University City High School junior Deja Bowie is known by her science teachers as “Quiet Einstein” because of her reserved and unassuming demeanor in class. She doesn’t say a lot, but when it comes to doing science, what she puts down on paper and on white board is brilliant. So brilliant, in fact, that she has been named a 2013 recipient of the University of Missouri – St. Louis’ Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in Science award.
Each year UMSL honors the most outstanding high school STEM (Science, technology, Engineering, and Math) students from the greater St. Louis metropolitan area at a banquet in the university’s Millennium Student Center. Deja, her parents, and UCHS science teacher Julie Ertmann were treated to dinner and a piano concert by UCHS Chancellor Tom George, followed by a keynote speech on “Proteins Behaving Badly in Alzheimer’s Disease” by UMSL associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry Michael Nichols.
The UCHS science department nominated Deja for the award because of what physics teacher Tony Thomas describes as her outstanding work ethic, her choice of challenging classes, and her conscientious attitude towards understanding the difficult course material presented to her. Deja credits her science classes as UCHS with helping her in other areas of study, and especially in enhancing her understanding of mathematics.
When she’s not doing science, Deja plays on the varsity girls’ soccer team, is a talented dancer, and performed in the UCHS spring musical, Footloose. She was also one of 25 students chosen to travel to Washington, DC in January to attend the presidential inauguration . After high school, Deja plans to study social sciences at a school “out of state.” Just like the proverbial still waters which run deep, we suspect that U. City High School’s own ‘Quiet Einstein’ will make a big impact in all of her future endeavors.
By Kim Deitzler, Guest Blogger, with reporting assistance from Grace Deitzler, UCHS Senior Extraordinaire