Popular Mechanics Recognizes Dublin High School’s Kumaran Ratnam with “Visionary” Breakthrough Award
Popular Mechanics Magazine recently recognized Dublin High School sophomore Kumaran Ratnam with a “Next Generation: Future Breakthrough Award“. But before sharing the details of that recognition, let’s start at the beginning.
Earlier this spring, we featured a Dublin High School freshman, newly transplanted native from the Boston area Kumaran Ratnam. Mr. Ratnam and his family had moved from the east coast and settled in Dublin in mid-2013. This move was made largely to take advantage of career opportunities for his parents, Karu and Devi. Karu settled in professionally at Cisco and Devi attained her position at Oracle. But, we learned in March that both the Ratnam children are high achievers. Kumaran and his younger sister, Jayani received early exposure to scientific competitions and both of them relished the opportunities to participate.
A key element of the freshman Biology with Research course at Dublin High School is to present either an individual or group research project at the Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair in March 2013. Kumaran seized this opportunity to explore a rather provocative concept. While he was touched by the condition of Macular Degeneration by a member of his own family, he chose to explore a remedy to this condition that could be improved. While a prosthetic exists to help treat this condition, the surgical replacement of batteries can be quite painful to the patient. He researched alternatives to this concept and theorized that the Piezo electric concept might serve as a reasonable alternative and might serve as a continuous source of renewable energy to serve the device. This theory is based upon a platform that could continuously harvest energy based upon sound and/or vibration.
“Never stop improving.” These are good words to live by. In this particular case, it is the corporate credo of Lowe’s Home Improvement. Under their heading of Social Responsibility, Lowe’s funds and staffs numerous community improvement projects. They call the program “Lowe’s Heroes.” This company-wide program encourages employees in a location to work together, adopt a volunteer project with a local non-profit organization or K-12 public school and to make a difference.
Earlier this year, Dublin Lowe’s General Manager, Sly Renard, was making local phone calls. He reached out to Cindy Leung at Wells Middle School. Ms. Leung is the School Community Liaison. Sly proposed a visit to the site to explore improvement possibilities. Along with Principal Kevin Grier, the team identified opportunities for more drought resistant landscaping and some touch-up painting. There was also a need for additional outdoor seating adjacent to the new Humanities building. The project scope was hatched and the wheels went into motion. At store #2273 on Dublin Blvd. a sign-up sheet was posted for the Wells project near the lunch room. This was not something new. As a corporation, Lowe’s Heroes has completed more than 1,200 community improvement projects across North America in 2013. More importantly, this mission represents true volunteerism. The employees contribute their own time and are not compensated.
OneDublin.org recently visited the Wells campus to check in on the work in progress and to visit with two Lowe’s volunteers. Virginia Corvello is the Human Resources Manager and Red Agdeppa is the Operations and Administrative Manager.
OneDublin.org: How do you determine which projects to take on? Do non-profits or schools contact you?
A full and fall sun sparkled over Gaels Stadium on Tuesday morning at Dublin High School. It was only fitting as the third annual Special Olympics of Northern California (SONC) soccer event took place at Dublin High School. Tuesday’s event was dedicated to students from pre-Kindergarten to the fifth grade throughout the Tri-Valley. The athletes participating represented elementary schools from Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore. As in years past, Dublin Unified School District Adapted Physical Education teacher Eric Hamilton invited OneDublin.org to cover this spectacle. We were pleased to do so.
While the Special Olympics movement has been firmly entrenched in our national consciousness, the Tri-Valley did not necessarily have a school based program until fairly recently. Fortunately, the program has expanded to soccer, basketball and track & field activities for all local athletes. On Tuesday, the emphasis was on younger students. In another week, on October 14th, a subsequent event will be sponsored at Dublin High for those in both the middle and high school levels. The celebration will start with an Opening Ceremony at 9:30 AM and the games will begin at 10:00 AM.
As for today, the festivities included a stadium-wide Pledge of Allegiance and the recitation of the Special Olympics Oath. “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” The Dublin High Band and Irish Guard added a musical touch to the overall celebration.
The majority of Dublin residents rarely venture into the Dublin Civic Center. Those that do are often seeking out building permits, are collecting city forms or are attending a City Council meeting. This made Thursday night a somewhat fascinating experience. A locally generated and promoted event highlighted a public debate with the four candidates seeking out the office of Mayor of Dublin for 2014 and beyond. Current Mayor Tim Sbranti will be terming out of his role and is pursuing office in the State Assembly. Thursday night’s event provided a platform for all four candidates to be heard. The candidates are: Shawn Costello, Kevin Hart, Kasie Hildenbrand and David Haubert. All four candidates possess respective merits and OneDublin.org elected to cover this event, including video highlights from the opening statements, questions and closing remarks.
