2015

The 2015 Governor’s STEM Scholars

David Buckman

David Buckman is a senior at High Technology High School. He plans to explore chemical engineering further as he continues his education. David is an active participant in his school’s TSA chapter, soccer team, and marching band, and is a member of science league. He also volunteered for a special needs summer program, and is on the student council of his school. 

Sara Camilli

Sara Camilli is a senior at Biotechnology High School. She plans to explore biology and biotechnology further as she continues her education. Sarah is an officer of Technology Student Association and the Vice President of her chapter. She has competed nationally in TSA for two years and placed on a national level in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. 

Kristian Catarcio

Kristian Catarcio is a senior at Cape May County Technical High School. He is interested in becoming a physician and specializing in either neurology or pathology. He is also enrolled at the University of Medicine and Dentistry and Rutgers University.

Katherine Chew

Katherine Chew is a senior at Bergen County Academies. She plans to explore physics or chemistry further as she continues her education. Katherine volunteers at an organization devoted to improving scientific literacy for elementary school students, is a mentor for her school’s Science Olympiad team, and is an accomplished archer.

Andrew Crelin

Andrew Crelin is a senior at North Hunterdon High School. He plans to explore mechanical engineering further as he continues his education. Andrew is an active volunteer at America’s Grow-A-Row. He has consistently made his high school’s Honor Roll, and he is a member of the Academic Achievement Society.

Rebecca Crowther

Rebecca Crowther is a junior at Rowan University. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, with minors in chemistry and music. She plans to obtain her MD/Ph.D in the future. Rebecca is a member of the Pre-Health Professions Society and plays the flute in multiple music ensembles.

Will Dadouris

Will Dadouris is a sophomore at Gill St. Bernard’s High School. He plans to explore science further as he continues his education. Will participates in science development competitions, is a five-time NJ state Destination Imagination award winner, and plays lacrosse.

Matthew Dzwonczyk

Matthew Dzwonczyk is a junior at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. He plans to explore technology and computer science further as he continues his education. He currently volunteers at his school’s technology help desk, and he is a year round Student Technology intern.

Olivia Fiebig

Olivia Fiebig is a junior at Rowan University. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics. Olivia is the president of Commuters at Rowan and a member of Rowan’s American Chemical Society chapter.

Rohan Garg

Rohan Garg is a senior at Hanover Park High School. He plans to explore electrical engineering further as he continues his education. Rohan leads his school’s Robotics and Engineering Club and plays varsity tennis.

Brandon Gottlob

Brandon Gottlob is a junior at The College of New Jersey. He is pursuing a degree in computer science and plans to work in software development after college. Brandon is the vice president of TCNJ’s Association for Computing Machinery and a member of the Mobile Application Development Club.

Stephen Grice

Stephen Grice is a senior at Northern Burlington County Regional High School. He plans to explore both mathematics and computer science further as he continues his education. Stephen helped organize volunteers at the Old York Ladies Golf Association Cancer Benefit. He is also a member of his school’s science league.

Yashaar Hafizka

Yashaar Hafizka is a junior at Bergen County Academies. He plans to explore medicine further as he continues his education. Yashaar served as a committee head for Bergen Sci Challenge, a countywide science fair. He is also a member of Junior State of America.

Annemarie Kearns

Annemarie Kearns is a junior at Scotch Plains High School. She plans to explore engineering further as she continues her education. Annemarie is actively involved with Girl Scouts, swimming and track.

Maxwell Kearns

Maxwell Kearns is a junior at Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences. He plans to explore science and mathematics further as he continues his education. Maxwell is a swim instructor at the YMCA. He has also participated in the New Jersey State HOSA Competition, where he created a public service announcement about child hunger.

Hadi Khezam

Hadi Khezam is a senior at Passaic County High School. He plans to explore aerospace engineering further as he continues his education. Hadi is a junior volunteer fire fighter and a member of his NJROTC drill team. He is also member of his school’s history club and National Honor Society.

Christopher Kim

Christopher Kim is a senior at John P. Stevens High School. He plans to explore mechanical engineering further as he continues his education. Christopher serves as vice president of membership of his school’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter, and is a captain of his school’s Science Olympiad team and Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam.

