Left to Right: Ujwala Pamidimukkala, Samantha Fassnacht, Indiana Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, Gov. Eric Holcomb, Miranda Shook, Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Truman Bennet; photo courtesy of Governor’s Office

A Columbus high-school senior was one of four “elite” students honored Tuesday by Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state officials. Holcomb, Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick and Treasurer Kelly Mitchell today announced the winners of the 2017 Governor’s STEM Team awards. The students were honored during a gathering in the Governor’s Office.

Ujwala Pamidimukkala, of Columbus North, was named the winner in the science division. The Governor’s office says that Pamidimukkala ranked first in her class of 435 students. She has earned a number of awards and achievements throughout high school, including National Merit Finalist, U.S. Presidential Scholars Candidate, and Indiana Academic All-Star Finalist. Pamidimukkala plans to study molecular biology in the hope of becoming a cardiovascular surgeon.

Pamidimukkala is joined by Technology Winner: Samantha Fassnacht, of Westfield High School, Engineering Winner: Miranda Shook, of Greenfield-Central High School and Math Winner: Truman Bennet, of Marion High School. All four winners are high school seniors.

“These four students have demonstrated excellence in subjects that are fueling the innovation and entrepreneurship to build our economic future,” Gov. Holcomb said. “It’s a pleasure to recognize their hard work on a statewide level and elevate Indiana’s academic superstars. I can’t wait to see where the future takes these bright young Hoosiers.”

The awards highlight Indiana’s elite high school students for their work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Each winner received a $1,000 college scholarship through Indiana’s CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan, letterman jackets identifying them as members of the Governor’s STEM Team and tickets to gaming convention, Gen Con.

“Success in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math drives our students and our state forward,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “I am excited to see the passion for STEM exhibited by Ujwala, Samantha, Miranda and Truman, and I am honored to be a part of the 2017 Governor’s STEM Team award ceremony.”

“STEM education is vital to developing Indiana’s workforce, and CollegeChoice 529 is helping young Hoosiers reach educational goals in these critical fields,” said Kelly Mitchell, Indiana Treasurer of State. “As chair of the CollegeChoice Plans, I am delighted to help reward the outstanding students of the Governor’s STEM Team for their achievements and see where their studies take them in the years to come.”