2009 CGEP Catalyst Participant Biographies

Catalyst Masters

Louis Brus

2009-BrusLou Brus is a physical chemist working at the intersection of chemistry, physics and materials science. He has a BA from Rice University and a PhD from Columbia University, both in chemical physics. His undergraduate study was equally divided among mathematics, physics and chemistry. He was a NROTC scholarship student and after his PhD served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, doing research in the solid state and chemistry divisions of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (1969-1973). In 1973 he joined the chemistry and materials research area of Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. In Bell Labs his research evolved from the spectroscopy and dynamics of small molecules, into what is now recognized as nanoscience in the early 1980s.

He and his collaborators developed the field of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals. After 1983 he increasingly focused on novel spectroscopic techniques and nanocrystal chemical synthesis. During this period, near-field and confocal microscope methods were developed to record the luminescence of single molecules and nanocrystals at 23 C. He joined the Columbia chemistry faculty in 1996. His present research interests include graphene and carbon nanotubes, the plasmon excited states of metallic nanocrystals with their resulting local electromagnetic field enhancement, metal oxide nanocrystal synthesis, electric force microscopy and optical characterization (Rayleigh, Raman, Luminescence) of single nano-objects. In his research he works with five graduate students and three postdoctoral students.

Brus is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Gordon Research Conferences in 1998. He has won the following awards: the 2001 APS Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics, the 2004 ACS Chemistry of Materials Prize, the 2005 R. W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America and the first Kavli Prize in Nanoscience in 2008. He regularly teaches introductory chemistry at Columbia and tries to convey the excitement and intellectual content of physical science to undergraduates interested in a wide variety of careers. He is a student of history and biography.

2009-DiSalvoFrank DiSalvo

Frank DiSalvo was born in 1944 (a long time ago!), received his BS in Physics from MIT in 1966 and his PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1971. He then joined the research staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he later headed several research departments. In 1986 he moved to the Department of Chemistry at Cornell University, where he has taught freshman chemistry for engineers, a course in scientific literacy for nonscientists (Strategies in Science: The World of Chemistry), a junior level laboratory in instrumental analysis, senior level inorganic chemistry, and a graduate course in solid state chemistry. In 1991 he was awarded the American Physical Society International Prize for New Materials and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Materials Research Society. In 1996 he became the John A. Newman Professor of Physical Science at Cornell University. He is the past director of the Cornell Center for Materials Research, a National Science Foundation funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). In 2003, together with Prof. H. Abruña, he established the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute, a Department of Energy supported center. In 2007 he was appointed Director of the new Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future.

In conjunction with many talented collaborators, he has published over 460 scientific articles and holds or applied for 11 patents.

More details can be found at his bio on the Cornell University website.

2009-GoldsteinAmy Goldstein

Amy Goldstein is a staff writer for The Washington Post, where she writes nationally about social policy issues. Goldstein joined The Post in 1987 and worked for the next decade as a local education writer and regional health care reporter. She then moved to the newspaper's national staff to write about health policy, covering health care debates in Congress, the White House and federal agencies, and exploring ways the health care system was evolving around the United States. From 2001, when George W. Bush became president, to 2004, Goldstein covered the White House with an emphasis on domestic issues. She focused on the politics and policy questions surrounding Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, welfare, housing, government regulation and the federal judiciary. In her current beat, she divides her time between in-depth pieces on social policy, including articles that examine the changing boundary between the public and private sectors, and an array of other high-profile national stories.

She has been involved extensively in The Post's coverage of major news stories in recent years. They include the Monica Lewinsky scandal and impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the killings at Columbine High School, the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, early casualties in the Iraq war, recent Supreme Court nominations and various Washington dramas, such as the criminal trial of a senior White House aide.

Goldstein previously worked as a reporter at The Baltimore Sun and the Ledger-Star and Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. A native of Rochester, N.Y., she holds a degree in American civilization from Brown University. Her work has won many journalism awards over the years. She was part of a team of Post reporters that won the 2002 Pulitzer price for national reporting for the newspaper's coverage of 9/11 and the government's response to the attacks. She spent 2004-2005 as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

2009-Head-GordonMartin Head-Gordon

Martin Head-Gordon completed BSc (Hons) (1983) and MSc (thesis) (1985) degrees at Monash University in Melbourne Australia, before coming to America to obtain his PhD (1989) in theoretical chemistry at Carnegie-Mellon University, working with the late John Pople on molecular orbital theory and algorithms. From 1989 to 1992 Head-Gordon was a postdoctoral fellow at AT&T Bell Laboratories, working with John Tully. He explored gas-surface energy exchange, and developed new models for nonadiabatic energy flow. 

Since 1992, Head-Gordon has been on the faculty of the Chemistry Department at the University of California Berkeley, with an additional appointment as a faculty scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is known for the development of new theory and algorithms to simulate molecules using quantum mechanics, including “linear scaling methods,” theories of excited states and methods for analyzing quantum simulations. He is a founder and key developer of the commercial Q-Chem quantum chemistry program. Head-Gordon has received awards that include Packard (1995) and Sloan (1995) Fellowships, a Miller Research Professorship (2001-2002) and the medal of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences (1998). He was elected to the Academy itself in 2006, and was a visiting fellow of Clare Hall (Cambridge) (2006). He is an associate editor of the Molecular Physics journal, and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and several other journals. He is currently serving as the program chair in physical chemistry for the American Chemical Society. Head-Gordon has over 250 scientific publications and over 200 invited talks. 

