“Able, accomplished, intelligent and… astonishing,” is what the founder of the Archimedes Award, Dr. Andrew Economos, called the first class of Archimedes scholars: outstanding students of Hellenic descent who are pursuing studies and careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) related fields.
For the Class of 2016, the Archimedes Awards has been expanded to include an award recognizing outstanding students coming from Greece to pursue STEM studies at universities in the U.S. — in addition to the original award recognizing outstanding Greek American students pursuing STEM studies.
For the first time, the top Archimedes Award honors are going to two students this year: Dessie Ann DiMino, a graduating high school senior from Garden City, New York who will be majoring in Computer Science at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) this fall; and the first Archimedes winner from Greece, Alexander Dimitrakakis, a graduating senior from the Protipo Athinon, who will be majoring in Biomedical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the fall.
Recognized for their academic excellence by Archimedes Award Committee, an elite group of distinguished STEM scientists and educators, the winners of the 2016 Archimedes Award were among the 30 Next Generation STEM Scholars who, as Archimedes Finalists and Semi-Finalists, ranked highest among this year’s Archimedes Award candidates from 27 states, Canada and Greece.
The Archimedes Award, established through the Next Generation Initiative by Dr. Andrew Economos of New York, is accompanied by academic scholarships which provide $5,000 annually towards the top award-winners’ tuitions.
“I am extremely pleased to be able to expand the Archimedes Award, and particularly proud to promote the excellence of young STEM scholars coming from Greece,” said Dr. Economos, a retired scientist and entrepreneur who dedicated the Archimedes Award to the memory of his late son Mark. “It was our hope from the beginning that this would be possible. To see it now become a reality is exciting.”
Speaking for the Initiative’s founders, Next Generation Initiative Executive Director Leon Stavrou said, “We continue to be honored that Dr. Economos has made the Next Generation Initiative the home for the Archimedes Award. Dr. Economos’ dedication to advancing the careers of young people, and inspiring young men and women to pursue studies of such vital importance, is a great example to us all.”
“From my Greek heritage, I have learned the value of perseverance and hard work,” said Dessie Ann DiMino, who is looking forward to joining Caltech’s robotics team this fall. “I am deeply honored to have been chosen to receive the Archimedes Award.”
“I would like to thank Dr. Andrew Economos and the Next Generation Initiative for the great honor they have given me by selecting me for the Archimedes Award Scholarship,” said Alexander Dimitrakakis. “I am very proud to be part of the Archimedes Award scholars and a member of the Next Generation Initiative’s community, a community which promotes academic excellence. I am excited about helping Hellenext in every way possible and I look forward to becoming an active member. This scholarship stands as a recognition of my academic efforts as a young Hellene and an aspiring global citizen.”
The Archimedes Award selection committee was led by an independent panel of university professors and experts with records of experience in STEM education, including Dr. George Korfiatis, the Provost of the Stevens Institute of Technology; Dr. Evangelos Hadjimichael, the founding Dean of the School of Engineering, Fairfield University; Dr. Peggy Agouris, Dean of the College of Science, George Mason University; Dr. Nikolaos A. Gatsonis, Director of the Aerospace Engineering Program, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and Dr. Aikaterini Bagiati, a STEM curriculum specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“Frankly, we were overwhelmed by the records of the highly-qualified candidates we reviewed this year,”said Mr. Stavrou. “Once again, we were amazed by the incredibly bright and talented young men and women we have in our community, all over this country. This level of achievement is a real tribute to our heritage, and reflects the high value Greek Americans have traditionally placed on education, learning and the pursuit of excellence.”
Young scholars being recognized as 2016 Next Generation STEM Scholars and Archimedes Award Finalists are: Yanni Angelides of Westfield, NJ; Anastasios Angelopoulos of Pasadena, CA; Diana Kafkes of La Grange, IL; Alexandra Koskosidis of New York, NY; Cleo Kyriakides of Branford, CT; Demetrios Maxim of Lexington, MA; John Petrakis of Manhasset, NY; Alexia Soteropoulos of Peabody, MA; George Stathopoulos of Williamsburg, VA; and, Simon Tsaoussis of Miami, FL.
The Class of 2016 Next Generation STEM Scholars also include these Archimedes Award Semi-finalists: George Anastasiou of Hawthorne, NY; Julia Andrews of Fairfield, CT; Yianni Babiolakis of Riviera Beach, FL; Victoria Boufis of Islip, NY; Andrianna Dallis of Clemmons, NC; Dimitri Godur of Coconut Grove, FL; Nikolas Gupta of Fairfield, CT; Paul Hansel of Greenwich, CT; Elias Kastritis of Brentwood, TN; John Klemes of Raleigh, NC; Jack Koulos of Long Beach, CA; Photios Kyriazi of Greenwood Village, CO; Conrad Mitchell of Solon, OH; Christina Paris of Knoxville, TN; Nastasia Porras of Jackson, NJ; John Sakaleros of Crown Point, IN; Reah Vasilakopoulos of Hauppauge, NY; and, George Vithoulkas of Henrico, VA.
Proving that great minds think alike, this year’s Archimedes winner from the U.S., Ms. DiMino of Garden City, New York will be joining last year’s top Archimedes honoree, Yeorgia Kafkoulis of Miami, Florida, as a student at Caltech.
“I’ve had a chance to talk with many of these amazing young men and women, and I have no doubt these are tomorrow’s leaders — pioneering entire fields that didn’t even exist back when I was in college,” said Mr. Stavrou. “Believe me, these kids are on their way to making some big breakthroughs.”
“These Archimedes scholars really are some of the best and brightest out there, and they represent the best of our community,” said Mr. Stavrou. “It will be very exciting to watch their careers unfold. To have a hand in helping them along the way is an honor for all of us.”