While the subject matter presented was wide-ranging, we attempted to distill the questions and/or comments that related to educational matters. The debate was a two-hour affair that included questions to each candidate with provided a two-minute window to respond. This was then followed by a one-minute rebuttal by each individual. The debate concept was organized by local residents Kerrie Chabot and Mary Morehead, and was co-moderated by Todd Padnos and OneDublin.org editor, James Morehead.
The debate was well attended as more than 80 concerned citizens filled the City Hall chambers. Further, it was a very diverse group that represented all corners of Dublin. The event both started and ended on time.
The eight topics/questions centered on these themes:
The City of Dublin Mayoral race heats up tonight at 7pm as the four candidates for mayor, Shawn Costello, Kevin Hart, David Haubert, and Kasie Hidenbrand take center stage in a debate organized by local citizens. The event will be held at Dublin City Hall (100 Civic Plaza) starting a 7pm. For the first time in many years the race for mayor is wide open as long-time current mayor, Tim Sbranti, terms out and is running for a seat on the State of California Assembly.
The debate will be moderated by local residents James Morehead and Todd Padnos, and was organized by Kerrie Chabot and Mary Morehead, with questions drafted from suggestions submitted by residents from across the city.
The debate format will allow each candidate to make an opening and closing statement, with moderated questions providing an opportunity for a direct response and follow-up rebuttal.
From managing rapid growth, traffic congestion and crowded schools to preserving green space, from attracting high paying jobs and quality businesses to balancing budgets, the questions received cover a wide range of topics and a lively debate is anticipated.
Dublin High School Class of 2010 Alum Sarah Wolfish Graduates in 4 Years with Joint Degrees from Columbia and JTS
In this follow-up to Dublin High School Class of 2010 graduate Sarah Wolfish’s article about the first few months of college you’ll learn about the hard work that is inevitably woven into the fabric of pursuing a passion.
In the case of Ms. Wolfish, you’ll discover it is possible to earn two degrees from Columbia and the Jewish Theological Seminary in four years, while landing internships and finding time to socialize outside of class. Behind the students labeled gifted or talented what you’ll often find is a story of hard work, dedication and a burning desire to learn and grow.
OneDublin.org: Before understanding how you completed two degrees in four years, what were the programs you completed?
Sarah Wolfish: “I attended two schools full-time as part of a dual degree program at Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. I had two sets of general ed requirements, as well as requirements for the separate majors. At Columbia, I double majored in Political Science and Economics. At the Jewish Theological Seminary I majored in Midrash, which is the intersection between Jewish Law and Jewish Folklore.”
OneDublin.org: How did you have a life while completing a dual degree program and multiple majors? What was your course load?
Wolfish: “Most people end up taking courses over the summer to make it work. What I ended up doing was taking 7-8 classes per semester, which is a very heavy workload for college, normally you take 4-5 classes. I was strategic about the make-up of each semester. I made sure that if I took a class like computer science I would balance it with a literature class so that problems sets and labs required by one class and essays required by another would be due at different times. I really had to think about how to balance my workload. With the exception of my freshman year, I was also able to secure an internship every year.”
OneDublin.org: Did you ever hit a wall where you weren’t sure if you could keep up the pace you set for yourself?
Dublin High School Alum Cynthia Moore Goes Backstage with a Syracuse University BFA in Stage Management
Dublin High School Class of 2010 graduate Cynthia Moore was one of the first students to participate in OneDublin.org’s Life in College series. Her story began at Santa Barbara City College and ended with a 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Stage Management from Syracuse University. OneDublin.org caught up with Ms. Moore, now living in New York, about how to successfully turn a two-year associate degree into a four-year bachelors degree through a community college transfer program.
OneDublin.org: Since you wrote your original article you transferred to Syracuse University and completed a BFA. What advice do you have for students hoping to successfully complete a four-year degree that includes a community college transfer?
Cynthia Moore: “I would advise anyone that wants to include a community college transfer to take as much of their general education requirements as possible at the community college. Chem 101 is going to be the same from school to school, so save the money and use it for your more specific upper division courses at a 4 year school.”
OneDublin.org: What attracted you to transfer to Syracuse University to complete your BFA?
Moore: “The networking opportunities and alumni were some of the bigger draws for me (Vanessa Williams and Taye Diggs graduated from Syracuse University Drama!). They got me looking at the school. Then I discovered the Stage Management BFA and loved the types of classes I would be taking. I was really excited for my design classes since I hadn’t had much experience with that at Dublin High School.”
OneDublin.org: You majored in Stage Management – for those not familiar with what happens backstage in the theatre, describe the role of a stage manager in a successful production.