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Professor mentors first place science fair winners

Loyola press release - May 6, 2011

Marjana Chowdhury and Maryama Diaw, students from The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem, recently took first place in the environmental science category at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair with the assistance of Loyola University New Orleans biology professor Frank Jordan, Ph.D.

Jordan helped the students collect research for their winning project as a part of the Young Women’s Leadership Network’s Gulf Coast Spring Research Project.

The GCSRP offers high school students an opportunity to participate in university-level research under the direction of Jordan and undergraduate research assistants from Loyola. He assisted Chowdhury and Diaw with reproductive biology research of Eastern mosquitofish in northwest Florida.

"Marjana and Maryama came down last spring break and enjoyed themselves so much that they decided to come back to work in my lab during the following summer,” said Jordan. “They worked hard, churned out some great data, and turned their efforts into a prize-winning science fair project. I am very impressed by and proud of their achievement."

Marjana and Maryama were also among 15 first place winners who were selected to represent New York City at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles this month.

Jordan has been mentoring students from The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem for eight years.

"I have been fortunate to mentor about 57 different students from the The Young Women's Leadership School of East Harlem through the last eight years,” said Jordan. “Each one of these students has gone on to college. I’d like to think that participating in unique research and field opportunities gave these kids an edge in the application process and hopefully pushed a few into the natural sciences."

Jordan also directs a program at Loyola called the Summer Collaborative Outreach and Research Experience that is funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents and Loyola. “This program brings high school students and teachers, undergraduates and natural science faculty together for six weeks of research, math instruction, mentoring and field trips,” Jordan said.

The SCORE program recruits Loyola undergraduates and high school students from throughout the greater New Orleans area. More information is available at www.loyno.edu/score.