The Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition was held last month in Washington, D.C., and four of the 12 national finalists came from the Middle States Region. These finalists include second-place winner Ilana Rice from Ossining (N.Y.) High School, who received a $35,000 scholarship; third-place winner Chelsea Jurman from Roslyn High School in Roslyn Heights, N.Y., who received a $20,000 scholarship; and national finalists Hannah Bands from Baltimore (Md.) Polytechnic Institute and Jason Bishai from Dulaney High School in Hunt Valley, Md., both of whom received a $15,000 scholarship.
Rice, Jurman, Bands and Bishai were among the 12 national finalists selected from 60 regional finalists in Washington and more than 560 submissions nationwide. In total, the YES Competition, which is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered by the College Board, awarded nearly $500,000 in scholarships this year.
Each YES competitor develops a research question and hypothesis about a health issue that concerns a group or groups of people, and then conducts research to analyze the subject and suggest potential ways to improve the problem based on the analysis.
Rice’s project examined the relationship between partner attachment and combat-related posttraumatic-stress disorder among male military veterans. Studying 29 couples where the male was a combat Veteran, Rice found that veterans with high anxiety and low self-esteem as well as those whose partners avoided being in close proximity to them had significantly more severe PTSD. Rice also noted a correlation between anxiety and an increase in alcohol use, depression and marital dissatisfaction.
Jurman considered how a parent’s past behavior (real or imagined) can affect a teenager’s decision to drink alcohol. For this study, Jurman surveyed more than 120 students at her school and found that teens were more likely to accept underage drinking or be underage drinkers themselves if they think that their own parents drank as teens. Her data indicated that the same was true if their parents permitted them to drink and did not closely monitor their activities outside of the home. Based on her findings, Jurman recommends that parents shouldn’t share stories of their own underage experimentation with alcohol, should pay close attention to their children’s whereabouts and activities, and be firm rather than permissive about alcohol use.
Bands’s study focused on how poor marital relationships and depression in Chinese and Korean immigrant mothers could cause social difficulties in their young children. A mother’s rating of the quality of her marriage and level of depressive symptoms were correlated with the social behaviors of her children. Bands’s findings suggest that community services targeted toward improving healthy adaptation of immigrant families,
including marital and depression counseling, could improve social and behavioral outcomes for both
parents and children.
Bishai sought the best methods of identifying and rapidly treating people infected with tuberculosis in India. His interest in tuberculosis was sparked by seeing firsthand the consequences of TB infection while working in a microbiology lab at Johns Hopkins University. He used his advanced computational programming and mathematical skills to develop a computer simulation of the epidemiology of tuberculosis in India, and used the simulation to test the best methods of stopping the spread of the disease. His findings have important implications for optimal use of the funds available for TB control in India.
For more information about the YES Competition, visit the program’s Web site.
Another research competition administered by the College Board is the annual Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, which is funded by the Siemens Foundation. This competition offers students an opportunity to achieve national recognition for science research projects that they complete in high school and a chance to win a $100,000 college scholarship. The deadline for entering this year’s competition is Oct. 1, with winners announced in December. To learn more about the Siemens Competition, visit the foundation's Web site or e-mail us at email@example.com.
|VP Bob Alig|
Greetings from the Middle States Regional Office.
Hopefully, you are aware that we have significantly increased our outreach to schools and our membership across the region this year. We are all facing daunting obstacles, especially given the economy, and the best way we can support your efforts to connect students to college success and opportunity is to meet with you and hear about your challenges and concerns firsthand. Our higher education team projects a 42 percent increase in institutional visits this year, and our K-12 team projects a 63 percent increase in school and district visits. We are also successfully engaging with our friends across the state of Pennsylvania in a new way — we are reaching out at the Intermediate Unit level so that with each meeting, we can affect the work in many schools and districts. If you have not heard from us and would like to schedule a meeting, please send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We recently hosted our regional council for our spring meeting in Philadelphia, and we all enjoyed getting to know our eight new members. We took time to review all of your feedback on the 2009 Middle States Regional Forum and are working to incorporate many of your ideas into our 2010 conference in Philadelphia. My colleagues and I are particularly excited about making the planning of our regional forum a more inclusive process by inviting our regional colleagues to volunteer not only as presenters, but also as facilitators, committee members and field experts. We hear over and over that it is the collaborative nature of this event that motivates people to attend, and that will be our emphasis for next year. Please contact us at email@example.com if you would like to be involved.
In an effort to establish a broader engagement of our counselors across the region, we are initiating new professional development opportunities. In June we will co-sponsor a two-day Summer Counselor Institute with Baltimore City Public Schools that will focus on issues facing urban counselors. All Maryland counselors will be invited to this event at Loyola College. In addition, our office will begin hosting a webinar series for counselors starting in January 2010. These will be free opportunities to learn more about college advising basics, financial aid for counselors, creating a college-going culture, and much more. Please check our regional Web site next month for a complete schedule and registration information. We recognize the value of our counselors across the region as they endeavor to connect students to college success and opportunity, and we want to provide more direct support of their efforts.
Again, we are here to support you. Please let us know how we can help.
The Middle States Regional Council’s spring meeting was held April 16-17 in Philadelphia to begin planning the 2010 Middle States Regional Forum.
Council members reviewed feedback from attendees of the 2009 Middle States Regional Forum and discussed some bold and exciting new approaches to the 2010 conference. The council is adopting a shorter meeting format, providing more tailored content and more opportunities for interaction between all sectors. Workshops will be designed with more panel discussions and opportunities for interactive discussions and hands-on activities, ensuring plenty of handouts and presentation materials with each session.
The regional council welcomed several new members, including Sharon Alston, interim executive director for enrollment at American University in Washington, D.C.; Bruce Barner, supervisor of guidance and counseling services for the Lower Merion School District in Ardmore, Pa.; Natalie Davy, acting director of district guidance for the Yonkers (N.Y.) Board of Education; Timothy Donovan, director of educational programs at Tredyffrin/Easttown School District in Wayne, Pa.; Jason Langdon, director of undergraduate admissions at Montclair (N.J.) State University; Heath Morrison, community superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in Rockville, Md.; Jeani Narcum, director of financial aid at Washington College in Chestertown, Md; and Bianca Pilewski, director of counseling, pupil services for Baltimore City Public Schools.
Regional council members serve as representatives for College Board members in the Middle States Region, voicing suggestions, issues and concerns about College Board programs and services. The council also works to find solutions for challenging issues facing members and member institutions.
Middle States colleagues from all sectors are welcome to partner with us to design workshops, serve on panels, lead committees or just provide professional expertise. If you would like to be part of the success of this event, we would like to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Regional Forum 2010” as part of your subject line.
The Middle States Regional Council will meet again in the fall.
Click here to see events and workshops in the Middles States Region.
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