Future Keyport Environmental Biotechnologist Heads to Boston College This Fall


Congratulations to Joseph Vecchio of Keyport, New Jersey, who is the recipient of the RTK Scholars Award for 2018. Vecchio was chosen from an impressive pool of applicants with remarkable accomplishments in various science-related fields. Vecchio will receive $1,500, which will be applied to his studies at Boston College this fall in his pursuit of environmental biotechnology.

“Students like Joseph who have such passion and dedication are our next generation of scientists and environmental leaders,” states Robert Weitz, Principal and Founder of RTK, a leading environmental testing company, which initiated the RTK Scholars Program in 2015. “His accomplishments to date are extraordinary, and his commitment to future research made him an outstanding recipient for this scholarship. RTK is committed to supporting and furthering students’ scientific education, and our scholarship program helps them succeed.”

Vecchio, who attended the prestigious Biotechnology High School in Freehold, is a 2017-2018 Governor’s STEM Scholar. In 2017, he placed third at both the regional Delaware Valley Science Fair and the Jersey Shore Science Fair, and received an honorable mention at the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Regional Competition for poetry. Additionally, he presented his research at Rutgers University at the New Jersey Science & Humanities Symposium.

Vecchio’s recent research includes an environmental analysis of New Jersey seawater at various geographical locations. Entering college in the fall, he plans to pursue a degree involving environmental and sustainability sciences, and hopes to continue his extensive research.

“Studies addressing global warming, ocean acidification, natural resource depletion, general pollution, and decreasing biodiversity personally represent all that I’m working to solve and how much untapped progress there is left to be accomplished,” says Vecchio in his essay, who aims to make the world a greener and healthier place.

The RTK Scholars Program has awarded over $6,500 during the past three years. Past winners include Katie Galletta of Goffstown, New Hampshire; Renwick Wilson of Greenwich, Connecticut; Kolby Galloway of Easley, South Carolina; Elliott Davis of North Potomac, Maryland; Nicholas Bulthuis of Chicago, Illinois; and Dylan McCloskey of Liberty, Missouri.

The RTK Scholars Program is now accepting applications for the 2019 award. The application deadline is May 30, 2019. If you would like more information or to apply, please visit RTK Environmental Science Scholarship Program.


Past exposure to lead may be to blame for over 400,000 deaths in the United States every year (The Lancet Public Health.)

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