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Student Awards 2014

Student Awards 2014

Shobha Tewani – SAAWA Community Service Award

During the last four years at Herricks High School, Shobha has actively participated in many projects that help the community and her school. As President of the Indian Cultural Club, she organized 4 fundraisers and volunteered in events that help promote Indian culture such as the Port Washington World Day, Diwali Festival, Spring Festival, and Garba. One of the greatest achievements of her club was to donate $500 to CRY (an organization that helps Indian women and children against abuse).She has also been involved in the Young Indian Culture Group for the past 12 years and is presently teaching 1st-3rd graders slokas. Additionally, she volunteers with the Gujurati Samaj Annual Health Fair Event. Aside from doing community service, she was the captain of the Herricks Varsity Swim team and she plans to start her Pharm. D. program at St. John’s University this fall.

Priya Alagesan – Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalist 2014 Award

Title of her Intel paper: Defining Region Specific Interactions of Members of the Leading Edge Protein Complex in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.
Priya is a senior at Manhasset High School. She graduated as salutatorian from her class and is involved in many scientifically-oriented activities. She was named an Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalist earlier this year and has won several awards at regional science fairs throughout the past four years. Her senior project involved studying the protein-protein interactions involved in the formation and shaping of the cell membrane. Priya also participates in other activities, including serving as president of the National Honor Society, competing on the Science Olympiad team, peer mentoring, and playing the French horn and piano. Priya comes from a loving family that is involved in the medical field and is the youngest member of her family. She considers it an honor to be recognized by the South Asian American Women’s Alliance. Priya will be attending Duke University in the fall of 2014 on the pre-med track.

Bhavani Ananthabhotla – Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalist Award and Simon Fellow

She is a senior at Kings Park High School. At school, she is a Tri-M Music Honor Society Officer, Captain of the Math Team, and one of 8 senior members of the Independent Science Research program, through which she has interned at the Rubin Musculoskeletal Laboratory at SUNY Stony Brook. She was placed first in Bioengineering at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair Andromeda, received Highest Honors from the Long Island Science Congress and Excellence in Engineering Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers. She also coauthored an abstract accepted for oral presentation at a Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA. She is a student of Columbia Science Honors program, a National AP Scholar, a recipient of the Rensselaer Medal in Science and was named Student of the Year in Science for two successive years. She is the Salutatorian of her graduating class. She enjoys singing Carnatic music, performing her vocal Arangetram in 2013. She loves playing western flute as a member of the Kings Park High School Marching Band and Symphonic Winds Ensemble and was named Outstanding Music Theory Student. She has been attending Sri Sathya Sai Spiritual Education classes since the age of 4, participating as well in Sai Bhajans and cultural presentations and graduated from the program this year. She will be pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Yale University.

Deepika Dhawan – SAAWA Stem Award

She is a senior at Plainedge High School in North Massapequa. She is the valedictorian of her class and will be graduating with the Summa Cum Laude honor. She is an AP Scholar with Honor and was a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar ambassador in 2012. She submitted her research paper titled CAPM or Fama-French: An Analysis of the Accuracy of Regression Based Financial Models to Intel Science Talent Search, the LI Psychology Fair, and the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. She was a semifinalist for this research paper in the Junior Sciences and Humanities Symposium. She is currently the president of the National Honor Society, editor-in-chief and business manager of the school newspaper, and vice president of Mathletes. She was the co-captain of the Girls Varsity Tennis Team this year and the scholar-athlete for 2012 and 2013, a head committee member for the campaign to “Spread the Word to End the Word” and for Relay for Life at Plainedge. Over the years,she has dedicated countless hours to volunteering in the Summer Reading Program and the Children and Young Adult Section at the Plainedge Public Library. She was awarded The President’s Volunteer Service Award, Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award and Senator Kemp Hannon’s Youth Academic Leadership Award. She hopes to pursue a double major in biochemistry and mathematics on a pre-med track when she attends New York University this upcoming fall.

Priyanka Kumar – Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalist 2014 Award

SAAWA Stem award
Title of her Intel paper: Macrophage Fusion on Nanopatterned Bulk Metallic Glass.
Priyanka is a senior at Syosset High School. Sheis actively involved with research, working at Stony Brook University and Yale University as a student intern, and spending time at Cold Spring Harbor Labs as a “Partners for the Future” fellow. She is a co-captain of her school’s Science Olympiad club and has won medals at the regional and state levels. Priyanka is the Community Service Representative of her school’s Tri-M National Music Honor Society chapter, and has been a volunteer at NUMC over the past few years. In addition, Priyanka was a violinist in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra where she performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and various centers in Eastern Europe. She also enjoys playing tennis in her free time. Priyanka was awarded National Merit Finalist and AP Scholar with Distinction. She will be attending Harvard College in the fall, and plans on studying both math and science.

Varsha Venkatesh – INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Finalist

Varsha is a senior at Jericho High School. She loves science, particularly environmental science and has been published in many review articles, in PLOSOne as well as the Cornell University Library, for her research work pertaining to a sustainable water purification design. Having researched at MIT for 2 years, she has a strong passion towards physical sciences as well as theoretical sciences. She received the U.S Junior Stockholm Water Prize and was awarded by the Association for Women in Geo Science for her research work. She placed third at the Long Island Science Congress, ranked second place at the WAC lightening fair and first place at the Long Island Science Engineering Fair. Alongside her love for science, she shares a love for music, especially Carnatic music and dance. Indian classical music has been a part of her since she was six years old. She sees beauty in music both Western and Indian, and is an avid violinist as well. She recently graduated from YICG-Young Indian Cultural Club- after 10 years of involvement, where she volunteered as a teaching assistant for students in Hindi classes. Her dream is to travel the world and experience other cultures and learning new languages. She speaks French and has participated in the French poetry contest as well as the national French contest. She was also on her school’s varsity swim team. This fall, she will be attending Stony Brook University as a University Scholar, where she will be majoring in Computer Science. Her goal is to continue to design novel technologies that can cater to the needs of society for its advancement and benefit.

Priyanka Wadgaonkar – Team Winner of 2013 National Siemens competition

Along with her team, they discovered a plant gene that has the potential to make important crops more resistant to ozone and other physicals stressors such as drought and the increasing salinity of soil.

Priyanka is a senior at George W. Hewlett High School and wants to pursue a career in medicine. She completed a Bharathnatyam Arangetram in 2010, loves Bollywood dancing, is a classical pianist, the Captain of Varsity Fencing team, Chair of the Cabaret night Committee, team leader of School Science Research Team, member of Tri Music Honor Society, member of National Honor Society and a member of Foreign Language Honor Society.