Every year, one outstanding Staten Island high school senior receives the Petrides Award for excelling in Mathematics and Science. The award was created in 1996 in honor of Michael J. Petrides, the Dean of Administration and Professor of Engineering at CSI, former chairman of Community School Board 31, and a member of the former city Board of Education. Honoring some of the brightest students, a member of our senior class received the award this year. Congratulations to Shannon Yasuda for being chosen for such a prestigious award! I was able to ask Shannon some questions about her superb accomplishments.
1. What are some of your proudest achievements?
My proudest accomplishments have been in the area of scientific research. As a member of SERP, I have completed two major research projects in the past four years. The first was on gender differences in the biological and physical sciences, which won semifinalist standing and the borough leader award at the Quality of Life competition as well as first place at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair. The second was on naked mole-rat communication, completed at the College of Staten Island under Dr. McCloskey. This project won second place at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair. I am also particularly proud of a web app I created during my summer at Girls Who Code-Goldman Sachs.
2. What college are you attending and what are your future plans?
I will be attending Yale University in the fall, double majoring in computer science and cognitive science. I plan to continue pursuing research while also seeking out tech internships. My main interests are in topics such as artificial intelligence and brain-computer interface. Additionally, I plan to take advantage of any opportunities presented to me (getting involved in the Yale Precision Marching Band, studying abroad, helping out the community, etc)
3. How does it feel to win such a prestigious award?
Michael J. Petrides was an amazing leader whose passions drove him to great success as well as service. To be given an award in his name is a great honor. He has definitely inspired me in my future plans, particularly in my desires to support a better educational and living environment in Staten Island and around the world.
4. Do you have any advice for underclassmen?
For any underclassmen, I definitely encourage a career in the STEM fields. Even if you may find it challenging or intimidating, don’t let anyone or anything discourage you. For those who may not be interested in these fields, follow your passions fiercely. While it is important to become well-rounded, don’t spread yourself thin. If you are not giving your 100% to the activities or events you are most interested in, you are wasting time. Even if you are one of the many not certain of what he or she wants to do, take risks and don’t be afraid to be a little unrealistic.
Read more about Shannon’s award: http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/05/accolades_for_math_scholar_sta.html
Written by Tiffany Zhao
Photo Courtesy to silive.com