RFH Students Named Governor’s STEM Scholars

Two Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School juniors have been chosen as 2022 Governor’s STEM (Science, Technology, Energy and Mathematics) Scholars.

Juniors Sophia Dengler and Annette Kersten join 98 other New Jersey students from across twenty counties in this competitive, selective program with a 15 percent acceptance rate.  

“Sophie and Annie are outstanding examples of focused, committed, curious and motivated students who will no doubt go on to make their mark in the fields of STEM and improve the lives of others. We couldn’t be prouder to share their accomplishments and are excited for their work and experiences to motivate other RFH students to continue to explore all of the possibilities that STEM has to offer.”

STEM Supervisor Jon Pennetti

The Governor’s STEM Scholars Advisory Council’s stringent selection criteria for acceptance to the program involved rigorous evaluation of academic achievement, STEM engagement and passion, and potential for impact, among other things. 

The Governor’s STEM Scholars program, founded in 2013, consists of nearly 600 scholars and alumni. Based on the belief that maintaining a pipeline of talented individuals is critical to maintaining excellence in innovation, the program was created to engage the next generation of research and innovation leaders in the state’s STEM economy early.

Both of RFH’s scholars learned of the program through their participation in RFH’s National Science Honor Society, begun and advised currently by Jodi Foster, a veteran physics teacher.

About Sophie Dengler

Sophie Dengler’s focused area of study is outer space and aerospace engineering. Her interest in STEM began in elementary school; and since then she has made STEM a prominent part of her life.

Last year, she was elected to be the DNA Day Chair of RFH’s chapter of the Science National Honor Society.  She also participates in Science League and Environmental Awareness Club.  In the future, Sophie hopes to make STEM education more accessible and hands-on for children.

She also hopes to further her education in STEM and work in an interactive environment that will pave the way for new discoveries and inventions. 

“I am very excited to see where STEM Scholars takes me educationally and to meet professionals in the STEM field who can talk about their experiences and introduce me to possible careers. I hope that this program will help me to further understand how I can apply science, technology, engineering, and math to my everyday life in order to hopefully make a positive and revolutionary impact on the world one day.” 

RFH junior Sophie Dengler

About Annie Kersten

Annie Kersten is heavily involved in the RFH school community as a member of Key Club, Student Government Association, Science League, and as an editor for the yearbook.

She is on the Executive Council for RFH’s chapter of the Science National Honor Society and is the Social Media Chair for the Environmental Awareness Club.

The Governor’s STEM Scholars program appealed to Kersten largely due to the research opportunities it presents. 

“The opportunity to be involved with the Governor’s STEM program is very exciting to me. I look forward to exploring STEM facilities and labs within New Jersey and meeting with professionals and researchers in this field. I also hope to gain new skills and connections while learning about possible career pathways within STEM. I hope this will help me to reach my goals of positively influencing the world around me.”

RFH junior Annie Kersten

Through the program, Kersten hopes to dive much deeper into computer science and engineering and aspires to pursue one of these areas as a major in college.

Through the prestigious program, Dengler and Kersetn will be involved in various activities throughout the school year that will enable them to:

  • gain a 360-degree view of NJ’s STEM economy through four symposiums focusing on government, academia, industry, and a commencement;
  • network with the state’s leading STEM researchers and professionals from institutions like NJIT, Johnson & Johnson, and the NJ General Assembly;
  • obtain exclusive access to internship opportunities across the state;
  • meet C-level STEM professionals and executives through Fireside Chats, such as former AT&T CEO Dr. Morris Tanenbaum, known as the founding father of the digital age;
  • develop a research project with students from all across NJ;
  • compete to be named the state’s leading STEM citizen;
  • visit top STEM facilities at places like PSEG, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Princeton Plasma Physics Lab;
  • join an elite network of young STEM professionals; and,
  • ultimately secure the state’s STEM talent pipeline for years to come.

— Edited press release from RFH

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management