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McLean, Va. – July 23, 2013 - The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) announces Team USA was awarded 4 Gold Medals at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) held in Bern, Switzerland and scored the highest overall team points. Comprised of four U.S. high school students, the team joined in the world’s competition for top academic achievement in biology.

The United States Gold Medalists Awarded at IBO 2013:

  • Nikhil Buduma, Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, CA
  • Lei Ding, The Charter School of Wilmington, Wilmington, DE
  • Charles Gleason, Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, NJ
  • Catherine Wu, Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, CA

For the second time in Team USA history, a U.S. Team Member, Charles Gleason, placed First in the World for individual scores at the International Biology Olympiad. Second place was awarded to Lei Ding.

“The United States was honored at the International Biology Olympiad by Team USA that garnered Number One Team in the World, brought home 4 Gold Medals, and had the #1 Individual Scorer in the World,” said Joann DiGennaro, President of the Center for Excellence in Education. “Charles, Lei, Catherine, and Nikhil are role models for students who plan careers in science.”

Team USA is comprised of the four top scoring students out of twenty finalists who participated in the USA Biology National Finals (USABO) which took place at Purdue University. Nearly 10,500 U.S. students from across the U.S. registered for the highly competitive USABO. Buduma, Ding, Gleason, and Wu excelled in intensive theoretical and practical tutorials, working with Purdue professors in the fields of cellular biology, microbiology, biotechnology, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, ethology, genetics and evolution, ecology, and biosystematics.

At the IBO, students are evaluated on their theoretical knowledge of the biological sciences and their practical lab skills. “It was an incredible experience just being able to attend the IBO,” said Charles Gleason, Team USA 2013 Gold Medal Winner and #1 Student at the IBO.  “Although I did my best to prepare for the competition, I never expected to win and going up on stage was probably the most pleasant surprise of my life.”

The scholars were accompanied by Ms. Kathy Frame, Director USABO, Center for Excellence in Education and Dr. Clark Gedney, Director, Bio Media Center for Instructional Design, Purdue University. Ms. Frame was one of six elected members of the Subgroup of Switzerland’s Host Committee for the 2013 IBO. The Subgroup worked in cooperation with Switzerland to review the practical and theoretical examinations that were developed to ensure the quality of questions in terms of scientific correctness and conceptual formulation. Ms. Frame was again invited to participate in the Subgroup for IBO 2014 in Bali, Indonesia

About the Center for Excellence in Education
The Center for Excellence in Education was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover and Joann P. DiGennaro, President of the Center. The Center's mission is to nurture high school and university scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to encourage collaboration between and among leaders in the global community. CEE sponsors the Research Science Institute (RSI), the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO), and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP). For more information about the Center and its programs, visit CEE’s Web site,

About Team USA at the International Biology Competitions
CEE is proud that every U.S. team member has medaled in the International Biology Competition since 2003, bringing home 35 gold, seven silver, and two bronze medals.

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