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Admissions Statistics

Commencement Facts

Admissions Statistics

  • 1480.2 – average SAT score of Pioneer applicants in the past two years (SAT is totally optional.)
  • 32.5 – average ACT score of Pioneer applicants in the past two years (ACT is totally optional.)
  • 107.6 – average TOEFL score of Pioneer applicants in the past two years (TOEFL is totally optional.)
  • 17, 391 – total number of applications since 2012
  • 5,656  – applications accepted & enrolled since 2012
  • 7,335 – number of interviews conducted 2021~2022
  • 16% – enrollments of applicants who were initially declined and re-applied

Academic Research Statistics

Facts Enrollment

Academic Research Statistics

  • 1:6 – professor & students ratio in cohort study stage
  • 1:1 – professor & student ratio in paper development stage
  • 30 – research areas
  • 100k+ – e-books, journals, and databases available to scholars

Accreditation

Commencement Facts

Accreditation

  • 2015 – the year when Pioneer achieved accreditation
  • 0 – extra steps to receive college credits, due to Pioneer’s accreditation status

Recognition

Facts Enrollment

Recognition

  • 3 out of 4 – prestigious US gifted programs officially recommend Pioneer Academics.
    1. They are CTD of Northwestern University
    2. Davidson Institute
    3. TIP of Duke University
  • Many – official partners include:
    • A Better Chance
    • Education USA (regional)
    • HALI Access Network
    • Jack Kent Cook Foundation
    • Questbridge
    • RISE

Dedication

Commencement Facts

Dedication

  • $4.65 million – need-based scholarship amount granted over past 5 years
  • 80.46% – of need-based scholarships granted are full scholarships (2018~2022)
    • 41.05% – need-based scholarship recipients are international
    • 58.95% need-based scholarship recipients are domestic
  • 68 dedicated seminars with admissions officers over past 5 years
  • One of a kind – Pioneer Co-curricular Summit: the conference where students, parents and educators meet with prestigious academic program leaders

Alumni

Facts Enrollment

Alumni

  • 5656 Pioneer scholars – Powerful Alumni Network
  • 77 countries – Diversity
  • 10 university-based Pioneer on Campus alumni groups:
    • University of Pennsylvania
    • Northwestern University
    • Cornell University
    • University College London
    • Dartmouth College
    • Stanford University
    • Harvard University
    • UCLA

Alumni & Statistics

Pioneer alumni formed a community of high school researchers from 71 countries. It is their genuine interest in research that bonds these talented young people together.

University Acceptance Statistics by Entering Class Year

2023 College Admissions Statistics

2023 College Admissions Statistics (College Class of 2027)*

Testing statistics of those reporting scores when applying to college
Average SAT Statistics: 1518 (Evidence-Based Reading=740, Mathematics =778)
Average ACT Statistics: 34
Average TOEFL Score (International Students): 114
Average IELTS Score (International Students): 7
Enlarge

2022 (2023 fall in college)

*Admission results should not be construed as a direct outcome of any one program. Colleges and universities use a holistic application process to evaluate all aspects of an applicant, and while experience in an academically respected program may distinguish a student, no single credential will determine admission results.

2022 College Admissions Statistics

2022 College Admissions Statistics (College Class of 2026)*

Testing statistics of those reporting scores when applying to college
Average SAT Statistics: Evidence-Based Reading=747, Mathematics =782
Average ACT Statistics: 34
Average TOEFL Score (International Students): 114
Average IELTS Score (International Students): 8
Enlarge

20212022 fall in college updated

*Admission results should not be construed as a direct outcome of any one program. Colleges and universities use a holistic application process to evaluate all aspects of an applicant, and while experience in an academically respected program may distinguish a student, no single credential will determine admission results.

2021 College Admissions Statistics

2021 College Admissions Statistics (College Class of 2025)*

Testing statistics of those reporting scores when applying to college
Average SAT Statistics:
Evidence-Based Reading=730 , Mathematics =785
Average ACT Statistics: 34
Average TOEFL Score (International Students): 113
Average IELTS Score (International Students): 8
Enlarge

20202021 fall in college

*Admission results should not be construed as a direct outcome of any one program. Colleges and universities use a holistic application process to evaluate all aspects of an applicant, and while experience in an academically respected program may distinguish a student, no single credential will determine admission results.

2020 College Admissions Statistics

2020 College Admissions Statistics (College Class of 2024)*

Testing statistics of those reporting scores when applying to college
Average SAT Statistics:
Evidence-Based Reading=734, Mathematics =790
Average ACT Statistics: 34
Average TOEFL Score (International Students): 113
Average IELTS Score (International Students): 8
Enlarge

20192020 fall in college

*Admission results should not be construed as a direct outcome of any one program. Colleges and universities use a holistic application process to evaluate all aspects of an applicant, and while experience in an academically respected program may distinguish a student, no single credential will determine admission results.

2019 College Admissions Statistics

2019 College Admissions Statistics (College Class of 2023)*

Testing statistics of those reporting scores when applying to college
Average SAT Statistics:
Evidence-Based Reading=733, Mathematics =784
Average ACT Statistics: 34
Average TOEFL Score (International Students): 113
Average IELTS Score (International Students): 8
Enlarge

20182019 fall in college
*Admission results should not be construed as a direct outcome of any one program. Colleges and universities use a holistic application process to evaluate all aspects of an applicant, and while experience in an academically respected program may distinguish a student, no single credential will determine admission results.

2018 College Admissions Statistics

2018 College Admissions Statistics (College Class of 2022)*

Testing statistics of those reporting scores when applying to college
Average SAT Statistics:
Evidence-Based Reading=725, Mathematics = 786
Average ACT Statistics: 34
Average TOEFL Score (International Students): 114
Average IELTS Score (International Students): 8
Enlarge

Full College List
*Admission results should not be construed as a direct outcome of any one program. Colleges and universities use a holistic application process to evaluate all aspects of an applicant, and while experience in an academically respected program may distinguish a student, no single credential will determine admission results.

Pioneer Scholars in The Spotlight

All Pioneer scholars shine in their own ways. Each year some Pioneer scholars responded to our editor’s invitation to feature their sharing. We welcome all Pioneer Scholars to share their stories and pictures with the community by sending an e-mail to [email protected].

Pioneer Scholars Share Their College Destinations

We applaud all Pioneer Scholars for their curiosity and diligent effort. Whether they have committed to a university or college through Early Action/Early Decision or are waiting for April results, our Pioneer graduates deserve kudos for their outstanding research.

Though Pioneer Scholars’ college acceptances are remarkable, it is the intellectual drive, passion, and dedication of these students that makes us most proud.