Susan Knox

Susan Knox is a junior at The College of New Jersey. She is pursuing a degree in chemistry and plans to work in biochemistry after college. Susan interned at Johnson & Johnson this past summer, investigating new technology in Oral Care Platforms. At school, she is the vice president of the Student Chemists Association.

Elizabeth Lanphear

Elizabeth Lanphear is a senior at Hightstown High School. She plans to explore biology or engineering further as she continues her education. Elizabeth is a founding member of the Biology Student Scholars club at her school. She is President of the National Honor Society and a varsity track athlete.

John Larkins

John Larkins is a senior at Biotechnology High School. He plans to explore biology and medicine further as he continues his education. John has participated in multiple science fairs, and he is a member of his school’s varsity basketball team.

Cheng Yin Lu

Cheng Yin Lu is a junior at Morris Hills High School. She plans to explore medicine further as she continues her education. As a member of Teach the World Online, Cheng Yin helps children in Haiti learn English. She participated in particle physics research last summer and neuroscience research this summer at Rutgers University.

Joel Maruthanal

Joel Maruthanal is a senior at New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is pursuing a degree in biology and plans to work as a physician after college. Joel is the secretary of Biosociety and a member of the archery club.

Rosa Melillo

Rosa Melillo is a senior at Stevens Institute of Technology. She is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in international business. Her goal is to work for an automotive or aerospace company that focuses on sustainability. Rosa is a member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, and she participates in her school’s newspaper, “The Stute.”

Tiffany Paul

Tiffany Paul is a sophomore at Biotechnology High School. She plans to explore biomedical science or genetics further as she continues her education. Tiffany is a science fair mentor for elementary school students and a field hockey and track player. She was also elected 2014-2015 President of her class.

Kevin Penaga

Kevin Penaga is a freshman at Rutgers University. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and plans to obtain his master’s degree after graduation. In high school, Kevin was involved with senior mentor tutoring. Kevin is currently volunteering and assisting in teaching robotics as a near-peer at Liberty Science Center’s science summer camp.

Travis Peng

Travis Peng is a senior at Freehold High School. He plans to explore neuroscience and medicine further as he continues his education. Travis has served as a student ambassador to Japan, and he is the Administrative Lieutenant at the Morganville First Aid Squad. Travis is also a USA Biology Olympiad Semi-finalist.

Bianca Pereira

Bianca Pereira is a junior at Bergen County Academies. She plans to explore biology and medicine further as she continues her education. Bianca is a member of SPARK (Sharing Perspectives Among Real Kids), a student peer leadership program, and a team captain for Relay for Life.

Rajaamatangi Pillai

Rajaamatangi Pillai is a junior at High Technology High School. She plans to explore engineering, technology, or computer science further as she continues her education. Better known by her nickname “Raji,” she has five years of Bollywood dance experience, and she is a member of the Technology Student Association.

Neethu Pottackal

Neethu Pottackal is a junior at Edison High School. She is planning on becoming a professor researching new materials to improve the quality of human life and educating future scientists. She founded a club focusing on STEM activities for students, and has participated in the NJ All-State Band as a flute player.

Matthew Purri

Matthew Purri is a sophomore at Rutgers University. He is pursuing a degree in electrical and computer engineering. He plans to own a renewable energy company that provides affordable, clean and sustainable energy. Matthew will be involved in a research project dealing with the capabilities of carbon nanotubes. He is also a member of the AIAA and on the engineering committee for sustainability.

Vivian Qiang

Vivian Qiang is a junior at High Technology High School. She plans to explore biology or engineering further as she continues her education. Vivian serves as the historian for her school’s Technology Student Association. She is also a varsity swimmer and a clarinetist for the New Jersey Senior Youth Orchestra.

Ankit Rana

Ankit Rana is a senior at Freehold High School. He plans to explore medicine further as he continues his education. Ankit has conducted autism research, and he is a medical sciences peer leader.

Jeffrey Register

Jeffrey Register is a freshman at Princeton University. He will pursue a degree in chemical engineering or physics, and he plans to work in materials science after college. Jeffrey was a lab assistant for the AP Chemistry class at his school, and he was a basketball player for all four years of high school.

