Poster Presentation, Speakers Spotlight Rice Research Opportunities


Courtesy of Jeannie Peng Mansyur/SJC Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs Department

Rice University faculty member Joff Silberg delivers a keynote speech explaining the 10-week summer programs open to community college students interested in interdisciplinary science research.

San Jacinto College Central Campus hosted a poster presentation Nov. 2 to showcase the efforts of students participating in four of Rice University’s summer research programs. Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) includes multiple 10-week programs, which run from May through the end of July, that focus on interdisciplinary science research conducted by students hailing from all parts of the country.

Rachel Garcia, Department Chair of Physical Science on the Central Campus, said San Jac’s involvement with several of the research programs helped the College build a relationship with Rice University that “opens opportunities for students.”

In addition to the poster presentations, Rice faculty members Joff Silberg and Rafael Verduzco delivered keynote speeches aimed at encouraging students to join the programs while studying on the community college level.

“There are not as many opportunities for research at two-year colleges as there are at four-year universities,” Silberg said.

Upon acceptance to the competitive programs, participants attend an orientation, sometimes a boot camp, and then move on to work with graduate students where they can acquire hands-on experience in a laboratory setting.     

 San Jac student Alayna Abbott attended the keynote speeches and said she believes it is a “great opportunity to get my foot in the door.”

“I am really interested in the cardiovascular research program that is being offered,” Abbott added. “I really want to expand my knowledge and my contacts, and this would be a great way to.”

Meanwhile, Garcia said one of the challenges the program faces is getting students to apply and find time in their busy schedules to participate.

“The intention of this program is to get students interested in research and to show them this is doable,” Garcia said. “We need students help to find solutions to problems.”