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Summer Bridge Students Present Research Symposium


Summer Bridge Students
Bridge program students are (from left) Kimberly Richardson, Kiah Ferrell, Destiny Jones, Jordan Miller,
Kaprese Warren, Charese Simpson and Nykole DeVito

JONESBORO – "Bridging the Divide: A Program to Broaden Participation in STEM Ph.D.," also known as the “Bridge Program,” prepares underrepresented undergraduates for doctoral study through involvement in research and scholarly activities in STEM fields. 

Seven Bridge Program participants presented their work during the Summer Research Symposium today at the Arkansas Biosciences Institute. The students, their projects and mentors are:

Nykole DeVito, Arkansas State University
“The Efficacy of Low and High Dose Beta-Cyfluthrin on Red Flour Beetles in a Rice Mill”
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Tanja McKay
Peer Mentors:  Laura Starkus and Rachel Hampton

Kiah Ferrell, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
“Progress towards Developing a Soybean Anther Culture System”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gregory Phillips
Peer Mentor: Nathan Williams

Destiny Jones, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
“Influence of Rice Variety on Paddy Greenhouse Gas Emissions”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gregory Phillips
Peer Mentor: Nathan Williams

Jordan Miller, Philander Smith College
“Extraction of Bixa Photochemicals for Potential Malaria Treatment”
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar
Peer Mentor:  Jarrod Creameans 

Kimberly Richardson, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
“Cap1 and it Phosho-Regulation in the Invasiveness of Pancreatic Cancer”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Guolei Zhou
Peer Mentor: Pooja Ghai

Charese Simpson, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
“The Enhanced Recombinant Protein Production of Catfish and Self-Flocculating Pichia Pastoris”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michele Reba
Peer Mentor: Klarissa Kahill

Kaprese Warren, Philander Smith College
“Characterizing the Effects of Erosion Factors at On-Farm Reservoirs”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michele Reba
Peer Mentor: Klarissa Kahill

The purpose of the Bridge Program is to inspire undergraduate students to progress into graduate studies by providing summer opportunities for research and professional development and to promote professional development of graduate students (master's and Ph.D.) by providing financial support, and a caring community so that they will have the skills and experiences necessary to become successful scientists, innovators, and role models.

Undergraduate students live on campus for about two months. The program provides living expenses and a stipend.

Students are matched with a faculty mentor to assist in their research endeavors. Mentors are aligned according to the students’ area of interest as well as future career choice. Students are also partnered with a peer/buddy mentor.

Students are able to receive hands-on training in the lab, learn how to conduct research, analyze results/data, and present the results at the symposium. They also can present their research at conferences. Through professional development, including help with GRE preparation, they learn the skills necessary to be successful graduate students.

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