2009-MuirTom Muir

Tom W. Muir received his BSc (Hons, 1st class) in chemistry from the University of Edinburgh in 1989 and his PhD in chemistry from the same institute in 1993 under the direction of Professor Robert Ramage. After postdoctoral studies with Stephen B.H. Kent at the Scripps Research Institute, he joined the faculty at the Rockefeller University in New York City in 1996, where he is now Richard E. Salomon Family Professor and Director of the Pels Center of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Structural Biology. He has published over 100 scientific articles and has won a number of honors for his research, including; the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund New Investigator Award, the Pew Award in the Biomedical Sciences, the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow Award, the Leonidas Zervas Award from the European Peptide Society, the Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award from the Protein Society, the 2008 Vincent du Vigneaud Award in Peptide Chemistry and 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award from The Rockefeller University. Dr. Muir is a Kavli Fellow of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science.

2009-PierStephen Pier

Stephen Pier has achieved a uniquely rich and varied career as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. His credits as a performer include many years as a principal dancer with the Jose Limon Co. where the New York press hailed him as, “one of the most gifted dancers on the modern dance scene today.”

Stephen went on to become a leading soloist with the Hamburg Ballet performing the title roles in John Neumeier’s “Othello” and “Saint Matthew’s Passion” and creating numerous other major roles during his 9 years with the company.

As a member of the Royal Danish Ballet for 6 years, Stephen had the privilege of dancing leading roles in works of Bournonville, Balanchine and Macmillan as well as collaborating with choreographers Flemming Flindt, Laura Dean, Kim Brandstrup and others. He was also invited to teach both the company and the school there, staged two full evening ballets of Neumeier's, established the New Choreographers Workshops which he directed and created works for, and choreographed several successful productions for the Royal Danish Opera and Theater.

Stephen is currently on the faculty of the Juilliard School in New York City where he teaches ballet, partnering and modern repertory. He tours throughout the world as a guest teacher and a choreographer.

Andrew Thomas

2009-ThomasAndrew Thomas teaches and was the chairman of the Composition Department at the Pre-College Division at Juilliard from 1969 to 1994. In 1994, The Juilliard School appointed him the Director of the Pre-College Division. In addition to composing, Dr. Thomas performs as a pianist, conductor and is a guest teacher throughout the world. His many awards include a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts and a Distinguished Teacher Citation from The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

After Vladimir Ashkenazy conducted The Deutsches Symphonie Orchester/Berlin in Dr. Thomas's marimba concerto, "Loving Mad Tom," with Evelyn Glennie as the soloist, Jürgen Otten of Der Tagespiel wrote "... his arsenal of romantic ghost music from Weber to Berlioz to Liszt is recognized here, and sound-consciously conveyed into the modern idiom."

Other works of Andrew Thomas that were commissioned and premiered by soloists and organizations within the past few years include: "Wind" for solo marimba, composed for Makoto Nakura, "The Heroic Triad," for Twentieth Century Unlimited, "For the Class of 2003," for Renée Fleming, "Valse Triste," a solo marimba work for Simon Boyar, "Crane by the River Li," for the traditional Chinese instrument Orchestra of the Guangxi Arts College in Nanning, China and "A Samba," a work for two solo flutes (Carol Wincenc and Robert Langevin), two flute choirs and chamber orchestra. Dr. Thomas has also orchestrated his music for lyricist Gene Scheer's: "Lean Away," which Nathan Gunn sang with the St. Louis Symphony and "I Just Found Another New Voice Teacher" for a Metropolitan Opera performance of "Die Fledermaus." On January 4, 2001, Renée Fleming sang "I Just Found Another New Voice Teacher" with the Orpheus Strings on "Live From Lincoln Center."

On October 9, 2004 Dr. Andrew Thomas gave a piano recital in the Juilliard Theater at the Juilliard School celebrating his 65th birthday, 35 years teaching at the Juilliard School and 10 years as its Pre-College director. After 12 years he stepped down from his administrative position in 2006 to concentrate on his composition works, to teach his gifted students, and hopefully to foster the musical talents of young international Citizens of the World. At his farewell party Juilliard bestowed upon him the title of director emeritus.

2009 Catalyst Associates

2009-BurnsRaymond Burns

Raymond Burns is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University.  Originally from Louisville, Ky., Raymond received a BA in chemistry from Bellarmine University in 2007. Among his many accomplishments during his undergraduate career, Raymond was awarded a National Science Foundation Sponsored REU fellowship in the summer of 2006, during which he studied the optical properties of europium doped lead borate and bismuth borate glasses. Additionally, Raymond served as a teaching assistant and held leadership positions in a variety of university-sponsored organizations. In his graduate work, Raymond is studying under Prof. Frank DiSalvo. His research interests span a variety of topics surrounding sustainable and renewable energy sources with specific focuses on fuel cell materials. In addition to his academic work, Raymond also has 3 years of experience working in industry for companies such as Colgate-Palmolive Company and Sud-Chemie, Inc. Among his accolades, Raymond received the American Chemical Society’s Outstanding Undergraduate in Chemistry Award in 2007 and was named a Kentucky Colonel by the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels in 2005. In his spare time, Raymond enjoys playing music, the outdoors and cooking.

