Warwick Valley High School (WVHS) student Hannah Davis has been selected as an “Emperor Science Award” winner. She is among 100 high school students from across the U.S. to be selected for this program.
Based on her passionate essay describing the need to find a cure for cancer, Hannah, a WVHS sophomore, was announced as an award recipient for the second year of this PBS LearningMedia and Stand Up To Cancer science award program.
About the Emperor Science Award Program
The Emperor Science Award program is an initiative designed to encourage high school students to explore careers in science, specifically cancer research and care, through a unique mentoring opportunity. PBS LearningMedia, a digital educational resource library for teachers and students, and Stand Up To Cancer, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, received nearly 800 applications from eligible 10th and 11th grade students from 44 states throughout the U.S. who are interested in pursuing a career in science research.
Prominent scientists served as judges and evaluated the students’ applications, which included written essays addressing why scientific research is so important in finding a cure for cancer as well as what scientific field they would study and why.
The 100 Emperor Science Award recipients will have an opportunity to conduct research in a lab, either physically, virtually, or a combination of both, working with an esteemed scientist on a rewarding multi-week cancer research project. They will receive a Google Chrome computer to enhance their studies and to facilitate mentor access for those students who live at a distance from their mentor’s research facility, as well as a $1,500 stipend for expenses. Those entering the program for the first year will also have the opportunity to apply for a second year.
“We’re very proud of Hannah,” said Warwick Valley School District Superintendent, Dr. David Leach. “And we’re pleased that she will represent WVHS and the entire Warwick community as she continues to enhance her knowledge and skills through this one-of-a-kind mentorship program.”
Developing an Interest in Cancer Research
Hannah developed an interest in cancer research because she was personally affected by the disease, explaining, “In the past few years, I’ve had a coach and a family friend who had to go through a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy. My grandmother died of breast cancer before I was born and more than 1,600 Americans die of cancer every day.”
She worked on her student research in the WVHS Science Research class, under the guidance of her teacher, Lisa Reece.
Hannah said, “While working on this project, I’ve learned about the history of treating breast cancer and the treatments that have been developed to improve living conditions for people with breast cancer.”
The Science Research class curriculum includes frequent presentations where each student updates the class on the status of their research. Class members continually collaborate and learn from each other.
Hannah plans to study cancer research in college and hopes to attend a university that will prepare her for a career in this field. In addition to her studies, Hannah enjoys playing volleyball, basketball, and softball for Warwick. She also plays the double bass and the piano.
During the program, Hannah will work with her assigned mentor, Dr. Karla Ballman, Chief of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Ballman specializes in designing clinical trials, analyzing complex data, and developing molecular signatures that can help predict whether or not a cancer patient will respond to targeted therapies.
The Emperor Science Award Program has been made possible by generous financial support from Founding Donors Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Novartis. Their support will fund a total of 300 awards through the first three years.