Viggo Blomquist '17 just heard some very good news. The Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) semifinalist was recently named one of Columbia University's Rabi Scholars, a distinction earned by just a small number of Columbia's incoming first-year students each year.
The Rabi Scholars program awards students who demonstrate exceptional promise in the sciences and is decided by the faculty of Columbia's science departments. The program seeks to support and encourage young scientists by providing research opportunities throughout their undergraduate careers, and each scholar is guaranteed a funded spot at a research lab.
Viggo's research first came to Columbia's attention in the fall when he had the opportunity to present his work on campus to the school's head admission officer during our Window on Berkshire program, which showcases student work to college and university admission officers.
For Viggo, the project was personal. He was born with a heart arrhythmia, and his research focused on a novel gene therapy technique to counteract why arrhythmia happens.
Being selected as a Rabi Scholar because of work done in Advanced Math/Science Research, "shows that the Columbia faculty appreciate the level of work that is happening in the program," said Dr. April Burch, director of the AMSR.
The Window on Berkshire allows college and university reps to see Berkshire students' work up close and evaluate not only a student's intellectual firepower, but his or her EQ as well. Viggo's presentation showed that, "He's got grit, he's got passion, and he's got a story that is really incredible," said Dr. Burch. And now he is on his way to the next level.