  • 2022 Scholars
  • 2021 Scholars
  • 2020 Scholars
  • 2019 Scholars
  • 2018 Scholars
  • 2017 Scholars
  • 2016 Scholars
  • 2012~2015 Scholars

ArmaanHaji

Armaan Haji

The Hotchkiss School
Claremont McKenna College

Mukudzeiishe Madzivire

Mukudzeiishe Madzivire

African Leadership Academy
Columbia University

Dylan Ong

Dylan Ong

Monta Vista High School
Cornell University

Jeremias Castillo

Jeremias Elias Castillo

Technology High School
Harvard University

Michelle Ametekpor

Michelle Ametekpor

Donald M Payne Sr School of Technology
Williams College

Lucas Shujun Ma

Lucas Shujun Ma

Dunman High School
Duke University

SaraVotey Mom

SaraVotey Mom

Liger Leadership Academy
Dartmouth College

Zhou Xianyi

Zhou Xianyi (Zoey)

St. Paul’s Co-educational College
Cornell University

Zeynep

Zeynep Kurtuluş

Cagaloglu Anatolian High School
Harvard University

Nirvaan

Nirvaan Mehta

International School of Hyderabad
Wesleyan University

Omar Mnfy

Omar Mnfy

Alexandria STEM School
Pitzer College

Jiatong Missy Liu

Jiatong (Missy) Liu

Keystone Academy
Brown University

Kayley Kish

Kayley Kish

Westlake High School
University of Virginia

İrem Tuana Çiftçi

Irem Tuana Ciftci

United World College East Africa
St. Lawrence University

Dillan Saltsman

Dillan Saltsman

Ripon High School
Stanford University

Sophia Zhu

Sophia Zhu

Shanghai High School
Carnegie Mellon University

Josephine Lee 1

Josephine Lee

Seoul Foreign School
Dartmouth College

Felicia Chen

Felicia Chen

Kambala Church of England Girls’ School
Cornell University

Isabel Iino

Isabel Iino

American International School of Vienna
Barnard College

Ali Nawar

Ali Nawar

STEM High School for Boys- 6th of October
Franklin and Marshall College

Saif Elmaleh

Saif Elmaleh

African Leadership Academy
Notre Dame University

Kiefer Tierling

Kiefer Tierling

Los Altos High School
Claremont McKenna College

Dominic Browne

Dominic Browne

Achievement First Brooklyn High School
Middlebury College

Angel Ndubisi

Angel Ndubisi

Advanced Technologies Academy
Princeton University

Haoqu Alex Liu

Haoqu (Alex) Liu

Chengdu Foreign Languages School
Stanford University

Shiv Kampani

Shiv Kampani

Dhirubhai Ambani International School
Columbia University

Qihan Wang

Qihan Wang

Shanghai Pinghe School
Washington University in St. Louis

Belen Flores

Belen Flores

Greengates School
University of Chicago

fredrick mungai img

Fredrick Mungai

African Leadership Academy
Rice University

clara hyeryn img

Clara Hyeryn Kim

Hong Kong International School
University of Pennsylvania

catherine kwon img

Catherine Kwon

ASMSA (Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts)
Yale University

chloe liao img

Chloe Liao

Pope John Paul II High School
Cornell University

miles guerin img

Miles Guerin

UWC Pearson College
Tufts University

muhan chen img

Muhan Chen

The Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University
Yale University

xinxin li img

Xinxin Li

RDFZ
Swarthmore College

feiyang kuang img

Feiyang Kuang

Shanghai World Foreign Language Academy
Stanford University

jiaduo zhu img

Davidson Jiaduo Zhu

Beijing National Day School
Duke University

elishevlyne

Elishevlyne (Eliey) Eliason

Smoky Hill High School
Creighton University

preet 1

Preet Shah

Navkar Public School
University of Pennsylvania

philippos

Philippos Hatzis

Athens College
Columbia University

Adam Song

Adam Song

Western Academy of Beijing
Imperial College of London

Berkin Binbas

Berkin Binbas

Bahcesehir High School for Science and Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Charlie Sutcuoglu

Charlie Sutcuoglu

Pine View School
Northwestern University

Sannivas Reddy

Sannivas Reddy

Greenwood High International School
Brown University

Naurane

Nourane Hentati

Greenwood High International School
Brown University

Ha Ngan Nguyen

Ha Ngan (Emilia) Nguyen

Hanoi – Amsterdam High School for the Gifted

Tejas vadali

Tejas Vadali

The Latin School of Chicago
Harvard University

Su Min Yoon

Su Min Yoon

School for the Talented and Gifted
Rice University

Gayatri Sharma

Gayatri Sharma

United World College of India
Barnard College at Columbia University

Michael Tulskikh

Michael Tulskikh

East Mountain High School
Columbia University

Janae Rose Fageyinbo

Janae Rose Fageyinbo

Charlotte Country Day School
Yale University

Seungmin

Seungmin Suh

Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies
University of Pennsylvania

Journey Washington

Journey Washingtonhigh

Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies
University of Pennsylvania

Lunchen Song

Lunchen Song

The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China
University of Oxford

PT Meadors

PT Meadors

Lakeland High School
Washington and Lee University

Eliot Arguello

Eliot Arguello

Northside College Preparatory High School
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Christos Bovolis

Christos Bovolis

Northside College Preparatory High School
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Amaris Lewis

Amaris Lewis

Lusher Charter School
Stanford University

Gangyhun Kim

Gangyhun Kim

Seoul Foreign School
Johns Hopkins University

Kush Pandey

Kush Pandey

Jayshree Periwal International School
University of Pennsylvania

Lucy Shao

Lucy Shao

High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Dartmouth College

1

Shannon Heh

Lynbrook High School
Princeton University

Abigail Romero

Abigail Romero

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School
Harvard College

Jiahui Chen

Jiahui Chen

The Affiliated High School of South China Normal University
Stanford University

Doga Unlu

Doga Unlu

Robert College
Yale University

Gibson Munene

Gibson Munene

African Leadership Academy
Babson College

Mrinalini Wadhwa

Mrinalini Wadhwa

American Embassy School
Columbia University

Pierce Wilson 1

Pierce Wilson

Milton Academy
Dartmouth College

mpilo 1

Mpilo Norris

Choate Rosemary Hall, US
Yale University

hannah

Hannah O'Toole

Monte Vista High School, US
Boston University

Rectangle 116

Wendy Wu

High Technology High School, US
Harvard University

AmielDixon

Amiel Dixon

Achievement First Brooklyn High School, US
Stanford University

Kevin calderon

Kevin Calderon

Scholars’ Academy, US
Stanford University

Kexin

Kexin Zhao

Beijing National Day School, China
Brown University

Xiang Yu

Xiangyu Zheng

International Department of the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, China
TBD

Zheran

Zheran He

Beijing No. 2 Middle School, China
Stanford University

Omar

Omar Ramos

Midlothian High School, US
Stanford University

Jiho David Yoo

Jiho David Yoo

Seoul International School, South Korea
Cornell University

Enci

Enci Liu

International Department of the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, China
Stanford University

Samantha Maguire

Samantha Maguire

Carondelet High School, US
Brown University

2016 Rahil Bathwal

Rahil Bathwal

Jamnabai Narsee International School
California Institute of Technology

2016 Ria Toma

Ria Toma

Mission San Jose High School
Emory University

2016 Tyler Bennett

Tyler Bennett

Achievement First Brooklyn High School
Princeton University

2016 Esther Reyes

Esther Reyes

Achievement First Brooklyn High School
Yale University

2012 Jasper Wang

Jasper Wang

Swarthmore College

2012 Rebecca Qian

Rebecca Qian

University of Chicago

2012 Isabella Song

Isabella Song

Boston College

2012 Allen Liu

Allen Liu

UNC Chapel Hill
Carnegie Mellon University

2013 Guanxuan Huang alumni

Guanxuan Huang

Xiamen Foreign Language School
Cornell University

2013 Farreltin Fan

Farreltin Fan

Zhengzhou Foreign Languages School
Carnegie Mellon University

2014 Kara Hu

Kara Hu

Pacific American School
Columbia College

2014 Hannah Waters

Hannah Waters

Woodward Academy
Vanderbilt University

2014 Ziqi Qiu

Ziqi Qiu

High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China (RDFZ)
Harvard University

2014 Luccas Borges

Luccas Borges

Lincoln Park High School
Harvard University

2015 You Jin Jung

You Jin Jung

Korea International School
Columbia University

2015 Xinyue Zhuo

Xinyue Zhuo

The Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University
Columbia University

2015 Ming Zhang

Ming Zhang

International Department, The Affiliated High School of South China Normal University
University of Oxford

Armaan Haji

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
The Hotchkiss School

University:
Claremont McKenna College

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Pakistan and Kenya: A Narrative Study

Through Pioneer, I was able to pursue a field of study that I was deeply passionate about at a collegiate level, even though I was a rising senior in high school. Not only was I able to learn more about this field from an esteemed college professor, but I was also given the freedom to choose my own topic to research and delve deeper into, with the professor there to help me through this process. Due to this, I was able to continue this research at my highschool during my senior year, and had the ability to display my work to colleges during the university applications process, which allowed me to easily show universities my abilities and what I was passionate about.

