3 Acadiana seniors chosen as candidates in Presidential Scholars Program – Daily Advertiser

Three seniors at Episcopal School of Acadiana have been named candidates in the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.
Anil Cacodcar, Emma Gombos, and Ali Munshi are among more than 5,000 candidates selected from the nearly 3.5 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in 2022.
Up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be chosen from among the candidates later this year. 
Cacodcar currently serves as ESA’s Honor Council President, a peer leader and one of the captains of the quiz bowl team. He is a member of ESA’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society and has been named a National Merit semifinalist, as well as one of two Louisiana delegates to the U.S. Senate Youth Program.
One of his favorite subjects is science.
“ESA’s science curriculum has instilled in me the importance of communication, an appreciation for analytical rigor, and a penchant for problem-solving,” Cacodcar said. “These skills have also been crucial as I pursue my interests in the humanities as well.”
He especially likes seeing the lessons connect to other subjects and expects that interest to play a role in his future.
“I love when ideas from one class translate seamlessly to another,” Cacodcar said. “Whether it’s the overlaps between physics and chemistry or the influence of the Enlightenment in British literature, these ‘crossover events’ make learning electrifying.
“Through my experiences at ESA and beyond, I have discovered my fascination with the relationship between science and the public. I hope to further study this connection in the future.”
Gombos also is a member of ESA’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society and a National Merit semifinalist as well as a member of the school’s tennis team.
She is active in community service, quiz bowl and Model U.N., and is co-founder of the Books and Beans Club. This past summer, Gombos worked at the New Iberia Research Center, where she observed and assisted in different types of research activities in the field of behavioral science.
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With plans to study cellular and molecular biology and to work in the medical field, it’s not surprising that Gombos is a fellow science lover.
“Science, and particularly biology, is my favorite subject because I find it interesting how different processes work together to sustain life on Earth,” the senior said.
Munshi is vice president of ESA’s Student Council this year. He also is a National Merit semifinalist and a member of the Cum Laude Society as well as co-captain of the quiz bowl and tennis teams.
He has a strong interest in the medical field, having completed research internships in Germany and at Mt. Sinai Hospitals in New York, where he was involved with drug repurposing.
Munshi serves as ESA’s ambassador to University Hospitals and Clinics. Last year he facilitated an Adopt-a-Doc program to express gratitude for local healthcare workers during the pandemic.
He’s also active in Youth Legislature and Model U.N. and is a peer leader at the school.
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He will enroll at Columbia University in New York City in the fall with plans to approach education with an interdisciplinary emphasis on economics, mathematics, humanities and environmental sciences.
“I hope to stay in a classroom for as long as I can,” Munshi said, adding that he would love to be involved in an in-depth study of the humanities, particularly of classical works of literature, music and the arts, while pursuing something in STEM.
Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 58th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.



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