When Mitchell Rabinowitz, Ph.D., a professor at Fordham, agreed to serve as a supervising scientist on a research study with Isabella Greco, a student at the Bronx High School of Science, he wasn’t sure what to expect.
“I started off suggesting things to her, and she said, ‘No, I want to work on gender stereotyping and careers,’” said Rabinowitz, who had never mentored a high school student before. “She read my articles and research, and we came up with a methodology and related it to the topic.”
With Rabinowitz’s help, Greco researched the impact that gender association, and consistency or inconsistency with gender stereotypes, had on a person’s ability to accurately remember biographies about one’s occupation.
This January, Greco’s study, “The Effect of Gender Stereotype and Stereotype Inconsistency on False Memory of Occupation Descriptions,” was named a finalist in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. Only 300 students are announced as semifinalists each year. From that pool, 40 students are named finalists. According to Regeneron, alumni of the science talent search hold more than 100 of the world’s most distinguished science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and National Medal of Science.
In March, Greco will join other Regeneron finalists in Washington, D.C. to present her research to the public, meet with renowned scientists at the National Geographic Society, and undergo final judging. She will also compete for the top 10 awards, which range from $40,000 to $250,000 for the first place winner. The top 10 winners will be announced at the National Building Museum on March 14.
“It’s an honor to be a finalist in Regeneron,” said Greco, one of seven Bronx Science students selected and the only finalist among them. “Especially since there’s this idea that math and natural sciences are harder and more important.”