2017-2018 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist
James M. Bennett High Senior Christina Sun Honored as 2017-2018 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist
Posted on 11/29/2017
This is the image for the news article titled James M. Bennett High Senior Christina Sun Honored as 2017-2018 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist

Christina Sun, a senior at James M. Bennett High who excels in academics, leadership and the arts, has been honored as a National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist for 2017-2018.

High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Of the 1.5 million students who take the PSAT/NMSQT in a given year, just 16,000 students – the top 1% – are honored as Semifinalists. Most Semifinalists go on to be recognized as Finalists, and many of these Finalists are awarded scholarships.

Sun, 16, is the daughter of Mara Chen and Sean Sun of Salisbury. She attended Fruitland Primary, Fruitland Intermediate, Bennett Middle, and now James M. Bennett High, from which she will graduate in June 2018. Her college search is currently focused on three universities: University of Maryland College Park, Tufts University in Massachusetts, and Princeton University, which she describes as her dream school.

I want to study chemical engineering and its applications in biomedicine, specifically immunology. I'm not actually sure of what I want to do in that field, but conducting research on that topic and developing solutions to autoimmune disorders would be really interesting to me,” Sun said.

Sun’s selection as a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist comes as no surprise to her teachers and classmates. She has excelled in many areas:

Academics: Sun has a 4.5 cumulative weighted grade point average, and is enrolled in many of the most challenging courses available to seniors, including AP Literature 12, AP Physics I, AP Computer Science Principles and AP Psychology. She is an AP Scholar with Distinction, and achieved the highest possible score of 5 on all six AP exams she has taken. She is currently enrolled in Calculus II at Salisbury University. Her SAT super score – the best combination of her scores on different parts of the exam – is 1580 out of a possible 1600. She has received numerous awards for academics (including year-end awards for foreign language, social studies and Chemistry) and athletics (Minds in Motion, for Varsity Soccer and Varsity Track and Field). She is a member of the W.E.B. DuBois Honor Society, French Honor Society, and JMB’s Mu Alpha Theta math honor society chapter, serving as president.

Arts: Sun is an alto and section leader in the James M. Bennett High Concert Choir, and was selected to the All State Senior Women’s Chorus in 2017. She played piano in the Classics for a Cause fund-raising concert for three years, and served as Executive Chairman of the board of the student-run event in 2017. She is a seven-year winner of the National Piano Guild Auditions, and four-year winner of National Roll. She received First Class Honors for Level 6 & 7 of the Royal Conservatory Piano Performance Assessment, and First Class Honors with Distinction for Level 5 & 6 of the Royal Conservatory Theory Assessment.

College and Career Preparation: Sun has participated in the ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentor Club throughout high school, working as part of a team to design a home and museum. She served as an architect and mechanical engineer for the ACE project. In summer 2016 she attended the Summer Engineering Institute at Lehigh University, and in summer 2015 she participated in the Student Enrichment and Experiential Learning (SEEL) Program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.