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Summer research program celebrates ten years

Underrepresented students from community colleges statewide showcased the results of their five-week summer research projects at a poster session Friday, June 27, in the Appalachian Collegiate Center on campus.

The students, participants in the SUNY Upstate Bridges to Baccalaureate program, were paired with Binghamton University faculty mentors to conduct a variety of experiments and research projects. The poster session was the culmination of the program, allowing participants the opportunity to display their research accomplishments using text and graphics.

The projects explored such topics as DNA-binding proteins involved in cancer, the strategies and tools for solving real-world problems in chemical/biological sensors and testing pollution levels in local urban creek watersheds.

“Being a woman in science, I understand that other viewpoints are necessary to cover other aspects of science,” said Susannah Gal, associate professor of biological sciences and a long-time faculty participant in the program. “Bridges offers students a more realistic view of science by offering hands-on experience in the lab where we often break new ground without a known result.”

This is the 10th year Binghamton University has participated in the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program, which was established to increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing and earning baccalaureate degrees in the biomedical sciences.

Students accepted into this year’s program were from Broome, Monroe, Onondaga, Rockland and Westchester community colleges. The program guarantees Binghamton University admission to underrepresented students who have maintained a 2.7 grade point average in science courses and overall at selected community colleges. Such students include, but are not limited to, U.S. citizens who are African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands.

Bridges students receive a combination of mentoring, tutoring and financial support throughout the program, as well as the opportunity for hands-on research, which includes the Binghamton Summer Research Program.

Throughout the program, co-coordinators at each of the community colleges work closely with Binghamton staff and faculty to build ties that will lead to student success there and later at a baccalaureate institution.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08