2009-ChatterjeeChampak Chatterjee

Champak Chatterjee was born in 1975 in Calcutta, India. He received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry (first class) from the University of Bombay, and an MS in Organic Chemistry from I.I.T. Bombay, where he worked with Dr. Sambasivarao Kotha on the synthesis of alpha-disubstituted amino acids. After graduating from I.I.T. he joined the research group of Dr. Wilfred A. van der Donk at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There, he studied the mechanism of lantibiotic biosynthesis and developed a keen interest in the biology of posttranslational protein modification.

After receiving his PhD in 2005, Champak moved to the Big Apple with a postdoctoral position in Dr. Tom W. Muir's laboratory of synthetic protein chemistry at Rockefeller University. His current research focuses on understanding the mechanism by which ubiquitin stimulates histone methylation, and developing new methods for the site-specific modification of proteins with ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins. In collaboration with the MacKinnon laboratory at Rockefeller University he is also investigating the basis for ionic selectivity in the prokaryotic potassium channel KcsA.

2009-DavisDisan Davis

Disan Davis is a Minnesota native. She received her BA in chemistry from Carleton College before venturing to New York for graduate school. She is finishing her third year in the Tri-Institutional Program in Chemical Biology (TPCB), starting her time at Cornell University in Ithaca and now working toward her thesis in Dr. Tom Muir's lab at Rockefeller University in New York City. She is studying the role of backbone electrostatics (specifically the proposed helix dipole) in the structure and function of a potassium ion channel in collabroation with Dr. Rod MacKinnon's lab, also at Rockefeller. Somewhere down the road, she hopes to pursue a career as a professor. When not in the lab, she enjoys cooking, eating and being outdoors.

2009-ElkindStephen Elkind

Stephen Elkind is a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley working jointly with Professor Martin Head-Gordon in the Department of Chemistry and Professor Alexis T. Bell in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Originally from Tulsa, Okla., Stephen earned a BS in chemistry and a BA in public affairs philosophy from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Stephen graduated GW summa cum laude. There he worked with Professor Michael Wagner on synthesizing and characterizing nanophosphors. In his first year at graduate school, his research has centered around modifying and streamlining the determination of transition states through a process known as the growing string method. His honors include the William E. Fitch Prize in Chemistry, Chemical Society of Washington Prize, A.D. Britt Memorial Scholarship, Enosinian Scholars Fellowship and a Fellowship for Excellence in Nanoscience. In his spare time, Stephen enjoys playing his trumpet, riding his scooter and crosswords.

2009-SubbanChin Subban

Chinmayee Subban is a graduate student at Cornell University. She was born and raised in Southern India and moved to the United States for college. She received a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Linfield College in 2007. Though as an undergraduate most of her research experiences were in biology, she chose the DiSalvo lab, an inorganic-solid state-materials chemistry group for her graduate work. Here she focuses on synthesis and characterization of doped oxides for catalyst support applications in fuel cells. Chinmayee enjoys teaching and has been a TA for several courses and is the recipient of Bayer teaching excellence award at Cornell. She is actively involved in science outreach programs and enjoys reading, biking, and cooking in her spare time.

2009-SundstromEric Sundstrom

Eric Sundstrom was born in 1985 in northeast Indiana. After graduating from high school, he decided to stay in state and attend college at Purdue University. While taking his first laboratory course in organic chemistry he realized although chemical thought was a passion, chemical work wasn't. He decided to try theoretical/computational chemistry. To this end he participated in undergraduate research with Professor Dor Ben-Amotz, a Raman spectroscopist and statistical mechanician. In the Ben-Amotz group, Eric worked on modeling the thermodynamics and Raman spectra of water around small hydrophobic solutes. Betwixt his junior and senior year, Eric participated in an REU with Professor Anna Krylov at the University of Southern California. He studied the electronic effects of ionization of small water clusters; this was his first contact with electronic structure methods. In the spring of 2008, Eric earned BS in computational chemistry and is currently attending UC Berkeley to obtain a doctoral degree. Eric joined the Head-Gordon group and is currently working on the modeling oxygen and hydrogen evolving catalysts for the Helios Project. 

2008 Catalyst Scholars

2009-Abdullah-Al-GhamdiAbdullah Al-Ghamdi
2009-Al-GhambdiKhalid Al-Ghamdi
2009-Nawaf-Al-GhamdiNawaf Al-Ghamdi








2009-EbrightRichard Ebright

Richard Ebright is a rising senior at North Brunswick Township High School in central New Jersey. At school, his favorite subjects are science and math. Outside of school, he participates in a range of academically-oriented activities. He has performed a research internship in molecular biology at Rutgers University and has participated in regional competitions in science. He is on his school and regional mathematics teams and has won state and national awards in mathematics. He is on his school robotics team, Model United Nations, Model Congress and Fed Challenge, and has participated in regional and national competitions. He is Vice President of his school National Honor Society chapter and a member of the Spanish Honor Society.

