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AEL Collegiate Essay Contest

2020 Winners

After careful review by the contest judges, we are delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 AEL Collegiate Essay Competition. 

First Place: Katie Sapozhnikov, MIT  

Second Place: Soumya Somani, Rice University

Third Place: Lorraine Nuniz, UCLA

First Place

Portrait of Katie Sapozhnikov

Katie Sapozhnikov is a first-year student majoring in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She’s interested in the ways technology shapes our lives and society, and she's passionate about making the technology space more diverse. Katie enjoys swimming, tutoring math, and spending time with friends and family. In the future, she hopes to apply her engineering knowledge to the healthcare industry. 

Second Place

Portrait of Soumya Somani

Soumya Somani is a first-year student at Rice University in Houston, Texas, majoring in cell biology and health sciences. Soumya is interested in topics related to medicine, public health, and medical humanities. He believes in pursuing education with a strong intersectional approach and loves to study art, culture, and history in his free time. Beyond academics, Soumya enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with his family. Soumya hopes to continue his passion for research, medicine, and writing throughout his time at Rice University and into his future professional pathway. 

Third Place

Portrait of Lorraine Nuniz

Lorraine Nuniz is a first-year student at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, majoring in biochemistry. Her hobbies include painting, ballet, reading mythology, and fostering rescue kittens. Lorraine hopes to pursue a career in the vast and ever-developing field of neuroscientific research as she’s always been fascinated in the intricacy of the microscopic world of chemistry as well as the complex world of the brain.