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Six Students Earn ABI Biotechnology Research Internships


JONESBORO – Six Arkansas State University students are pursuing their interest in science this summer through the Biotechnology Research Internship Program at the Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) facility on campus.

The program provides basic support for A-State undergraduate science majors who want research experience in life sciences or applications of life sciences during the summer of their sophomore or junior years.

Each student is matched with a faculty mentor who is conducting research related to biotechnology or biology from one of several departments and colleges, based largely on the student's interests.  Selection also is based on academic credentials. 

Each internship is valued at $2,500.  The students work 20 hours per week for 10 weeks.  An additional $500 is provided to the supporting laboratory for research supplies.

The students, along with their mentor and excerpts from their applications, are:

Jose Williams of Cave City: mentor is Dr. Maureen Dolan

"My career goal is to become an optometrist.  I love science (biology specifically) because you can never take anything at face value.  Something as small as moving your finger has an immensely complex mechanism associated with it.  I chose to come to A-State because it offered everything I wanted from a larger college, while at the same time giving me everything I wanted from a smaller school through the Honors College experience."

Hailey Campbell of Leslie; mentor is Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar

"After graduating from A-State with my bachelor’s degree, I hope to be accepted into an MD/PhD program.  I have been interested in science since I was a young child, although at that time I was more interested in physics.  My love for biology bloomed . . . when I became a . . . lab assistant during the second semester of my junior year (of high school).  Botany was my first love which is why I am drawn towards research using plant-based methods."

Steven (Drew) Chambers of Carlisle: mentor is Dr. Abrar Alam

"My interest in science primarily comes from the idea that a large number of lives can be impacted in a positive way solely through research and development.  This internship will give me the opportunity to make a difference and hopefully improve at least one person’s life.  In the future, I would love to be able to continue to do research in some capacity."

James Sandusky of McCrory: mentor is by Dr. Jianfeng Xu

"My interest in science really didn’t even develop until I made it to A-State.  At A-State . . . I realized that I found sciences like biology and chemistry interesting.  On top of that, I found that I had an interest in environmental issues as well and decided to take on environmental sciences as a major.  It was very much a “try a little bit of everything and see what sticks” kind of deal.

Perri Wright of Brookland: mentor by Dr. Maureen Dolan

"The first course to really spark my interest was my junior high physical science class . . . Ever since then I’ve pretty much stuck with the idea of doing something science related, and the more courses I took the more dedicated I became.  In the future, I’m hoping to go on to do my own research . . .  I would also like to do some teaching in the future.  Although I will probably be more qualified for teaching college at that point, I think high school or junior high is most needed and perhaps the most rewarding.  I think the pride and sense of accomplishment one feels when their students succeed or simply understand the material, is unparalleled."

Noah Brown of Jonesboro: mentor is Dr. Jianfeng Xu

"I am a biology/pre-professional studies major at Arkansas State.  My career goal is to attend medical school after graduating from A-State to become a physician.  Medicine is my passion and it's one of the reasons that I enjoy being a science major.  I also love seeing how things work and how science affects people every day.  I chose A-State because it has an excellent science/pre-med program to help me get to medical school while getting the most that I can from my undergraduate studies."

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