MARCH 2018
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Induction Ceremony Celebrates AHA Scientists; Doyle Presented with Rockland Electric Scientific Achievement Award

Demarest, NJ: The 13th Science National Honor Society induction ceremony at the Academy of the Holy Angels featured a warm welcome for 27 new members, and special recognition for senior Molly Doyle of Pearl River, New York, who received the Rockland Electric Scientific Achievement Award.

The event was a celebration of the sisterhood of science; quite literally, in some instances. Three 2018 SNHS inductees are triplets: Aimee, Heidi, and Maria Hannoush of Wyckoff. In addition, inductee Maya Sharma of River Vale was welcomed into the society by her sister Jaya, who is the current SNHS STREAM Coordinator.

New members from the greater AHA sisterhood include Jillian Busetto of Pomona, New York; Athena Cenname of Garnerville, New York; Melanie DeRosa of Westwood; Lily Djebiyan of Demarest; Alyssa Fiume of Saddle River; Kirsten Garino of Oradell; Olivia Hagopian of Oradell; Amanda Hawthorne of River Edge; Ashley Hess of Cedar Grove; Mackenzie Hughes of Oradell; Maggie Kaczmarczyk of Elmwood Park; Lauren Kim of Closter, Gabrielle Layne of Upper Saddle River; Gabriella Ligresti of Montebello, New York; Julia Malnak of Montvale; Olivia Mandella of Montvale; Erin Maron of Oradell; Emily McKiernan of Harrington Park; Timea Papp of Hawthorne; Emily Pintarelli of River Vale; Sara Rivoir of Englewood; Samantha Romano of Old Tappan; and Willa Spaar of River Vale.

In her address, AHA Science Department Chair Nancy Brizzolara discussed some of the opportunities available to AHA students, including clubs that allow students to build their own robots, learn to spot illicit behavior through body language, and use the school greenhouse to grow crops for local food banks. Additional initiatives include the Academy’s research partnership with Englewood Hospital, which permits selected students to make the transition from dissection to live surgery.
All of these programs bolster the Academy’s science program, one of the pillars of the STREAM curriculum that includes science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and mathematics.

“With our latest STREAM initiative, students will be conducting scientific research here at AHA in conjunction with Rutgers University through the Waksman Student Scholars Program,” Brizzolara noted. “They will be exploring molecular biology techniques to research the genomic sequence analyses of a duckweed plant and how those genes compare with other species.”
She added that the students’ work would be published in the international sequence database, so other scientists could access their findings.


Brizzolara also presented senior Molly Doyle with the Rockland Electric Scientific Achievement Award. The educator described Doyle as a determined scientist who lives out growth mindset, a concept described by Dr. Carol S. Dweck that states that intellectual skills and other human qualities can be cultivated through practice and effort.

“(Doyle’s) work ethic exceeds her own personal comfort level, and she reliably strives to gain new knowledge for the sake of gaining a deeper understanding, rather than merely focusing on the grade,” Brizzolara added. “She takes risks, makes sacrifices, and perseveres.

“Besides being an excellent student, she is an inspirational role model for all and has made a remarkable difference to our Holy Angels community through her leadership roles, creativity, persistence, and resourcefulness. She has taken five advanced level science courses at Holy Angels, plus AP Computer Science, and has been an instrumental and ever-present leader in Project Greenhouse from its onset.”

Doyle continues to be widely celebrated as the driving force behind Angels Enable. A few years ago, Doyle discovered that she and her peers could use the school’s 3-D printer to construct functional prosthetic hands for people in need. She established Angels Enable to continue this mission, which combines science with service.

In the AHA community Doyle has demonstrated her leadership in the Society of Women Engineers and the AHA Debate Team. She has participated in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Summer Journalism Workshop, and has distinguished herself as editor-in-chief of the AHA Voice and as a violinist for the AHA Orchestra.

At home in Pearl River, she worked through her local library to develop and teach an engineering program for children, and provide tech support for senior citizens.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, National Math Honor Society, Rho Kappa National History Honor Society, the Tri-M Music National Honor Society, and the Latin National Honor Society. She is a National Merit Commended Student and a William and Mary Leadership Award winner.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.

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