Yann Le Gall
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
high school: Sewickly Academy
college: Princeton University
MAJOR: Chemical Engineering
GRAD. PROGRAM: University of Pittsburgh (2012, MS)
Yann Le Gall established himself as a high honors student during his freshman year at Sewickley Academy in Sewickley PA, and has continued to be a leader among his peers both in and outside of the classroom.
A Renaissance man of sorts, Yann excels across the board. He is driven to go beyond merely “knowing that” to also “knowing how” and “knowing why.” Growing up in a bilingual, bicultural, and biracial family, Yann has learned to probe deeply and to look beyond surface differences to find underlying unity. He brings this penchant for abstract conceptual thought to his studies. His AP Biology teacher notes that Yann “is clearly, the intellectual leader” in the class, and his AP Chemistry teacher describes him as “particularly quick to recognize unusual applications of chemical properties and to perceive subtle connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena,” and his AP History teacher notes that Yann’s insights have benefited him and students by “stimulating new thinking about old issues in US History.”
Yann’s creative mind and pursuit of excellence have brought him recognition. In addition to being recognized in Who’s Who Among American High School Students, Yann is an AP Scholar with Honor, a National Achievement Finalist, a Commended National Merit Scholar, as well as a recipient of the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Medal. Yann’s love of scientific inquiry led him to the Bahamas in the summer of 2001 as a student member of an Earth Watch Institute research expedition conducting molecular studies of marine biodiversity, and propelled him to a 1st place finish in the 2003 regional Brain Bee, which earned him the chance to compete in the International Brain Bee sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience. Yann’s belief that “excellence is a journey, not just a destination,” provides him natural immunity to “senioritis:” he is conducting a research study with a molecular biologist at a local university this year for his senior project.
Rivaling his enthusiasm for the sciences is his passion for the visual arts. Yann takes classes at the Carnegie Museum of Art and at Carnegie Mellon University and has won the top prize in the annual high school competitions for three years running. In 2002, he attended the summer residential program of the PA Governor’s School for Excellence in the Arts, where his art was selected for exhibition at the PA State capitol in Harrisburg. Yann is a contributing artist to his school’s arts magazine and school newspaper. He shares his passion for the visual arts with elementary school children through his volunteer work with the art museum.
An avid runner and swimmer, Yann promotes attention to health and wellness among his peers. Modeling the ideal, mens sana in corpore sano, Yann has recruited peers to the cross-country team which he captained in his junior year and to more healthy lifestyles.