By Alec Jennings
University News Service
April 28, 2010
Undergraduate students in the Houston-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholars Program (H-LSAMP) at Texas State University-San Marcos have been selected to a variety of competitive internships and research programs nationwide for the summer of 2010.
With internships and real world experiences increasingly becoming a prerequisite for career placement and admittance into top graduate and professional programs, the H-LSAMP scholars' successes reflect the programs goals of increasing the presence of underrepresented groups in the sciences, technology, engineering and math.
"These are highly sought after educational and career-related opportunities and we are very proud that the College of Science and Texas State has such sizeable representation," said Susan Romanella, director, H-LSAMP. "In addition to what they're normally doing in the classroom, it's important for these students to have real world experience in research."
The H-LSAMP program works to recruit and retain underrepresented groups into the sciences, mathematics, engineering and technology. Funded by the National Science Foundation, H-LSAMP offers faculty mentoring, undergraduate research and internship opportunities, academic and career conferences, peer tutoring, interdisciplinary learning and support.
The students will be engaged in work directly related to their areas of concentration, doing research and work in the field for universities and businesses across the United States. The following H-LSAMP students have been accepted to summer research and internship opportunities.
• Sara Camacho, junior, double major in applied math and manufacturing engineering, San Antonio.
Camacho will be doing research in the Math Department at Texas State with the National Research Experience for Undergraduates Program.
"This is my first research opportunity and I am just excited to learn what it is about, how math research works and how I can make a difference. This is important to me because I want to get as much experience as I can in the two fields that I am studying."
• Amanda Duran, junior, biochemistry major, Buda.
Duran will be working in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of Cincinnati.
"I am excited about having the opportunity to learn new techniques, get introduced to a different area of research and grow as an individual research scientist. In the big picture, the potential implications this type of research can have on technology in chemotherapeutics is especially exciting."
• Krissy Vasquez, junior, electrical engineering major, Austin.
Vasquez will be doing research with NASA and Texas State through microgravity experimentation.
"I'm excited about getting air-based results and comparing them to the ground-based results. I like to finish what I start."
• Saul Villarreal, junior, industrial engineering, Brownsville.
Villarreal will be doing research at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to apply concepts I have learned in class and to work with people from different cultures in a place I don't know. It was important for me to pursue this opportunity because in order to be good at what I study, I need experience; going to a place I don't know will challenge me and push me to the limit to do the best job I can."
• Lindsey Whitworth, senior, manufacturing engineering major, Bastrop.
Whitworth will be working in the field for Schlumberger, an oil field services company.
"This is important experience for resumes and knowledge within my field."
• Suleima Alkusari, senior, industrial engineering major, Austin.
Alkusari will be doing research in the Math Department at Texas State with the National Research Experience for Undergraduates Program.
"I'm excited about the research experience and participating in hands-on activities."
• Juan Gonzalez, senior, computer science major, McAllen.
Gonzalez will be doing research in the Math Department at Texas State with the National Research Experience for Undergraduates Program.
"H-LSAMP encourages every scholar to attend graduate school; doing research as an undergraduate increases the chances of being accepted into a graduate school. When I heard about an opportunity at Texas State to do some research I thought, 'this is my chance to get some research experience and increase the chances of being accepted into the graduate school I want.'"
• Miguel Cazares, junior, computer science major, Del Rio.
Cazares will be doing research in the Math Department at Texas State with the National Research Experience for Undergraduates Program.
"I'm excited about the possibility that we can answer questions no one else has been able to answer. I'm also really excited about an aspect of the project that involves social networks since those networks can involve many academic disciplines like computer science, math, and psychology."
• Nathan Robson, senior, electrical engineering major, Lake Jackson.
Robson will be doing research with NASA and Texas State through microgravity experimentation.
"I look forward to spinning around in microgravity and creating an apparatus that may be used by future astronauts and experience working on a real—not solely academic—project as part of a team. I also want to show my son that a person can go anywhere and do anything if they work hard and stay motivated. My son loves NASA and we talk about the experiment daily."
• James Zuniga, senior, biology major, Houston.
Zuniga will be interning for Hewlett Packard.
"I look forward to working with innovative technology and seeing the ability of a company like the caliber of HP's inner workings. I wanted to expose myself to the business side of technology and learn the lingo and trade of a successful company."