Bianca Riello

Bianca Riello is a senior at North Hunterdon High School. She plans to explore biomedical engineering further as she continues her education. Bianca is a volunteer at the Hunterdon Medical Center and a leader in Teen Prevention Education Program (PEP), a program that teaches freshman leadership and healthy decision making skills.

Ashley Rosenberg

Ashley Rosenberg is a sophomore at Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences. She plans to explore biomedical engineering or medicine further as she continues her education. Ashley is the fundraising & events chair of her school’s HOSA chapter, student council treasurer, and a member of the math league.

Iris Rukshin

Iris Rukshin is a senior at High Technology High School. She plans to explore mathematics and computer science further as she continues her education. Iris led a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam in the creation of a remote detection device that can be used for finding humans in natural disasters. She also teaches English and translates at a local adult day care center.

Maya Rukshin

Maya Rukshin is a junior at Holmdel High School. She plans to explore engineering and medicine further as she continues her education. Maya has conducted her own research at Raritan Bay Medical Center. She is also the vice president of her school’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter.

Kaitlyn Sanford

Kaitlyn Sanford is a high school senior and has been the project manager for her FIRST Robotics Team since her freshman year. She has always been interested in science, space exploration, and technology. Kaitlyn is hoping to major in either astronautical or mechanical engineering in college.

Annika Seiden

Annika Seiden is a senior at Tenafly High School. She plans to explore mathematics further as she continues her education. Annika is the secretary of her school’s math league and a teen peer leader for incoming freshmen.

Bret Silverstein

Bret Silverstein is a sophomore at the Academy of Allied Health and Science in Monmouth County. He plans to explore biomedical engineering further as he continues his education. Bret is a contributor to an online STEM magazine, a volunteer tutor, an award winning member of Model U.N., and assists in his town’s after school elementary science program.

Kunal Singh

Kunal Singh is a junior at High Technology High School. He plans to explore biomedical engineering and computer science as he continues his education. Kunal has worked to expose middle school students to STEM, and he is a member of his school’s Experimental Research Club.

Andrew String

Andrew String is a sophomore at Clearview Regional High School. He plans to explore engineering further as he continues his education. Andrew is a member of his school’s Math Counts team, and he has served as the president of his class for the past two years.

Kelly Szaniawski

Kelly Szaniawski is a senior at Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science. She plans to explore computer programming and medicine further as she continues her education. Kelly is a participant in MATES math league and is the captain of her high school’s volleyball team.

Himakeerth Tammineedi

Himakeerth Tammineedi is a senior at Middlesex County Academy. He plans to explore electrical engineering and computer science further as he continues his education. Himakeerth is a member of his school’s robotics team as well as an ambassador for robotics to younger children. He is also a leader in his school’s Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam creation of an autonomous agricultural drone.

Jenna Weingarten

Jenna Weingarten is a junior at Biotechnology High School. She is working to graduate with an international baccalaureate diploma and intends to do research in the cognitive sciences. Jenna interns at the Rutgers University Cognitive Development Lab, fundraises for children with epilepsy, and acts as a science mentor for elementary school children.

Marisa Wu

Marisa Wu is a junior at Biotechnology High School. She plans to explore medicine further as she continues her education. Marisa serves as the co-vice president of her high school’s academic team and the event manager for its music club.

Burton Ye

Burton Ye is a junior at Biotechnology High School. He plans to explore biomedical engineering further as he continues his education. Burton has represented his school at science competitions at the national level. He also serves on his high school’s Junior Statesman of America cabinet, as an elected member of the Student Government, and as a varsity swimmer for my local high school.

Justin Yu

Justin Yu is a senior at the Bergen County Academies. He plans to explore medicine and computer science further as he continues his education. Justin served as the treasurer and biology mentor for his school’s Science Olympiad club. He also volunteers as an EMT with the Edgewater Volunteer First Aid Squad.

Herb Zieger

Herb Zieger is a junior at Seton Hall Preparatory School. He plans to explore computer science and technology further as he continues his education. He is the recipient of the Seton Hall Prep Headmaster Scholarship and the NJ State Governor’s Jefferson Award for Public Service. He is currently studying humanoid robotics. Herb is a member of the Chinese Club, the Science Club and Future Business Leaders.