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SHA Senior Bella Guerra Joins Elite Group of High School Students as a Regeneron Scholar

Bella, whose research project is titled "Assessing gender-based microaggressions present in 'friend-texts' at a single-sex school," is among 300 scholars nationally and internationally selected by the Society for Science to advance in the competition.  She will also receive a $2,000 award for her accomplishment.

"I'm incredibly honored to receive such a prestigious recognition for my project. There was so much intensive planning required and so many logistical challenges due to COVID-19. I couldn't have persevered without Dr. Sullivan's help. He consistently supported my efforts even though my project idea was a bit unorthodox. This project has forever changed my perspective on gender-related issues. It underscores the importance of research in providing insight into personal relationships and societal norms."  

- Bella Guerra SHA Class of 2022

“Congratulations to this year’s 300 Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars for their remarkable contributions and discoveries in the STEM field. We are honored to celebrate this new generation of problem solvers who have demonstrated the depth of their innovative thinking, commitment to continuous learning, and ability to tackle global challenges in creative ways.” 

 - Christina Chan, Senior VP, Corporate Communications & Citizenship at Regeneron

On January 20, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists. The finalists will then compete for more than $1.8 million in awards during a week-long competition taking place March 10-16.  

In addition to Bella, 13 Sacred Heart Academy seniors had entered their independent research into the Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS), the largest amount accepted in one year at Sacred Heart Academy. 

The 14 students are participants in Sacred Heart Academy’s four-year Science Research Program, which allows students to conduct and highlight their research in publications and competitions, and opens the doors for prestigious internships with the nation’s top research facilities and universities. 

Each of the students has worked on their research projects under the guidance of SHA Science Research Program Directors, Dr. Beth Feinman and Dr. Stephen Sullivan, over their four years at SHA.  Their essays and paperwork have passed a rigid ethics review, and will now be judged by panels of academic experts and working scientists in the next phase of the esteemed competition.

“It’s hard to fathom the amount of work, and the degree of sophistication that goes into a 15-20 page Science Talent Search report. Hundreds of hours of reading, planning, data collection, statistical analysis, and writing – all aimed at an academic audience. I certainly never did anything like this when I was in high school! I couldn’t be prouder of the girls.”

- Stephen Sullivan, Ph.D. | Sacred Heart Academy Research Director

“The science research department has been my favorite part of Sacred Heart Academy these past four years.  I have grown so much in this program and have crafted multiple behavioral science projects, competed in local science fairs, and even submitted projects to national competitions. Dr. Sullivan has helped me achieve each of my goals for each project I undergo, and I am so blessed to have had this opportunity to further my passion for research during school.”

 - Elizabeth Musso, SHA Class of 2022

Like many of SHA’s Science Research participants, Elizabeth plans to continue her education in the sciences.  She will attend Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences in the pre-medical track next year. 

"SHA's science research program has not only enriched me in different facets of science but also in life lessons. Through it, I have learned to persevere in spite of challenges and the value of hard work and dedication."

                                                                                     -Tori Famularo, SHA Class of 2022

Tori was also named a Student Board Member of the New York Computational Science & Engineering Fair earlier this year.  She will head to Dartmouth in the fall to study computer science and economics.

Through the College Board, SHA sponsors a research opportunity for students to distinguish their diploma with the completion of the AP Capstone ™. SHA’s four-year program develops students’ skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting. Students who complete the four-year program can earn one of two different AP Capstone awards, which are valued by colleges across the United States and around the world.

The Regeneron (formerly Intel) STS is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science competition for high school seniors, providing an important forum for original research that is recognized and reviewed by a national jury of professional scientists. STS alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and have earned many of the world’s most distinguished science and math honors, including thirteen Nobel Prizes. Annually, over 3000 high school seniors from all over the country conduct independent science, math, or engineering research, then submit an entry for the Regeneron Science Talent Search. The competition recognizes 300 student scholars and their schools each year and invites 40 student finalists to Washington, D.C. to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, and meet with notable scientists and government leaders. Each year, Regeneron STS scholars and finalists compete for $3.1 million in awards. 

SHA congratulates each of these students, whose innovative topics are listed below. 

Caroline Brucella, "When perception becomes reality: The nuanced relationship between attractiveness and trustworthiness"

Anna Cahill, "The effects of physical and personal similarities on kin investment"

Caroline Davis, "Phytoremediation potential of switchgrass (Pancium virgatum) to remove Bisphenol-A from distinct soil textures"

Gabriella DiPaola, "Can instructional delivery mode influence stress and anxiety levels among high school girls?  "

Tori Famularo, "The kids are not alright!: Assessing student stress in single-sex college preparatory schools in New York & Puerto Rico"

Bella Guerra, "Assessing gender-based microaggressions present in 'friend-texts' at a single-sex school"

Alanna Mahar, "Pigment Analysis of Crassostrea, Fossilized Pycnodonte, and Aequipecten"

Alison McManus, "How instructor traits influence student satisfaction & success"

Cayla Midy, "American Blacks: The power of representation"

Elizabeth Musso, "The effect of self-efficacy and grit on reluctance to enter healthcare professions following the COVID-19 pandemic"

Sophia Paesano, "Can looking at a glass-half-full leave you empty?: Optimism, stress, coping methods & wellness outcomes among high school students"

Catherine Reilly, "The evolution of technology & the human brain"

Kaylin Spinelli, "Generalized anxiety disorder and sleep quality during the COVID-19 outbreak in adolescents & parents: A web-based cross-sectional survey"

Emma Smyth, "The surprising impact of classroom interruptions on teaching and learning"