Mukudzeiishe Madzivire

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
African Leadership Academy

University:
Columbia University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
The Ultimate Sacrifice: The Symbolic Significance of Self-Immolation in Political Protest

Pioneer was undeniably the most meaningful academic experience of my life. Through Pioneer, I got the opportunity to approach my educational journey with intentionality, developing my autodidactic instinct through the focused study of something I care deeply about. I led my own experience, and had to take initiative for my own progress and my learnings from my class. What I enjoyed most about Pioneer was the lively debates I had with my classmates. Although we all came into the course with different levels of understanding of the field of anthropology, and with vastly different perspectives on the topical areas of the field, our professor cultivated an environment that encouraged discussion and debate in ways that furthered our collective learning experience. Even when discussing sensitive issues such as the age-old anthropological question of the origins of race, we managed to keep the atmosphere engaging and respectful, critically assessing the merits and demerits of the arguments raised by anthropologists over the ages on this issue. Because of Pioneer, I have developed an expanded perspective of the world around me, seeing opportunities to learn and produce knowledge in every experience. I am a more confident, self-driven student because of Pioneer. Additionally, Pioneer was immeasurably helpful in supporting my college application journey. The assistance I received was always timely, and throughout the process I felt confident in the level of support I received from not just my professor and my cohort advisor, but from the Pioneer alumni engagement staff who demonstrated genuine care for my college application process and outcomes. Thank you Pioneer!

Dylan Ong

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Monta Vista High School

University:
Cornell University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
A Review of Autoencoders for Detecting SYN FLoods and Network Intrusion Attacks in IoT Devices

Pioneer helped me push myself as both a student and a researcher. I had never undertaken a project of this scale before, and successfully completing it and having a meaningful paper at the end is something that I’m proud of. Working with a college professor through Pioneer has given me valuable experience, teaching me how real-world research works in a college setting. This experience has also helped me develop organization and time-management skills for big projects, which will prepare me well for my continuing education and beyond.

Jeremias Elias Castillo

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Technology High School

University:
Harvard University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
Inflammation as a Root Cause for Multiple Neuropathological Disorders: A Deeper Look into Glioblastoma-Multiforme, Dementia, Alzheimer’s & Vascular Disease

The Pioneer experience has enabled me to not only solidify my passion in neuroscience and public-health advocacy but also demonstrate it tangibly throughout my college application process. Being able to learn from trial-and-error that is mirrored at any level of research conducted has taught me the invaluable lesson of resilience in the face of unfavorable outcomes. Most importantly, as a first-generation Latinx student, Pioneer has shown me the importance of leveraging the resources available to me such as alumni panels, office hours, and mentor support on my path to achieving success.

Michelle Ametekpor

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Donald M Payne Sr School of Technology

University:
Williams College

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
Social Class, Isolation, and Proximity to Whiteness: An Examination of the Portrayals of Black Lesbians in the Media

My favorite part of my experience was the research process. It prepared me to turn the everyday phenomena I see on television into academic terms and papers. It gave me the confidence to continue to write about lived experiences and give me the background to successfully complete other research endeavors. During university applications, I was able to connect with Pioneer Scholars who attended the schools I was interested in. Ultimately, I feel confident going to college, and am ready to explore sociological topics in my future classes.

Lucas Shujun Ma

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Dunman High School

University:
Duke University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
Competing Pathways of Nationalism in the Chinese Civil War

Pioneer isn’t like any high school program, because you can’t grow this fast in high school. At Pioneer, you are placed into a cohort and group sessions with some incredibly bright peers and a responsible professor, and before you even realize it, you have (surprisingly) produced a college-level paper. I think nothing is more encouraging than ascertaining that you have the potential to face academic rigor in college.

SaraVotey Mom

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Liger Leadership Academy

University:
Dartmouth College

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
The Influence of Injunctive Social Norms Appeal on Behavioral Intention to Participate in Blood Donation

Pioneer allowed me to closely connect and interact with other bright scholars around the world. This was one of the best experiences of high school because it played a role in making me become more passionate about research. This experience overall equipped me with many necessary skills including time management, reading scholarly articles, and working closely with professors which are significant to have in order to successfully maximize my college life. Pioneer was my first introduction to research yet it empowered me to immerse myself in the world of research.

Zhou Xianyi (Zoey)

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
St. Paul’s Co-educational College

University:
Cornell University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
Design of a q-switched semiconductor near-infrared pulsed laser based on photonic crystals

Pioneer was an intensive but rewarding challenge, constantly urging me to be curious and strive for the best solution. It truly solidified my interest in engineering as the opportunity for research allowed me to gain a much better idea of work in university. The balance between following my professor’s guidance as well as freely exploring and experimenting myself was a valuable experience, pushing me out of my comfort zone as it was so different from the teaching style I was used to.

Zeynep Kurtuluş

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Cagaloglu Anatolian High School

University:
Harvard University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
Shifting Perspectives Towards Shared Security in France: From de Gaulle to Macron

My Pioneer experience was unforgettable in terms of gaining invaluable academic skills and getting to know great people. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to spend around six intensive months and learn how to write a research paper from scratch with the relentless support of my Professor and other Pioneer staff. Although my school has been a state school in Turkey in which the first foreign language is German, through Pioneer, I got the opportunity to improve my academic writing skills in English, which prepared me for college as I learned time management, and quantitative and qualitative research skills.

Nirvaan Mehta

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
International School of Hyderabad

University:
Wesleyan University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
Identity Development and Social Support Through Queer Friendly Online Spaces for Queer Youth

When I was going into Pioneer, I thought research was Ph.D.s in labs, and I felt that was very intimidating. But research at a fundamental level is asking questions and then figuring out answers. And then through my participation in Pioneer, it demystified the whole process. Because my professor would talk about doing research, and his view of college and college research. My professor would talk to us about not how he did research, but his views on research. So getting that insider knowledge is really helpful in demystifying the process.

Omar Mnfy

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Alexandria STEM School

University:
Pitzer College

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
Exposure to Video Games and its Effect on Emotional Recognition Corresponding to the Effect of Literary Fiction on Emotional Recognition

I come from a STEM high high school at a boarding system high school, and I I was never exposed to psychology or social psychology. But I just felt that this is something that I’m really interested in, and I want to pursue, and I wanted to give it a try. And I did, and it was perfect. It was the best. Let’s say, one of the best decisions of my entire life. I now know exactly what I want to major in in college just because of that decision.

Jiatong (Missy) Liu

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Keystone Academy

University:
Brown University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
Chained to Knowledge? An Examination of Descartes’ View on Free Will in the Meditations

I conducted research at Pioneer three times: in 2020 (economics), 2021 (business), and 2022 (philosophy). One key Pioneer takeaway for me is to be more courageous when I contribute to the field of research. I am just a high schooler, and I might feel that I have nothing interesting to say. But it is really important to validate myself, and to know that I do have something interesting to contribute and I could share my perspectives and my views.

Kayley Kish

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Westlake High School

University:
University of Virginia

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
Scoping Review of the Effects of Chemodenervation on the Upper Extremity Post-Stroke

I became a more confident person through Pioneer. I went into it thinking it’s probably going to be findings that people have already come up with. But I started to realize through the paper that I was finding out some really interesting information, and to know that I could make a change makes me more confident. The way that I overcame the emotional hurdle of believing that I could actually complete this paper was by relying on talking to my professor and those that were in my cohort, and knowing that everyone’s in this position, they’re there to help you. So if I had questions, I would reach out and that really helped. But it was also understanding that this is something that I am passionate about, and something I’ve wanted to pursue.

