Academy To Honor Connecticut’s Top Student Scientists Young Scientists and Engineers Take the Spotlight at Annual Awards Dinner

Hartford, CT — Connecticut’s most talented young scientists and engineers will be honored by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering at its 34th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on May 20, 2009 at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT. Winners of this year’s Connecticut Science Fair, Connecticut Science Challenge, Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, and Connecticut Invention Convention will be recognized during the evening ceremonies.

The H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence, established by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering and presented in partnership with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, will be awarded to the two first place winners of the Connecticut Science Fair and the first place winner of the Connecticut Science Challenge. The medal was created to recognize and honor H. Joseph Gerber’s (1924-1996) technical leadership in inventing, developing and commercializing manufacturing automation systems for a wide variety of industries, making those industries more efficient and cost-effective in a worldwide competitive environment.

A member of the Nobel Prize-winning International Panel on Climate Change, Dr. Gary Yohe, will give the keynote address. Yohe is a professor of economics at Wesleyan University and a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.

Student winners to be honored include:

The H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence:
Eliza H. McNitt, Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT
2009 Connecticut Science Fair – 1st Place, Life Sciences-Senior Division
Shedding Light on Imidacloprid’s Role in Colony Collapse Disorder

Michael D. Tom, Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT
2009 Connecticut Science Fair – 1st Place, Physical Sciences-Senior Division
A Novel Tensiometer Utilizing Carbon Nanotube Elastic Conductors

Aditya Rajagopalan, Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT
2009 Connecticut Science Challenge – 1st Place
Modeling Synergistic Cellulolytic-Hemicellulolytic Enzyme Complexes for Lignocellulosic Hydrolysis

2009 Connecticut Science Challenge
1st Place – See H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence award winner

2nd Place: Stephanie Choi, Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT
Project: Identification of Nox2-Modifier Gene Variances on C57BL6 Mice Hybrid SJL/C57BL6 Mice

Honorable Mention: Fiona W. Wood, North Haven High School, North Haven, CT
Project: Biophyscially Realistic Computational Models of Temporal Encoding in Cortex

2009 Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium
1st Place: Amoolya Narayanan, Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, CT
Project: Anti-biofilm Effect of Trans-cinnamaldehyde on Uropathogenic Escherichia coli

2nd Place: Swathi Krishnan, Rye Country Day School, Rye, NY
Project: Use of Novel Structured RNA Molecules to Block HIV-1 Replication

3rd Place: Matthew Greenberg, Staples High School, Westport CT
Project: Obesity Pathogenesis: Dissecting the Models of Leptin Resistance

4th Place: Anita Gade, Fairfield Warde High School, Fairfield, CT
Project: Stargazin Glutamic Acid 191, a Conserved Residue amongst TARP Proteins: Investigating Its Role in Stargazin Oligomerization

5th Place: Ishan Sinha, Amity Regional High School, Woodbridge, CT
Project: Accelerated Learning within the Human Auditory System

2009 Connecticut Invention Convention
Bridgeport, CT – St. Ann School: T.J. McCarthy, Michaela Pelletier & Timothy Pelletier
Canton, CT – Home Schooled: Alexei Sondergeld
Colchester, CT – William J. Johnston Middle School: Carey Ozmun
Hartford, CT – Hartford Magnet Middle School: Justin Kupec
Hebron, CT – Home Schooled: Bridget Oei
Old Lyme, CT – Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School: Hanna DeBruyn, Isabelle Foster & Kalyn Wiese
Newtown, CT – Newtown Middle School: Melanie Curtis
Pomfret, CT – Pomfret Community School: Helen Schmidt
Torrington, CT – Torrington Middle School: Sara Heath, Dylan Miller, Sierra Nicolson, Michael Novajasky & Kiley Rosengrant.

Twenty-three newly elected members of the Academy will also be recognized during the evening.


The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering was chartered by the General Assembly in 1976 to provide expert guidance on science and technology to the people and to the state of Connecticut, and to promote the application of science and technology to human welfare and economic well being. For more information about the Academy, please see

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