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MNHS Junior Earns Prestigious Awards in Computer Technology Areas

Riya PawarRiya Pawar, a junior in the Science & Engineering Magnet Program at Manalapan High School, won the 2023 New Jersey Southern Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (NJSJSHS). Riya was also awarded a National Honorable Mention in the National Center for Women & Information Technology 2023 (NCWIT) for her academic and extracurricular achievements in computing fields.

For the past year, Riya has pursued research in cybersecurity. Her interests result from many research papers that she has read, along with current events detailing increased rates of cybercrime. She designed and developed a system that defends users from four of the most common cyber-attacks.

She was granted a scholarship from the Academy of Applied Sciences funded by the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force. Riya will be advancing to the national Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (JSHS) competition that will take place in Virginia Beach this April. In addition, Riya received the first prize in the Computer & Technology category from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Greater Monmouth Chapter.

JSHS is a STEM program supported by the Department of Defense (DoD), which includes the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense. It encourages high school students to carry out original research in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). A joint initiative between the DoD's research branch and colleges and universities around the country is called JSHS. The goal of JSHS is to help students become future scientists and engineers who will perform STEM research on behalf of or directly for the DoD and government research laboratories and contribute to the advancement of science and technology in the country.

Riya's accomplishments extend beyond NJSJSHS. She was also awarded a National Honorable Mention by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) for her academic and extracurricular achievements in computing fields.

NCWIT’s Aspirations in Computing (AiC) is a talent development initiative designed to increase female participation in technology careers by providing encouragement, visibility, community, leadership opportunities, scholarships, and internships to aspiring technically inclined young women. AiC recipients are selected for their demonstrated interest and achievements in academic aspirations, technical accomplishments, and exceptional leadership skills.

Riya is thankful to the NJSJSHS committee and the NCWIT team for their guidance and her school teachers for providing her with the necessary knowledge to pursue her research.