Irem Tuana Ciftci

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
United World College East Africa

University:
St. Lawrence University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
How successful are the current well-being measurements in terms of estimating human and animal welfare?

What Pioneer offered me was making my own path into research. It gave me a chance to work on my real interest. I really thought I was doing something interesting and valuable. I love how it gave me even more passion to do academic research, and how it can be really fun.

Dillan Saltsman

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Ripon High School

University:
Stanford University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
The Extent to Which Climate Change Might Disrupt the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

Pioneer really strengthened me as a writer overall. I feel like I came out of it being able to convey my ideas in a more concise manner, while still putting forward something that could attract attention. Everyone in my cohort was just very helpful, and we messaged back and forth. Whenever we didn’t understand something, there’d be somebody to answer our questions. I loved the peer review aspect. I think that lends a lot of credibility to the research papers, when you have somebody look over it, and then also just to learn about what other people were researching, other people’s thought processes, what their interests are, because we each researched very different topics.

Sophia Zhu

2022 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Shanghai High School

University:
Carnegie Mellon University

Pioneer Semester:
2022

Pioneer Research Topic:
Hybrid DoS/DDoS Intrusion Detection System Using Machine Learning Frameworks

With my Chinese friends at school, I basically just talked about anime and studying. Pioneer’s process of meeting new peers from different parts of the world who also have an interest in my specific field, and are also learning and doing the same homework, attending the same group sessions, is a more open process that allowed me to embrace diversity.

Josephine Lee

Summer 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Seoul Foreign School

University:
Dartmouth College

Pioneer Semester:
Summer 2021

Pioneer Research Topic:
Advancement during Crises in Developed Countries: A Comparative Analysis of Economic Growth in Germany and Italy

“Pioneer Academics drove me to challenge myself beyond the classroom. Working with a respected college professor, I was granted the opportunity to learn in an environment that closely resembles a college setting in my field of interest. I also developed the writing skills that are guaranteed to students who take this program, and attained stronger research skills.”

Felicia Chen

Spring 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Kambala Church of England Girls’ School

University:
Cornell University

Pioneer Semester:
Spring 2021

Pioneer Research Topic:
The Politics of the Gig Economy: Entrepreneurship, Technological Innovation, and Politics

“The Pioneer research program provided me with the ideal opportunity to explore an area that I’ve long been interested in, enabling me to apply my economic knowledge to investigate today’s music industry. Under the instructions of my professor, I learned to think critically, build strong arguments and form my own opinions.”

Isabel Iino

Summer 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
American International School of Vienna

University:
Barnard College

Pioneer Research Topic:
The Medieval Mediterranean: Confluence of Cultures

“The rigor of Pioneer’s research process developed my analytical skills: something that I’ve found has elevated all of my current coursework! More importantly, I feel that delving deep into the intersections of topics I am so passionate about– social justice and art history– solidified my personal identity as a life-long learner and its possibilities to affect change.”

Ali Nawar

Summer 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
STEM High School for Boys- 6th of October

University:
Franklin and Marshall College

Pioneer Research Topic:
Environmental Justice of Resource Conflicts

“The research process at Pioneer was a life-changing experience. It pushed me to develop sophisticated research ideas and offered me a glimpse of how I could utilize my local resources into pursuing such ideas. Pioneer helped me become the environmental entrepreneur of my dreams!”

Saif Elmaleh

Spring 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
African Leadership Academy

University:
Notre Dame University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Exploring Aluminium-Magnesium Properties to Reinforce Space Shuttles Against Micromdaroites

“Pioneer is not just a research opportunity, it is a chance to develop the necessary skills, habits, and mindset to survive University. I learned to manage my time and plan for assignments. To gain the most out of Pioneer, try to be intentional about the habits you want to implement.”

Kiefer Tierling

Summer 2021 Scholar

High School:
Los Altos High School

University:
Claremont McKenna College

Pioneer Research Topic:
Impacts of Project Financed by Export-Import Banks of China and the United States on Sub-Saharan African Institutional Development

“Pioneer connected me with leading experts to expand my thinking beyond the classroom and contextualize my research within academia. With the help of supportive Pioneer faculty, I significantly improved my research and formal writing capabilities. My experience with Pioneer was both academically challenging and fulfilling.”

Dominic Browne

Summer 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Achievement First Brooklyn High School

University:
Middlebury College

Pioneer Research Topic:
Erase the System and Stop Continuing its History

“Pioneer’s care for my mental and creative well-being was the most important part of the program for me, outside of the research experience. My professor and program coordinator’s empathy around my self-reflection process and their understanding of how my black identity relates back to my research, was so valuable to me.”

Angel Ndubisi

Spring 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Advanced Technologies Academy

University:
Princeton University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Mental Health Stigma in West Africa in Relation to Crime Against People with Mental Illnesses (with an emphasis on Gender-based/Sexual Violence): A Qualitative Study

“Pioneer offers a unique experience where scholars are able to receive one-on-one mentorship from outstanding professors. This characteristic was pivotal for me as I was able to receive personalized advice on my topic. Additionally, I value the relationships I’ve been able to foster within Pioneer’s community of diverse scholars who are always eager to offer support.”

Haoqu (Alex) Liu

Spring 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Chengdu Foreign Languages School

University:
Stanford University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Violence, Religion, and Masculinities: The Persecution of LGBT Persons in Iraq and Syria during Armed Conflicts

“Not only did Pioneer provide an opportunity for us to complete college-level research, but it also offered us a chance to engage in heated topics with some of the most intellectual minds around the world. I was lucky enough to talk to peers and our professor who both shared the same passion for gender studies. This is a chapter in my life that I’ll never forget.”

Shiv Kampani

Spring 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Dhirubhai Ambani International School

University:
Columbia University

Pioneer Research Topic:
An Application of Swarm Robotics to the Exploration of Fireground Environment

“With Pioneer, I built a swarm robotics system and wrote a paper to document it and analyze its efficiency. The program enabled me to perform college-level research and understand the hands-on engineering design process. Even after the program, Pioneer has given me numerous opportunities to engage with and learn from other alumni and researchers through fireside chats, webinars and scholar dialogues.”

Qihan Wang

Spring 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Shanghai Pinghe School

University:
Washington University in St. Louis

Pioneer Research Topic:
Double Consciousness as Resistance in Native American Literature

“In my book, Pioneer’s strength lies in its immersive academic atmosphere. Cohorts are small, composed of fellow students eager to learn and are instructed by knowledgeable professors. As a novice to collegiate-level research, I couldn’t have asked for a better introductory environment.”

Belen Flores

Summer 2021 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Greengates School

University:
University of Chicago

Pioneer Research Topic:
Treatment of Arm Dysfunction After a Stroke

“The research process was all about immersing yourself in the content to truly find delight in the learning process. Pioneer does a fantastic job matching you with a cohort and Professor with whom you can dialogue and express your academic curiosity. This experience was my first glimpse into medical research and inspired my future academic aspirations.”

Fredrick Mungai

Spring-through-Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
African Leadership Academy

University:
Rice University

Pioneer Semester:
Spring-through-Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
Investigating the Effectiveness of Restorative Community-Based Justice Systems as a Method of Preventing Ethnic Violence

“I had always imagined myself doing research as part of my university experience and career but never got the chance to experience what research entailed. Pioneer offered me that opportunity and convinced me that research is indeed the path for me.”

