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The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

Senior Spotlights

Eleane Lin:

Orlena Fella

Voted “most artistic” by her class and responsible for designing their epic senior sweatshirts, Eleane looks for opportunities to be creative in all that she does. This is the main reason she picked the engineering track. She said, “Engineering has the structure that I really like in doing projects. And it allows me to still be creative.” This is also what drew her to Olin College of Engineering, a small, prestigious engineering school near Boston. She noted that Olin has no exams and is entirely project based: “you just get that hands-on experience, which I found I really want.”
During her time at MSE, Eleane has had a hands-on role on the board of the Environmental Activism Club (EAC) first as an editor and then as a co-president. Under her leadership, EAC has collaborated with the Riverside Park Conservatory for monthly cleanups and even took a trip to Albany to rally at the lobby for climate justice.
Although Olin only offers engineering majors, Eleane plans on pursuing her environmental interests through a concentration in sustainability — along with a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering — by cross-registering at nearby colleges. She may have always been artistic, but it’s only recently that she’s figured out what she might want to do with her creativity. She advised lowerclassmen, “Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do yet. I figured it out really late and some people are still figuring it out. Just start with what you’re most passionate about and go from there.”

Yang Shen:

Orlena Fella

Even off the court, Yang is serving.

Over the past year, he’s been working in the Hurd Lab at Mount Sinai — a neuroscience lab that investigates addiction. His research is on ‘assessing the neurobiological underpinnings of cannabidiols action in attenuating opioid relapse’. Which, as Yang put it, “is basically a bunch of scientific jargon for saying how does CBD reverse the effect of heroin and other opioids?”

As a contributor to this research, Yang spent a lot of time in the animal facility running the behavioral models, and on his computer learning how to code. “I was raising the rats a little bit, you know?” Yang recalled, laughing. “I run this experiment in which we get rats to press an active lever and inactive lever. The inactive lever is for control, and the active lever is paired with the light cue and also administers an infusion of heroin,” Yang explained.

After a period of forced abstinence, Yang administered CBD to the rats and observed a drastic reduction in heroin-seeking behavior. “The craziest part is that when we look[ed] at their ontologies, we found that CBD actually reverses the effects of opioids on the genes.”

Yang’s research will be included in his mentor’s paper at the end of the year, with him listed as a coauthor. In the meantime, he’s heading to Taiwan to teach English at a school as part of a government program, the Overseas Chinese Academic Center. He’ll also be visiting family in Shanghai and traveling Japan with friends before he returns to the states four days before college starts.

His words of advice for underclassmen? “Just relax and you’re gonna be happier throughout the process. If you’re always looking forward to that one milestone, then you forget to enjoy where you are. We’re kids. Have fun.”

Fowzia Islam:

Joven Wu

In a world where representation often falls short, our very own Fowzia Islam has made a significant mark by co-founding HeadStart Hijobi, an organization dedicated to empowering young Muslim women to pursue diverse careers.
Fowzia’s journey began with deep, meaningful conversations with a friend, which led to the realization that they lacked role models who looked like them in professional fields. “One day we were talking about how we’ve always grown up with the influence of hijabi women, but the thing was, they were all like mothers and housewives. And we were at a stage in life where it was just like damn, we’re getting to a point where we need to think about our careers but we don’t fully know where to go,” Fowzia shared. “I’ve always been interested in business and I wanted to learn more myself of what that experience is like as a hijabi. And so we thought, while helping ourselves, why don’t we create something?”
And so, HeadStart Hijobi was born. Since its creation in January of 2023, HeadStart Hijobi has built a foundation with a team of high school and college students ranging from researchers, video-editors, designers and social media managers. Through their podcast and Youtube channel, they have shared the stories of hijabi women from law clerks to ultrasound technicians. “It’s so beautiful to see these women discuss their jobs and lives to show that they fit right into where they are rather than trying to push them to fit in,” Fowzia shared. “Sure, because of their hijab, they might be treated differently but skills-wise they’re talented and passionate, and are like any other person in their career field.”
Fowzia and her co-founder are both attending the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College next year where they will continue expanding the community HeadStart Hijobi has created. “Especially going to a CUNY, you have so many diverse people and a large Muslim community. So I think if we use the resources around us to help us grow, then eventually we’ll grow enough to make our own resources, and be a larger resource ourselves for others.”
To listen to the HeadStart Hijobi Podcast, and follow for updates, please visit their Spotify, Instagram and Youtube @headstarthijobi

Oran Robinson-Hartley

Joven Wu

All of us who have ever had a class with Oran have likely wondered what he is doing on his computer, oftentimes typing away with passion.

“The main thing that I do is graphics programming. So that’s like, like in a game, for example, the way that everything is rendered, is on the graphics card. I’m essentially just writing up code to run on the graphics card,” Oran explained. He describes falling in love with programming all the way back in elementary school in Scratch class (remember the coding website with the cat?), and has been teaching himself the ins and outs of programming ever since.

Next year, Oran will be attending Arizona State University for aerospace engineering.
“For one I’ve just always been interested in planes and rockets. And then I’m going into engineering in particular, because I’m worried that if I did a career specifically in coding, that would end up just removing my enjoyment of programming. It would just turn it into work, essentially. And I just don’t want to lose my love of coding.”

Oran’s piece of advice for underclassmen is one that he’s followed through his high school career: “Don’t be afraid to like, just do whatever on your own. Don’t be afraid to Google stuff. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And like, especially if there’s something that interests you, dive right in. Because anything that really interests you, is going to be a much more rewarding career. It’s gonna be a much more rewarding thing for you to do than anything else.”

Aria Landman:

Joven Wu

She’s a nail tech, classical flutist! Self-taught bassist! Oh, and a polyglot?! What can’t this girl do?

Aria’s passion for nail art began in 7th grade when her friend bought her a gel nail polish kit for her birthday, but it wasn’t until March of this year that she officially launched her nail service (@nailsbyaria) as a creative outlet and way to make money on the side. From mushrooms and ladybugs to 3D seashells , Aria doesn’t settle for basics. For now, Aria’s been practicing mostly with friends, but has plans for growing her business in college and possibly even running a service out of her dorm room.

Music has always been a big part of Aria’s life. Both of her parents were jazz musicians and she’s been classically trained in flute since she was very young. Whether you’ve seen her band club performances at the Winter Recital or most recently, at Cuisine on the Quad, Aria is front, and center, with a bass in hand. “Shout out to band club because I love them so much. It’s so nice to be able to explore other sides of a personality that I guess like stereotypically wouldn’t be appreciated at our school” What you might not know by her performances, though, is that she is completely self-trained and has only been playing for two years.

Along with the bass, Aria has also managed to teach herself how to speak Mandarin and Arabic (in addition to German and Japanese). “I bought the super Duolingo subscription and I’m on day 135 today. I love learning languages so I made it a New Year’s resolution for myself to do it.” In the future, she wants to teach herself Urdu, Dutch, and French.

But that’s not all. At MSE, Aria co-founded the Environmental Activism Club and was instrumental in organizing the Albany Youth Day of Action and implementing the MSE recycling bins. Next year, she will be pursuing environmental science with a focus on social justice at Binghamton while conducting research on ecological genetics through the First Year Research Immersion Program. “I’ve always had a fascination with how human society and biological worlds intersect,” Aria shared. “I’m just excited to see where it all takes me”.

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