Alumna Donates Masks to Sewickley Academy, Other Local Schools and Local Organizations
Elizabeth “Betsy” (Wiegand ’91) Wentz teamed up with Jason Leviere of Santom Upholstery in Ross Township to produce masks for local businesses in an effort to do their part to contribute and help support those who need protective equipment. Betsy, owner of Betsy Wentz Interior Design in Sewickley, purchased the fabric from Thibaut Fabrics and Santom Upholstery provided the labor.
Four Grade 5 Students Receive Community of Respect Award
As Virtual School wrapped up for the year, Head of Lower School Ryan Baxter notified four Grade 5 students – Giovanni, Bella, Nicholas, and Isabela – that they were this year’s Community of Respect Award recipients.
Grade 8 Students Honored with the Annual John W. Heagy Award
Head of Middle School Dr. Shannon Mulholland announced Abby and Max as the winners of the John W. Heagy Award, which has been given annually since 1994, during the Grade 8 Virtual Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, June 4, 2020.
Sewickley Academy is proud to congratulate four seniors – Mira Bhatia, Connery Brown, Catherine Cable, Eirnin Mahoney – who are graduating as Honor Thespians through the International Thespian Society (ITS).
Sewickley Academy Inducts Eight New Students into the Cum Laude Society
On May 18, 2020, Sewickley Academy’s Senior School hosted a virtual ceremony to honor the academic, athletic, and artistic achievements of students during the annual Awards Ceremony, which included an induction presentation for the newest members of the Cum Laude Society.
Sophomore’s Original Work Published in Scientific Journal
Sophomore Srimayi Mulukutla’s original research, entitled "Antibacterial Effects of Copper Surfaces" was published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators (JEI).
Srimayi’s paper is a timely investigation into variables affecting the growth of bacteria and has major implications in healthcare settings. She was inspired by the copper vessels people in India use to store water. “People told me that this was to prevent bacterial growth,” she said. “I didn't make much of it initially, but then I started reading about hospital-acquired infections and how big of a problem that was. So I looked into it and found that copper surfaces are not really used in hospitals. That's where the idea initially came, and I wanted to see whether the ancient use of copper could be used to solve a present-day problem.”
Srimayi’s research was a multi-stage process. “After coming up with the idea, I spoke a few people about how to conduct the experiment in a proper scientific way. That took about one to two months. Then, it took me another month to think about the best design for the study,” she explained. She had to order equipment such as metal plates, an incubator, and bacteria. The research itself took approximately one week for her to conduct five trials. After that, she spent nearly a month analyzing her evidence and drawing a conclusion.
In order to get the paper published, Srimayi had to submit her original draft and this went through at four or five sessions of revisions and editing with the JEI staff and other scientific researchers in order to get to the final stage. “The JEI editors were really helpful and provided some nice insight into how to make the paper better," she recalled.
"Srimayi's work is a major accomplishment for a high school student. The high-level experiments, research, and writing show her impressive potential as a scientist. Most students do not have the chance to do such a thing until late in their undergraduate or graduate careers," Senior School biology teacher Dr. Ron Kinser said. "Srimayi is an exceptionally motivated and capable student, so it is not surprising to see her take the initiative to share her work. It is an excellent demonstration of a student taking advantage of opportunities offered by clubs and competitions to explore their passion in an authentic scientific setting. I am thrilled to be a part of it and excited for her and her success."
This accomplishment means a lot to Srimayi. “I am very excited that I got the opportunity to share my findings from this with other people because it is something that I have always wanted to do,” she said. “It was exciting to be part of a project from start to finish and to think about the idea, to do the experiment, and then to get it published. I feel like this really opened my eyes to all the effort researchers go through to do their work.”
According to the JEI’s site, the organization connects middle and high school students with Ph.D. candidates and advanced investigators who work in university research laboratories. Under the guidance of a teacher or advisor, student-authors have the opportunity to learn the scientific method, practice communicating their science, and be recognized as young emerging scientists by submitting and gaining feedback on their original research and to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.