2016

The 2016 Governor’s STEM Scholars

Marwa Abdulhai

Marwa Abdulhai is a senior at Holmdel High School. She plans to explore computer science and medicine further as she continues her education. Marwa is an active participant in her high school’s American computer science league, New Jersey science league, Waksman student scholars program, National Honor Society, women’s empowerment club, and junior varsity basketball team.

Michael Abelar

Michael Abelar is a junior at Biotechnology High School. He plans to explore computer science further as he continues his education. Michael is president of the math club, chess club, and programming club. He is also an active participant in his high school’s science competition club, technology students of America competition club, Spanish honor society, and student services club.

Benjamin Boxer

Benjamin Boxer is a junior at Livingston High School. He plans to explore computer science further as he continues his education. Ben is an active participant in his high school’s concert choir, acapella choral group, and is the founder and president of Techie Teen Tutors, a volunteer service club dedicated to helping seniors manage today’s technology.

Pierce Burgin

Pierce Burgin is junior at Clearview Regional High School. He plans to explore biomedical engineering and materials science further as he continues his education. Pierce is an active participant in his high school’s Student Council, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band, Model UN, NJ Science League, varsity swimming and soccer team, and President of Key Club.

Olivia Chan

Olivia Chan is a senior at Union County Vocational Technical High School. She plans to explore biology and medicine further as she continues her education. Olivia is an active participant in her high school’s National Honor Society, yearbook club, and multicultural club. She is social events chair of her high school’s HOSA.

Monika Chung

Monika Chung is a sophomore at William Paterson University. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in biotechnology. Monika is an active participant in the Pre-SOMA club and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success at William Paterson University.

Maria De Abreu Pineda

Maria De Abreu Pineda is a junior at Stevens Institute of Technology. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. At Stevens, Maria is an active participant in the Assistance Student Center, Advancing Leaders program, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Ernest Dimbo

Ernest Dimbo is a student researcher at Seton Hall University. He received two associate degrees in chemistry at Essex County College and is working towards his doctorates in stem biology and regenerative medicine at Stanford University.

Jacob Edelman

Jacob Edelman is a senior at West Windsor Plainsboro High School North. He plans to explore computer science further as he continues his education. Jacob is the founder and president of HSCTF.com, an international computer science competition with over 2,300 participants, the leadership organization HSCS.io, and his high school’s computer science club.

Michael Fuerst

Michael Fuerst is a sophomore at Princeton University. He has a strong passion for the field of space exploration and is interested in one day working for NASA. Michael is also a member of the Men’s Volleyball Team, Engineering Club, Student Atlete Wellness Leader Program, and Video Game Design Club.

Veda Gadiraju

Veda Gadiraju is a senior at Freehold High School. She plans to explore medicine and health. Veda is an active participant in her high school’s National Honor Society, math league, chamber choir, and Math Honor Society. She is also president of Spanish honors society, volunteers on the Marlboro First Aid Squad, and is on track to becoming EMT-certified in December.

Rachel Gleyzer

Rachel Gleyzer is a senior at Bergen County Academics. She plans to explore molecular biology further as she continues her education. Her interests include conducting biological research, particularly in gene therapy, where she is trying to design a targeted retroviral vector for therapeutic delivery.

Anekha Goyal

Anekha Goyal is a junior at Biotechnology High School. She plans to explore medicine and health further as she continues her education. Anekha is an active participant in her high school’s Model United Nations club, future farmers of America, Spanish honor society, technology students association, science Olympiad, and students of service club.

Ryan Healy

Ryan Healy is a senior at Drew University. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and pre-medicine. Ryan is an active member of Tri Beta, Psi Chi, and Nu Rho Psi at Drew University.

Brad Hong

Brad Hong is a senior at The Pingry School. He plans to explore science further as he continues his education. Brad is an active participant in his high school’s varsity fencing team, SMART team, science journal, writing center and creative writing club.

Kathie Jin

Kathie Jin is a junior at Moorestown High School. She plans to explore engineering and business further as she continues her education. Kathie is an active participant in her high school’s concert and pep band, mathematics team, robotics team, and is a student council officer.

Richard Kim

Richard Kim is a sophomore at John P. Stevens High School. He plans to explore civil engineering further as he continues his education. Richard is an active participant in his high school’s Chamber Choir, FBLA, Model UN and Odyssey of the Mind and is also the founder of his school’s National History Day Club.

Stefani Kocevska

Stefani Kocevska is a junior at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with a minor in chemistry. At NJIT, Stefani is the head student ambassador for the American Chemical Society, a member of the Society of Women Engineers, and American institute of chemical engineers.

Gabrielle Kozlowski

Gabrielle Kozlowski is a junior at the Academy of Allied Health and Science. She plans to explore science further as she continues her education. Gabrielle is an active participant in her high school’s Model UN, student council vice president, varsity tennis team, track team, biology and science team league, and the recycling committee.

John Liang

John Liang is a senior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. He plans to explore computer science further as he continues his education. John is an active participant in his high school’s varsity tennis team, junior varsity soccer team, paddle tennis team, computer programming club, scientific frontiers club, French National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, key club, jazz ensemble, robotics challenge, and physics Olympics.

