SFP Science Research Program, headed by Mary Ann Spicijaric '84, gains national attention
Friday, March 23, 2007
Two SFP seniors were recently named as national finalists in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Competition. There were 75 NYC students invited to compete based on their submitted research papers, and eight of these students were from St. Francis Prep. Of these 75 students, Prep senior Emily Casey, who was named a Siemens Westinghouse semi-finalist earlier this year, took First Place honors, and another Prep senior, Jenna Montalbano, earned Fourth Place.
Emily's project determined the role of methylation during microRNA expression. Jenna's project tested her novel theory to explain the observed mass strandings of bottle-nosed dolphins. Both seniors will be representing St. Francis Prep and NYC in the national competition to be held in Alabama this May. Congratulations to Emily and Jenna and their research teachers!
Earlier this year, another senior in the Prep's Science Research Program, James Pickel, became a semi-finalist in the 2007 Intel Science Talent Search. While studying at the Prep, James has also been working for three years at the New York University School of Medicine, and he has located a new gene that plays a significant role in gender development.
There are 300 Intel semi-finalists named from across the country each year, and because of James' excellent work this year, St. Francis Prep has the distinction of having one of the two semi-finalists from Queens County, as well as being the only Catholic High School in New York State with a semi-finalist AND one of only five Catholic High Schools in the nation with a semi-finalist!
This is also the Prep's ninth consecutive year with an Intel semi-finalist!
Congratulations to all of James' teachers, but especially to his Science Research advisors, Fran Parziale, SFP Class of 1997, and Mary Ann Spicijaric, SFP Class of 1984, who serves as the Prep's Science Department Chairperson and leader of the Science Research Program.
Their hard work and dedication to their students has really put St. Francis Prep on the map both locally and nationally!