When walking around the BMCC campus, you’ll find students heading to class, grabbing a bite to eat in the cafeteria, or studying in the library.
What you won't always see is the "behind the scenes" activity—students engaged in research projects under the guidance of a BMCC faculty member, who acts as their advisor and mentor while overseeing their final project, documented in a three-fold informative poster.
BMCC's annual Student Research Poster Presentation was held in Richard Harris Terrace.
More than 40 posters were lined up in rows on long tables, allowing visitors to easily view the subject matter while the scholars discussed their research and findings.
BMCC President Antonio Pérez even stopped by to chat with the students.
“I am blown away by all these projects—especially the ones that cater to math and science,” he said.
Research programs at BMCC
Most of the students who presented a poster were active members of the following on-campus programs: CSTEP, Cleo and Zack Project, Honors, LSAMP and S-STEM.
CSTEP, the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, is designed to foster a student's success in preparing for careers in medicine, law, business, education, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health. The advisors are Professor Lalitha Jayant and Everton Barrett, Director of STEM education.
Cleo and Zack Project is a scholarship endowed by former BMCC Professor Sylvia Saunders, created to raise an awareness of scientific or health-oriented issues. Professor Manita Pavel is the coordinator.
The BMCC Honors Program is designed for students seeking academic challenges above and beyond the ones they face in class each day. To be eligible for Honors work, a student must maintain a 3.2 GPA and have completed at least 12 credits through BMCC with no remediation pending. Professors Jerrold W. Schoenblum and Carol Wasserman are the co-chairs.
The LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) program in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is federally-funded and University- supported. The coordinator is Sefton Bennett.
S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) addresses the critical shortage of a technically trained workforce that is essential to the economy. The advisors are Professors Sarah Salm and Abdramane Serme.
Posters reflect hard work
“I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am with the BMCC faculty for taking their students from one level to another” said Pérez, as he walked around, talking to scholars.
Science major and tutor Courtney Collado is this year’s Cleo and Zack scholar. Her research project was titled Human Papilloma Virus: Awareness and Education.
“My research was based on what people know and don’t know about the virus,” says Collado, an aspiring doctor. “One of the most interesting things I learned is that there are more than 100 strains of the virus, and only a select few cause cancer, and most will clear on their own.”
Collado’s faculty mentor, Lecturer Manita Pavel of the Science department, “showed me how abstracts should be written and how to bring all my research together.”
Science major Gayla Hibner’s poster and research was titled Accessing Planarian Regeneration in Hyperglycemic Conditions.
“My faculty mentor was Science Professor Matthew Geddis—I learned so much from him, and he was very knowledgeable about Planaria, a soft-bodied flat worm known for their powers of regeneration,” she says. “I also learned about incubators, lab techniques, how to use a specific type of software, how to record data, and more.”
CSTEP student and Forensic Science major Chureshma Dean and her partner Feng Lian, worked with faculty mentors Lalitha Jayant and Christine Priano of the Science department.
Dean studied the Effects of Red Bull on Rapidly Dividing Mitotic Cells, focusing on what happens when a sweet pea is diluted with the energy drink.
The results? A 1:5 dilution of Red Bull inhibited the germination of sweet pea seeds, whereas a 1:30 dilution of Red Bull “boosted” the growth of sprouts.
“It was wonderful to work with my faculty mentors,” says Dean, an aspiring forensic scientist. “Professors Jayant and Priano helped us develop research skills that we can absolutely use in our future careers.”
College research is more "in-depth"
Professor Abdramane Serme was the faculty mentor for Science major Ekoue Foli, a S-STEM student.
Foli’s project, titled Linear Algebra and Its Applications in Electricity focused on simple electric networks and why they are important—especially since a complex network can always be partitioned in simpler networks.
“Professor Serme always made himself available for this project,” says the aspiring communications engineer. “He was so great about everything.”
“I was very impressed and satisfied with his research,” says Serme of his mentee. “BMCC students can carry everything they learn here as researchers into a 4-year school.”
Certificates were presented to each research scholar student, who shook hands with Dr. Sadie Bragg, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.
“Every year, the posters and the research get better and better,” said Bragg. “The students’ work is truly remarkable.”