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Rising Scientist Award Winner

Cristina Lai, a South High School senior, is a recipient of a Rising Scientist Award, presented by the Child Mind Institute, for her outstanding achievements in science. Cristina was one of 10 twelfth-graders in the New York metropolitan area to receive the award. Additionally, the science department of each award recipient’s school received $500 to be used toward supplies, equipment, and books.


Students were nominated by their school and then selected by the Institute through an open submission process that involved reviewing student research papers, presentations, and articles that featured each nominee’s accomplishments in science and research, as well as their academic and extracurricular activities. 


Dr. Carol Hersh, Cristina’s Advanced Placement Chemistry and Science Research teacher at South High, explained that she was nominated for this award “based on her strong performance in her science courses and in science research, as well as her contribution to the Science Olympiad team.” Cristina’s research has involved the study of genetic and neurological disorders, and treating patients with these disorders.


“We are delighted to award Cristina for her truly exceptional work,” stated Dr. Harold Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute. “I know Cristina and her peers have a bright future in whatever they set their minds to. I commend Great Neck South High School for fostering a strong commitment to the sciences and instilling their students with a love of learning.” 


The Child Mind Institute’s mission is to find more effective treatments for childhood psychiatric and learning disorders, build the science of healthy brain development, and help provide children and their families with help, hope, and answers.