a program of the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Peabody. Participants are selected based on grades, aptitude and passion for learning. From freshman to senior year of high school, the students attend SSMV for one day a week at a classroom in the Wyatt Center at Peabody.

They learn from Vanderbilt instructors in the disciplines of molecular biology, physics, earth science, electrical engineering and more. They conduct experiments and research, work side by side with Vanderbilt professors in laboratory settings, write and publish research papers and compete in science competitions.

Following are the 2016 SSMV graduates with their high schools and intended colleges and universities:

  • Yasmin Alvarado‐Rayo, Overton High School 
— Xavier University, Cincinnati
  • Tad Weber Arnold, Hillsboro High School — Beloit College
  • Franklin Eduardo Corea‐Dilbert, Hume-Fogg Magnet — Dartmouth College
  • Jennifer Nell Cottle, Overton High School — University of Richmond
  • Elom Dumenyo, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet — University of Pennsylvania
  • Lillian Ezinna Ekem, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet — Yale University
  • David X. Feng, Hume-Fogg Magnet — University of California-Los Angeles
  • Andrew Kolmer Forbes, Hume-Fogg Magnet — University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Vincent S. Harris, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet — Washington University, St. Louis
  • John Phillip Hartmann, Hume‐Fogg Magnet — Purdue University
  • Rebecca Monet’ Hood, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet
 — North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Adella Kuster, Hume‐Fogg Magnet — University of Oklahoma
  • James Sadler Kyne, Hume‐Fogg Magnet — University of Virginia
  • Thomas Anteneh Massion, Hume‐Fogg Magnet — Northwestern University
  • Joseph Patrick McCauley, Hillsboro High School — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Fea Morgan-Curtis, Hume‐Fogg Magnet
 — Case Western Reserve University
  • Saba Rehman, Hume‐Fogg Magnet — Vanderbilt University
  • Redoan Abdus Salam, Hume‐Fogg Magnet — Washington University, St. Louis
  • Tahj Malik Starr, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet — Duke University
  • Rachel Claire Tudor, Hume‐Fogg Magnet
 — University of Tennessee‐Knoxville
  • Cyndy B. Vasquez, Hillsboro High School — Johns Hopkins University
  • Xiuya Yao, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet — Yale University
  • Jon Marc Zaccaro, Hillwood High School
 — University of Tennessee‐Knoxville

SSMV is a joint venture of Vanderbilt and MNPS. SSMV has received support from a National Institutes of Health’s NCRR Science Education Partnership Award and other generous donors.

For more information, contact: Angela Eeds at (615) 322‐7132 or or visit

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