Two central Indiana students are winners of this year's Mr. and Miss Indiana Science honors. The Avon High School and Carmel High School graduates are set to attend college this fall and plan to major in medical-related fields. June 16, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Citing their exemplary academic performance in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes, and extraordinary extracurricular activities, Governor Mike Pence today will present two high schools students with the honor of 2014 Mr. Indiana Science and 2014 Miss Indiana Science at the Indiana Career Council meeting.

Avon's Sonali Mali and David Lu Liang of Carmel will be saluted during the Indiana Career Council meeting today as proof positive of Indiana's optimistic future in STEM education and STEM careers. More than 250 applicants were considered for their academic performance in STEM classes, extracurricular activities, and work/research projects.

“From a remarkable pool of applicants, it is my privilege to honor Sonali and David for their many achievements and their dedication to scientific excellence,” said Governor Pence. “Their accomplishments and their commitment to excellence, scientific inquiry, and careers in STEM fields are certain to inspire others, both adults and young students alike. Through their continued efforts, I have every confidence the future of Indiana is in good hands.”

Sonali Mali, 2014 Miss Indiana Science, is a recent graduate of Avon High School, where she excelled in honors and advanced placement (AP) classes. She is an AP Scholar with distinction, a National AP Scholar, a finalist in the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Math contest the past two years, and a competitor in the American Chemical Society Sci Mix poster presentation. Mali spent her past summer in the lab at IUPUI conducting research on pancreatic cancers alongside graduate students and working with Micro RNA. Mali will attend Indiana University, where she intends to earn an MD PhD and, as she says, “bridge the gap between practical medicine and theoretical medicine.”

The 2014 Mr. Indiana Science, David Liang, is a recent graduate of Carmel High School, where he excelled in 16 AP classes, including calculus, chemistry, physics, computer science, statistics, biology and microeconomics. He competed as a gold medalist at the 45th International Chemistry Olympiad in Moscow last summer, won the USA Junior Math Olympiad in 2011 (out of 350,000 entrants), won the 2012-13 Siemens Award for Advanced Placement in STEM for Indiana, and was also a 2014 winner in the Indiana State Science Olympiad with a first place in Chemistry and three additional medals. Liang plans to attend Harvard University and pursue a career leading research efforts against cancer, where ultimately, he says, “after making a revolutionary discovery, I will become an entrepreneur to share practical cures and treatments to benefit countless individuals.”

Each winner will receive a $2,000 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan scholarship contribution for their achievements. CollegeChoice 529 is a tax-advantaged education and training savings program with multiple savings options for all Hoosier families.

Source: The Office of Governor Mike Pence

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