For her research project, McNamara said, she wanted to study macaques because they are the most widespread of primates –– beside humans –– and the most biologically diverse, with 19 species found in Asia, Afghanistan, Japan, the Philippines and Borneo. Examples include the rhesus macaque and the Japanese macaque, or snow monkey.
Females with large, exaggerated canine teeth, McNamara found, tend to be “highly competitive” for food, territory and mates. She studied females, she said, because she wanted to better understand why –– and how –– they dominate the social hierarchy of their troops.
In addition to science research, McNamara is secretary general of Calhoun’s Model United Nations, which will present political position papers at a conference with other Model U.N. clubs in New York City in March. She tutors her fellow students in math and chemistry, plays the clarinet in the Calhoun band and gives private music lessons to elementary school children, and is a member of the national, math, science, French and Tri-M music honor societies.
McNamara said she hopes to attend Brown, NYU or Boston University next fall.
Preetha Phillips, 17,
Phillips, who is known throughout Calhoun as a compassionate young person, committed to several community-service projects over the past four years and has been a member of the Key Club and treasurer of the Students Against Destructive Decisions club.
Phillips conducted her research at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center’s Psychiatric Institute, analyzing brain scans of people with panic disorder using magnetic resonance spectroscopy to determine whether and what metabolite concentrations may cause panic disorder. Metabolites are small molecules that are the byproducts of the body’s metabolism at work.
Phillips is a member of Calhoun’s Model United Nations club and will attend the University of West Virginia in the fall, where she will pursue an eight-year medical degree.
Jocelyn Yu, 18,