He also participates in athletic and other activities. He is nationally ranked in orienteering (eleventh in his age class for 2008). In 2008, he represented the United States at the World Trail Orienteering Championships in the Czech Republic. Currently, he is on the United States Trail Orienteering Standing Team. He also competes in, and has won state and regional awards in, badminton. He also competes in tennis and is captain of school junior varsity tennis team. He also is an excellent swimmer, has previously competed on his local swim team, and has earned basic, intermediate and advanced certifications in SCUBA. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow. He enjoys tournament chess, Ultimate Frisbee, freestyle raving and spending time with his friends.

2009-GoloveLewis Golove

Lewis Golove is a rising Junior at Hunter College High School in New York City. His interest in science was sparked by his 10th grade chemistry teacher, Gilana Reiss, who he thanks for encouraging him to participate in the Catalyst Program. Lewis has always been enthusiastic about science, representing his class at the school’s science fair 1 year, and winning it another. However, until recently, his exposure in the field has been relatively limited. Lewis has won two Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. He has been playing piano ever since he was very young, performing in countless recitals and completing the highest grade of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music examination. Lewis has also acted in several school plays, and teaches workshops at an improvisational theater camp in upstate New York, where he has volunteered for several years. He is a member of his school’s debate team, which won sweepstakes this year at the State’s Qualifying tournament. He is also a member of the Hunter Model United Nations, which won the highest award for preparation at the 2009 National High School Model United Nations conference in New York City.

Lewis loves to play electric guitar in his free time, jamming with his uncle, parents and friends. He plays tennis wherever there’s a court, and plays ultimate frisbee whenever he can find enough friends who are willing. Lewis loves to travel, and has lived for several months in France and Italy. He also is an amateur mycologist, who forages for and cooks wild mushrooms.

2009-GoyalKuhuk Goyal

Kuhuk Goyal will be a 14-year-old junior at Newark Memorial High School in Newark, California in the 2009-2010 school year. From a very young age, Kuhuk has been interested in academia. Before high school, he focused on computer science as a career and became proficient in programming. However, due to research he conducted this past year, his attention shifted to nano-scaled chemical interactions. Currently, he focuses on the perfect in-between: DNA self-assembled nanomachines, a field of research that could possibly result in ultra-small computational devices. His goal in the area is to improve the designs of, and ultimately make practical, DNA technology, beginning with his initial research in nanowires. He has received numerous state and school awards for excellence in both academics and in community service. He is also very much in to philosophy, government (and its sustenance), as well as international relations theory and continues to read on all three subjects. 

Kuhuk has been captain of his school’s speech and debate team since freshman year and plans to continue to debate at the national level for the remaining 2 years of high school. Kuhuk is also an active volunteer with Small Steps Foundation, a charity organization that aims to improve education in underdeveloped countries. He recently conducted a Debate Workshop to raise money for such endeavors. He also harbors a passion for the drums and has been playing for 5 years. Kuhuk is a member of the Society of American Magicians, is an avid fan of stand-up comedy, loves to play tennis and enjoys writing short stories and poems for literary magazines.

Ajax Hayes

2009-HayesAjax Hayes is currently enrolled at Dryden High, and is a junior. He was homeschooled until 8th grade. He enjoys the sciences and math most of all his classes and has taken honors earth science, biology, chemistry, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. He has also taken a couple business classes (Keyboarding and Business Analysis/Business Computer Applications) and Design and Drawing for Production.

Ajax enjoys reading such items as science articles, books and sci-fi. He also enjoys nature and the outdoors. He is a member of the Sustainability Club at his school, which finds ways for the school to be more sustainable, and of Primitive Pursuits, where he learns outdoor survival skills, and spends time in the woods. He is also a Boy Scout and is currently the SPL (Senior Patrol Leader, the leader) of his troop. He enjoys hiking, biking, climbing, swimming, downhill skiing and hanging out with his friends.

2009-KrosuriKeerthana Krosuri

Keerthana Krosuri is a rising junior at the Hun School of Princeton in Princeton, N.J. She has taken AP courses in physics, calculus, chemistry, environmental science and biology, and will take math and science courses in Princeton University next year. She has also taken the AP computer science AB exam. She was a semifinalist in the USA Biology Olympiad last year and is part of her school’s Cum Laude Society. Outside of science and math, Keerthana is interested in English, and is editor of her school’s literary magazine.

Keerthana has been in choir throughout her entire high school career, and is an avid reader, to the point where friends refer to her as a "walking dictionary." She fences foil on the school team during the winter and spends the rest of the year avoiding exercise. In the future, she hopes to pursue her interests in both medicine and literature in college.

