Westhampton Beach High School senior Mira Patel has been named a 2016 National Merit Semifinalist.
Patel is among the 16,000 students included on the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program’s list and qualifying for the honor based on their high PSAT scores. Patel now has the opportunity to compete for one of 7,600 National Merit scholarships, which will be offered in the spring of 2016.
Patel, who said she was surprised to learn of the honor, is treasurer of her school’s Key Club, secretary of the National Honor Society, historian of the Rotary Club and plays on the varsity tennis team. Additionally, for the past three years, Patel has been working on a science research project through a science research program at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Southold. With her mentor, Kim Tetrault, Patel has been studying ways to increase the growth rate of oysters. As a high school junior, Patel presented her findings at the World Aquaculture Society Conference in New Orleans. Her work was subsequently published in the convention’s academic journal.