Press Releases

Media Advisory: May 19, 2014
Contact:
 Keith Hovis, 651-582-8275

Minnesota High School Students Honored for Exemplary Levels of Performance


Thirty-eight Minnesota Students Were Honored at the Scholars of Distinction Ceremony Saturday, May 17, 2014


Roseville, MN – This weekend, 38 distinguished Minnesota high school students were honored at the Scholars of Distinction award program in the areas of Science, STEM, Mathematics, Social Studies, Leadership and Theater Arts.

Minnesota Department of Education Assistant Commissioner Kevin McHenry was on hand for the ceremony at the Perpich Center for Arts Education to congratulate the scholars. To earn recognition, a student must complete required work in Minnesota’s academic standards, demonstrate mastery of complex subject matter, and apply their knowledge and skills on challenging projects.

The students who were honored are:

Leadership Scholars of Distinction

• Sam Farber, Henry Sibley High School - Project: An Interfaith Dialogue between Jews and Lutherans, Using Authentic Leadership
Claire Simpson , Breck School * - Project: Leading leaders versus leading non-leaders: Evaluating leadership styles

Mathematics Scholars of Distinction

• Neehar Banerjee, Mayo High School # * - Project: Catching More Light and Beyond: A Novel, Viable and Cost-effective Way of Increasing the Efficiency of Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells
Alan Chiang, Wayzata High School # - Project: In Search of an Innovative Solution to Easily Obtaining Accurate Blood Glucose Readings in a Painless and Expeditious Manner
Leah Guenter, East Ridge High School - Project: The Effects of Live, Dead, and Truck Loads on Simple Beam Bridges
Elliot Weiler, Breck School * - Project: Statistical Analysis of Pro-inflammatory Genes That Influence Susceptibility to the Gum Disease Periodontitis
Thomas T.C.K. Zhang, Wayzata High School - Project: On the Continuous Fermat-Weber Problem for a Convex Polygon Using Euclidean Distance

Mathematics Meritorious Performance

Joseph Shoulak, Spring Lake Park High School - Project: Fibonacci Numbers

Science Scholars of Distinction

Sweta Bhoopatiraju, Wayzata High School - Project: The Effects of Betaine on Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia who are Intolerant to Maintenance Chemotherapy
Alan Chiang, Wayzata High School # - Project: In Search of an Innovative Solution to Easily Obtaining Accurate Blood Glucose Readings in a Painless and Expeditious Manner
Madison Ernst, Breck School *+ - Project: Targeting Toxic Waste in Soil and Aquatic Environments: Investigating Chemotactic Response of Pseudomonas Putida F1
Robert Kancans, The Blake School - Project: The Role of Natural Killer T Cells in a Transplant Environment
• Sofie Kim , Breck School + - Project: Greener, More Efficient Synthesis of Medicinally Applicable 1,2,3-Triazole Derivatives
• Jacob Levy, Breck School + - Project: Greener, More Efficient Synthesis of Medicinally Applicable 1,2,3-Triazole Derivatives
Manasa Melachuri, Woodbury High School - Project: Anomalous Origin of the Right Coronary Anomaly (ARCA)
Samyuktha Melachuri, Woodbury High School * - Project: The Association of Elevations of AST, ALT and 6-Methyl-mercaptopurine in Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on 6-Mercaptopurine.
Amrita Mohanty, Woodbury High School * - Project: Schwann Cell Differentiation from Stem Cells of Neurofibromatosis Patients and Normal Controls
Rachel Peterson, Hastings High School # - Project: Hematopoietic Stem Cells: Their Effectiveness in Allogenic Transplantation with Nonmyeloablative Therapy for Elderly Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Paymon Rafian, Maple Grove Senior High - Project: Crowd Sourcing as a Method of Indoor Navigation for People with Low-Vision
Timothy J. Renier, East High School * - Project: Hand Hygiene Gone Viral? A Study of Student Involvement in a Social Media Campaign as a Method of Bringing Hand Hygiene to the Masses
• Annie Sun, Mayo High School - Project: Tumor-Induced Depletion of Lymphocytes and Mechanisms of Tumor Immune Evasion
Patricia Zhao, Breck School + - Project: Targeting Toxic Waste in Soil and Aquatic Environments: Investigating Chemotactic Response of Pseudomonas Putida F1

Science Meritorious Performance

• Neehar Banerjee, Mayo High School *# - Project: An A-peel-ing Idea: Using Ground Citrus Peels in the Dissolution of Polystyrene Foam
Janani Narayan, East Ridge High School - Project: The Relationship between insulin-induced Recurrent Hypoglycemia and Inflammation in the Hippocampus
Wolfgang Ofstedal, Breck School - Project: Protecting Streams, Lakes, and Rivers: Engineering a Breakthrough Filter to Remove Phosphates from Stormwater Runoff
• Nath Samaratunga, Breck School + - Project: Using Histology to Investigate Stem Cells as a Treatment for Bronchiolitis Obliterans
• Orien Zeng, Wayzata High School + - Project: Analyzing Gastrointestinal Bleeding Resulting from LVAD Implantation through Identifying Differentially Expressed Transcripts in Blood

Social Studies Scholar of Distinction

Meital Gewirtz, Henry Sibley High School - Applied Geography Project: Serving Those Who Have Served: A Report about Homeless Female Veterans

Social Studies Meritorious Performance

Rachel Peterson, Hastings High School # - Civics Project: Federally Funded Stem-Cell Research: An Examination of Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Political Viability Factors

STEM Scholar of Distinction

Alan Chiang, Wayzata High School # - Project: In Search of an Innovative Solution to Easily Obtaining Accurate Blood Glucose Readings in a Painless and Expeditious Manner

STEM Meritorious Performance

• Carter Blum, Orono Public High School + - Project: Manipulation of Airfoil Form Through Interior Pistons and Pliant Surfaces to Achieve Optimally Aerodynamic Contour in Multifarious Situations.”
• Darartu Gamada, Breck School + - Project: Fabricating a Miniature Langmuir Trough to Facilitate Climate Change Studies
Luis Guzman, Breck School + - Project: The trick to a Twenty-dollar Utility Bill: Engineering a Solar Hydronics Residential Heating and Cooling system
Julia Joern, Breck School + - Project: The trick to a Twenty-dollar Utility Bill: Engineering a Solar Hydronics Residential Heating and Cooling system
• Rustam Kosherbay, Breck School + - Project: Fabricating a Miniature Langmuir Trough to Facilitate Climate Change Studies

Theater Arts Scholars of Distinction

Daniel Debner, Eagan High School - Project: Design and Technical Theater - Collaboration and Transformation
Anna Evans, Robbinsdale Armstrong High School - Project: Acting – Stages in a Theatrical Journey
Sophia Geerdes, Blaine High School - Project: Comprehensive - Management and Marketing
Abilene Olson, St. Francis High School - Project: Comprehensive - Telling Stories on Stage and Page
Clare Seeman, Minnetonka High School - Project: Acting - Exploring Life through Theater
• Katherine Spicuzza, East Ridge High School - Project: Acting, Musical Theater - Character and Cultural Context

Theater Arts Meritorious Performance

• Anna Gwaltney, Academy of Holy Angels - Project: Acting, Musical Theater - Perseverance and Passion

*Scholars who have earned previous awards

+ Joint project

# Multiple awardee