2009-LiuBrandon Liu

Brandon Liu is a senior at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, Calif. He has qualified for the USAMO, placing in the top 200. He is also a USA Biology Olympiad semifinalist, USA Physics Olympiad quarterfinalist, and a top-scorer in the USA Computing Olympiad Silver Division. Brandon will be leading the software development of his school’s robotics team as the chief software engineer. Brandon is currently interning at a web startup company, Olixus, where he is helping to design the website as well as using principles of psychology to aid in the development of Olixus’s business model. Brandon is also actively involved in politics and business. He is a vice president in his school’s chapter of Junior Statesmen of America and is currently leading a project to educate the community about entrepreneurship through the Future Business Leaders of America.

Brandon has played piano for 11 years and French horn for 6 years in symphonies and bands. He enjoys reading about philosophy, psychology and novels. As a Boy Scout, Brandon has a great time in the outdoors hiking, biking and camping. Running is a cathartic experience. Brandon also enjoys spending time, watching movies and engaging in deep discussions about life with friends. But his most memorable experiences include running in the grass in the rain and making music on his beloved piano.

2009-MagnellAlbert Magnell

Albert Magnell is a sophomore at the Pingry School in New Jersey looking forward to his junior year. He enjoys all of his subjects, even as he has moved ahead in math and science. A first place CTY national award winner in math in 8th grade, Albert had already completed BC Calculus and taken his first AP test in 7th grade. Having completed AP Physics in 8th grade, AP Chemistry in 9th grade, and AP Biology this year, he recently took his eighth AP exam. In addition to his work at Pingry, Albert has been a part-time student at Rutgers University and this year took courses in multivariable calculus and differential equations as well as two semesters of astrophysics. He has gained a little lab experience outside of his regular labs at school through summer programs at Stanford and Johns Hopkins, and also lab courses at Rutgers. He is particularly excited about the lab and research opportunities he will have through Catalyst.

Albert plays trumpet, both classical and jazz. He has participated in the New Jersey Youth Symphony, the Central Jersey Regional Orchestra as well as the band and the jazz band at Pingry. He is a spirited participant on his school’s Quiz Bowl team, which was invited to the nationals this year. Albert enjoys reading history and science fiction and is a regular contributor to the newspaper and the world events magazine at Pingry. This year he won a prize for public speaking at Pingry and was also elected to serve on the student government. He has been to several countries in Europe and also to China. He likes the outdoors and has fun camping and going on hikes. He also likes collecting antique tube radios.

Frances Shi

2009-ShiFrances Shi is a rising junior at Hunter College High School, a public school for the gifted, located in New York City. She has always harbored a love of the sciences, and was strongly encouraged by her parents, both of which work in the medical field, to pursue this interest. She plans to continue studying the sciences throughout her high school years, and will take AP Biology and AP Chemistry in her junior year. She has been an active participant of the science fair in her school, and has presented a diverse field of topics. She hopes that her work will make an impact on the world, and wants to be a doctor to save the lives of everyone she meets. Most importantly, she hopes to volunteer her medical expertise in third-world countries in order to fight the dire human conditions and epidemics that plague those nations. She hopes that the Catalyst program will allow her to collaborate with the man brilliant minds of America, and she knows that the program will bring her closer to reaching her goals.

Despite her academic ambitions, Frances is just a kid at heart. She loves to watch the Food Network and enjoys baking in her free time. She is a dedicated member of her school’s track and field team, and is an editor for the official school newspaper. She takes an active part in many of the extracurricular programs offered in her school and enjoys the challenging environment it offers her.

2009-SinghalKashish Singhal

Kashish Singhal will be completing her sophomore year at Danbury High School in Danbury, Conn. She has always had an interest in math and science, and taking AP Chemistry this year led to her motivation for becoming more involved in chemistry and her application for the Catalyst program. Besides chemistry, she’s interested in physics and computer science, and she has just completed an AP computer science course at school this year. Math is one of her strongest areas; she has taken advanced math courses offered by her high school and a college multivariable calculus course at Western Connecticut State University. Through the Catalyst program, she hopes to develop her skills in research and the sciences.

Outside of school, she has a passion for dance and she enjoys a variety of styles, including ballet, jazz, tap and hip hop, as well as Indian dancing. She has been dancing since she was 4 years old and she loves competing in national competitions with innovative routines choreographed by amazing, experienced teachers. She has won many honors at dance competitions, and she will always continue dance alongside her academics. In addition to dance, she loves figure skating and hopes to soon be a part of the competition team at the Danbury ice arena. Furthermore, she has been a part of the United States Swim team (USS) and she loves heading down to our pool in the summer.

2009-WangAnn Wang

Ann Wang is 16 and a rising junior at Brighton High School. She is MVP of her school’s math team and vice president of the Science Olympiad team. She volunteers in a lab at the University of Rochester Cardiovascular Research Institute, as well as Strong Memorial Hospital. Through the Catalyst Program, Ann hopes that she will be able to learn more about modern chemistry research and explore her career options. She wants to pursue her career in chemistry or physics currently, although that is likely to change in the next few years.

Ann plays field hockey in her free time and enjoys singing classically. She currently spends her days trying to understand space-time mechanisms and reading fantasy novels. She loves napping in her sunny backyard during summer vacations. In the winter, she enjoys going to Java’s Coffee Shop with her friends and warming up with hot chocolate.

