ESU Chapter of Sigma Xi Honors Two Area Teachers, 35 Students

Posted by: jrivera on June 19, 2013, No Comments

The 35 students honored for excellence in scholarly pursuits of the sciences were:

Front Row left to right: Nicole Fisher, Middletown, N.Y., who received degrees in biochemistry and chemical biotechnology; Noella Maillard from Philadelphia, Pa., who who earned a degree in environmental studies with a minor in chemistry; Rabecca Lausch, from Angola, N.Y., who earned a degree in biology with minors in chemistry and Spanish; Allatah Mekile, from Easton, Pa., who earned a degree in a biotechnology with a minor in chemistry; Thomas Rounsville, from East Stroudsburg, Pa., a graduate student majoring in wildlife biology, and Abby Jefcoat from East Stroudsburg, Pa., who graduated with a degree in psychology.

Next Row up left to right: Michael Riley, from Tannersville, Pa., who is majoring in physics/earth and space science concentration; Anita Wade from Lafayette Hill, Pa., who earned degrees in biochemistry and biotechnology; Scott Smith from Lehighton, Pa., who received a degree in chemistry; Weston Bundenthal from Fort Myers, Fla., who graduated with degrees in biochemistry and chemical biotechnology; Kelly Dildine, a chemistry and secondary education major from Stroudsburg, Pa.; Rachel Parise, a  chemistry major from Saylorsburg, Pa. and Joseph Fresco from New Hope, Pa., who is majoring in psychology.

Next Row up left to right: Brian Pechkis from Stroudsburg, Pa. who received a master’s degree in computer science; Matt Luchette from Limerick, Pa., who earned a degree in computer science with a concentration in computer security; Alycia Jones, of Starucca, Pa., who earned her degree in mathematics and secondary education; Samuel Cappella, from Bangor, Pa., who received a master of science in information security; Alan Reed of Smithberg, Md., who earned degrees in computer science and computer security; Christopher Stangl of Bethlehem, Pa., who received a degree in chemistry;  Heidi Davis from Darlington, Pa., who graduated with degrees in biochemistry and chemical biotechnology; Ayat Damra from Stroudsburg, Pa., who earned degrees in biology and biochemistry; and Bogdan Niemoczynski, from Saylorsburg, Pa., who earned a degree in physics with minors in mathematics and computer science.

Top Row from left to right: Daniel May-Rawding from East Stroudsburg, Pa., who is majoring in physics with a minor in history; Kristina Perri from Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., who earned her degree in mathematics and secondary education; Phillip Domschke, from Sinzig, Germany, who is majoring in business management, economics and applied mathematics; Carolyn Romano from Pen Argyl, Pa., who received a degree in mathematics; John Aruta, from Saylorsburg, Pa., who received a master of science in information security; Stephen Kozak, from Stroudsburg, Pa., majoring in chemistry, mathematics, and economics;  Kathy Dutan, from Allentown, Pa., who earned degrees in marine science and geography; Willow Tayburn, from Bangor, Pa., who earned degrees in biochemistry and chemical biotechnology; Rachel Vowcicefski, a senior chemistry and English major from Stroudsburg, Pa.; and Vincent Simeone, who is from Mount Pocono, Pa. and majoring in physics. Not in picture: Katie Barnes, Eric Boyer and Cassandra Baun.

The East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) Chapter of Sigma Xi, the international scientific research honor society, honored two area teachers and 35 students for excellence in scholarly pursuits of the sciences in May. Thirteen new associate members were inducted into Sigma Xi as well. Awards were presented during the 38th annual Sigma Xi honors banquet held at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Stroudsburg, Pa.

Outstanding Science Teacher Awards
The Outstanding Science Teacher Awards were presented to Kelly Mark of Resica Elementary School, East Stroudsburg Area School District and Fred Ridner of East Stroudsburg High School-South recognizing their respective contributions in fostering an interest in science or math in their students. Mark and Ridner were nominated by their peers and chosen by the members of Sigma Xi to be the recipients of the 2013 awards.

