Last night I was invited to a small “ungraduation dinner” for my organ student, Christopher Lindsay, who has studied with me since the first grade. You see, Christopher will be entering college early, having been selected to participate in the Resident Honors Program at the University of Southern California, skipping his senior year at Iolani School and beginning college a year ahead of schedule.
According to a press release, “He is one of eighteen students chosen from a nationwide applicant pool to participate in this highly competitive early entrance honors program. Christopher has been awarded the prestigious Trustee and University Scholarships from USC.
At USC, Christopher will be enrolled in the Thematic Option Honors Program, an interdisciplinary general education curriculum that has been nationally recognized as one of the finest honors programs in the country. He will begin his major studies in astronomy in the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, where he will be a member of Professor Edward Rhodes’ research group. At thirteen years old, Christopher helped discover and confirm the existence of exoplanet CoRoT-29b, and at USC he hopes to continue exoplanet research and participate in helioastronomy and observational studies with NASA’s Juno project. Christopher plans to eventually add additional majors in environmental studies and computer science.
A passionate scientist, Christopher has already entered almost 30 science fairs, competitions, and symposiums to share his work in a diverse range of natural science disciplines. He has published papers in peer-reviewed science journals and received international recognition for his work in both astronomy and environmental science. In 2015, Christopher was awarded what he called his “dream prize,” an internship at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Regional Center with NOAA Fisheries, where he developed a camera system to help assess bottomfish populations. He was granted special permission to test his apparatus at sea aboard the NOAA research vessel Hi’ialakai. “It was a remarkable research opportunity rarely granted to a student,” Christopher said.
Christopher has also been active in his school and community. At the request of a teacher, he founded the STEM Buddies program to provide science curriculum to underserved local 4th and 5th grade students at public schools throughout Hawaii. At ‘Iolani School, he served as president of his class for two years and president of the Astronomy and Stargazers Club for four years. Christopher won several writing and speech competitions in his academic career, including two national contests honoring United States veterans. Christopher is also an avid musician who plays the drums, flute, and pipe organ.
Yay, Christopher! We are so proud of you! Yay, Holly and Mark Lindsay, Christopher’s parents!