Top science students receive award. . .

Future scientists, engineers, professors, medical doctors, teachers, and corporate researchers were honored on February 21, 2012 by the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ College of Arts & Sciences.  Forty 3rd year students from  the metropolitan St. Louis area high school  received a “Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Science” at the 2nd annual science award dinner held in the Millennium Student Center.   An impressive proclamation from Mr. Steve Ehlmann, St. Charles County Executive,  was presented on his behalf by Ms. Vicky Huesemann.

Students, their parents and high school sponsors were invited to this dinner along with UMSL STEM professors, senior administrators, and community guests.  (STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math.)  The UMSL Jazz Combo, featuring UMSL Chancellor Thomas George  on the piano, provided exceptional entertainment.  Dr. Patricia Parker, E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor in Zoological Studies and chair of the Biology Department, was the dynamic keynote speaker and captured the audience with her research presentation  on birds of the Galapagos  Islands.

“Accomplishments in the STEM disciplines represent an essential component for America’s future,” said Ron Yasbin, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.  “As a nation, we need to nurture and support those students who will be the leaders in advancing our knowledge of those disciplines.  By honoring students who have demonstrated outstanding capabilities in the sciences, we are helping to reinforce the importance of these areas of study and research.”

In an email note received from Dr. Ron Colletti, Senior Research Scientist from the Monsanto Company,he said “As a polymer chemist, I am happy to see and appreciate all the work that the University of Missouri-St. Louis is doing to recognize and encourage our young scientists.  This will have many benefits for all of us in the future.”  His son, Christopher, from Eureka High School received one of the recognition awards.

Mr. Andrew Peskin’s son, Alex, from Block Yeshiva High School was thrilled with the program and was the first parent to request the picture of his son in order that he could show to his family and friends.  Other parents quickly and eagerly requested pictures of their children  receiving the honoree plaque from Dean Yasbin and Chancellor Tom George.

Mr. Robert Shaw, chair of the science department at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School, enthusiastically endorsed his student, Tally Portnoi.  However, Tally was attending another academic award event and couldn’t attend.  Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Portnoi, happily accepted the plaque on her behalf.

Dean Ronald Yasbin said the event was a great success and the College of Arts & Sciences plans to hold the event again next year.

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