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PSC Students Recognized With Top Honors at Skyway STEM Competition

PSC Students Recognized With Top Honors at Skyway STEM Competition [05/01/2017]

STEM Skyway Competition 2017Prairie State College students (from left) Asija Watson, Andrew Severs and Gary Rathbone
received top honors during the 2017 Skyway Stem Poster Competition, hosted at Elgin Community College. 

Three Prairie State College students brought home top honors from the 2017 Skyway STEM Poster Competition. This year’s competition was hosted April 21 at Elgin Community College.

Asija Watson of University Park was named a first place winner for her research in chemistry, presented through the poster, “Synthesis, Characterization, and Antimicrobial Activity of Silver Nanoparticles.” She was advised by Dr. Medhat Shaibat, professor of chemistry at PSC. Watson is graduating from PSC this May with an associate degree in chemistry and plans to conduct research at Boston University this summer.

Andrew Severs of Homewood and Gary Rathbone of Chicago Heights earned second place honors for their research project, “Rankings of harmonic Numbers when Ordered with Logarithms.” Severs and Rathbone were advised by Dr. Steve Kifowit, PSC professor of mathematics.

PSC students have consistently received top honors during the STEM competition each year. Since 2013, PSC students have brought home five first place awards, four second place awards and one third place award.

“These honors demonstrate our faculty's hard work and dedication in bringing authentic research to a community college campus and deserves much recognition,” said Dr. Christine Brooms, PSC associate professor of chemistry, coordinator of the Chemistry Department and chair of natural sciences. “Our faculty work with students to develop research skills such as identifying a problem, finding literature to support the concepts, designing experiments and analyzing results from evidence that the students collect from our well-equipped science laboratories.”

“We are so proud of the success these students and faculty members,” said PSC President Dr. Terri L. Winfree. “These awards year after year are a real testament to the quality of programming we have here at PSC, as well as the amazing potential of our students,” she said.

The annual competition is a poster contest designed for students in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference. Projects were evaluated on the student’s ability to use the process of science, as well as rational and logical thinking to answer a question related to a STEM discipline. Eight schools, including PSC, participated in this year’s competition.