2023 Dr. Paul Kostecki Scholar
Scholarship funding provided by Dr. James Giordano.
Strawberry Crest High School
2023 Advanced Medical Neuroscience Internship
Sophia is participating in the Advanced Medical Neuroscience Internship this summer. She chose this program after first hearing about it at the 2020 HOSA International Leadership Conference. She is ecstatic to learn more about the brain, something that influences all aspects of health. She is also excited to work with other individuals with similar interests as her so she can become the best person as well as the best future health professional she can be.
As a rising junior at Strawberry Crest High School, Sophia is enrolled in Advanced Placement as well as IB courses as part of the Diploma program. Sophia is the proud parliamentarian of the Suncoast HOSA Region, the president of her HOSA chapter with over 175 members, as well as the team lead of her two time state champion HOSA team. In addition to her HOSA work, she is an avid golfer who won first at the district tournament and coaches young children as a part of the First Tee of Tampa Bay group lessons. Sophia serves as treasurer for Teen Trendsetters and is works as an Adventhealth Hospital Volunteer. Sophia is just like any other kid and enjoys skateboarding, origami, re-watching the Star Wars Saga, and playing her favorite video games like Poppy Playtime and Minecraft. In the future, Sophia hopes to study at a BS/MD program so she can get her bachelors of science and her medical degree at her same school and be one step closer to her dream of becoming a pediatrician.
Sophia is looking forward to being able to make a difference in her community through active service and science. She can't wait to work with people who care about the same things from around the world so she can understand how to best help those around her.
About Dr. Paul Kostecki
Dr. Paul T. Kostecki’s professional career has focused on research, education and training in environmental contamination with an emphasis on human and ecological risk assessment and risk management of soils. His work includes soil ingestion estimates for children and adults; establishment of scientifically sound cleanup levels for soil; bioavailability of soil contaminants; fish as toxicological models for contamination assessment; and assessment and management of petroleum contaminated soils. Dr. Kostecki has developed and conducted over 60 conferences, workshops and courses both nationally and internationally, and has made presentations at over 100 national and international meetings. Since 1985, his conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Contaminated Soils, Sediments and Water has attracted over 10,000 environmental professionals from over 50 countries. Dr. Kostecki has published over 100 articles and reports, co-edited/co-authored 35 Books and secured over $15M in research support.
Dr. Kostecki co-created the Association for Environmental Health and Sciences (AEHS) in 1989 and served as its Executive Director until 2009. In 2009, he established the AEHS Foundation and serves as the President. AEHS and the Foundation has conducted 30+ international and national conferences on Contaminated Soils,
Sediments, Water and Energy since 1990; developed several ‘Blue Ribbon’ Scientific Committees for Superfund Sites; overseen academic research and provided consulting services to international and national agencies, industries and engineering firms.
Dr. Kostecki helped found Amherst Scientific Publishers and co-created seven peer- reviewed journals: Journal of Soil and Sediment Contamination (1990); Human and Ecological Risk Assessment (1994); Journal of Phytoremediation (1998); Journal of Environmental Forensics (1999); Journal of Children’s Health (2003); Non-Linearity Journal (2003); and Journal of Medical Risks (2004) as well as Soils and Groundwater Magazine (1992). In addition, Dr. Kostecki co-created the International Society for Environmental Forensics in 2002.
Dr. Kostecki served as Vice Provost for Research and Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 2003 to 2009. He served as Special Advisor for the Clean Energy China Initiative, Office of the President, University of Massachusetts from 2009 – 2011. He briefly left the University of Massachusetts Amherst to establish the online education program for Simmons College, Boston, MA (2011 -2012). He is presently Professor Emeritus, Environmental Health in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.reviewed journals: Journal of Soil and Sediment Contamination (1990); Human and Ecological Risk Assessment (1994); Journal of Phytoremediation (1998); Journal of Environmental Forensics (1999); Journal of Children’s Health (2003); Non-Linearity Journal (2003); and Journal of Medical Risks (2004) as well as Soils and Groundwater Magazine (1992). In addition, Dr. Kostecki co-created the International Society for Environmental Forensics in 2002.
Dr. Paul T. Kostecki passed away after a year-long illness on November 20, 2021. He leaves his beloved wife of forty one years, Ann Marie Kostecki, his daughter, Anina Kostecki (Tom Chevalier), son, James Kostecki (Sarah Kostecki), his cherished granddaughters, Lucia Chevalier and Olivia Kostecki and loving sister Elaine Scott (Arthur Scott).
Born to parents, Teofil and Anna Kostecki, Dr. Kostecki grew up in Saugus, MA. After earning his doctorate from the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan he returned home to Massachusetts. As research faculty and later Vice Provost for Research at UMass Amherst and President and co-creator of the AEHS Foundation, Dr. Kostecki developed and conducted over 60 conferences, workshops and courses both nationally and internationally. For over thirty years, his conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Contaminated Soils, Sediments and Water attracted over 10,000 environmental professionals from over 50 countries. Over the course of his career Dr. Kostecki published over 100 articles and reports, co-edited/co- authored 35 books and secured over $15M in research support. The AEHS Foundation will continue to carry on Dr. Kostecki’s professional and entrepreneurial legacy of research, education and training in the field of environmental contamination.
Whether chasing the elusive striped bass while fishing on his prized boat, La Dolce Vita, traveling the world with friends and colleagues, building rock walls and landscaping new gardens with his wife, or gathering around the table for a meal with his family, Paul Kostecki found joy in each and every day. His memory lives on through his family and his many friendships forged during his time on this earth. To be Paul Kostecki’s friend was to always have someone in your corner. To be Paul Kostecki’s family was to know unconditional love. His energy, strength and Grace will continue to shine bright through the countless souls whose lives he touched.