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Stony Brook University Mentors 26 Semi/Regional Finalists in Siemens Competition

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Stony Brook University Mentors 26 Semi/Regional Finalists in Siemens Competition

University remains among nation’s leaders in developing researchers of the future

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Aneri Kinariwalla was mentored by SBU Professors Miriam Rafailovich and Marcia Simon.

STONY BROOK, NY, October 24, 2012 – Three regional finalists and 23 semifinalists in the 2012 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology – one of the top nationwide research competitions for high school researchers – were mentored at Stony Brook University, a leader in mentoring high school researchers.

Many of the competition’s regional finalists and semifinalists who were mentored at Stony Brook participated in either the Garcia Center for Polymers at Engineered Interfaces Summer Research Program or the Simons Summer Research Program; others conducted independent research under the guidance of their Stony Brook mentors.

Stony Brook University faculty mentored 15 awardees from Long Island – 13 semifinalists and two regional finalists. Additionally, they mentored one regional finalist from Oregon; and semifinalists from California (7), Connecticut (1), New Jersey (1); and upstate New York (1). Among those mentored at Stony Brook University, 13 were mentored by Dr. Miriam Rafailovich, Professor Department of Materials Science & Engineering and Director of the Garcia Center for Polymers at Engineered Interfaces. Professor Rafailovich is one of the nation’s leading mentors of research competition talent and has formed collaborative, interdisciplinary networks with faculty throughout the campus.

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Evan Chernack was mentored by SBU Professors Miriam Rafailovich and Marcia Simon.

Professor Rafailovich and Dr. Marcia Simon, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Oral Biology and Pathology, were co-mentors on the two regional finalists from Long Island – senior Evan Chernack who attends South Side HS in Rockville Centre and junior Aneri Kinariwalla, who attends Sayville HS in Sayville. Professor Iwao Ojima, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Director of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, mentored Stony Brook’s third regional finalist, senior Raghav Tripathi who attends Westview HS in Portland, OR.

Additional Stony Brook University faculty involved in mentoring high school researchers include: Yuefan Deng, Professor, Applied Mathematics & Statistics; Miguel Garcia-Diaz, Assistant Professor, Pharmacological Sciences; Aaron Neiman, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology; Dianna Padilla, Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolution; Lonnie Wollmuth, Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior; Benjamin Chu, Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry; Benjamin Hsiao, Professor, Department of Chemistry; Dilip Gersappe, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering; Jianchang Yang, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Pathology; Stephen Walker, Associate Professor, Department of Oral Biology and Pathology; and Matthew Dawber, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy.

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Regional Finalist Raghav Tripathi (center) is pictured with his mentor SBU Distinguished Professor Iwao Ojima (left), and PhD candidate William Berger, who assisted him with his project.

The New York semifinalists mentored at Stony Brook are: Nicolette Almer, Plainview Old-Bethpage JFK HS (Plainview); Daniela Czemerinski, The Wheatley School (Old Westbury); Nicholas Fiacco, Manhasset HS (Manhasset); Jennifer Gil, Brentwood HS (Brentwood); Noman Hamlani, Brentwood HS (Brentwood); Kevin Huang, Jericho HS (Jericho); Tammy Jin, Half Hollow Hills HS East (Dix Hills); Brendan Liu, Jericho HS (Jericho); Gina Ma, Ward Melville HS (East Setauket); Mustafa Ansari, Plainview Old-Bethpage JFK HS (Plainview); Haris Nair, Hastings HS (Hastings on Hudson); Rajkumar Pammal, Commack HS (Commack); Samantha Prashad, South Side HS (Rockville Centre); and Kimia Ziadkhanpour, Plainview Old-Bethpage JFK HS (Plainview).

Out-of-state semifinalists include: Connor Abbot, Hopkins HS (New Haven, CT); Meghana Bhat, Castilleja School (Palo Alto, CA); Steven Castano, Monmouth County Academy of Allied Health & Science (Neptune, NJ); Kevin Chan, Stevenson School (Pebble Beach, CA); Nicole Lin, El Camino Real Charter HS (Woodland Hills, CA); Jerry Liu, Los Altos HS (Los Altos, CA); Grace Pan, Dougherty Valley HS (San Ramon, CA); Victoria Petrova, South HS (Torrance,

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Regional Finalists Evan Chernack and Aneri Kinariwalla discuss their project at the closing symposium of the Garcia Center for Engineered Interfaces at Stony Brook University this past summer. They were mentored by SBU Professors Miriam Rafailovich and Marcia Simon.

CA); and Brian Wei, Granite Bay HS (Granite Bay, CA).

Regional finalists will compete in one of six regional competitions during November with winners of the regional events earning the right to compete at the National Finals at George Washington University in Washington, DC, in early December. $500,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the National Finals, including two top prizes of $100,000 (individual and team). In previous years, grand prize winners in both individual (2009) and team categories (2001, 2007) worked with Stony Brook faculty mentors including, Carlos Simmerling and Iwao Ojima of the Department of Chemistry; and Miriam Rafailovich of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering. Click here to view the entire listing of the Siemens regional and semifinalists and their mentors.


© Stony Brook University 2012

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