She's a semifinalist. I hope Intel's judgement of her research isn't affect by the press coverage. It would suck for someone else's superior research to get shafted because he wasn't lucky enough to be appealing as a human-interest story.
If you're trying to spread the news about Free Software, the only effective way to do it is to SHOW them. Most of the people whom I've converted to Linux did so after watching me use KDE (formerly) and Gnome (more recently). The multiple desktops are absolutely intriguing to a power user; it won't be long before he/she starts thinking, "hmmm
This is exactly how I became interested in Linux. Then, I tried it, and none of my plug-and-play devices worked, and I was expected to write my own drivers or stop complaining, and I went back to Windows. Windows 7 is the best Windows so far. I am fully satisfied with it. I run Debian in VirtualBox as a coding environment.