Tina Lu

Tina Lu is a junior at Whippany Park High School. She plans to explore math further as she continues her education. Tina is an active participant in her high school’s academic team, math team, mock trial team, debate team, and FBLA.

Rohan Mallya

Rohan Mallya is a senior at Union County Magnet High School. He plans to explore robotics further as he continues his education. Rohan is an active participant in his high school’s FRC robotics team, math league, tennis team, science Olympiad, and a member of National Honors Society.

Brandon May

Brandon May is a senior at High Technology High School. He plans to pursue applied physics or biomedical engineering, but is currently undecided. Brandon is an active participant in his high school’s varsity tennis team, math league, science league, science bowl, technology student association, and National Honor Society.

Thomas McBride

Thomas McBride is a sophomore at Morristown High School, and is participating in their STEM academy. He plans to explore engineering further as he continues his education. Thomas is an active participant in his high school’s robotics and engineering team, math and science Olympiad, technology club, select choir, soccer team, and track team.

Briana McRae

Briana McRae is a senior at Bergen County Academies. She plans to explore neuroscience, and is currently conducting research involving glioblastoma. Briana is an active participant in her high school’s concert band, concert choir, National Honor Society, and National Spanish Honor Society. She is also a member of Sharing Perspectives Among Real Kids (SPARK), Lift Her Up, Sources of Strength, and Amnesty International.

Yash Mehta

Yash Mehta is a junior at Cherry Hill High School East. He plans to explore science and math further as he continues his education. Yash is an active participant in his high school’s Model UN, DECA, varsity golf team, debate team, and engineering club.

Victoria Momyer

Victoria Momyer is a senior at Biotechnology High School. She plans to explore biology and research further as she continues her education. Victoria is an active participant in her high school’s Spanish Honor Society and academic team. She is also editor of the school yearbook, vice president of the National Honor Society, and a pianist who performed at Carnegie Hall.

Deblina Mukherjee

Deblina Mukherjee is a junior at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. She plans to study biology. Deblina is an active participant in her high school’s track, stock market club, youth and government club, model UN, students concerned for the needy, student movement against cancer, women’s empowerment, psychology club, and students against destructive decisions. She is also the president of FBLA.

Brendan Mulvihill

Brendan Mulvihill is majoring in Civil Engineering at Rowan University. He is in National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Rho Kappa Honor Society, Italian Honor Society and is an AP Scholar with Distinction. He attended American Legion NJ Boys State, competed at two DECA International competitions, was percussion section leader in band and is an Eagle Scout.

Madona Nasim

Madona Nasim is a senior at Bayonne High School who is planning to study biology. Madona is an active participant in her high school’s robotics team, junior council, student council, TSA, spirit club, AMC club, Women in Technology, Coptic society, and academic challenge. She also participates in the National Honors Society,  Language Honors Society, Science Club, and Science League. 

Brenda Okereke

Brenda Okereke is a senior at North Plainfield High School. Brenda is an active participant in her high school’s Science League, Math League, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Interact Club, and AT&T’s Young Science Achievers Program. She is also Senior Student Representative on her District’s Board of Education Committee, Editor-in-Chief of her school’s Literary Art Magazine, and a Mentor Leader.

Merve Pekdemir

Merve Pekdemir is a senior at Union County Vocational Technical High School. She plans to explore engineering further as she continues her education. Merve is an active participant in her high school’s National Honor Society, multicultural club, and track and field team.

Anna Pietrzak

Anna Pietrzak is a senior at Cinnaminson High School. She plans to explore computer science further as she continues her education. Anna is an active participant in her high school’s Students Teaching Options and Preventions club, art club, battle of the books, drama club, prom committee, tennis team, dance team, and a member of National Honor Society.

Alyssa Pitt

Alyssa Pitt is a junior at Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences. She plans to explore public health further as she continues her education. Alyssa is an active participant in her high school’s music club, health occupations students of America, and student movement against cancer.

Francesca Puglia

Francesca Puglia is a junior at Voorhees High School. She plans to explore engineering further as she continues her education. Francesca is an active participant in her high school’s field hockey team, Spanish club, key club, and the journal of youth science club, B positive, and relay for life.

Sneha Rampalli

Sneha Rampalli is a senior at South Brunswick High School. She plans to explore math and computer science with entrepreneurship further as she continues her education. Sneha is co-founder of the X-STEM club, an active participant in her high school’s FBLA club, peer leader’s club, and the varsity tennis team. Her X-STEM team won the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant.

Saira Reyes

Saira Reyes is a junior at Bergen County Technical High School-Teterboro. She plans to explore chemical engineering further as she continues her education. Saira is an active participant in her high school’s interact club, Hispanic IDT, and volunteer tutor.

Brad Ritschel

Brad Ritschel is a senior at Whippany Park High School. Brad is an active participant in his high school’s swimming team, tennis team, marching band, jazz band, and wind ensemble.

Patrick Roach

Patrick Roach is a junior at Manalapan High School. He plans to explore science and engineering further as he continues his education. Patrick is an active participant in his high school’s marching band, jazz band, concert band, chemistry II team for science league, math league, and chemistry Olympiad.

