Science and Mathematics Governor's School Celebrates 18 National Merit Finalists

February 28, 2017

The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) is pleased to announce that 18 members of the class of 2017 were recently named National Merit Finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). These academically motivated students are now eligible for continued competition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. 

GSSM's National Merit Finalists are: 

  • Maegan Albert, child of Robin and Ron Albert, of Darlington
  • Chris Bodkin, child of Maureen and Christopher A. Bodkin, Sr., of Summerville
  • Nikki Bregman, child of Norie and Jim Bregman, of Charleston
  • Anish Chaluvadi, child of Dr. Purnima and Dr. Siva Chaluvadi, of Simpsonville
  • Natalie Duprez, child of Carol and Hubert Duprez, of Fort Mill
  • Benjamin H. Gray, child of Dr. Auston and Karen Gray, of Sumter
  • Isaiah Ho, child of Wing M. Lau and Dr. Chi M. Ho, of Simpsonville
  • Harrison Howell, child of Jonna and John Howell, Jr., of Lexington
  • Michelle Huang, child of Yue Yan Lin     and Guang Hua Huang, of Lexington
  • Maya Jensen, child of Dawn and Stephen Jensen, of Blythewood
  • Ivey Li, child of Xiuzhen Lu and Dr. Zhenheng Li, of Aiken
  • Morganne May, child of Molly McKenzie and Tessa and Sean May, of Taylors
  • Hailey Mollica, child of Denise Santoli and James Mollica, of Okatie
  • Gracen Mueller, child of Kelly and the late Jeff Meuller, of Greenville
  • Dan Wesley Robinson, III, child of Dr. Janie M. and Dr. Dan. W. Robinson, of Greenwood
  • Jeffrey A. Russell, child of Kendra and Jeff Russell, of York
  • William Rene Schmidt, child of Edie Philips and Rob Schmidt, of Hilton Head Island
  • Victoria L. Young, child of Michelle and Randy Young, of Tega Cay

"We are proud of all our National Merit Finalists this year, as they continue to represent the high quality and achievement of the best STEM students in the state of South Carolina," said Dr. Hector Flores, GSSM president.

All 18 finalists will now compete for approximately 7,600 scholarships worth more than $33 million that will be offered later this spring.  

The National Merit Competition begins with students taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). Semifinalists across the nation are then named based on the highest-scoring entrants in each state. A student becomes a finalist based on academic record, high school principal endorsement and an SAT score confirming their qualifying test score.

Over half of the National Merit Finalists will be awarded a scholarship. Scholarship awards will be announced beginning in March 2017 and concluding in June. For more information, visit  

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