March 17, 2003
Southampton College Brain Bee Champ Wins International Competition
Lynbrook High School Student Saroj Kunnakkat Takes Scholarships
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BALTIMORE, MD- Long Island was well represented once again as some of the best science students from around the world competed for the top spot at the International Brain Bee in Maryland this weekend. Southampton College winner Saroj Kunnakkat, 16, took first place overall in the prestigious contest. She fought hard and finally triumphed over the other finalist after eleven rounds. Kunnakkat, a junior from Lynbrook High School, continues a Long Island tradition of excellence when it comes to this prestigious competition. Last year second place winner, Vikas Gupta, is from Comsewogue High School in Port Jefferson Station. The IBB champion receives $6000 in scholarships, an all-expense-paid trip for two to New Orleans to attend the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, an individual trophy and a traveling trophy for their high school. The Brain Bee experience is not new to Kunnakkat. She has taken second place in the regional competition at Southampton College for the past two years. There students are prepped by skilled professors in intensive weekly workshops leading up to the actual Brain Bee. This year she swept the contest, answering every question put to her correctly. This entitled her to a $12,000 scholarship to Southampton College and the chance to participate in the International Brain Bee at the University of Maryland Baltimore Medical School. Internationally, the Brain Bee is part of Brain Awareness Week (March 10-16, 2003). Spearheaded by both the Dana Alliance, a private philanthropic foundation, and the Society for Neuroscience, the goal is to motivate youth to learn about the brain and pursue careers in biomedical brain research in the fight against mental retardation, cerebral palsy, spinal-cord injury and other brain disorders.