Clara Hyeryn Kim

Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Hong Kong International School

University:
University of Pennsylvania

Pioneer Semester:
Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
Evaluating Olivine and Limestone Ocean Acidification Mitigation Methods for the Mediterranean Sea

“Pioneer Research has not only allowed me to write a sophisticated research paper, but also connected me with brilliant cohort-mates, a caring program coordinator, and a supportive professor. It has given me a glimpse into actual college-level work and a taste of the college research experience.”

Catherine Kwon

Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
ASMSA (Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts)

University:
Yale University

Pioneer Semester:
Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
Application of EEG Signal Analysis and Machine Learning in Seizure Prediction

“I value how Pioneer Academics fosters relationships across the globe. In addition to the research program, Pioneer has provided numerous opportunities for me to connect with the global alumni community, whether through seminars or research symposiums. Meeting people from such diverse backgrounds and experiences has been extremely eye-opening for me.”

Chloe Liao

Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Pope John Paul II High School

University:
Cornell University

Pioneer Semester:
Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
Scapegoats or Pawns: An Analysis on the Progress of Anti-Chinese Sentiments and the Adoption of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

“Through the Pioneer Research Program, I learned from the different voices and opinions of scholars from all around the world. Pioneer allowed me to challenge myself. I improved enormously, from someone who knew nothing about writing a research paper to one that was able to finish a research paper independently.”

Miles Guerin

Spring-through-Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
UWC Pearson College

University:
Tufts University

Pioneer Semester:
Spring-through-Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
The Influence of Gaullism in the Evolution of France’s Intergovernmental Response to the Breakup of Yugoslavia

“The small size of the cohorts allows Pioneer to provide unrivaled professorial access both inside and outside of class. Our professor pushed us to think critically about the theories and answered every question with clarity and detail. I hope my university classes are as engaging as my time with Pioneer.”

Muhan Chen

Spring-through-Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
The Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University

University:
Yale University

Pioneer Semester:
Spring-through-Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
Not How Things Happened — Dreams and Flashbacks in the works of Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch

“In Pioneer, I studied film noir, and wrote a paper comparing the narratives Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch. It was my first real gaze into film as an art. Since then I knew it was what I wanted to pursue, and since began my experiments with Film Studies and Filmmaking. In my college application I described my Pioneer experience as the start of an ongoing dialogue, and it was.”

Xinxin Li

Spring-through-Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
RDFZ

College:
Swarthmore College

Pioneer Semester:
Spring-through-Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
The use of mirror therapy for treatment of phantom limb pain and partial paralysis and brain plasticity

 “This process of brainstorming a college-level research paper was definitely a challenge for me, but I am thankful that I could experience it in my high school life. Pioneer also gives me a chance to take a glance at real scientists’ life, helping me to feel more certain about my future major.”

Feiyang Kuang

Spring-through-Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Shanghai World Foreign Language Academy

University:
Stanford University

Pioneer Semester:
Spring-through-Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
Rethinking Memes: Critique and Alternative to the Dawkinsian Meme Theory

“The two rules of research for me through my Pioneer experiencel: research is the application of the rigorous academics to fun topics, but it also asks for new input on your behalf. And the final rule is good time management. The suggestion regarding the final rule, for anyone like myself, is to follow it.”

Davidson Jiaduo Zhu

Spring-through-Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Beijing National Day School

University:
Duke University

Pioneer Semester:
Spring-through-Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
An Introduction to Basic Graph Discharging

“Pioneer provided me the unique opportunity to conduct research on a pure math topic. My paper presented extensive details and explanations for several representative proofs applying the graph discharging technique. From my Pioneer experience, I gained a general understanding about what a pure math research process is like.”

Elishevlyne (Eliey) Eliason

Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Smoky Hill High School

College:
Creighton University

Pioneer Semester:
Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
Discourse Ethics and Its Practical Applications in Politics

“I valued Pioneer’s emphasis on integrating intensive collegiate level writing with personal engagement. I was challenged to explore my topic in a way meaningful to my immediate community and personal experiences. I’m not only a better writer and researcher, but I’ve solidified my passion for politics. In large part, I have Pioneer to thank for this.”

Preet Shah

Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Navkar Public School

College:
University of Pennsylvania

Pioneer Semester:
Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

Pioneer Research Topic:
A Study in the Growth of Nations: India and Germany Identifying Divergence in these Converging Countries through the Solow Growth Model

“Pioneer’s research program is highly challenging, enlightening, and rewarding—characteristics I deeply cherish. However, what I value most about Pioneer’s process is the support and commitment of faculty and staff alike. Pioneer’s dedication to student success, be it academic or personal, on or after the program, is unparalleled and highly commendable.”

Philippos Hatzis

Summer 2020 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Athens College

College:
Columbia University

Pioneer Semester:
Summer 2020

Pioneer Research Topic:
The European Union During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Germany’s and Portugal’s Responses

“Pioneer Academics provided me the unique experience of analyzing how the Covid-19 pandemic changed the economic landscape of the European Union. The more aspects of economics I discovered with the help of Professor Van Horn, the more I realized how the subject’s fundamentals applied to my daily life.”

Adam Song

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Western Academy of Beijing

University:
Imperial College of London

Pioneer Research Topic:
Untitled

I really like when you can see exactly what this is useful for and how it’s applied in the real world. And so that’s where my engineering enjoyment came from. Pioneer was an incredible stepping stone to make the connection from theory to the real world, and helped me clarify what I might enjoy doing in the future.

Berkin Binbas

Spring 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Bahcesehir High School for Science and Technology

University:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Pioneer Research Topic:
The Key Exchange Problem in Classical and Quantum Computing

Research is like a whole new area because you get to explore and learn about new stuff that you didn’t know about before. And that’s what I like and also what I find hard about research. You have to be creative and Pioneer gave me the freedom to do that.

Charlie Sutcuoglu

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Pine View School

University:
Northwestern University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Investigating Hyperactive and Oncogenic Ras Inhibition

I always had an interest in biochemistry, but Pioneer Academics made me even more interested in it, and helped shape what I wanted to study in the future. Thanks to Pioneer, I felt prepared for higher level science courses entering the first quarter of college.

Sannivas Reddy

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Greenwood High International School

University:
Brown University

Pioneer Research Topic:
An Exploration of Strategies in Walker-Breaker Games

What I realized after Pioneer was that instead of just going deeper, you can also increase the breadth of a research paper and figure out a new topic or a new avenue to explore which hasn’t been done before. That’s still new research and it doesn’t have to be as complex or involving these ideas which you don’t completely understand, and that’s what I really learned from the actual research experience.

Nourane Hentati

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
African Leadership Academy

University:
Oberlin College

Pioneer Research Topic:
Marxism Restructured in Marxist Revolutions: Why did Marxist revolutionary regimes decide to diverge from Marxism?

I thought that Pioneer was a good opportunity for me if I wanted to understand things more in an academic way and gain an objective perspective on the things that I was already interested in. Once I was in the program, I felt like I was thrown into a sea of freedom. There was room to truly explore research and challenge myself.

Ha Ngan (Emilia) Nguyen

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Hanoi – Amsterdam High School for the Gifted

University:
Unknown

Pioneer Research Topic:
Career Orientation Efforts For High School Students In The United States And Their Implication For Vietnamese Education

I always knew that my passion is to help people and to find the limits of my ability. I was not sure how to successfully do this at first, but when I joined Pioneer, I had a chance to truly explore topics that were not offered in my high school. The approach felt truly conversational with my professor and I felt very fortunate to explore a field that I am passionate about.

Tejas Vadali

Spring 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
The Latin School of Chicago

University:
Harvard University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Polarizer, Catalyst: Why You Should Care about Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi Education

I learned frameworks of research in the Pioneer program that I could apply to virtually any topic and that will serve me for the rest of my life. I think a lot of my foundational understanding of what research is, is either bland reading hour after hour after hour in a library cramped with books or wearing white coats and running test after test in a lab. It seemed very monotonous and dry. But after going through the program. I really found how dynamic research is and how fun it really is.

