3 for 3: Georgia Tech triplets graduate a year early

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The Kashlan triplets Zane are graduating together at Georgia Tech after three years. Video by Ryon Horne, Jason Getz/AJC

Brothers shared valedictorian honors in high school

One name would be heard repeatedly during Georgia Tech’s commencement ceremony Saturday.

It’s Kashlan — as in Adam, Rommi and Zane Kashlan.

The fraternal triplets, who will turn 19 later this month, are graduating from the College of Sciences.

Three years ago, they shared valedictorian honors from West Forsyth High School. Now, they’re graduating from college a year early, each with a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience.

That’s no easy task, considering the three-year graduation rate last year was just 6.5%, state data shows.

“They’ve earned every bit of it,” their father, Dean Kashlan, said of their success. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1985.

ExplorePhotos from Georgia Tech graduation on May 7
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The triplets are good at teasing one another about their study habits and about the recent struggles of their favorite pro basketball teams. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

The triplets are good at teasing one another about their study habits and about the recent struggles of their favorite pro basketball teams. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

caption arrowCaption
The triplets are good at teasing one another about their study habits and about the recent struggles of their favorite pro basketball teams. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Being together helped immensely.

“Having people you can rely on when you have trouble with a class and say, ‘Hey, can you tutor me on this subject?’ and go lend a hand. It’s definitely great to have a good support system,” Adam said.

It’s tough for any student to get accepted into Georgia Tech, let alone triplets. Only 22% of the 5,184 students who applied to its College of Sciences for the fall 2019 semester were accepted.

The Kashlans were 3 of 459 students who enrolled in that school. Georgia Tech was unable to compute the probability of triplets getting accepted there.

But the brothers almost chose different colleges. They talked it out and decided Georgia Tech was the best fit for them. They also weren’t ready to leave one another.

“I pulled both of them back here,” Rommi told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2019.

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Once they entered college, their parents sold their home and moved to Atlantic Station to be closer to them. They had just turned 16 after all.

“Academically, they can deliver,” said their mother, Majid Judy Kashlan. “But emotionally, you still need to give them that nurturing.”

The brothers began their studies early that summer in a program created for students eager to get a head start on their coursework, learn their way around the campus and make friends. They took courses each summer, helping them complete their coursework early.

The triplets took some courses together, but were also drawn to activities that reflected their individual interests. Zane, for example, got involved with Georgia Tech’s mentoring program.

The coronavirus pandemic brought them closer, the brothers said. The family had more meals together. Rommi was part of a team that helped create a saliva-based COVID-19 test for the campus.

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Donald Smith (foreground) and his son Jacob Smith, both Georgia Tech employees, collect their saliva samples for PCR COVID-19 tests at Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Building on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Rommi Kashlan, a student in its College of Sciences, was part of the team that developed the test. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Donald Smith (foreground) and his son Jacob Smith, both Georgia Tech employees, collect their saliva samples for PCR COVID-19 tests at Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Building on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Rommi Kashlan, a student in its College of Sciences, was part of the team that developed the test. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

caption arrowCaption
Donald Smith (foreground) and his son Jacob Smith, both Georgia Tech employees, collect their saliva samples for PCR COVID-19 tests at Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Building on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Rommi Kashlan, a student in its College of Sciences, was part of the team that developed the test. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Georgia Tech was tough, they said. The triplets studied together more.

“We were looking at old texts that we sent when we were freshmen,” Zane said. “It was so rough and we made it through and we made it through second year and third year. Looking back, it’s been a great experience.”

All three have near straight-A grade-point averages.

So who’s the best student? Rommi and Zane looked toward Adam. He enjoyed being able to conceptualize theories he learned in physics and other science courses.

Adam’s brothers teased him about his study habits.

“This guy’s a machine when he needs to be, but he’s also a procrastinator at the same time,” Rommi said.

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“I’m a good procrastinator,” Adam said, laughing. “Don’t learn from me. It’s a bad thing.”

The triplets are moving to Boston at the end of May. Their mom said it will be difficult to watch them leave. But the three will begin the next part of their journey together.

Adam and Zane are planning to do research work at Harvard Medical School’s Woolf Laboratory. Rommi is considering work at a Harvard-affiliated hospital.

It’s their version of a break before continuing their post-graduate education.

“It’s like chapter 3 or chapter 4, you can say,” said Zane. “High school, college. It’s the next chapter.”

Explore2019: Triplets share valedictorian honors West Forsyth High School
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050522 Atlanta, Ga: The Kashlan triplets Adam (from left), Zane and Rommi and Zane are graduating together at Georgia Tech shown on campus Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Atlanta. They shared valedictorians from West Forsyth High School in 2019. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

050522 Atlanta, Ga: The Kashlan triplets Adam (from left), Zane and Rommi and Zane are graduating together at Georgia Tech shown on campus Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Atlanta. They shared valedictorians from West Forsyth High School in 2019. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

caption arrowCaption
050522 Atlanta, Ga: The Kashlan triplets Adam (from left), Zane and Rommi and Zane are graduating together at Georgia Tech shown on campus Thursday, May 5, 2022, in Atlanta. They shared valedictorians from West Forsyth High School in 2019. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

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