2009-WilkinsonSilas Wilkinson

Silas Wilkinson is an incoming senior at Miramonte High School, where he enjoys studying all areas of math and science. He has thoroughly enjoyed his calculus, chemistry, physics and physiology courses and is grateful for the excellent teachers who have taught him.

Silas swims breaststroke and plays water polo throughout the year. This past fall, his high school water polo team was ranked as the best team in the nation with a record of 26-1 and his men’s swim team received second place at North Coast Sections. He rocks out to Rage Against the Machine, Radiohead, Bloc Party and The Arcade Fire. He enjoys sketching plans for neat contraptions and will construct an electric bicycle this summer.

2009-ZhangHarvest Zhang

Harvest Zhang is going into his senior year at Brighton High School in Rochester, N.Y. He is currently finishing AP Chemistry and has completed AP Biology and AP Physics B. He is the president of Brighton Science Olympiad and has won 1st and 3rd place awards at States this year in Physics Lab and Sumo Robots, respectively. This summer, he will be working at the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics High School Research Program. At Catalyst, Harvest hopes to gain more in-depth knowledge of a specific area of chemistry that builds on the AP overview provided in school. In addition, he hopes to gain insight into research and laboratory techniques as well as broadening his academic horizons by meeting masters from other fields.

Outside of academics, Harvest is a pianist and composer, having performed on NPR’s “From The Top” and at Carnegie Hall. He is also an avid photographer and likes designing graphics and editing photos using Adobe Photoshop. When he has free time, which is not often, he can be found reading a good book, chatting with his friends, kayaking or listening to music.


Ahmad Al-Ahmary

Ahmad Al-Ahmary is a general supervisor of gifted education in the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia. He received his Bachelor of Art degree in English language and translation from King Khalid University in 1999. He worked as a teacher of English language for 5 years, and headmaster of gifted center from 2004 to 2009. He is keen on program planning in invention field. Ahmad guided many giftedness workshops. He participated in two stages of the most important events of the Saudi Inventors Exhibit. He has many inventions registered. He is about to enter his second year as a graduate student in gifted education. Ahmad believes in tolerance and forgiveness between mankind.

2009-ChenStephanie Chen

Pianist Stephanie Chen will be entering her junior year at The Juilliard School in the upcoming academic year, pursuing her Bachelor of Music with Jerome Lowenthal. Although she is currently pursuing music, the decision to travel along this route was tough, given her strong academic background and her other dream of doing medicine. To continue feeding this other passion, she is taking science courses at Columbia University, this past year studying psychology and genetics. Her fascination with the power of music to move and unite, in addition to her continued fascination with the sciences has made her extremely excited for the Catalyst program, as she hopes to discover more of the connection between science and music.

2009-ChoksiManik Choksi

Manik (Nick) Choksi graduated from Washington University (where his mother works in the medical school, heading research for a practicing neurologist) with a BA in English lit and a minor in acting. After graduating he worked regionally with the St. Louis Rep's Children's Theater (Imaginary Theater Company), Chicago's Noble Fool Theater, The Cherry Lane, Abingdon and McKinn Gazale Theater in New York, the Shakespeare Theater in D.C. and the RSC in Stratford before going back to school. He is about to enter his fourth and final year as an acting student in the drama division.

2009-KesslerHoward Kessler

Acting from an early age, Mr. Kessler won a scholarship in the drama department at the University of Miami. He graduated from Miami with five majors: acting, directing, production and costume design as well as architecture. At New York University's Tisch School he earned, under full scholarship, a master's degree in production and directing. He became the design assistant at NYU to and was mentored by Oliver Smith (producer of American Ballet Theater and renowned broadway designer).

Designing on his own, Mr. Kessler used the creation of production posters as a tool to focus his stage designs clearly. During lean times he worked for nonprofit organizations, developing strategies for fundraising, designing graphics and writing appeals. He also taught computer graphics for a number of years at Parsons School of Design. During Andre Thomas’ tenure as director of the Pre-College Division at The Juilliard School, Howard expanded his extensive photographic skills into creating sensitive and descriptive portraits of musicians.

This varied and demanding background led Mr. Kessler to writing short stories, and poetry, and to the libretto/story for "Property," a short opera and first collaboration with Andrew Thomas. Since then Andy has composed the music to many of Howard's poems and stories. Due for its premiere this coming year, Howard and Andy are collaborating on a two-act ballet "Focus of the Heart" for the People's Republic of China. Howard has written the story, and is designing sets, lights and costumes for Andy's music.

2009-KimQuentin Kim

Known for his elegance and caressing touch, and praised for his "extraordinary range of emotion and color" (American Record Guide), Korean pianist Quentin Kim has brought the "experience of pure pleasure" (Jerome Lowenthal) worldwide, having performed at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Salle Cortot in Paris, the Permanent Missions of Korea, and of India, to the United Nations, and the Residence of the United Nations Secretary-General. He appeared with many orchestras and was the winner of the Grace Welsh International Prize for Piano and the Joong Ang Music Concours of Korea.

