July 7, 2000
Volume XXXIII, No. 27

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High school graduate and HSC volunteer wins major science competition

Brigid Aileen Milligan, a May graduate of Health Careers High School and a two-year volunteer in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Health Science Center, received a $1,000 scholarship this spring as a national semifinalist for the Intel Science Talent Award. Brigid's faculty mentor was Dr. Martin Meltz, professor of radiation oncology.

Under the tutelage of Dr. Meltz and her science teachers at Health Careers, Brigid presented a project titled "Does Radiation Cause Cancer in Mammalian Cells: An In Vitro Investigation of the Effects of Microwave Radiation on Mouse Balb/c 3T3 Cells." In recognition of her achievement, Health Careers was awarded $1,000 in matching funds to recognize its excellence in science education.

"She investigated whether microwave radiation at the frequency of a microwave oven could cause cancer-like changes in cells," Dr. Meltz said. "She did not find evidence of transformation in the cells."

Brigid captured four awards in the 1999 Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair, including a special award from the Yale Science and Engineering Association. In the spring of 1999, she won first place in the Medicine and Health Category at the State Junior Academy Science Fair in College Station and was awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. In the national competition, she finished third out of 400 competitors in the medicine/health category.

Brigid's immediate future is assured—a spot in the fall class at Wellesley College. "I was accepted to and received full scholarships from the University of Notre Dame, Amherst College, Duke University, Northwestern University, Kenyon College and Washington University in St. Louis," the proud graduate said.