September 12, 2014

Austin Zhang Named 2015 National Merit Semifinalists

Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently announced that Bishop O’Dowd High School’s Austin Zhang ’15 is among approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Zhang, along with the other academically talented high school seniors, have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth about $33 million, that will be offered next spring.

Steps in the Competition

About 1.4 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of United States high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Additionally, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received.

Approximately 15,000 semifinalists are expected to advance to the finalist level, and it is from this group that all National Merit Scholarship winners will be chosen.

National Merit Scholarships

Three types of National Merit Scholarship awards will be offered in the spring of 2015. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis.

About 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships will be provided by approximately 240 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located.

In addition, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2014 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Since then, more than 300,000 young people have earned the Merit Scholar title.


September 11, 2014

Laura Trice: The power of saying thank you

n this deceptively simple 3-minute talk, Dr. Laura Trice muses on the power of the magic words “thank you” — to deepen a friendship, to repair a bond, to make sure another person knows what they mean to you. Try it.


Austin Zhang Named 2015 National Merit Semifinalist

Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently announced that Bishop O’Dowd High School’s Austin Zhang ’15 is among approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Zhang, along with the other academically talented high school seniors, have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth about $33 million, that will be offered next spring.

Steps in the Competition

About 1.4 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of United States high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Additionally, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received.

Approximately 15,000 semifinalists are expected to advance to the finalist level, and it is from this group that all National Merit Scholarship winners will be chosen.

National Merit Scholarships

Three types of National Merit Scholarship awards will be offered in the spring of 2015. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis.

About 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships will be provided by approximately 240 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located.

In addition, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2014 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Since then, more than 300,000 young people have earned the Merit Scholar title.


Career Partnership Program Parents’ Night

Thursday September 18 at 7:00 in the Dominican Lounge. For additional questions contact Meghan Wallingford.


Dale Dorando ’66 Makes a Huge Difference

Dale Dorando ’66 will always remember a personal “thank you” letter he received from the parents of a 4-year-old girl who would have drowned in a swimming pool had it not been for an automatic defibrillator with an external pacemaker. A senior electrical engineer for Volcano Corporation, Dorando helped design the device, and paramedics used it to save the girl’s life.

“Engineers concentrate so hard on the performance of the product that we often forget we are saving lives,” Dorando said of his work. Dorando, 64, has played a key role in developing many life-saving devices, including intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), a catheter-based system that allows physicians to acquire images of diseased vessels from inside the artery.

“By slowly withdrawing the catheter in the artery of concern while taking multiple images, we can show where a heart attack patient requires intervention, either a stent or balloon. We can colorize the image so the doctors can identify the portion of the artery that contains plaque, fibrous, fibro-fatty, dense calcium, and necrotic core material on the wall of the artery,” he said.

The system can also be used for research by drug companies to determine the effectiveness of drugs on plaque, Dorando noted. Currently, Dorando is designing a catheter pullback device that can be used to measure the change in blood pressure across a lesion inside a coronary artery to determine if treatment is necessary.

“Often an angiogram doesn’t show the whole story,” Dorando said. “This instrument has become a standard measurement in cath labs around the world. It has saved millions of health insurance dollars in unnecessary treatments,” he said.

Additionally, the instrument can be used to measure blood velocity in the artery using Doppler to detect high frequency reflection and measure the speed of the blood molecules.

Born and raised in Oakland, Dorando was among the first graduates of Oakland’s St. Paschal Baylon School.

At O’Dowd, Dorando was active in swimming and debate. He also enjoyed drafting class, where he created model homes that were entered in the San Francisco Home and Garden Show.

After graduating from O’Dowd, Dorando served in the Navy (from 1966 to 1972), attending submarine school in Connecticut and then Electronic Countermeasures School (also known as Electronic Warfare Support Measures) in San Diego, learning to operate and repair equipment used for intelligence gathering during the Cold War.

He served on two submarines, a diesel boat, USS Gudgeon SS567, and a Fast Attack nuclear boat, USS Haddock SSN621, which were stationed in San Diego and Hawaii. Most of his missions were highly classified.

“On the Gudgeon, one of our missions was transporting Korean marines to the shores of Vietnam at night. The diesel boats performed missions that were a little more daring since nuclear power wasn’t present and any ‘incidences’ wouldn’t be as severe.” he said. “I received a special Letter of Commendation from Rear Admiral Lacey, COMSUBPAC, for my work during one mission.”

After his discharge from the Navy, Dorando worked for several start-up companies developing night vision cameras, fiber optic measurement systems, retinal scanning equipment and pacemakers and defibrillators. Later, he was part of an engineering team at C & K Systems (subsequently purchased by Honeywell) that designed spread spectrum radios used in security systems. He also designed wireless products like burglar alarms, panic switches, bank hold-up devices, and smoke detectors.

“The wireless smoke detector was later adapted for use on jets and is in use on many cargo jets today. The same radios were also used for remotely measuring fuel levels at gas stations, and in today’s Smart power meters in your home,” he said.

