Top science students reap rewards from Ciba

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 26, 2005

Staff report

Four local science scholars were recently named among the winners of the Ciba High School Science Awards.

The Ciba Specialty Chemicals Foundation is awarding more than $10,000 to graduating high school seniors for their accomplishments in the science classroom. The awards honor graduating high school seniors who show great interest and promise in science, and encourage them to pursue careers in science and science technology.


Email newsletter signup

More than 100 seniors from high schools around each of the company’s US sites were selected by their faculty for their outstanding performance and enthusiasm for science and technology.

Local winners included Callie Peak, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy; Belliene Najacque, Lakeland High School; Katherine Toscano, Nansemond River High School; and Brittany Cunningham, Kings Fork High School.

Each Ciba Specialty Chemicals site holds an awards ceremony where students receive $100, a certificate and are honored by their parents, teachers and Ciba employees. During the ceremony, the students are able to interact with scientists during a panel session entitled &uot;Meet the Scientists.&uot; The panel is made up of Ciba employees who represent different scientific career paths, from the lab to sales to marketing. The lively interaction allows the students to ask questions and learn about careers in the sciences both within and outside of the lab.

&uot;There are hundreds of career options available to those who earn a degree in the sciences and not all of them in require wearing a white coat in a lab,&uot; stated Kevin Bryla, Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs at Ciba and Executive Director of the Ciba Specialty Chemicals Foundation. &uot;The purpose of the awards ceremony and the panel is to reward and encourage these top performers, but perhaps most importantly, it is to expose them to the rich career opportunities that exist in chemistry and other sciences.&uot;

One person who has lived the experience is Richard Carbonaro, the first recipient of The Ciba Scholarship in Environmental Engineering to Manhattan College in 1995. Now a Ph.D. and Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Manhattan College, Richard expressed his thoughts on his experiences as a result of receiving the scholarship.

&uot;The Ciba Scholarship, granted by the Ciba Foundation, helped to provide me the financial support in order to pursue my studies in Environmental Engineering at Manhattan College,&uot; he said.

My ambition was to become an educator and researcher, where I could be closely involved with communicating important environmental issues to others while making new discoveries which advance our understanding of complex environmental problems,&uot; said Dr. Carbonaro. &uot;Now, approximately 10 years later, I am proud to say that it is my job to do so everyday.

As a recipient of the Ciba Scholarship, it is my honor to participate in this HSSA ceremony as well as in the High School Chemistry Institute in July.&uot;