As a composer, Quentin’s music has been favored by the public and professional musicians alike for its "expressive, sensitive and poetic" (Vassily Primakov) quality and called "worthy of repeated hearings" (American Record Guide).

Quentin is currently serving as a piano instructor for non-keyboard majors at The Juilliard School.

2009-OriharaMiki Orihara

Miki Orihara, a principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company, began her training in Japan at an early age in traditional Fujima Japanese Dance. After graduating from Bunka Gakuin high school in Tokyo, she came to New York to study at the Joffrey Ballet School. Then received scholarships to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance.

In 1983 she became one of the original members of the Martha Graham Ensemble and thereafter shortly joined the Martha Graham Dance Company. She has performed with various other prominent companies and choreographers as well. These include Martha Clarke, Stephen Pier, Elisa Monte and Dancers, Jean Erdman, Marioko Sanjo, Jun Kono Dance Troupe (Japan), Buglisi/Foreman Dance, Twyla Tharp and Robert Wilson. In 2001, she was invited to dance at the New National Theater in Japan. In 2006, she was a guest artist with Pascal Rioult Dance Theater for their France Tour. On Broadway, Ms. Orihara appeared in the role of Topsy in “The King & I” directed by Christopher Renshaw, choreographed by Jerome Robbins and Lar Lubovitch.

As a choreographer, she premiered her solo work/performance “Searching Dimensions” (1995) in New York. Her recent works are “Passage,” “Serious Garden” and “End of Summer.” These works were well received at their openings in Japan. In 2001, Ms Orihara presented an eight-woman piece “VOICE” in Nagoya, Japan, followed in 2008 by “Stage.”

Ms. Orihara assists master teacher and choreographer Yuriko in her Graham technique classes, reconstructions and choreography. She has also been a guest teacher at UCLA World Arts and Culture Department, Atlanta Ballet, State University of Florida, Arts International in Moscow with Takako Asakawa, the Ailey School, the New National Theater Ballet School in Tokyo and numerous other workshops and schools throughout the world. She is currently on faculty at the Martha Graham School.
Milica Paranosic

A native of Belgrade (former Yugoslavia), honored as one of Kyle Gann's "Favorite Women Composers of All Time," Milica Paranosic now lives in New York as an active composer, sound designer, music educator and producer. Her compositions include concert pieces, mixed media and interactive works as well as music for dance, stage and film.

Milica's love for collaborations resulted in many such relationships. Ongoing collaborations with choreographer Charlotte Griffin LEMUR, The Reflex Ensemble and an interdisciplinary performance and production team VisionIntoArt are a few such examples.

Among the artists and ensembles which have performed her music are The New Juilliard Ensemble, which commissioned and premiered her Parabaraba, "the most captivating piece on the program" (The New York Times). Milica's work has been supported by such organizations as Meet the Composer, American Music Center, Soros foundation and Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg. Record labels that have released her music include Electroshock Records and The New Sound. Her "fascinating ... amazing new score" (Jack Anderson, The New York Times) recently premiered at the American Dance.

Ms. Paranosic's music has been performed in numerous venues throughout her native Yugoslavia, the US, Russia, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Italy, Croatia and Israel. Her music has also aired on radio stations in Switzerland, Romania, the Netherlands, the United STates, Russia, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Macedonia, Great Britain, Spain and Italy.

Milica holds a bachelor's degree in composition from University of Arts in Belgrade, and a master's degree in composition from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Beaser. Since 1995, Milica has been on the faculty of The Juilliard School, where she teaches music technology, and on staff as a manager of Juilliard's Music Technology Center and cofounder and producer of Beyond The Machine, a Festival of Electronic and Interactive Music.

Tony Song

Twenty-year-old violinist Tony Song is a native of Beijing, China, where his musical training first began. Having been urged into music through the persistence of his father, music was not a very important aspect of his life until his arrival to the United States in 1998. Mr. Song joined the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2001 as one of the orchestra’s youngest members at the time. Prior to leaving the SFS Youth Orchestra in 2007, Mr. Song served as the concertmaster of the orchestra, and in his tenure has led the orchestra in collaborations with Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, and numerous other prominent musicians. Mr. Song has also worked with Midori, Aaron Rosand, Darrett Adkins, Toby Appel, Jerome Lowenthal and concertmasters of many major orchestras. In addition to his numerous musical encounters, Mr. Song has also received top accolades in various competitions, including the Chinese Music Teacher’s Association of Northern California, the Pacific Music Society and the Bronislaw Kaper Awards in Los Angeles to name a few. He is also a member of the Scholastic Distinction Program of The Juilliard School, and serves as a teaching fellow for the Department of Liberal Arts. Mr. Song was previously a student of Diane Nicholeris and Zoya Leybin and is currently a student of Sylvia Rosenberg at The Juilliard School.