Su Min Yoon

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
School for the Talented and Gifted

University:
Rice University

Pioneer Research Topic:
The Invisible Culture of Pain and the Opioid Crisis

The AP or IB classes you take in high school, the end result is that you have a final exam and you basically learn certain objectives to pass the exam. For Pioneer, there isn’t really a set of set objectives, instead we had a set of interesting research papers that we needed to read and we discussed them with our peers. You have the chance to find out what you find truly interesting and how everything connects together.

Gayatri Sharma

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
United World College of India

University:
Barnard College at Columbia University

Pioneer Research Topic:
How was ethnic identity constructed in the Balkans during the Yugoslav wars in Former Yugoslavia

The research I conducted at Pioneer really helped me find my own voice. One of the main issues with studying history is that you have all of this content thrown at you, and it can be hard to find your own voice. At Pioneer, I learned how research can be creative, and I could develop my own approach and I think about concepts in the larger picture.

Michael Tulskikh

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
East Mountain High School

University:
Columbia University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Tilings of 2 × n Rectangular Strips Using Dominos and L-shaped Trominos

The interesting part of research is looking for an answer and trying to answer these questions and trying to understand how the world works. And even if we never are able to figure everything out, at least we tried and we probably found other things along the way. Pioneer allowed me to explore these questions.

Janae Rose Fageyinbo

Spring 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Charlotte Country Day School

University:
Yale University

Pioneer Research Topic:
An Investigation of Male Dominance in Professional and Casual Environments

The biggest lesson I learned from Pioneer is that there is really no downside to being wrong. Just just put yourself out there and try! The program taught me to not only observe things, but also how to process information and do something with it.

Seungmin Suh

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies

University:
University of Pennsylvania

Pioneer Research Topic:
Social Media Strategy and its Effect on Sustained Virality: Differential Audience Response to Five Crafting Channels

The Pioneer program as a whole is entirely different from academic courses because I could actually incorporate my interest into the program. English is not my native language, so it was hard for me to write at first, but Pioneer had a learning center that helped me refine my writing. Now, I have the courage to confidently write a research paper in English.

Journey Washingtonhigh

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies

University:
University of Pennsylvania

Pioneer Research Topic:
Social Media Strategy and its Effect on Sustained Virality: Differential Audience Response to Five Crafting Channels

Pioneer Academics gave me the resources to make sure that I could explore my own research topic based on my individual interests. I was able to fully delve into something that I wanted, even if it did not fully match up to what group I was initially placed in.

Lunchen Song

Spring 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China

University:
University of Oxford

Pioneer Research Topic:
Political Governance and Economic Performance: A Comparison of Two Special Economic Zones in Africa

Entering Pioneer, I was always very interested in the behavior of people and the transformation of society. The program provided me with the opportunity to look into multiple subjects and observe how they were all interconnected. It added an extra meaning to the research areas I wanted to explore.

PT Meadors

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Lakeland High School

University:
Washington and Lee University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Young American Activists: Why American Youth Have Become Politicized

I have always cared about politics because I thought of it as a way to make change that I saw as being tangible within my community. My professor at Pioneer helped me focus this passion and utilize a true methodology to learn more about my interests. I had a true back and forth with my professor, and it was a unique learning opportunity.

Eliot Arguello

Summer 2019 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Northside College Preparatory High School

University:
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Pioneer Research Topic:
Analysis of XANES Data to Arrive at the Composition of an Unknown Sample

If you want to do actual scientific research, and stick to that passion that you have, sometimes you need to get rid of your preconceived notions. Being in a group at Pioneer really helped me do that, and I was able to incorporate new ideas into my research based on our group discussions. Having a conversation with my peers allowed me to gain a better understanding of my research topic.

Christos Bovolis

Spring 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Homo Educandus Agogi

University:
National Technical University of Athens

Pioneer Research Topic:
Analysis of solar radiation time series

As I started out as a high school student, research sounded like something terrifying in the sense that it can only be done by a very, very competent scientist. Pioneer takes you as a high school student and makes you realize that research is something that can be done with all educational levels up to a certain point, and so it is very inspiring to do, to believe in your own powers as a high school student, and see that you can produce something important.

Amaris Lewis

Summer 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Lusher Charter School

University:
Stanford University

Pioneer Research Topic:
The Consequences of Global Warming for Aqueous Concentrations of DDT in the Arctic and Bio Concentrations in Marine Life

I feel that before participating in the Pioneer Research Program, a lot of my research depended on being mentored by a professor or graduate student in person. With Pioneer Academics, I feel that it was more of an independent effort, which of course made me more self-reliant when finding reliable sources, extracting large amounts of data for calculations, and knowing that any bias or skewing of the data that resulted from my study would be completely a result of myself. It added a greater sense of independence and a larger sense of purpose to my work.

Zheran He

2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Beijing No. 2 Middle School, China

Pioneer Research Paper:
The Brother as an Other: Redefining Otherness through Examining the Similar

Attending institution:
Stanford University

Pioneer allowed me to embark on an unexpected journey. Not only did Pioneer teach me how to conduct rigorous research, it also made me realize my power in the society, prompting me to foster people’s self perception development with my own words and endeavor.

Gangyhun Kim

Spring 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Seoul Foreign School

University:
Johns Hopkins University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Current Antidotes and Future Possible Substances against Chemical Nerve Agents

Pioneer involved a lot of writing, so that directly influenced my college application because I was more accustomed to writing for long periods of time and putting a lot of thought into it. Indirectly, it also helped me sort of find the topics that I find specifically interesting in the sciences. Before Pioneer, my interests were more vague, but after the program, thinking after that, my interests became more clear and it helped me focus on the subjects I genuinely wanted to explore.

Kush Pandey

Spring 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Jayshree Periwal International School

University:
University of Pennsylvania

Pioneer Research Topic:
Will Advances in Quantum Computing Render Present Cryptosystems Obsolete?

Pioneer is more than just an exciting and amazing journey. I learned a lot from my professor, of course, but also from my peers in my cohort. Our group sessions were something that I really enjoyed, and Pioneer gave us the chance to now only engage with our professor, but also with each other. It really helped me understand what professors demand at the college level and how research is actually conducted. It was a tremendously helpful learning experience for me.

Lucy Shao

Spring 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University

University:
Dartmouth College

Pioneer Research Topic:
Language Attitudes, Identity, and Accent Practice: A Study of Chinese Students’ English Accent Acquisition

One of my favorite stories about Pioneer is that I got reunited with my elementary school classmate, which is just mind-blowing. After I got into Dartmouth College, one of the program coordinators contacted me and told me there was a student who also wanted to apply to Dartmouth and see if I could give him any advice. She pulled us both into a group chat and I asked him his name and it turned out that we went to the same elementary school and we were reunited after seven years! I didn’t even know he was also applying for colleges and he was also a member of Pioneer. That’s pretty amazing!

Shannon Heh

Summer 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Lynbrook High School

University:
Princeton University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Sustainable Cooling System for Stadiums Using Indirect Evaporation

Before the Pioneer Research Program, I had always had a strong interest in programming, but I always thought it was more about working an office job and just typing code all day. I didn’t realize that it was so applicable to solving real world problems, even those that are not necessarily in a tech field. For example, it can be used to solve problems in the medical field or in the fashion industry. So, during my time at Pioneer, I realized how to use programming and computer vision to solve problems beyond the scope I thought possible.

Abigail Romero

Summer 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School

University:
Harvard College

Pioneer Research Topic:
How does Perturbation-Based Interventions Improve Reactive Balance Control in Stroke Survivors?

