Muzaffar Mohamed

Muzaffar Mohamed, a 9th grade student at High School South, was one of 10 winners in the recent international Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize competition.

The event was judged by several Nobel laureates and the winners were announced at science symposium held at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, on Sept. 15.

Mohamed, a Plainsboro resident, won for his question: “Plants and microorganisms generate energy from the solar radiation from processes like photosynthesis and chemosynthesis. Is it possible to create renewable energy in this way?”

Each year, five girls and five boys win the MFIP for asking the most insightful and thought-provoking scientific questions. Their entries are judged by a jury selected from a scientific advisory board consisting of world-leading scientists including 13 Nobel laureates.

Student raises funds for Plainsboro Preserve

Sometimes, it is just a field trip that makes all the difference. Pranav Anthapu, an 8th grade student at Community Middle School, was inspired to conduct a fundraiser by a field trip to the Plainsboro Preserve.

It started when Anthapu was at Plainsboro Preserve and working on a school project to identify a possible conservation program and propose a solution. All the CMS students came up with creative ideas, but the Preserve had no funds to utilize to implement any of these proposals.

Pranav had an idea to raise funds: He decided to create a calendar to sell, and to donate the profits directly to the Plainsboro Preserve. During his family travels, Pranav took pictures to use for his calendar, and found others on the internet to help illustrate his conservation message, using captions to encourage environmental protection.

With help from an uncle in India, the calendars were printed and, to date, 150 of the 500 calendars have been sold, raising $300 in profits for the Plainsboro Preserve. Copies of the 2018 calendar now are available at the Preserve for $5.


Mary I. Bracke, 63, of Plainsboro died Nov. 10. Born in Washington, DC, she had been a resident of Plainsboro since 1986. Bracke worked for over 20 years with the University Medical Center of Princeton. She was a member of Princeton Alliance Church.

Daughter of the late Robert Gates and Irene (Olson) Hahl, survivors include her husband of 41 years, Thomas P. Bracke; a son Brian Bracke; two daughters and sons in law, Katie and Chris Westra, and Clara and Chris Dixon.

A memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, at Princeton Alliance Church, 20 Schalks Crossing Road, Plainsboro.

Lonny E. Bassin, 69, of West Windsor, died on Nov. 4. Born in Jersey City, Bassin grew up in Bayonne and also resided in Metuchen, East Windsor, Morganville and North Brunswick, before moving to West Windsor in 1989.

Bassin was a certified public accountant in his own practice for many years. He was an active member and past president of the Mercer County chapter of Certified Public Accountants.

Survivors include his wife, Roseann Bassin and his son, Steven Brett Bassin.

Bruce Raymond Wellnitz, 82, of Brewster, Massachusetts, and long-time Plainsboro resident died on Nov. 3. Born in Princeton, he was the son of the late Rudolph A. and Olive Wellnitz and grew up in Plainsboro. He was the principal and owner of the Bruce R. Wellnitz Insurance Agency in in Foxboro, Massachusetts, for many years prior to his retirement to Brewster in 2009.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Barbara; his sons Andrew Wellnitz (Karen Schwartz) and James Wellnitz (Kerri Johnson); and his brother Rudolph B. Wellnitz of Plainsboro.

Julia Zito, 91, of West Windsor, died on Oct. 24, Zito was born and raised in Newark and lived in Nutley for 59 years prior to moving to West Windsor five years ago. Before her retirement, she was employed by Atlantic Chemical in Nutley. The wife of 52 years of the late Ernest Zito, survivors include her children, Barbara Ann Tomie and her husband, Art, Michael Zito and his wife, Rosanne, and Philip Zito and his wife, Darlene.

Richard G. Dalcourt, 19, of Plainsboro, died on Oct. 3. Born in Princeton, he had been a lifelong resident of Plainsboro. He was a graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North Class of 2017 and was a freshman, majoring in mechanical engineering, at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Survivors include his parents Al and Kathleen (Young) Dalcourt; his sisters Victoria Dalcourt and her fiance, Jared Angle, and Paige Dalcourt and her boyfriend, Josh Bloom.