Two Kennedy Students Named Regeneron Finalists

Kennedy High School Regeneron Finalists thumbnail209728
Kennedy High School senior Desiree Rigaud thumbnail209734
Kennedy High School senior Christopher Luisi  thumbnail209735
Kennedy High School seniors Christopher Luisi and Desiree Rigaud thumbnail209736
Kennedy High School seniors Christopher Luisi and Desiree Rigaud With Staff thumbnail209737

Kennedy High School seniors Christopher Luisi and Desiree Rigaud were named finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. 

Luisi and Rigaud were among only seven students from across Long Island named finalists and 40 nationwide on Jan. 21. Four other Kennedy students were named semifinalists on Jan. 6: Michelle Brown, Brandon Lin, Christopher Prainito and Shannon Su.

“We really all did this together and it is so great to be together to celebrate this,” said advanced science research adviser Barbi Frank. “I have had the honor of watching these students since they have been sophomores and to observe them transform into the scientists they have become today is remarkable.” 

Luisi’s project, “How Dietary Restriction Affects the Athleticism, Metabolic Rate, and Lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster,” is a culmination for more than a year of work.

“Working alongside my classmates for three years, we got to not only learn about science research, but also learn about ourselves and each other,” Luisi said. “We’ve been editing each other’s papers, presentations, post boards, all the while learning about each other’s passions.”

Rigaud’s project, “COVID-19 Induced Economic Stress: The Effect on Marital Functioning and Methods of Alleviating Financial Stress,” also endured a year’s worth of efforts.

“My goal is to continue to keep this connection that we built in advanced science research,” she said. “It was such a rewarding and supportive experience.”

In the last 17 years, a total of 62 Kennedy students have been recognized as semifinalist/scholars and eight have advanced to the finalist-level in the Regeneron STS. 

The 40 finalists nationwide were selected from 300 scholars and 1,804 entrants.

In addition to the $2,000 awarded to the semifinalists’ school, each of the finalists is awarded $25,000. They represent 37 schools across 19 states.

Finalists will participate in a weeklong competition from March 9-16, 2022, where they will undergo a rigorous judging process and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards.

Date Added: 1/21/2022