Wednesday, July 29, 2015

UTSA, Alamo Colleges partnership provides research opportunities for students

students in lab

In the UTSA College of Engineering lab of Rena Bizios are (at left) Kim-Briana Lorine, a pre-med biology major from San Antonio College, and Madeleine Farrer, a UTSA biomedical engineering major.

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(July 28, 2014) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio and Alamo Colleges have launched a new partnership this summer that is giving community college students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in top-tier research laboratories.

The 10-week Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) CIMA Undergraduate Research Program is one of only two in the country funded by a three-year, $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant. The program increases the success rates of minorities studying in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields at the Alamo Colleges.

The NSF funding supports student undergraduate research, peer and faculty mentoring, tutoring, the creation of STEM study centers, STEM student clubs, faculty professional development and training for college recruiters.

Alamo College students have been paired with UTSA faculty mentors from the UTSA College of Sciences, College of Engineering and College of Liberal and Fine Arts. The students and mentors are working side-by-side on a variety of research projects in biology, chemistry, computer science, geological science, physics and psychology.

"This is an exceptional opportunity for students to gain research experience and learn what campus life is like at a top-tier institution," said Gail Taylor, associate director of STEM initiatives in the Center for Research and Training in the Sciences. "The Alamo Colleges best students are coming to UTSA, getting research experience and connecting with our faculty and students. Having a connection with a faculty member at a four-year institution greatly increases retention of community college students once they arrive on campus."

In addition to the research underway in the UTSA laboratories, the students took tours at Southwest Research Institute, where they observed the drug development process and tissue engineering.

"We see the need to make an effort to help minority students who may not always feel comfortable going from a community college to a university, especially those studying subjects in the tough STEM fields," said Maureen Cartledge, St. Philip's College interim vice president for academic success. "We really feel privileged to be a part of this grant to be a stepping stone for perhaps an academic future or career that students otherwise would not have considered."

The LSAMP CIMA Undergraduate Research Program will end Aug. 8 with the students making oral and scientific poster presentations about the research they conducted with their UTSA faculty mentors over the summer.

Established by Congress in 1991, LSAMP is aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of students successfully completing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) baccalaureate degree programs, and increasing the number of students interested in, academically qualified for and matriculated into programs of graduate study. LSAMP supports sustained and comprehensive approaches that facilitate achievement of the long-term goal of increasing the number of students who earn doctorates in STEM fields, particularly those from populations underrepresented in STEM fields.

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Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

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July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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