Over the decades, Troy Science Olympiad members have gone to impact the world, in the world of science and beyond.
Class of 1995
David Ross graduated from Troy in 1995 after captaining the Science Olympiad team for several years. He then went to Yale where he received his undergrad and then MD and PhD degrees. His dissertation looked at the neurobiological basis of musical processing.
He is now an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale and Associate Program Director for the Psychiatry Residency. Clinically, he works in our local VA hospital, primarily focusing on veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. He spends a significant amount of time teaching and doing curriculum design, including as co-chair of the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative. He also does research on disparities in medicine.
Class of 1998
Jessica Tan was on the Troy High School Science Olympiad team from 1994 through 1998, serving as team captain her senior year. She went to Stanford for her undergraduate degree and University of California, San Francisco for medical school.
She is currently living in San Francisco and working as a neuroradiologist. She got married in February 2017. Her parents still live in Yorba Linda.
Class of 1999
Mark Rudner is an Associate Professor at the Niels Bohr International Academy in Copenhagen. Mark moved eastward after his Bachelor's studies at Caltech to study for a PhD in Condensed Matter Theory at MIT. After his PhD on "Classical and Quantum Control in Nanosystems" in 2008, Mark spent three years as a postdoc at Harvard.
Mark's research spans a broad range of topics in quantum dynamics and many-body physics. Current topics of interest include coherence and control in solid state qubits, nonlinear dynamics of many-body spin systems, topology and dynamics in strongly driven systems, and semiclassical dynamics of electrons in topological materials. The condensed matter theory group at NBIA maintains strong links with the Center for Quantum Devices, with a healthy interplay between theory and experiment.
Class of 2001
Ziyad Jabaji graduated from Troy in 2001. He was introduced to the Science Olympiad team in his sophomore year by classmate Akash Kansagra, and by junior year he was a full-fledged member of the Science Olympiad and Science Bowl teams. Both changed his life and opened up future opportunities. He went on to study Chemistry and complete a minor in Physics at Stanford (class of 2005), followed by an M.D. at UC San Diego (class of 2009).
Ziyad is now an assistant clinical professor in the General Surgery department at UCLA. His professional passion is teaching residents and medical students.
After winning the Reach for the Stars astronomy event at the Science Olympiad Nationals in 2001, Jeffrey Silverman attended Rice University in Houston, TX where he earned degrees in Astrophysics and Mathematics in 2005. He then went to graduate school at UC Berkeley, where he got his Ph.D. in 2011 working with Prof. Alex Filippenko and using some of the biggest telescopes in the world to study exploding stars and dark energy.
Jeff then moved to the University of Texas at Austin and continued his astrophysics research as an NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow. In late 2016, he became a Data Scientist at Samba TV in San Francisco where he uses Big Data to, among other things, figure out exactly how many people are really watching Game of Thrones. Jeff is also heavily involved in various science communication and public outreach programs including the March for Science and Project Astro in San Francisco and (as a co-founder and former co-host) Astronomy on Tap Austin.
Class of 2002
Anna Lonyai Harbison
Anna Lonyai Harbison was on the Troy High School Science Olympiad team from 1998-2002, serving as the co-captain her senior year. She won the Disease Detectives event in 2001, which led to an invitation to the Centers for Disease Control's headquarters for a special tour with the Director Jeffrey Koplan as well as set up a lifelong passion for diseases (and stamping them out!). She went to Harvard University, completing a degree in Biology with an honors certificate in neurobiology. This led to the next stop, Stanford School of Medicine, where she completed her medical degree.
She is currently completing her pediatric cardiology fellowship at Children's Hospital Los Angeles with plans to move to the Bay Area, where she will be practicing as part of Stanford Children's Health. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband of over 10 years and rambunctious daughter.
Derrick Tan competed in the majority of the Science Olympiad engineering events from 1998-2002, earning more than 30 medals through the years and serving as co-caption during his last year. After leaving Troy, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In 2007, he graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a MSE in Mechanical Engineering Dynamics and Controls.
After completing his education, Derrick moved to the heart of Silicon Valley to work for Lockheed Martin. He started his career as a mechanical design engineer for the Trident II Nuclear Missile Program specifically working on reentry vehicles. He then went on to work for Special Programs, also at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, doing classified work he cannot disclose.
Derrick has been blessed with a wonderful wife and two lively sons. In the little spare time he has, he studies finance and investing and builds autonomous drones.
Class of 2007
Sean graduated from MIT in 2011 with a double major in Physics and Earth and Planetary Science and returned to California for graduate work at UC Berkeley. In 2017 Sean earned his PhD in geophysics and is presently doing a postdoc there. His research utilizes using computational techniques to 1) determine properties of planetary materials from first-principles simulations, and 2) apply these derived properties to models of large-scale planetary structure and processes.
His current research focus is using interior structure models of Jupiter to interpret the drastically improved measurements of Jupiter's gravity by the Juno spacecraft mission. In his free time Sean enjoys playing Irish music and dancing.
Class of 2011
Daniel graduated from Yale in 2015 with a degree in computer Science. He spent a gap year doing research in radiation oncology at UCSF before starting medical school at UC Irvine.
Alaric was on the Troy Science Olympiad team from 2008-2011 and served as captain in his senior year along with co-captains Michael Wahl and Chung-Jen Chen.
He continued his studies in the Management and Technology Program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, obtaining a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, a bachelor's degree in Economics, and a master's degree in Systems Engineering.
Today, Alaric is a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company in San Francisco, where he serves on teams that provide strategic advice and guidance to businesses around the world. In his spare time, he sings in an a cappella group, explores different countries, and studies technology, urban planning and their role in shaping cities of the future.
Michael studied geology and was awarded the outstanding major award in geology at Cal State Fullerton. During his college years he helped coach the Troy Science Olympiad Team back to prominence as National Championships. Unfortunately, we lost Michael to cancer just a few days before Troy won their 10th National Championship in 2015. Michael had a true passion for Science Olympiad and is deeply missed by all that knew him.
Class of 2013
After being a part of Troy Science Olympiad in 2012 and 2013, Zheng went on to study Computer Science at UC Berkeley and is now a software engineer at Google. He remembers Science Olympiad as a lot of fun and wishes something similar existed for adults.
Class of 2014
Samuel was a competitor on the 2013 team, and captain of the 2014 team that took Troy's 9th national championship. He studied biology at UCLA from 2014-2017. A longtime avid birder, he is starting a masters at UCLA, where he will be studying evolutionary and behavioral divergence in incipient urban bird populations.
Class of 2015
Vivian credits Science Olympiad for teaching her to efficiently organize and study a large amount of material while under a time constraint. Her favorite event was Astronomy.
Vivian currently studies Electrical Engineering/Computer Science with an emphasis in Computer Security and Cryptography at UC Berkeley. She is also a part of the Cryptographic Operations Group at Qualcomm.