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Students accepted into University's most prestigious academic program (Released: 2/24/98)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications.

Storrs, Conn. -- Nineteen top students have been accepted into the University Scholars program, the University’s most prestigious and demanding academic program for undergraduates. Once selected, the University Scholar candidate is allowed to pursue an academic program tailored to his or her unique intellectual interests and abilities. Upon successful completion of the student’s plan of study, he or she will be declared a University Scholar at Commencement.

"Students who have been accepted into the University Scholars program have agreed to be individualists in the best sense," says Ernie Zirakzadeh, director of the Honors Program. "They have chosen to spend three semesters studying a personally important topic in depth, from multiple perspectives and with an unusually open mind. I am inspired by their self-directedness and by their passion to learn," he says.

Maria Jeannette Sanabria Central Magnet High School Major: Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Project: "Sweet Food Industry: Improvement of the Conversion of Glucose to Fructose through the Use of Supported Enzyme Catalysis"
Brendan R. McMullen Ellington High School Major: Pathobiology Project: "Unknown Organisms: Identification and Characterization of a Spirochele Found in the Skin of Cattle
Dishant Shah E.O. Smith High School Major: Biological Sciences Project: "The Brain's Response to Acupressure-like Somatosensory Signals in the Barn Owl "
Alyssa LePine E.O. Smith High School Major: Latin American Studies Project: "Educating Citizens: Form and Function of Civic Education in Argentina and Mexico"
Julissa Nixon Platt High School Major: Psychology and African Diaspora Studies (Individualized Major) Project: "Distorted Mirrors? Mass Media's Effect on the Personal Development of African-American and Puerto Rican Children"
Lindsay Anne Hescock Stonington High School Major: Art as Non-Verbal Communication (Individualized Major) Project: "Art as Non-verbal Communication: Puppetry, Linguistics, and Studio Art "
Karen Erickson Woodstock Academy Major: Nursing Project: "Family Traditions and Child Rearing:The Lived Experience of Latina Adolescents Successful with Breast-Feeding"
Robb D'Ambruoso Amity Regional High School Major: Political Science Project: "Protecting Our Environment: The Question of Legal Enforcement"
Nirav Chawhan Shelton High School Major: Accounting Project: "Creating Competition: A Comparative Study of Valuation and Privatization"
Lisa LeBlanc South Windsor High School Major: Chemistry Project: "A Study of a Possible New Set of Antibiotics: The Biological Activity of Beta-Lactams"
Amy Watkins Suffield High School Major: Human Development and Family Relations Project: "The Politics of Domestic Violence: A Critical Examination of Thurman v.. Torrington"
Lisbeth Dizney Trumbull High School Major: Elementary Education and American Studies (Individualized Major) Project: "What's the Solution: Policies and Programs in Connecticut to Encourage Girls in Math in Grades K-8"
Jeremy Ledger E.O. Smith High School Major: Biological Sciences Project: "Threats to Marine Food Chains: The Effect of Toxic Dinoflagellates on Two Copepods"
Lai Ting Loule E. O. Smith High School Major: Pharmacy Project: "A Scientific Perspective on Herbal Medicine: Chemical Bases for the Putative Antimicrobial Activity of Gotu-kola"
Rebecca L. Martello Lawrence High School Major: Diagnostic Genetic Sciences Project: "Decoding Delinquent DNA: Identification and Analysis of Novel Gene Mutations in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis"
Amy Lynne Fleischer Framingham High School Major: English and Sociology Project: "Censorship of Literature: An Examination of School Policies on 'Objectionable Literature'"
Brent Vander Wyk Moundsview High School Major: Cognitive Science (Individualized Major) Project: "Modeling the Brain: A Dynamical Systems Approach to Neural Networks"
Betsy A. Alspaugh Eisenhower High School Major: Elementary Education Project:"Equality in Education: Mainstreaming Strategies and Hearing-Impaired Children"
Pavel Okunev Moscow State University Major: Mathematics Project: "Making Enormous Equations Manageable: The Puzzle of LU Factorization and Other Computational Methods in Linear Algebra"