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Intel STS, Intel ISEF, Alumni

Reconnecting with SSP alumni at Johns Hopkins University

4:30AM, May 1, 2015
Doing Science
Danielle Jacobson Duy Phan, Carolyn, Gregory Konar, Audrey Leasure, Raihan Kabir

Left to right: Danielle Jacobson, Duy Phan, SSP alumni coordinator Carolyn Carson, Gregory Konar, Audrey Leasure, and Raihan Kabir.

Photos courtesy of Laura Shaposhnikova

By Laura Shaposhnikova

On Thursday, April 16, SSP staff had the opportunity to reconnect with science education program alumni currently studying or working at Johns Hopkins University. 

The trip began with a stop at the JHU Undergraduate Research Day to see some of the work of our impressive alumni on display. 

Gregory Kunar, a three-time Intel ISEF finalist (Intel ISEF 2012-2014) greeted the SSP alumni team and explained his research board. Gregory received the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to continue the research he presented at Intel ISEF 2013. 

SSP alumni have a special connection with fellow science education program alumni. Gregory Kunar introduced the alumni team to Brian Tung, an alum of Intel ISEF 2011. 

While Brian did not know Gregory prior to the Undergraduate Research Day, within minutes of chatting about their research, he was able to spot that Gregory was also an "Intel ISEF-er"! 

The alumni team was happy to hear about the accomplishments of these top researchers and scientists.  One theme permeated the meet-up: profound gratitude for the opportunities provided by SSP competitions. Some students felt it gave them an edge during college application time, others felt that the mere boost in confidence associated with being an alum of the Intel Science Talent Search or the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair was enough to help get them where they are today. 

"I'm still in touch with people from Intel ISEF," said Audrey Leasure, a 2009 and 2010 Intel ISEF alumna. "It helped me in the college admissions process. People were excited to hear about high school students who were interested in science." Audrey studies nueroscience, and after graduating this May she's making a move up north to conduct research at Yale.

"Intel ISEF geared me towards a career in research and academia," said Duy Phan. "It helped me clarify my research interests." Duy is also studing neorscience at Johns Hopkins University. He is interning with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute this summer. 

Are you an alumnus of SSP looking to connect with other alumni in your region? Feel free to contact Carolyn Carson for more information! 

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