Kelly Mark, a 4th grade teacher at Resica Elementary School in the East Stroudsburg Area School District is a 1982 graduate of East Stroudsburg Area High School, and a 1986 graduate of West Chester University.  She is a creative teacher who provides hands-on discovery lab experiences in a team setting to enhance her student’s learning, including a NASA project titled “How to Make a Shoebox Fly.” Mark strives to connect science tasks to Pennsylvania Common Core Math Standards, so her students see the application and value of mathematics in science, and her success is evident by her student’s continually achieving requirements identified in Levels 3 and 4 of Webb’s Depth of Knowledge. For the past five years, Kelly has served as camp counselor for Camp Invention, a week-long science camp for area students in grades 2-5 stressing the value of collaborating with their peers in the scientific setting. Kelly has also worked with ESU to promote the teaching profession through her work with the Professional Development School as a mentor and cooperating teacher.

Fred Ridner, a biology teacher at East Stroudsburg High School – South, is a graduate of East Stroudsburg High School, class of 1999 and a 2003 graduate of Pennsylvania State University. Ridner has been teaching biology for the past nine years, and currently is serving a leadership role in designing and implementing Keystone Remediation programs for biology as well as aligning courses to Pennsylvania Common Core English Language Arts.  He has enthusiastically served as the Science Olympiad coach for 8 years, with his teams reaching second place in the region and tenth place in the state.  He has also served as Assistant PA Envirothon coach for the last five years, and has attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s Institute for Environmental and Ecology three times (2005, 2006, and 2008). 

Sigma Xi Student Awards
Award-winning students in each specific area of study within the academic science and math departments at ESU were selected by the faculty. Student honors awards presented at the banquet included:

Faculty Memorial Awards:

The following awards are presented each year to the graduate and undergraduate students who give the most outstanding oral presentations at the Sigma Xi Research Forum, held on campus in April.

The Graduate award was presented to Thomas Rounsville, from East Stroudsburg, Pa., a graduate student majoring in wildlife biology.  Rounsville gave the most outstanding graduate-level presentation at the President’s Inaugural Student Research and Scholarly Activity Symposium, held on April 4. 

The undergraduate awards were presented as follows:

Department of Biological Sciences:

Biotechnology award was presented to Allatah Mekile, from Easton, Pa., who earned a degree in a biotechnology with a minor in chemistry.
Environmental studies award was presented to Noella Maillard, from Philadelphia, Pa., who earned a degree in environmental studies with a minor in chemistry.
Sigma Xi Biology award was presented to Rabecca Lausch, from Angola, N.Y., who earned a degree in biology with minors in chemistry and Spanish. 

Department of Chemistry:

American Chemical Society award and the Biochemistry Award were presented to Anita Wade from Lafayette Hill, Pa., who earned degrees in biochemistry and biotechnology.
American Institute of Chemists award was presented to Scott Smith from Lehighton, Pa., who received a degree in chemistry. 
Sigma Xi Chemistry Award was presented to Christopher Stangl of Bethlehem, Pa., who received a degree in chemistry.   
Biotechnology Award was presented to Weston Bundenthal from Fort Myers, Fla., who graduated with degrees in biochemistry and chemical biotechnology.
Analytical Chemistry award and the Department Service Award were presented to Rachel Parise, a chemistry major from Saylorsburg, Pa.
Pre-Pharmacy Award was presented to Heidi Davis from Darlington, Pa., who graduated with degrees in biochemistry and chemical biotechnology.
ACS Undergraduate/Organic Chemistry Award was presented to Nicole Fisher, from Middletown, N.Y., who received degrees in biochemistry and chemical biotechnology.
Elizabeth Kurtz Scholarship and Organic Chemistry Award were presented to Kelly Dildine, a chemistry and secondary education major from Stroudsburg, Pa.