When the Chinese government requested that C & K install a radio security system in the Forbidden City, Dorando led the project design. “I was working in Shenzhen when the CEO called me and asked that I fly to Beijing to start a design on a custom wireless security and alarm system for the Forbidden City,” Dorando said. “Wireless was much preferred over drilling holes in the palace walls, some being six-feet thick.”

At Dorando’s request, the head of security and the radio commissioner in Beijing set up a special frequency for the Forbidden City. “I designed a radio that would cover all the palaces and buildings with a couple small antennas on the outside walls,” he said. “While we tested antenna range on the outside walls, I noticed the news media were taking our pictures. Our escort commented that climbing the Forbidden City walls was formerly a capital offense. We may have been the first foreigners allowed on the wall.”

Dorando subsequently designed one of the first high-speed, Wi-Fi radio cards for laptops and a patented antenna. Meanwhile, Dorando says medical equipment product development is highly complex, and involves creating prototypes to test in the lab, multiple safety tests, lots of refinements and sometimes complete redesign.

“One of the more difficult tests is radio emissions testing. In our anechoic chamber we look for radio harmonics that could interfere with other products. Fixing those problems may call for considerable redesign and is very time consuming,” he said.

And then there is the FDA approval process. “Some FDA submissions take six months or more,” Dorando said. “There is no short path in the medical world.” Dorando and his wife, Joyce Maillet Dorando ’66, have two sons, Greg, 38, and Jeremy, 34. The couple lives in El Dorado Hills.

In his free time, Dorando enjoys oil painting, Fender guitars, Ham radio (his call sign is AG6JD), gardening, camping and fishing.


CES Dedication in the San Jose Mercury News

Click to read article »


O’Dowd Green Challenge (OGC) – Examining the Drought

– Challenge Due Date: Sunday September 21st

Background on CA Drought

Quick think fast! What has been on the news lately centered around water? That’s right, the drought. Right now California is facing the worst drought on record – it is the first time “exceptional drought” status has been used (learn more from this NBC News Video). Small towns are feeling the brunt of the drought, but it is affecting the entire state (learn more at CA Drought).

Governor Jerry Brown has called for Californian’s to significantly reduce their water consumption (ca.gov), and has imposed regulations state-wide. In fact, if a state water regulator catch someone being a water waster (overwatering, leaky sprinklers, etc.) they could register a fine for water wasting (learn more from thisBay Area News Video)

While California’s mega-drought might seem out of control, the solution is simple and easy: think and act water consciously! Be aware of water use at home as you get ready in the morning, wash dishes, and get ready for bed. Additionally, remember that much of our water consumption also comes from the production of the food, energy, and other products we use every day, so cutting down on consumption means being water conscious!
 

Challenge and Reflection

  • Investigate Your Habits: Go around your house and make a list of 10 things that contribute to your water footprint and estimate the amount of water that you are using. Then check out National Geographic’s Water Footprint Calculator to see how accurate your estimates were.
  • Respond: Write a paragraph reflection about what you learned from the news resources, videos, and from examining your habits more closely. Then share a few ways of how you are going to think and act more water consciously moving forward.

 

How to Submit

Email your Reflection to the Students for Sustainability (S4S) Supervisor: ayeghoian@bishopodowd.org, by Midnight on Sunday Sep 21st. You will be in the running for an O’Dowd Green Challenge prize, and will also receive spirit points for your class – yes, spirit week is just 37 days away!


September 10, 2014

Club Fair Photos

Click photo thumbnail to view full size. Full size images can be right clicked and downloaded.


September 9, 2014

Rebecca Alexander ’97 Writes Memoir

Rebecca Alexander ’97 has written a memoir “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found” that is being released this month. Get more details…

She’ll be featured on the Today Show on Sept. 15 and The Meredith Vieira Show on Sept. 16, and will be making local appearances at Book Passage in Corte Madera (Sept. 22), Head Royce School (Sept. 29), Books, Inc., in Berkeley (Sept. 30), and Kepler’s Books in Palo Alto (Nov. 17).

 


Living Lab Club Gets off to a Tasty Start

Contributed by Annie McAneny ’15

A wonderful MP (Meeting Period) was had by all who attended the first gathering of the Living Lab Club for the 2014-2015 school year. Students from all four classes (freshman-seniors) came out to the Living lab to help nurture O’Dowd’s ecological haven, and to take part in creating the Living Lab’s first soup.

The afternoon centered around the Living Lab’s Edible Garden, with some students weeding, and others spending time harvesting a dozen different varieties of organic vegetables with “Veggie Queen,” Devra Laner (a long standing Living Lab volunteer extraordinaire).

 

Finally, everyone came together to prepare a soup made of 100% living lab produce. Living Lab leaders Mr. Tyler, Mr. Beeby, and Ms. Prutzman were delighted to break in the new garden kitchen setup! The soup was also served at O’Dowd’s lunchtime cafe – a great way for students to experience local food.

 

 

There really is no better way to spend your MP! The Living Lab Club extends many thanks to everyone who came and joined us in the sunshine. Be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled so you can join us for our next meeting!.
 


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Finding God in All Things

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