RIT/NTID Science Students Recognized as Developing Chemists

Todd Pagano (in brown) with students Ryan Spector (left), James Macisco and Noel Mertes (right). Photo by A. Sue Weisler, RIT.
Story Highlights: 
  • The students were given awards by the American Chemical Society.
  • Two students also received $1,000 for travel expenses to present at a national ACS meeting.
  • Eight of the students have completed co-ops; the ninth plans to complete hers this summer.

Nine RIT/NTID laboratory science students are being recognized with 13 awards from the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

The students displayed integrity and reliability and demonstrated “high levels of performance in both the laboratory and classroom,” their certificates, from the ACS's Committee on Technician Affairs, say. The awards were based largely on their GPAs and nomination letters from their teacher, Todd Pagano, an associate professor and director of NTID’s Laboratory Science Technology program.

“I always have been impressed by the students from NTID,” says Mary Moore, the ACS committee chair and principal technologist at Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn. “They are eager and hard workers, and very informative to others in showing how strong deaf and hard-of-hearing scientists can be. These awards are well-deserved and this group is only a snapshot of the bigger picture of what NTID contributes to the chemical enterprise.”

The students are:

  • Susan Cherry, of Fremont, Calif.
  • Matthew Forsythe, of Imperial, Pa.
  • Shaina Ghodsi, of Los Alamitos, Calif.
  • Alexis Lazaro, of Hanover Park, Ill.
  • Leonard James Macisco, of Stratford, Conn.
  • Ryan Spector, of Kings Park, N.Y.
  • Mary Sporman, of Bay City, Mich.
  • Gloria Wink, of Rochester, N.Y.

Pagano says the students already have completed co-ops at (respectively) the Monroe County, (N.Y.) Medical Examiner’s Office, James Madison University, Pacific Coast Analytical Services, Kresge Hearing Research Institute at the University of Michigan, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dow Chemical Co. and Stanford University.

Macisco and Spector also each won the ACS Industrial & Engineering Committee’s “Undergraduates Collaborating for the Future” Award and the Rochester Chapter of the ACS’s “Undergraduate Research Travel” Award. The students each received $1,000 to pay for travel to the ACS national meeting in California to present the results of their research.

Additionally, Noel Mertes, of Colwich, Kan., received the Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry award from the Rochester Chapter of the ACS for her strong academic record in science classes. She plans to complete a co-op this summer at the Institute on Cellular Engineering at the University of Massachusetts.

“These students have demonstrated remarkable traits of beginning scientists,” Pagano says. “And these awards from the American Chemical Society confirm that they are well on their way to becoming successful professional scientists.”

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