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Midwood wins 18 awards and $5,000 in prizes at 2015 ACT‑SO

Posted on Monday, May 11, 2015 by for ACT-SO.

The New York City Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) is a youth program under the administrative aegis of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). ACT-SO is an enrichment program designed to encourage high academic and cultural achievement among under-served minority high school students. Near the end of every academic year, ACT-SO students participate in an “Olympics of the Mind”, which was held on Saturday, April 18 at the George Wingate Educational Complex. The awards ceremony was held on Tuesday, May 5, 2014 at St. Francis College.

Midwood received 6 gold medals, 4 silver medals, 4 bronze medals, 3 ambassador awards, and 1 outstanding teacher award. The big winner was Tanisha Williams with 2 gold medals in the humanities (poetry and short story). All medalists receive an honorarium from a New York City branch of the NAACP — $500 for gold, $300 for silver, $200 for bronze, and $125 for ambassadors (student recruiters). Gold medalists go on to compete in the National ACT-SO in Philadelphia July 11–15, 2015.


Left to Right: Dina Deng, Carmine See, Samar Syeda, Sandra Lin, Charlynn Trish Ben, Donald Ceus, Samantha Chee, Mr. Glenn Elert, Zainab Iqbal, Rolens Ambroise, Cindy Chee, Hillary Syeda, Aarin Chase

Gold Medal + $500

  • Aarin Chase received a Gold Medal in Microbiology for his project "Study of invasion of human epithelial cells by bacteria from the Neisseria genus: Focus on pathogenic Neisseria gonorrhea and commensal Neisseria elongata." Aarin worked under the supervision of Dr. Nicholas Biais in the Department of Biology at Brooklyn College. Aarin also received an Ambassador of the Year award and $125 for his exceptional service as an ACT-SO recruiter.
  • Colleen Chasteau received a Gold Medal in Medicine & Health for her project "The Comparison of Pulse Wave Velocity and QKD Velocity Methods in Congestive Heart Failure Patients." Colleen worked under the supervision of Dr. Jason Lazar in the Department of Cardiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Colleen also received an Ambassador of the Year award and $125 for her exceptional service as an ACT-SO recruiter. Colleen’s brother, Christopher Chasteau, received gold medals in Instrumental, Classical and Instrumental, Contemporary for his performances on the steel pan.
  • Sandra Lin received a Gold Medal in Chemistry for her project "Isolation of isomeric catechols 4-chloro-2-ethoxy-5-(triethlysilyl)-[1,1′-biphenyl]-3-ol and 5-chloro-2-ethoxy-4-(triethlysilyl)-[1,1′-biphenyl]-3-ol." Sandra worked under the supervision of Dr. Wayne F.K. Schnatter at Long Island University in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
  • Hillary Syeda received a Gold Medal in Biology for her project "Characterization of Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) Production, Secretion, and Target Cells for LIF within the Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) Niche." Hillary worked under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Lange in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Tanisha Williams received a Gold Medal in Poetry for "Sankofa" and a Gold Medal in Short Story for "Misunderstood".

Silver Medal + $300

  • Charlynn Trish Ben received a Silver Medal in Biology for her project "A shark homolog of REV3, a DNA translesion polymerase." Charlynn worked under the supervision of Dr. Ellen Hsu in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Samantha Chee & Samar Syeda received a Silver Medal in Medicine & Health for their project "Does Media Shape Body Image?" Samantha and Samar worked under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Restrepo in the School of Medicine at New York University.
  • Dina Deng received a Silver Medal in Biology for her project "Determining the Effectiveness of the Biomarker SSEA5 in the Enrichment of Endometrial Cancer Stem Cell Populations Using the Hybrid Spheroid Assay." Dina worked under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Lange in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
  • Valeriya Falkovich received a Silver Medal in Engineering for her project "Which Catalyst is Most Efficient for a PEMFC?" Valeriya worked under the supervision of Dr. Sophia Suarez in the Department of Physics at Brooklyn College.

Bronze Medal + $200

  • Rolens Ambroise received a Bronze Medal in Biology for his project "A role for amyloids in yeast invasion and pseudohyphae formation." Rolens worked under the supervision of Dr. Peter Lipke in the Department of Biology at Brooklyn College. Rolens also received an Ambassador of the Year award and $125 for his exceptional service as an ACT-SO recruiter.
  • Cindy Chee received a Bronze Medal in Chemistry for her project "The Synthesis of Three Tricarbonyl Iron(0) Vinylketene Complexes." Cindy worked under the supervision of Dr. Wayne F.K. Schnatter in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University.
  • Donald Ceus received a Bronze Medal in Earth & Space Science for his project "The Benefits of Using Reusable Bottles Rather than Disposable Plastic Bottles." Donald worked under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Restrepo in the School of Medicine at New York University.
  • Carmine See received a Bronze Medal in Medicine & Health for her project "The Effect of Hydralazine on the Development of Lupus. Carmine worked under the supervision of Dr. Donald Gerber in the Department of Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Teacher Award

  • Mr. Glenn Elert received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award.
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Midwood Science Research Program
Glenn Elert — Coordinator

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Michael McDonnell — Principal
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teachers office em ail extension
Mr. Elert (Coordinator) A214 elert@ midwoodscience.org 2141
Ms. Goldstein A317 sgoldstein@ midwoodhighschool.org 3172
Ms. Katzoff A300 skatzoff@ midwoodhighschool.org 3001
administrators office em ail extension
Mr. McDonnell (Principal) 127 mmcdonn2@ schools.nyc.gov 1270
Ms. Kornaker (Assistant Principal) A300 jkornaker@ schools.nyc.gov 3003
Mr. Rosenfeld (Assistant Principal) A200 trosenf@ schools.nyc.gov 2003