Mohnish Sabhani

Mohnish Sabhani is a junior at Union County Academy for Information Technology. He plans to explore finance and information technology further as he continues his education. Mohnish is an active participant in his high school’s FBLA, SkillsUSA, science Olympiad, math league, IT museum club, tennis team, and fencing team.

Ratchell Sadovnik

Ratchell Sadovnik is a junior at Union County Academy for Information Technology. She plans to explore forensic science further as she continues her education. Ratchell is an active participant in her high school’s volleyball team, relay for life team, newspaper club, and FBLA.

Mustafa Salim

Mustafa Salim is a senior at the Academy for Math, Science, and Engineering. He plans to explore biophysics further as he continues his education. Mustafa is an active participant in his high school’s science Olympiad, technology student association, model congress, and is a multi-winner in PTSA Carnegie Hall concert and is also a composer of his own music.

Justin Seay

Justin Seay is a junior at Rowan University. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Justin is member of his university’s Latin club, A-Team tutoring club, and a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda Honor Society.

Paulo Serodio

Paulo Serodio is a junior at South Brunswick High School. He plans to explore engineering and biotechnology further as he continues his education. Paulo is an active participant in his high school’s biology Olympiad, science league of NJ, science bowl, technology student association, and architecture club.

Seo Bo Shim

Seo Bo Shim is a sophomore at Rutgers University. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering. At Rutgers he is currently a peer mentor for analytical physics and training to be a computer lab consultant. He is also involved in the Engineering Governing Council and intramural volleyball.

Meghana Singh

Meghana Singh is a senior at Biotechnology High School. She plans to study medicine and biotechnology. Meghana is active in her school’s National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, and Yearbook club. She is vice president of the senior grade’s class council and is interested in dance, teaching Hindi, and female empowerment in India.

Maureen Stephen

Maureen Stephen is a graduate student at Kean University. She is pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics education. Maureen is member of her university’s Kappa Delta Phi, Lambda Alpha Sigma, and cougar volunteers program.

Nathan Suek

Nathan Suek is a junior at Princeton University. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and hopes to earn a post-graduate fellowship in order to study chemistry further and earn an advanced degree. He is particularly interested in biotechnology and the development of organisms that produce pharmaceutically valuable molecules.

Gillian Teitelbaum

Gillian Teitelbaum is a junior at Biotechnology High School. She plans to explore chemistry further as she continues her education. Gillian is an active participant in her high school’s environmental club, student of service club, and takes part in the school musical.

Samiksha Vittalraj

Samiksha Vittalraj is a senior at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. She plans to explore biomedical engineering and medicine further as she continues her education. Samiksha is an active participant in her high school’s French club, French honor society, and is also president of the medical club.

Leah Womelsdorf

Leah Womelsdorf is a senior at Union County Vocational-Technical High School. She plans to explore biomedical engineering further as she continues her education. Leah is an active participant in her high school’s cross county team, track and field team, student government, math league, National Honors Society and peer tutoring program.

Tyler Wu

Tyler Wu is a senior at the Union County Academy for Information Technology. He plans to explore computer science further as he continues his education. Tyler is an active participant in his high school’s tennis team, FBLA, National Honor Society, student council, math league, and head of communications for the S&D club.

Michelle Yao

Michelle Yao is a sophomore at the Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences. She plans to explore neurology, dermatology, and medicine further as she continues her education. Michelle is an active participant in her high school’s marching band, multicultural club, health occupations students of America, and math league.

Olivia Yao

Olivia Yao is a senior at Livingston High School. She plans to explore biomedical engineering further as she continues her education. Olivia is an active participant in her high school’s FTC Robotics team, Livingston jazz band, Livingston wind symphony, Essex county honor band, board member of Mu Alpha Theta, and co-secretary of the Science National Honor Society.

Amanda Zhang

Amanda Zhang is a sophomore at Union County Magnet High School. She plans to explore chemical engineering further as she continues her education. Amanda is an active participant in her high school’s FBLA, science Olympiad, robotics team, math club, and relay for life.

Jasen Zhang

Jasen Zhang is a senior at West Windsor Plainsboro High School North. He plans to explore biochemistry further as he continues his education. Jasen is an active participant in his high school’s math club, Science Olympiad, future problem solving, tutoring society, quiz bowl, and the tennis team.

Jessica Zhang

Jessica Zhang is a junior at Madison High School. She plans to explore biology and medicine further as she continues her education. Jessica is an active participant in her high school’s tennis team, swim team, softball team, healthy living club, chess club, and interact club.

Tiffany Zhao

Tiffany Zhao is a senior at High Technology High School. She plans to explore computational neuroscience further as she continues her education. Tiffany is an active participant in her high school’s experimental research group, technology student association, academic team, creative arts club, National Honor Society, varsity swimming, and prom committee.

Ryan Zogheb

Ryan Zogheb is a senior at Rancocas Valley Regional High School. He plans to explore biochemistry further as he continues his education. Ryan is an active participant in his high school’s NJROTC drill team and is a member of the National Honor Society.