For nearly 30 years, hundreds of northwest Pennsylvania high school students who enjoy the
sciences have attended Gannon University’s Regional Summer School of Excellence.
This year, the program, founded and directed by emeritus professor Stanley J. Zagorski, accepted 39 highly motivated
students from Erie and Crawford Counties for an intensive two-week program of research, investigation and analysis aboard
Gannon University's Lake Erie research vessel, the Environaut, and in the University’s laboratories and classrooms.
At the conclusion of the program, awards were presented for scientific papers presented by the students. Erie County
students honored for Superior Performance In Scientific Paper Writing were Jessica Briggs of McDowell High School, Heba
Alsahlani of Collegiate Academy and Alex Gool of Mercyhurst Preparatory School. Along with Cassie McKernan of Mars
Area High School, all were presented with awards for all laboratory reports and papers about their findings in the study of
the levels of eutrophication and pollution in Lake Erie.
Other awards were presented for students’ ability to integrate biological, chemical and physical parameters into meaningful
scientific conclusions. Rachel McKernan of Mars Area High School, Mariam Alkhafaji of East High School and Altay Baskan
of Collegiate Academy were awarded for outstanding performance.
Students honored for Exceptional Performance in Scientific Paper Writing for the most consistent analysis in drawing
conclusions to scientific problems involving environmental pollution and health were Ike Hodapp of Harborcreek High
School, Ashley Stauffer of North East High School and Becca Smith (Maplewood Junior Senior High School).
Several students were given Honorable Mention awards for performance on all laboratory reports and a paper in regard on
the levels of eutrophication and pollution in Lake Erie. These students were: Zach Galla and Bailey Klein (Cathedral
Preparatory School), Kristen Kiedaisch (Northwestern High School), Ella McClure (St. John’s High School), Ben Trabold
(Fairview High School), Elizabeth May (General McLane High School), Jacqueline Chorazy (Western Reserve Academy)
and Maddie Hirosky (Maplewood Junior Senior High School).