Department of Computer Science:

Computer science award was granted to Matt Luchette from Limerick, Pa., who earned a degree in computer science with a concentration in computer security.
Computer security award went to Alan Reed of Smithberg, Md., who earned degrees in computer science and computer security.
Computer science graduate program award was presented to Brian Pechkis from Stroudsburg, Pa., who received a master’s degree in computer science. 
Information Security graduate program award was given to Samuel Cappella, from Bangor, Pa., who received a master of science in information security.

Department of Geography:

Physical geography award was granted to Kathy Dutan, from Allentown, Pa., who earned degrees in marine science and geography.

Department of Mathematics:

B.S. in Math/Teacher Education award was granted to Alycia Jones and Kristina Perri. Jones, a resident of Starucca, Pa., earned her degree in mathematics and secondary education. Perri is from Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., and earned her degree in mathematics and secondary education.
B.S. in Applied Mathematics award was presented to Phillip Domschke from Sinzig, Germany, who is majoring in business management, economics and applied mathematics.
B.A. in Mathematics award was presented to Carolyn Romano from Pen Argyl, Pa., who received a degree in mathematics.

Department of Physics:

Sigma Xi Physics award for scholastic excellence in physics and the Sigma Pi Sigma Award (Physics Scholastic Honors Society) were awarded to Bogdan Niemoczynski, from Saylorsburg, Pa., who earned a degree in physics with minors in mathematics and computer science.
Paul Kicska Scholarship was awarded to Daniel May-Rawding from East Stroudsburg, Pa., who is majoring in physics with a minor in history.
Elizabeth Kurtz Scholarship was awarded to Cassandra Baun from Nazareth, Pa.  She is majoring in physics with a minor in mathematics.
Miller Masker Scholarship was awarded to Michael Riley from Tannersville, Pa., who is majoring in physics.
Earth and Space award was granted to Eric Boyer from Coopersburg, Pa. who graduated with a degree in earth and space science and a minor in geography.
Departmental Service award and the Engineering Transfer Program Award were granted to Vincent Simeone, who is from Mount Pocono, Pa. and majoring in physics.

Department of Psychology:

B.S. Program award was presented to Abby Jefcoat from East Stroudsburg, Pa., who graduated with a degree in psychology.
B.A. Program award was presented to Joseph Fresco from New Hope, Pa., who is majoring in psychology.                       

New Inductees

Sigma Xi also inducted 13 new associate members at the 2013 honors banquet. Membership nomination requires students to conduct original scientific research and share their findings by publication or presentation. New inductees for 2013 are: John Aruta, from Saylorsburg, Pa., who received a master of science in information security; Katie Barnes from Canonsburg, Pa, a graduate student with a concentration in ornithology and behavioral ecology; Weston Bundenthal; Samuel Cappella; Ayat Damra from Stroudsburg, Pa., who earned degrees in biology and biochemistry; Nicole Fisher; Stephen Kozak, from Stroudsburg, Pa., majoring in chemistry, mathematics, and economics; Bogdan Niemoczynski; Rachel Parise; Christopher Stangl; Willow Tayburn, from Bangor, Pa., who earned degrees in biochemistry and chemical biotechnology; Anita Wade; and Rachel Vowcicefski from Stroudsburg, Pa., who is a senior chemistry and English major.

RCW_1The East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) Chapter of Sigma Xi, the international scientific research honor society, recently honored two area teachers and 35 students for excellence in scholarly pursuits of the sciences. The teacher awards are given to recognize local elementary, middle, and high school science and math teachers for their respective contributions in fostering an interest in science or math in their students. The teachers honored were from left to right: Kelly Mark, a 4th grade teacher at Resica Elementary School in the East Stroudsburg Area School District and Fred Ridner, a biology teacher at East Stroudsburg High School – South.

For more information about these awards contact Alan Shaffer, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and ESU Sigma Xi chapter secretary, at 570-422-3796 or by email at ashaffer@esu.edu.


Leave a Reply