Congratulations to Allison Duffy ’23, Rohan Malik ’23, Benjamin Mathias ’23, and Sydney Merrill ’23 who were named candidates in the 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholar Program, which recognizes the nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors.
Clockwise from left to right: Allison Duffy ’23, Rohan Malik ’23, Benjamin Mathias ’23, and Sydney Merrill ’23
“Allison Duffy, Rohan Malik, Ben Mathias, and Sydney Merrill have made us extremely proud. Their achievements and leadership—at school and beyond—stand as inspiring examples of Rye Country Day’s commitment to outstanding scholarship and active citizenship. Congratulations to these impressive young leaders on this well-deserved recognition”
— Head of School, Randall Dunn
Allison Duffy is an exemplary scholar, student leader, and community citizen. Taking an exceptionally demanding curriculum at Rye Country Day, Allison elected all advanced classes as a sophomore, and she took a total of nine AP courses, as well as RCDS Honors English Seminars, as a junior and senior. In addition to an outstanding academic track record, Allison is actively committed to public purpose, specifically women’s education. In ninth grade, she founded a club dedicated to supporting girls' education in the Dominican Republic. The summer leading into her junior year, Allison was selected as a Community Engagement Fellow, partnering with Girls Inc. to collect stories from participants in the form of film, art, cultural content, and photos to produce a storybook that was used for outreach and fundraising. As president of Rye Country Day's Women in Science Club, Allison has worked to counter the underrepresentation of women and minorities in STEM fields by providing opportunities and mentorship for girls at RCDS interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. Allison also contributed her leadership to Montessori Model UN, a division of Youth For a Better World, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. She has also been a major contributor to Rye Country Day’s Saturday Enrichment Tutorial program, which provides English literacy enrichment to first through fourth-grade students from neighboring school districts. As a senior, Allison was named the SET volunteer coordinator and curriculum leader, supporting the other student volunteers, helping design curriculum, and teaching classes. In the fall, she was named a semifinalist in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Rohan Malik is an accomplished student who excels in math, science, and computer science. In addition to many academic achievements at RCDS, high-level science research has been a mainstay of Rohan’s efforts beyond the classroom. As a sophomore, Rohan was selected as a research intern at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the Christina Leslie Lab for Computational Biology. Rohan was also a software engineer at Amicus Brain Innovations Inc, a global digital health startup providing AI services to support caring for patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Rohan’s leadership has inspired peers and mentors alike at RCDS, as captain of the Math and Robotics teams, foil squad leader of the RCDS Fencing team, an active member of the AAPI Club, and a dynamic contributor to the School’s D.E.I. initiatives. Rohan twice qualified for the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, was named a 2023 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, earned highest honors at the Westchester STANYS and NYS Science Congress Competition, won first place at the Tri-County (Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties) Science and Technology Fair, and presented research at Regeneron's Westchester Engineering & Science Fair. Demonstrating a breadth of intellectual pursuits, Rohan also possesses a love of literature, writing, and music.
Ben Mathias is a passionate scholar whose love of learning applies to a wide range of academic disciplines. Ben’s superb academic work has earned him top grades in RCDS’s most rigorous courses. In addition, he will graduate having completed multivariable calculus, as well as the entire RCDS physics curriculum, as a junior. In the fall, he was named a semifinalist in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. Ben’s academic achievement is coupled with athletic excellence. A talented squash player who has been ranked among the top 30 players in the nation, Ben received the RCDS MVP award and was named to the first team of the Fairchester Athletic League in his junior year. As a senior, he was voted captain of the RCDS Boys’ Squash and led the Wildcats to two championship titles, the 2023 U.S. High School Squash Nationals (Division II) and the 2023 NYSAIS Championship.
Sydney Merrill is a stellar student with an exceptional academic record. She excels across disciplines, receiving top marks in classes surpassing the AP level, such as Multivariable Calculus, Honors Latin 5, and Honors English Seminar. Extending innate curiosity and acumen well beyond the classroom, she enrolled in a mechanical engineering course at Brown University, where she worked on transforming a microwave into a radar gun. The summer before her senior year, Sydney immersed herself in a six-week study abroad program in Korea, where she improved her language skills and expanded her understanding of the country's culture and history. In the fall, she was named a semifinalist in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. Sydney’s involvement in school life is exemplary. In her senior year, she was the center defender and co-captain of the RCDS Varsity Girls' Soccer team. For three consecutive years, she was the Assistant Stage Manager for the RCDS Drama and Dance Department, a role that is the School’s annual Upper School musical. Especially dedicated to contributing to her community, Sydney is currently a Head Peer Tutor of the RCDS Peer Tutoring Program, helping to teach concepts of Algebra 2/Trigonometry to younger schoolmates.