The most rewarding aspect of applying to Pioneer was definitely the interpersonal relationships I formed with my professor as well as the other international students in the class. Being a part of the Pioneer program allowed me to interact with a professor at the collegiate level which was completely novel to me and something that I otherwise would not have had the access or opportunity to do. Also, sharing a classroom with other students who were as passionate about our topic, neuroscience, was also incredibly rewarding.

Jiahui Chen

Spring 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
The Affiliated High School of South China Normal University

University:
Stanford University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Love Thy Neighbor: A Comparative Analysis of Public Discourse about Chinese Rural Migrant

My biggest accomplishment at Pioneer was my first time collecting data. I had never done such systematic sociological research before, and for this research I actually collected data from a local newspaper published several decades ago trying to find quantitative and qualitative data to support my claim. I was pretty excited after I found that my data showed some things that I had expected, even if some things did not go the way I wanted. So, I feel that I have formed my sociological study methods, and I will definitely apply those methods in my future studies.

Doga Unlu

Summer 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Robert College

University:
Yale University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Populist Usage of Religion: A Comparative Study of Hungary and Turkey

I would give a couple of tips to future Pioneer scholars. First of all, if you wanted to do this just to put this on your college application, that it won’t probably work for you because it’s a challenging process. If you don’t do the research paper, if you don’t like your research topic, and if you don’t like the idea of devoting your summer to do research, then it will probably not be the best time for you. That is why the opposite works as well. They can really sense if you’re passionate about something and they encourage you to pursue your interests. You’re there to give them what you have and what you want and then, in turn, the Pioneer team is there to provide you with resources and support to have a great experience.

Gibson Munene

Spring 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
African Leadership Academy

University:
Babson College

Pioneer Research Topic:
Congestion Control in Content Centric Networks

I just want to say that being a Pioneer scholar was an extremely important milestone in my life. Most students are going to have to go through a challenging research experience at some point, whether in college or in their future career. Most of us are going to have to conduct research on some level. You’re going to have to do research on specific things for the company you work for. You’re going to have to do research or if the school. Pioneer provided me with a background in research at an early age, and I know this will be very valuable in my future endeavors.

Mrinalini Wadhwa

Spring 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
American Embassy School

University:
Columbia University

Pioneer Research Topic:
Stakeholder Analysis: An Explanation of the Botswana Paradox

My Pioneer experience changed me both personally and academically. Personally, I think I learned so much about being able to manage time well and also being able to really persevere and stick it out because there are definitely times when you think you put together your best work. And your professor will have criticisms or questions that you realize you completely overlooked. You need to not give up at that point, but rather, remind yourself about why you’re passionate about the subject and why you’re doing this research. Always bring yourself back to that.

Pierce Wilson

Spring 2018 Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Milton Academy

University:
Dartmouth College

Pioneer Research Topic:
Man versus Nature: Public Opinion and Ecological Research as They Relate to Environmental Policy

The best way that I approached the Pioneer program was to always communicate with my professor. I always tried to be really honest about anything I didn’t understand, and I asked a lot of questions. I also accepted that when you are writing something, it doesn’t always translate perfectly from your head to the paper perfectly. There is something really beautiful in that.

Mpilo Norris

2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Choate Rosemary Hall, US

Pioneer Research Paper:
Comparative Inquiry Into Western Liberal Democratic Values

Attending institution:
Yale University

Mpilo Norris is a Pioneer Alumnus from the United States who will be attending Yale University this fall. Being both a strong leader and a scholar, Mpilo was elected to head Choate’s Student Council as the 2017/18 Student Body President. During this time, Mpilo was selected to be a Pioneer Scholar and conducted research on western liberal democratic values.

Hannah O’Toole

2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Monte Vista High School, US

Pioneer Research Paper:
Trophic Cascades Caused by Overfishing Analysis and Prevention

Attending institution:
Boston University

Born in San Francisco, and a proud alum of Monta Vista HS and Pioneer Academics, Hannah O’Toole’s research focused heavily on what her environment had taught her Growing up by the coast, and from a neighborhood focused on environmental protection, Hannah wanted to bring her knowledge to the rest of the world. Working on overfishing complications in her paper, “Trophic Cascades Caused by Overfishing Analysis and Prevention,” Hannah explored the ripple effects caused by overfishing.

Wendy Wu

2017 Spring Pioneer Scholar

High School:
High Technology High School, US

Pioneer Research Paper:
Sustainable Urban Development

Attending institution:
Harvard University

Born to two architect parents, Wendy has been surrounded by a passion for design and creation her whole life, and she applied this desire to her studies at Pioneer. Focusing on Green Architecture in her research paper entitled “Sustainable Urban Development,” Wendy shares her aspiration to combine our natural and man-made worlds into a single bio-organic world.Wendy maintains a deep passion for ecology and sustainable living; this passion is what propelled her to greatness in Pioneer, and will continue to propel her in her time at Harvard.

Jiho David Yoo

2016 Summer Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Seoul International School, South Korea

Pioneer Research Paper:
The Study of Biology: How Biology Gives Rise to Sexism

Attending institution:
Cornell University

Amiel Dixon

2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Achievement First Brooklyn High School, US

Pioneer Research Paper:
Social Justice and Activism in African American communities

Attending institution:
Stanford University

Amiel Dixon took her Pioneer experience to heart and used it to not only further her academic skills, but to give her the information she needed to become a stronger activist in the world. Her research topic was devoted to social justice and activism in African American communities. Amiel used her own deep rooted experiences in her culture and her neighborhood to fight back against the injustices in the world, and she will continue to do so at Stanford University in the fall.

Enci Liu

2016 Spring Pioneer Scholar

High School:
International Department of the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, China

Pioneer Research Paper:
Chinese Tracking: An Unexploited Hotspot with Underlying Benefits

Attending institution:
Stanford University

Kevin Calderon

2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Scholars’ Academy, US

Pioneer Research Paper:
The Relationship between the Molecular Structure of Insecticides and their Biological and Environmental Implications

Attending institution:
Stanford University

While some people focus on the big picture, Kevin Calderon focuses on the small – the microscopic, to be exact. His research, titled ‘The Relationship Between the Molecular Structure of Insecticides and their Biological and Environmental Implications,’ looked at the connection between insecticides and the danger they pose to the world around us. Through his time with Pioneer, he developed a better understanding of both molecular and interpersonal interactions. Kevin, who attended Scholars Academy in New York, will be continuing his academic journey at Stanford University.

Kexin Zhao

2017 Spring Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Beijing National Day School, China

Pioneer Research Paper:
The Development of Folk Music in Modern China

Attending institution:
Brown University

Samantha Maguire

2016 Summer Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Carondelet High School, US

Pioneer Research Paper:
Research into Human Genetics and Precision Medicine

Attending institution:
Brown University

When Samantha Maguire was accepted into Pioneer, she was finally granted the opportunity she had longed for since she was nine: conducting research in the area of biology and genome studies. Samantha’s stellar Pioneer experience lead her to becoming a co-author on a paper spearheaded by the very professor she worked with in the program. This achievement made such a large impact on Samantha’s life that she is now preparing to move from Carondelet High in California to join her professor at Brown university, where they can continue their research together.

Xiangyu Zheng

2017 Spring Pioneer Scholar

High School:
International Department of the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, China

Pioneer Research Paper:
Ethical Considerations of State Responsibility toward Refugees: Analyzing China’s Refugee Capacity from a Socio-Economic

Attending institution:
TBD

Despite living in Guangzhou, China, Xiangyu always felt connected to the global community and the welfare of humanity. Drawing on personal experience and his cultural background, Xiangyu conducted his Pioneer research on China’s moral obligations towards Syrian refugees. His paper, “Ethical Considerations of State Responsibility towards Refugees: Analyzing China’s Refugee Capacity from a Socio-Economic Perspective,” dealt with the humanity factor of refugees and the cultural integrity of both the Syrian and the Chinese host communities. Xiangyu focused heavily to also draw attention to the realistic consideration that emerges from the encounter of diverse cultural communities.

