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Like many Rockers, Maudie Hampden Shah ’99 and Sumul Shah ’99—two of the co-founders of a free online platform called Amino that allows users to find doctors with the experience to meet their specific medical needs—had no idea that early college was an option until a recruitment brochure arrived in their mailboxes when they were high school sophomores.
Maudie remembers the picture of “a grinning science geek,” and the headline, “What if you didn’t have to wait to start college? Although she was in an engineering magnet program at a public high school in Florida, she did not feel sufficiently challenged.
They describe their two years at Simon’s Rock as transformative.
“When people ask me about the quality of academics at ‘that early college’ compared to Cornell, I chuckle and tell them it’s no contest,” says Sumul.
Sumul, who attended high school in Pennsylvania, received the same brochure with “Dmitry Kondrashov wearing an oversized T-shirt and grinning quizzically in the lab,” as he recalls, and applied for, and received, a full AEP scholarship, too.
“I’ll never forget opening the acceptance letter and realizing my life was about to change,” he says.
In 2013, he approached the Shahs about applying “health care claims data assets that could be used to create a direct-to-consumer product to help people make better health care decisions,” says Maudie.
The project was so compelling that the Shahs proposed becoming co-founders so they could devote all their energies to the new company, called Amino.
21 and 22): Performed by Frances Breer, Robert Breer, Eisenhauer, John Glover, Bruce Glushakow, Tom Gormley, Jim Hardy, Ed Iverson, Kosugi, Larry Leitch, Les Levine, Robert Rauschenberg, Bob Schuler, Marjorie Strider, and Ulla Wiggen., Body, Loeb Student Center, New York University, March 7.
After perusing the Simon’s Rock website and learning about the Acceleration to Excellence (AEP) scholarship, her parents encouraged her to apply and said they’d allow her to go if she got a full scholarship.
“When I received the letter saying I had won, I felt like some magical door had just opened, inviting me onto an entirely different path from the one I had been on so far,” she says.
Maudie and Sumul met the first week in Writing and Thinking Workshop.
It was a heady experience, Maudie recalls: “Simon’s Rock was the first place I felt surrounded by peers who shared my academic curiosity, who liked difference more than conformity, who sought out challenges.” Maudie and Sumul bonded over their shared ambition—and confusion— in calculus and physics.