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Riyashi Varia

Riyashi Varia is a junior at the Bergen County Academies in the Academy of Engineering and Design Technology. Motivated by her interest in the intersection of technology and policy, she's dedicated to closing the gap between innovation and its real-world impact. She is part of multiple research projects, one being her own project regarding coral bleaching, working to create a device that facilitates the storage and release of zooxanthellae, a crucial symbiotic algae, as per the fluctuations of various stressors. She is also part of the research and development team at Provita Pharmaceuticals, a student-run pharmaceutical company, where she works on development for Scaffold Aid: a project investigating the potential of an artificial structural matrix in an injectable hydrogel to support the growth of osteoblasts (the cells responsible for bone formation)- which was presented to FDA officials. Over the past summer, Riyashi participated in Princeton’s AI4ALL program on a full grant, working to create a machine-learning model to detect deforestation using satellite imagery, while also exploring public policy related to technology. Riyashi is an active member of FTC Titanium Knights, where she has helped organize various STEM outreach events, working to increase the accessibility of STEM education within her community. In school, she also serves as the vice president of Project BooksForAll, working to increase accessibility to literature through book drives and the construction of mini-libraries; co-president of her school’s Society of Women Engineers; senior counselor at eCamp (camp for incoming engineering freshman); and co-president of Model United Nations. As she progresses in her academic journey, Riyashi aspires to merge her passions for technology and policy to drive positive change at the intersection of these fields.

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