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Our Scholars!

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Omar Alnajjar

Omar Alnajjar
Emerging Scholar — 2016

Omar Alnajjar attends Haynes Academy of Advanced Studies where he will be in the 12th grade this upcoming school year. Alnajjar completed a research project in Digital vs Droplet PCR with the support and mentorship of Dr. Semendra Sherchan and Lissa Soares. Alnajjar wants to attend Tulane University where he will major in Chemistry. Alnajjar wants to pursue a medical degree in pediatrics upon completion of his undergraduate work.

““This experience has been life changing for me. I have met tons of new people, and established great friendships with the faculty, and even greater relationships among the students and mentors. I have learned so much in this program, and will continue to expand upon the information I have learned here. This program has truly changed my summer and my life.” — Omar Alnajjar”

Conner Apffel

Conner Apffel
Emerging Scholar — 2016

Conner Apffel attends Benjamin Franklin High School where he will be in the 12th grade this upcoming school year. Apffel completed a research project in Optimizing the Detection of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in Serum by HPLC with the support and mentorship of Dr. Michael McCaskill and Matthew Weidner. He wants to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he would major in Nuclear Science and Engineering. Apffel also hopes to pursue a career as a Nuclear Physicist upon completion of his undergraduate work.

““The program has refined my scientific interests and problem-solving abilities. I am now confident that I want to become a scientist.” — Conner Apffel”

Razan Badr

Razan Badr
Emerging Scholar — 2016

Razan Badr attended Riverdale High School where she graduated in May, 2016. Badr completed a research project in Resiliency in Low Income Perinatal Women with the support and mentorship of Dr. Maureen Lichtveld and Beverly Marretta-Heck. Badr will attend Loyola University where she will major in Biology, with a concentration in Pre- Med. Badr wants to pursue a medical degree upon completion of her undergraduate work.

““This program exposed me to various career fields and showed me that there is much more behind a healthy environment and workplace. It opened up my mind to how subjective the interpretation of scientific results is — how something is presented and how it is perceived by the public. — Razan Badr”

Emily Dong

Emily Dong
Emerging Scholar — 2016

Emily Dong attended Benjamin Franklin High School where she graduated in May, 2016. Dong completed a research project on the Humanization of Mouse Vitamin D Response Element (VDRE) Genes which Regulate Antimicrobial Peptide Responses with the support and mentorship of Dr. Michael McCaskill and Kelly Georgis. She will attend Vanderbilt University in the fall where she hopes to double major in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dong plans to pursue a doctoral degree in electrical engineering upon completion of her undergraduate work.

““There are so many different dimensions to environmental health that I’d never considered before. This program not only taught me what industrial hygiene, environmental toxicology, and disaster management were, but it also taught me how all the different aspects are interconnected and why it’s so important to in our daily lives, even if we aren’t consciously thinking about it all the time.” — Emily Dong”

Rogest Fedison, III

Rogest Fedison, III
Emerging Scholar — 2016

Rogest Fedison, III attends Sophie B. Wright High School where he will be in the 12th grade this upcoming school year. Fedison completed a research project in Ethanol Mediated Vitamin D Dysregulation in Human Pulmonary Epithelial Cell with the support and mentorship of Dr. Michael McCaskill and Phanuwat Sriyotha. Fedison is undecided in his major, but wants to attend Louisiana State University or Xavier University of Louisiana to pursue his undergraduate degree.

““This program is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am privileged to say that I was a part of this. It has influenced my view of life and helped me draw a pathway of where I want my future to go. Life is what you make of it, Carpe Diem.” — Rogest Fedison, III”

Jaelyn Johnson

Jaelyn Johnson
Emerging Scholar — 2016

Jaelyn Johnson attends New Orleans Military Maritime Academy where she will be in the 12th grade this upcoming school year. Johnson completed a research project in Heavy Metal Inhibition of Haploid Yeast Mating with the support and mentorship of Dr. Charles Miller and Jessica Oswalt. She wants to attend Xavier University where she will major in Biology/Premed. Johnson wants to attend Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine to pursue a career as a hospital administrator upon completion of her undergraduate work.

““This program has allowed me to become comfortable and accept the fact that I am smart. It has been nice to be around other smart teens. Emerging Scholars has brought me out of my shell and has taught me that I do not have to be confined in society’s box that says it’s not okay to be smart.” — Jaelyn Johnson”

Aishwarya Natarajan

Aishwarya Natarajan
Emerging Scholar — 2016

Aishwarya Natarajan attends Haynes Academy of Advanced Studies where she will be in the 12th grade this upcoming school year. Natarajan completed a research project on Developing an Improved Method for Characterizing Benzo(a)pyrene Exposure in a Normal Mouse Hepatocyte Cell Line with the support and mentorship of Dr. Jeffrey Wickliffe and Rebecca Lichtler. She wants to attend Emory, Johns Hopkins, or University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she would like to major in biochemistry or microbiology. Natarajan wants to pursue a medical degree upon completion of her undergraduate work.

““This program has taught me how to think and act like a researcher and scientist. It has provided me with opportunities beyond anything I imagined. I highly recommend this program.” — Aishwarya Natarajan”

Timothy Perry

Timothy Perry
Emerging Scholar — 2016

Timothy Perry attended Edna Karr High School where he graduated in May, 2016. Perry completed a research project in Association of Inflammatory Markers Across Age and BMI with the support and mentorship of Dr. Jeffrey Wickliffe and Ericka Frahm. Perry will attend Xavier University of Louisiana where he will major in Biology, with a concentration in Pre- Med. Perry wants to pursue a medical degree upon completion of his undergraduate work..

““The Emerging Scholars Program is truly an amazing experience. The field trips enlightened me about many problems and how important Louisiana is to the rest of the country. Also, the faculty and the mentors are very helpful as they make sure that you understand the research you are conducting.” — Timothy Perry”

Maryann Yacoub

Maryann Yacoub
Emerging Scholar — 2016

Maryann Yacoub attends Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy and she will be in the 12th grade this upcoming school year. Yacoub completed a project in Hormone Receptor Signaling in Yeast in Response to Various Water Sources with the support and mentorship of Dr. Mark Wilson. She wants to attend Tulane University, Xavier University, Loyola University, or University of Central Florida where she will major in Pre-Pharmacy. Yacoub wants to pursue an advanced degree in Pharmacology upon completion of her undergraduate work.

““Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” — Albert Einstein”