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Released June 7, 2005


HATTIESBURG – Mississippi science students proved to be the cream of the crop at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held May 7-13 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Some 9th- to12th-graders racked up $8,050 in cash awards given out by Science Service and the Intel Foundation. The group of 30 was among nearly 1,200 students who earned the right to compete by winning a top prize at a local, regional, state or national science fair.

Presbyterian Christian High School senior Winston Harmon Messer of Hattiesburg saw his four years of hard work pay off when he was awarded the First Place U.S. Air Force Award of $3,000 for his project Hemodynamics and Heart Failure.

While Messer was ecstatic to take home the top award, he said it is his passion for discovering new things that drives him during competitions, not the thousands of dollars in prizes.

"I feel like at some point the work itself is the reward and anything beyond that is just icing on the cake," said the aspiring cardiologist who's been accepted to Brown Univeristy in Rhode Island.

Oak Grove High School student Jennifer Jing Huang was also rewarded for her efforts as she took home the Fourth Place Award of $500 and Honorable Mention for the Biochemistry Society Award in which she pocketed $50 for Simultaneous Detection of E.coli.

The University of Southern Mississippi's Dr. Lawrence Bellipanni, science education professor emeritus, also left the event feeling like a winner as he was honored with a plaque in appreciation of his outstanding achievement and commitment to the Intel ISEF.

"I felt extremely honored," said Bellipanni, who has served as the Secretary of the Intel ISEF Advisory Council since 2003. "I try to do my best job always."

Bellipanni's passion for science is evident in his service to the Mississippi Science and Engineering Fairs, where he has served as director or president for 42 years. He has attended 42 of the 56 International Science and Engineering Fairs, serving as an international judge for 15 years. Each year Bellipanni is largely responsible for approximately 700 students competing at the state level and 40 Mississippi students competing at the international level.

"It's (science fair) a thrill for me because that's what I look forward to, seeing these kids do their best," said Bellipanni. "I encourage every kid from grades1-12 to take part in the science fair program. It serves as a vehicle to enhance science and engineering education and has rewarded numerous students with scholarships, money, and other compensation."

For more information on the Southern Miss science and engineering program or its annual regional science fair, please contact Dr. Bellipanni at (601) 310-3699.


First Place U.S. Air Force Award of $3,000

Hemodynamics and Heart Failure: Utilization of Impedance Cardiography to Measure Therapeutic Response in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure, Year Two

Winston Harmon Messer, 18, Presbyterian Christian High School, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

First Place Category Award of $3,000

Methodology of Phytomining by Growing Avena sativa and Medicago sativa to Nucleate Gold Nanoparticles for Nanoapplications, Phase II

Rachael Ann Scott, 17, Northwest Mississippi Home Educators Association, Como, Mississippi.

Third Place Category Award of $1,000

Detecting the Aggregation Pheromone of Armadillidium vulgare

Clara Grace Watson, 17, Grenada High School, Grenada, Mississippi

Fourth Place Category Award of $500 and Honorable Mention for the Biochemistry Society Award of $50

Simultaneous Detection of E. coli O157:H7 Toxin Genes by Nucleic Acid Sequence-Based Amplification

Jennifer Jing Huang, 17, Oak Grove High School, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Fourth Place Category Award of $500

Using Absorbance Difference Spectroscopy to Study Interactions of Selected Inhibitors on Breast Cancer Molecular Target Cytochrome P450 Aromatase

Jonathan Lloyd Priester, 17, William B. Murrah High School, Jackson, Mississippi


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July 22, 2005 2:22 PM