2009-StuartHanah Stuart

Hanah Elizabeth Stuart, born in the United States in 1987, began studying the violin at age five. Hanah previously studied with Roland & Almita Vamos and currently studies with Joel Smirnoff and David Chan at The Juilliard School, N.Y. Other influences include Shlomo Mintz, Ilya Kaler, Simin Ganatra and Paul Kantor among others. She has performed in master classes given by the Christian Tetzlaff, Gidon Kremer, Yair Kless, Haim Taub, Donald Weilerstein, Rachel Barton-Pine and Jennifer Koh. Hanah made her Carnegie Hall Debut collaborating with Ida Haendel and Ani Shnarch in October 2008. She made her Symphony Center debut in Chicago at 16 and continued performing with several American orchestras under Thomas Hinds, Francesco Milioto and Allen Tinkham among others. She’s received: 2009 Gold Medal Award at the Crescendo Music Awards, 2008 Inaugural Peter Salaff Violin Scholarship, 2007 M&E Cohen Scholarship, 2007 Aspen Fellowship and 2006 NFAA ARTS Award, Miami. Media appearances include features on Harmony: The Road to Carnegie Hall, CBS “The Early Show,” Kronberg Academy's Abschlusskonzert der Meisterschüler, Kronberg, Germany, internationally-broadcast performance for Keshet Eilon’s Gala Concert in Tel Aviv, Israel, features on WGN, HBO, MTV, G4 at E3 Summer 2007, 2006 Academy Award-nominated documentary, “Rehearsing A Dream” and NPR radio a nationally-broadcast performance of Prokofiev’s Duet for Two Violins with Sarah Chang in 2002.

2009-SullivanMacy Sullivan

Prior to attending The Juilliard School, Macy Sullivan trained in the Pre-Professional Division of the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Attending classes and rehearsals with both Oregon Ballet Theatre, the professional company and the school, she received extensive classical ballet training and the opportunity to perform works by George Balanchine, August Bournonville, Yuri Possokhov, Christopher Stowell, James Canfield, Bruce Wells, Tom Gold, Pam Tanowitz and other distinguished choreographers. During her high school years, Miss Sullivan also passionately prepared to enroll in the undergraduate program in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington. Dual-enrolled in both high school and college classes, she successfully completed AP science courses and placed in the 99th percentile on the American Chemical Society's nationwide college exam. She graduated as the 2009 class valedictorian. Now heading into her second year at Juilliard, Miss Sullivan is excited to train with new teachers, perform as a Gluck Community Service fellow, and in her spare time, continue to take tap classes, revisiting a passion and skill that won her a world champion title in Slovenia when she was 13.

Catalyst Staff

Rena Subotnik

Rena F. Subotnik began her position as director of the Center for Psychology in the Schools and Education at the American Psychological Association in January 2002. Before she came to APA, Dr. Subotnik was professor of education at Hunter College, where she coordinated the secondary education program and served as research and curriculum liaison to the Hunter College laboratory schools (grades PK-12). In 1997-1998, Dr. Subotnik was an APA Congressional Fellow in child policy with U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. Her fellowship assignment involved drafting and promoting legislation related to teacher quality, which led to passage of Title II of the Higher Education Act in 1998. Since the fellowship, Dr. Subotnik has been actively involved in the community of scholars and practitioners concerned about federal policy related to teacher education.

Dr. Subotnik has been awarded grants from the McDonnell Foundation, the Institute for Education Sciences, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the American Psychological Foundation, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education Javits program and the Spencer Foundation.

She is co-editor (with Robert Sternberg) of "Optimizing Student Success with the Other Three R’s" (in press), (with Herbert Walberg) "The Scientific Basis of Educational Productivity" (in press), (with Kurt Heller, Franz Monks, and Robert Sternberg) "The International Handbook of Research on Giftedness and Talent" (2nd Edition) (2000), (with Karen Arnold and Kathleen Noble) "Remarkable Women: Perspectives on Female Talent Development" (1997), (with Karen Arnold) "Beyond Terman: Contemporary Longitudinal Studies of Giftedness and Talent" (1994), and the author (with Lee Kassan, Alan Wasser, and Ellen Summers) of "Genius Revisited: High IQ Children Grown Up" (1993).

Ashley Edmiston

Ashley Edmiston is the project director for Catalyst in the Center for Gifted Education Policy. She also works in the Center of Psychology in Schools and Education where she assists with projects involving the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education; the Applications of Psychological Science to Teaching and Learning Task Force, and the Task Force on Math and Science Education. Prior to working at APA, Ashley spent a year abroad teaching ESL at an independent English school in Japan. She holds a BS in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience from the University of Westminster, UK.

Michael Ross
Rochelle Rickoff

Rochelle Rickoff, program officer for the Center for Psychology in Schools and Education, collaborates with and assists the CPSE director in developing and executing CPSE projects. She provides research and programmatic support for the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education, Task Force on Classroom Violence Directed at K-12 Teachers and the National Science Foundation Grant-Funded Study of the Impact of Specialized Public High Schools of Science, Mathematics and Technology. Prior to joining APA, Rochelle worked domestically and internationally with nonprofit and children's organizations dedicated to intercultural communication and peace education. These organizations included the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (Harvard University), National Conference of State Legislatures: International Programs in the Middle East/North Africa (Washington, D.C.), Seeds of Peace Center for Coexistence (Jerusalem) and Creativity for Peace (New Mexico). She received a BFA in theater studies from Boston University in 2003 and a MEd in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.