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Newsmaker: Jennifer Aitken

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Jennifer Aitken, 40, of Franklin Park, Duquesne University professor honored for her work with Duquesne’s SEED program.

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Monday, June 9, 2014, 11:00 p.m.

Noteworthy: Aitken has been honored by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh with the Chairman's Award for her work on Project SEED. The Duquesne University program links disadvantaged high school students with university mentors who follow the students as they conduct research in Duquesne labs over the summer.

Age: 40

Residence: Franklin Park

Family: Husband, Lykourgos Iordanidis; sons, John, 6, and Nicholas, 4

Occupation: Duquesne University associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry

Background: Aitken started at Duquesne in 2003, the same year the SEED program began. Project SEED has helped 47 high school students, including the nine who will participate this summer in the paid research opportunity.

Education: Bachelor of Science, chemistry, Rider University, 1996; doctorate, inorganic chemistry, Michigan State University, 2001; post-doctoral fellow, Wayne State University, 2001-03

Quote: “It is wonderful that the scientists in the Pittsburgh region embrace this program. The students know that they are supported and they feel very much welcomed into the scientific community.”

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