For more than 90 years, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in conjunction with high schools around the world, has awarded the Rensselaer Medal and scholarship to high school juniors who have distinguished themselves in mathematics and science.
Among last year’s recipeints of the medal was Joseph Girard, of Mohawk. The son of Diane and Peter Girard, he is currently a senior at Central Valley Academy. He received the award as a junior at Mohawk Central School.
“The Rensselaer Medal is a wonderful way to pay tribute to the high school students who have achieved excellence in math and science,” said Paul Marthers, Rensselaer vice president for enrollment and dean of undergraduate and graduate admissions, in a news release. “As we do so, we are aware that these early achievements, as impressive as they are, mark only one milestone on their future journeys of commitment to hard work, drive, focus, and collaborations. The Rensselaer Medal winners represent the next generation of leaders, scientists, innovators, artists, scholars, game designers, architects, humanitarians, and entrepreneurs.”
The Rensselaer Medal was first presented in 1916 with two purposes; to recognize the superlative academic achievement of young men and women, and to motivate students toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.
The medal, the oldest prize of its kind in the United States, is awarded at more than 2,000 high schools throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
There are 183 medalists currently enrolled in the freshman class at Rensselaer.
Each participating high school is allowed to select one member of the junior class to be honored with the Rensselaer Medal award. The responsibility for designating the Rensselaer Medalist belongs to faculty and staff within the secondary school. Once school officials have made their selection, they submit their choice online via the password-protected medal website.
The merit scholarship, with a minimum value of $15,000 per year, is guaranteed for four years, five years for the bachelor of architecture program, for each medalist who is accepted and enrolls at Rensselaer. Overall, an enrolled student may be eligible to receive a minimum scholarship of $60,000.