Darrell Balderrama, director of community outreach for the Office of
P-20 Initiatives (center), with UTSA students Nelly Zapata, Tiffany
Palomero, Crystal Alonzo, Carla Groshel, Joseph Becerril and
Kevin Perez

Nine UTSA undergraduates receive stipends to conduct research

By Christi Fish
Public Affairs Specialist

(June 8, 2009)--Nine minority students who received $1,875 stipends to conduct research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as the STEM fields, presented their findings May 21 in downtown San Antonio to culminate their achievements in UTSA's Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program. Sample projects presented at the gathering included research on stem cuttings and trees native to south central Texas, research about speech patterns and a study of radio frequency identification.

"For minority students seeking to enter STEM careers, our LSAMP program is a valuable resource," said Darrell C. Balderrama, director of community outreach in the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives. "Participants receive one-on-one support from a faculty mentor, and they receive a stipend to help ease the burden of rising educational costs. In addition, our summer participants are offered the opportunity to competitively present their research at a statewide conference and also have the opportunity to present at an international conference."

The spring 2009 LSAMP cohort at UTSA pursued research on an array of topics, working alongside faculty mentors in the UTSA College of Sciences and College of Engineering:

  • Crystal Alonzo, Professor Oscar Van Auken (Department of Biology)
  • Joseph Becerril, Associate Professor Can Saygin (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
  • Carla Grochel, Associate Professor Valerie Sponsel (Department of Biology)
  • Whitnee Kelly, Assistant Professor Mark Appleford (Department of Biomedical Engineering)
  • Maryjane Maldonado, Assistant Professor Yufang Jin (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
  • Tiffany Palomero, Professor Donald Robin, (University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio)
  • Emily Pohl, Professor Judith Walmsley (Department of Chemistry)
  • Kevin Blake Perez, Associate Professor Brent Nowak (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
  • Nelly Zapata, Associate Professor Can Saygin (Department of Mechanical Engineering)

UTSA's LSAMP program enrolls new participants each semester. To learn more about the program, contact Darrell Balderrama at (210) 458-2697.

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