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Rochester Museum & Science Center To Honor Bright Minds at RMSC STEM Awards

    ROCHESTER, NY—At a new event, the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) highlights local area educators and organizations that are making a difference and exciting the community about the important opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The RMSC STEM Awards ceremony takes place at 6pm on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at the Strathallan Hotel. The event is open to the public.

    “This community’s future is bright especially now that there are so many individuals and up-and-coming companies doing first-class work,” said Kate Bennett, president, RMSC. “We are excited to celebrate well-deserving award recipients for the inspiration they have ignited in the important fields of STEM.”

    Members of the community nominated individuals and organizations for four distinct STEM awards. Volunteer committee members have selected finalists.

    Awards and Finalists

    The Catalyst Award—The Catalyst Award recognizes an organization or representative of an organization that develops and encourages an environment that promotes innovation in science and technology or that has utilized science and technology to form a lasting impact on the Greater Rochester Region. 

    The Catalyst Award Finalists—Sheila Brady-Root of St. John Fisher College; Girl Develop It, represented by Liz Gombert and Kristen Curtze; LaserMax, Inc., represented by Will and Susan Houde-Walter; Duncan Moore of University of Rochester; and Second Avenue Learning, represented by Victoria Van Voorhis.

    Leadership Awards in STEM Education—Presented at elementary, secondary and university educational levels, this award recognizes innovative teaching in science, technology, engineering or math education. Educators are recognized for innovation in inspiring students to understand, appreciate and apply STEM fields. Candidates must have at least three years of teaching experience. 

    Leadership Awards in STEM Education Finalists, Elementary Level—Sue Sorrentino, Donna Chaback and Kathy Irvine from the Allendale Columbia Lower School STEM Team; Dr. Ania Majewska of University of Rochester Medical Center; Peter Mastrogiovanni, Vici Patanella and Tina Rodger from the Nathaniel Rochester Community School STEM Team; Kati Tobin and Tammy Pulver of Lima Primary School; and Kathy Uerz of Wayne Central School District.

    Leadership Awards in STEM Education Finalists, Secondary Level—Paul Conrow from East School Precision Optics; Randy French of Geneseo Middle/High School; Eric Kazukiewicz from the West Irondequoit Central School District; Donna Smith from Gates Chili High School; and Steve Thering from Barker Road Middle School of the Pittsford Central School District.

    Leadership Awards in STEM Education Finalists, University Level—Dr. Thomas Brown of The Institute of Optics at University of Rochester; Dr. Yousuf George from Nazareth College of Rochester; Dr. Maria Helguera and Mr. Joe Pow of Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at Rochester Institute of Technology; and Dr. April Luehmann of University of Rochester.

    STEM Communication Award—This award recognizes individual achievement or team collaboration in a body of communications or journalistic work that presents science and technology news and issues via any medium, including new media. This year’s recipient is Jarod Miller, a born naturalist and communicator. While earning a degree in zoology from SUNY Oswego, Jarod became a regular guest on several national late night and daytime talk shows, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Rachael Ray, and NBC Today, and a correspondent for news programs across the country. At age 25, he became the youngest accredited zoo director and helped transform the Binghamton Zoo. Continuing his goal of educating the public about animals, Jarod soon went on to host his own television series, Animal Exploration with Jarod Miller and primetime series for Animal Planet and CBS.

    President’s Civic Award—Presented by RMSC President Kate Bennett, this award recognizes an individual for his or her contributions to the fields of STEM.

    The RMSC STEM Awards is designed to be an annual celebration of those who continue to make Rochester a hub for innovation and discovery.

    Individual ticket: $100; Inquiry Sponsor (ten tickets): $1,250.

    For additional sponsorship opportunities, contact Ryan Elizabeth Shear at 585.697.1924 or

    Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.