Mississippi Junior Academy: A Year of "Firsts"

The Mississippi Junior Academy of Sciences (MJAS) has had an exciting year. A record 71 research papers were submitted by high school students across the state for possible presentation at the annual paper competition. Forty-one of these papers were selected and presented at Jones County Junior College, our host institution for 1997. This year in addition to category and overall awards, Junior Academy participants had the opportunity to win scholarships offered by seven Mississippi community colleges and three universities. Corporate involvement was another exciting first. Dr. Rosalina Hairston has been extremely successful in procuring corporate sponsorship for Junior Academy winners. Corporate monies will enable the journal to publish the papers of the three top winners from the 1996 and 1997 competitions. Journal readers can look forward to reading the papers of Rachel Hutchins, Adam Friedman, and Laura Eichhorn. Rachel was the 1996 overall winner, Adam the 1997 overall winner, and Laura the 1997 Clyde Sheely awardee. Rachel is a senior at Poplarville High School and both Adam and Laura are seniors at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Jackson.

In addition to Adam and Laura, other class II (11th/12th) category winners in the 1997 competition were: Paula Jean Runge, Stone High School; Robert McGehee, St. Andrew's Episcopal; Nicholas Belk, Weir Attendance Center; and Narayan Sundaram, St. Andrew's Episcopal School. Class I (9th/10th) winners were Jessica Burgos, Cleveland High School; Jonathan Boone, Poplarville High School; and Kush Agrawal, St. Andrew's Episcopal.

Officers and board members who will guide the activities of the Junior Academy during the coming year were elected during the general business meeting following the competition. Paula Jean Runge will serve as President for the coming year. Other officers/board members are: Vice-President: Jill Davis, Poplarville High School; Secretary: Heleena Frederick, Morton High School; Reporter: Raquel Sloan, Weir Attendance Center; Board Members: Jami Webb, Stone High School; John Ma, Jackson Academy; Lisa Federoff, Poplarville High School; and Jennifer French, Morton High School.

Before acknowledging the colleges, universities and corporate sponsors that have joined in support of our young scientists, I would like to add a personal thanks to the many people that have assisted me in working with the Junior Academy. In order to pursue other areas of interest, I have resigned as MJAS director. For the past five years, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the finest young people in our state, as well as members of the Academy who I regard as both outstanding scientists and educators. For that experience, I am truly grateful. The Junior Academy has experienced some exciting "firsts," and I am looking forward to watching its future changes as it strives to support and promote young scientists in our state.--Susan J. Nodurft

Thanks to the following academic institutions and corporate sponsors:

Community Colleges and Universities:

Coahoma Community College

East Central Community College

Jones County Junior College

Meridian Community College

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Pearl River Community College

Southwest Mississippi Community College

Delta State University

University of Mississippi

University of Southern Mississippi

Corporate Sponsors:

First Chemical Corporation

Mississippi Chemical Corporation

Georgia Pacific Corporation

Mississippi Power