Connecticut’s Top Young Scientists Honored by the Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering

Hartford, CT — Thirty-five of Connecticut’s most promising young scientists and engineers were honored by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering at its 28th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on May 21, 2003 at the Marriott Hotel in Rocky Hill. With 200 Academy members and guests, including Commissioner of Higher Education Valerie Lewis and State Representative Selim Noujaim, looking on, the top winners of the 2003 Connecticut Intel Science Talent Search, Connecticut Science Fair, the Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and the Connecticut Invention Convention received awards from the Academy. Also honored were the high school science departments of the students who won top awards at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium for their “perseverance and dedication to science education” as stated in an “Official Statement” issued to the schools by John G. Rowland, Governor, State of Connecticut. The citation continues with the commendation “Your school is a fine example of science education in the State of Connecticut and it is an honor to join with your faculty and students in recognizing and rejoicing in this achievement”.

The following students were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in this year’s statewide science competitions:

The winners of the Connecticut Intel Science Talent Search were: Alexander Mittal, a senior at Greenwich High School, received first place honors and was a finalist in the national competition for his project, “Nanoconstruction with Self-Assembling DNA-PHA Complexes”. Mittal was also a national semi-finalist in the Siemens Westinghouse Competition and the winner of the competition’s New England Region event. Mittal was a participant in this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair; and Michael Nyberg, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, placed second and was also a finalist in the national competition for his project, “ The Quantification of the Physical Properties Impacting the Effective Implementation of Acoustic Larvicide Systems”. Also, Nyberg was a New England regional finalist in the Siemens Westinghouse Competition.

The winners of the senior divisions of the Connecticut Science Fair were as follows: first place in the Life Sciences Senior Division went to Joia Ramchandani of Greenwich High School for her project, “Mammalian Cell Production of Monoclonal Antibodies in Simulated Microgravity”. Ramchandani was also a 3rd place winner in the Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. The winner of the Physical Sciences Senior Division was Anna-Katrina Shedletsky of Brewster High School, Brewster, NY for her project “Predicting the rate of Disease Propagation in Populations of Known Connectivity”. Both Ramchandani and Shedletsky were participants in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Also honored with awards during the evening were the state’s top five winners in the Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. The winners were: first place went to Stephen Ingraham, New Fairfield High School for his project “Microwave Tunneling in Frustrated Total Internal Reflection”; second place was awarded to Lisa Glukhovsky, New Milford High School, for her project “A Rapid Accurate Method of Determining the Distance to Near-Earth Asteroids”; the third place winners, in addition to Joia Ramchandani, previously mentioned, were: Sophie Lintermans, Staples High School, Westport, for her project “Gene Expression Array Analysis for Understanding the Mechanism of Allergy Asthma”; and Richa Sharma, Hamden High School, for her project the “Effect of Ibuprofen and Doxirubicin on Lung Cancer Cells”.

Additionally, the Academy recognized twenty-seven 7th and 8th grade winners of the Connecticut Invention Convention.

The students from each of the competitions displayed their projects and discussed their research and inventions with the invited guests during the reception.

Preceding the student awards presentation 17 newly elected members of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering were introduced to the members, students and guests in attendance. Among the scientists and engineers elected to the Academy this year were the internationally renowned Dr. Robert D. Ballard and Professor Henry C. Lee. Ms. Elaine A. Pullen, Senior Vice-President of Gerber Scientific, Inc., President of Gerber Scientific Products, and a member of the Governor’s Council on Economic Competitiveness; Dr. John D. Petersen, Chancellor and Provost, University of Connecticut; Mr. Arthur W. Lucas, Senior Vice President, Engineering, Pratt & Whitney, and Mr. Roger Castonguay, Senior Engineer Specialist, General Electric Industrial Systems, one of the most prolific inventors in the United States as the holder of over 150 patents were among the other newly elected members of the Academy.

The event also featured a keynote speaker, Dr. Michael H. Merson, Dean of Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, and the Anna M.R. lauder Professor of Public Health and Chairman, Epidemiology and Public Health. Dean Merson spoke about a very timely and critically important issue, “The Global AIDS Pandemic: Can it Be Slowed and is SARS Next?”

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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 www.ctcase.org.

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