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An independent day school educating students PreK-Grade 12

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King Alum Receives Prestigious Academic Scholarship
John Russell

King School is excited to announce that John Russell ’22 has been awarded the Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity for his work through King’s Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering (ASPIRE). His work with ASPIRE led to an internship at Yale during his junior and senior years at King. 

"King prepared me well inside the classroom, but then through ASPIRE it gave me opportunities beyond," he said. "This scholarship is a nice recognition of this."

The ASPIRE course focuses on math and science research techniques, providing methods to help students further understand how research is conducted. In conjunction with the class, students attend an internship at an R01-level research laboratory to get hands-on experience in the field of modern scientific research.

His research was born out of a concern for global warming and carbon emissions. While interning at Yale, Russell helped design an electrochemical flow cell machine that would combat acidification caused by carbon dioxide. His machine captures soluble carbon from the ocean, rendering it insoluble in bricks, thus allowing for carbon-negative results that offset emissions.

King’s Director of Science Research, Dr. Victoria Schulman, taught Russell Honors Chemistry, oversaw his studies in the ASPIRE program, and served as his advisor during his time at the school. She describes his intellect as superior and his research mastery as unmatched. This award came as no surprise to her.

"John had an incredible ability to take on multiple projects simultaneously and exceed everyone's expectations in all of those endeavors,” said Schulman. “His research at Yale was no exception, and he earned numerous state-level awards for his work. I'm so happy to see him recognized on a national level now. He very much deserves it, and what's even better about this particular award is that it helps offset his college tuition. It was an honor to work with him for so many years, and I am excited to see what he does next. I'm sure it will be amazing."

While the research he conducted at Yale continues, Russell is now enrolled at Harvard University where he is taking courses to further his research skills. He recently completed a research paper on leveraging linear algebra in machine learning, building upon skills he developed during his ASPIRE internship.

“I have had a great first semester,” he said, adding that highlights include performing as a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, the oldest symphony orchestra in the U.S., and attending speaker events featuring author John Green and Governor Charlie Baker. 

Milton Fisher was an attorney and an investment banker who created and taught "Applied Creativity" in Westport for over 25 years. The class focused on developing creative problem-solving skills and innovative approaches to challenges that faced individuals or communities.The Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity is aimed at rewarding innovative and creative problem solving. According to its mission, the scholarship aims to honor students who excel as creative problem-solvers and to help make their higher education goals more accessible. Russell’s award will go toward his Harvard tuition.

The ASPIRE program is supported by the Advanced Mathematics and Science Study Program endowed fund established in 2018 by Margharet, Frank, Bea '15, and William '17 Nash to support select students with demonstrated ability and interest in achieving true excellence within science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics in global competition preparation, and/or laboratory research experiences. If you are interested in further supporting this opportunity for students, please contact Director of Development Barb Drayer to discuss how your gift can help.