Omar Ramos

2017 Summer Pioneer Scholar

High School:
Midlothian High School, US

Pioneer Research Paper:
Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango: Musical analysis of a Contemporary Epitome of Tango

Attending institution:
Stanford University

Despite living and attending school in Midlothian, Texas, Omar has always felt a connection to the music of the world. Drawing on his cultural and personal background, Omar conducted his Pioneer research into the cultural and notational musical theory behind Tango.His paper, entitled “Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango: Musical Analysis of a Contemporary Epitome of Tango,” dealt with the cultural and musical history of his favorite music style. Omar successfully expressed not only how the music style came to exist, but the social unrest and turmoil that was so intrinsic to its creation. Omar will be attending Stanford this fall.

Rahil Bathwal

2016 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
Jamnabai Narsee International School

Pioneer Research Paper:
Locating Obnoxious Facilities

Attending institution:
California Institute of Technology

Since Pioneer, I realized that research was something that I really want to do. The research option became an important criterion for me as I narrowed my college list. I think Pioneer has helped me understand what I want to do in college and also given me a topic I would like to pursue later.

Ria Toma

2016 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
Mission San Jose High School

Pioneer Research Paper:
The Neural and Cognitive Basis of Dreaming

Attending institution:
Emory University

I was definitely looking for a hands-on program where I would be gaining knowledge about medicine, about neuroscience, about the brain from people who know a lot more than I do. When I first heard about Pioneer, I thought it was way out of my reach. It seemed too good to be true – that I would be working with a college professor who would take time out to talk to me individually. Now when I look back at that whole experience I think, Wow! I didn’t expect my interest in neuroscience to increase that much.

Tyler Bennett

2016 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
Achievement First Brooklyn High School

Pioneer Research Paper:
Racism and the Conditioning of the Black Self: Coates’ Response to The Bluest Eye

Attending institution:
Princeton University

I honestly believe that my Pioneer Academics research experience has made me a better writer. It has built up my confidence to the point that I now believe in my abilities and feel that I deserve to attend a premier university with the highest academic standards.

Esther Reyes

2016 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
Achievement First Brooklyn High School

Pioneer Research Paper:
Being Muslim in France

Attending institution:
Yale University

In my writing and discussions, I want to talk not only about what it means to be Mexican, but also what it means to be from all different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. It made sense for me to research this topic through Pioneer Academics because the program prepared me well for building relationships with Muslims and other world religions and cultures.

You Jin Jung

2015 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
Korea International School

Pioneer Research Paper:
Adolescent Decision Making: Neuroscientific Basis of Risk Taking Behavior in the Developing Brain

Attended Institution:
Columbia University

Before I joined Pioneer, I had thought scientific research was conducting experiments. After I started the program, I realized that research can be more literary analysis. I really enjoyed reading different sources and putting them together.

Xinyue Zhuo

2015 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
The Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University

Pioneer Research Paper:
Incentive Policies: Backbone for China’s Photovoltaic Industry

Attended Institution:
Columbia University

Ming Zhang

2015 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
International Department, The Affiliated High School of South China Normal University

Pioneer Research Paper:
Decision Making in Adolescence: Effects of Sleep and Stress

Attended Institution:
University of Oxford

Before attending the Pioneer Research Program, I thought that research had to be doing experiments in labs. But it turned out that reading is definitely a very important part of research, because we need to learn about other people’s work before we develop our own. Otherwise, we might repeat the works of others.

Kara Hu

2014 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
Pacific American School

Pioneer Research Paper:
Structure vs. Agency: Gorbachev’s Role in the Initiation of Perestroika

Attended Institution:
Columbia College

Hannah Waters

2014 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
Woodward Academy

Pioneer Research Paper:
A Study of the Research on the Effect of Music on Emotions

Attended Institution:
Vanderbilt University

I did not realize before the experience that truthful research is so much more than the method used to complete it. It’s about the potential and the realization of a discovery or the impact of the breakthrough you’re trying to get. And Pioneer is what brought me to that conclusion.

Ziqi Qiu

2014 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China (RDFZ)

Pioneer Research Paper:
Insider/Outsider: Jewish Connection to Space and Place in Early Modern Europe

Attended Institution:
Harvard University

Luccas Borges

2014 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
Lincoln Park High School

Pioneer Research Paper:
Overview of the Brazilian Economy: 1979-2014

Attended Institution:
Harvard University

Jasper Wang

2012 Pioneer Research Scholar

Pioneer Research Area:
Anthropology

Attended Institution:
Swarthmore College

Being particularly interested in the social sciences, Jasper participated in the anthropology program offered in Pioneer’s first year. The small cohort discussions and the ability to undertake a research project anywhere were a revelation, and began to spark Jasper’s creativity. He was encouraged to explore his own ideas and to discuss them in the seminar setting. He found the experience of online learning enjoyable, and it helped him discern a direction for his college studies. In particular, the intimate experience of working with one professor and one cohort peer encouraged Jasper to look for a liberal arts college with small classes. He settled on his early decision school, Swarthmore, where he majored in fine arts.

Rebecca Qian

2012 Pioneer Research Scholar

Pioneer Research Area:
Anthropology

Attended Institution:
University of Chicago

Rebecca chose anthropology from the two research fields that were offered in Pioneer’s first year because “I was very interested in studying how people interact with each other, society, and especially women’s roles.” She remembers her Pioneer Research Program as “a great opportunity for me as a high school student to gain experience into what college level work was like, and it really prepared me” for her next four years of education at the University of Chicago, and also for her current work in machine learning research for Facebook.

Isabella Song

2012 Pioneer Research Scholar

Pioneer Research Area:
Neuroscience

Attended Institution:
Boston College

Isabella learned through her Pioneer Research Program that research was not just about finding answers to questions, but a way of thinking that could be used to solve many problems in life. She says this understanding was “great preparation for college,” providing an important skill that she used to address a wide variety of topics and subjects. Isabella also credits the research experience with helping her understand how valuable and useful it was to take courses in different fields in addition to her primary fields of interest. Pioneer gave her, she said, “an understanding of the purpose of learning in general.”

Allen Liu

2012 Pioneer Research Scholar

Pioneer Research Area:
Neuroscience

Attended Institution:
(2013-2017) UNC Chapel Hill (Full Merit Scholarship)
(2017-2018) Carnegie Mellon University

Allen describes his time as a Pioneer Scholar as a “fresh, exciting experience” with many valuable aspects that served him well in college and after. He became familiar with US research styles. He learned to work collegially with his professor and small cohort, and was encouraged to think for himself, which he found “intellectually stimulating.” He became adept at using library resources.

Guanxuan Huang

2013 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
Xiamen Foreign Language School

Pioneer Research Area:
History

2013 Research Paper:
The Nationalism in European State Formation

2014 Research Paper:
The Origin of Korea’s Economic Vulnerability Exposed in Asian Financial Crisis

Attended Institution:
Cornell University

It was definitely a thrilling and rewarding experience. I felt I thought like a real researcher first time in my life – which was amazing.

Farreltin Fan

2013 Pioneer Research Scholar

High School:
Zhengzhou Foreign Languages School

Pioneer Research Area:
Chemistry

Attended Institution:
Carnegie Mellon University

Before Pioneer, I had no idea what the research was and how to write a research paper. Through the process of research, I found the way to do research, where I should do research and how to manage my time. I improved my research skills, and my writing skills also improved a lot.