Mentored at Stony Brook, Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey is in the national spotlight
Brentwood High School student, guided by SB professor Dianna Padilla, to attend State of the Union address Tuesday
Long Island high school student Samantha Garvey, whose success despite personal struggle has captured hearts across the country, is one of 30 Intel Science Talent Search semifinalists mentored this year by Stony Brook faculty .
The child of immigrants from wartorn El Salvador, Samantha conducted her research even as her family lost their home and were forced to relocate to a Bay Shore homeless shelter. Her triumph over adversity has drawn nationwide attention, culminating in an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show — where she was presented with a $50,000 scholarship check — and an invitation to the 2012 State of the Union address, which she attended Tuesday night as the guest of Rep. Steve Israel. She also met with President Obama's Science Advisor, Dr. John Holdren.
Samantha, who last year also became the first Siemens semifinalist from Brentwood High School, is described by her Stony Brook mentor Dr. Dianna Padilla, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, as a talented, smart young scientist, and an incredible person.
Dr. Padilla recounted how Samantha, a 2011 Simons Summer Research Fellow, spent many hours conducting research at Flax Pond and in her laboratory. “Stony Brook has played a really important role in giving her the opportunities to grow into the young scientist she has become today,” Dr. Padilla said.
Stony Brook also figures in Samantha's story through her high school science research teacher, Rebecca Grella, who is a PhD student in the Department of Ecology and Evolution and attended Stony Brook as an undergraduate.
Consistently, approximately 10 percent of the nation’s 300 semifinalists in both the Intel and Siemens competitions are mentored at Stony Brook University each year.
“Stony Brook University continues to be one of the leading incubators of high school research talent in the nation,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, President, Stony Brook University. “Year after year, faculty and graduate students wholeheartedly commit themselves to guiding and mentoring these emerging young scientists. On behalf of the University, I would like to congratulate each semifinalist on this fine accomplishment and give my sincerest thanks to their mentors for their hard work and dedication in mentoring the researchers of tomorrow.”
Samantha Garvey on the Ellen DeGeneres Show (may be preceded by commercial message):
SBU Faculty Mentors 30 Semifinalists in National Intel Science Talent Search Competition (Stony Brook University news release, Jan. 20, 2012)
Samantha Garvey: D.C. trip 'once in a lifetime' (Newsday Jan. 25, 2012)
Long Island State of Union Watch Party in Support of Science Whiz Samantha Garvey (NBC Channel 4-NY, Jan. 24, 2012)
Samantha Garvey, Homeless Intel Science Competition Semifinalist, Is Dedicated To Helping Her Family Overcome Hardship (Huffington Post Jan. 22, 2012)
Homeless teen science scholar is model for all (Dallas Morning News editorial, Jan. 20, 2012)
Homeless NY science whiz to receive $50K college scholarship on Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show (Washington Post Jan. 19, 2012)
'Ellen' gives Samantha Garvey $50G scholarship (Newsday Jan. 18, 2012)
Homeless teen Samantha Garvey, an Intel semifinalist, to attend State of the Union address (New York Daily News Jan. 18, 2012)
Samantha Garvey's amazing grit (Newsday Jan. 12, 2012)