Summer Research and Bridge Programs at UMBC Grow Confidence of BUILD Trainees and Interns

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The newest UMBC BUILD Trainees stand with one of their mentors, Laura Ott, Ph.D.By Sarah Hansen

This summer, the fifth cohort of BUILD Trainees joined UMBC’s BUILD Training Program (BTP) community, participated in the BTP orientation, and the BUILD a Bridge to Success program. The program is a four-week residential experience that introduces students to UMBC, creates bonding opportunities for Trainees, fortifies academic skills, and gives them their first taste of laboratory research. Here, in the photo on the right, the 20 incoming freshmen celebrate the conclusion of their microbiome talks, based on their introductory summer research experience. UMBC STEM BUILD Active Learning Coordinator, Laura Ott, Ph.D., is on the far right.



UMBC's 2019 BUILD a Bridge to STEM interns pose with two of their mentors, Laura Ott, Ph.D., and Phil Farabaugh, Ph.D.





Earlier in the summer, a group of 18 interns (photo on the left) formed the fifth cohort of the BUILD a Bridge to STEM Internship program. The 18 interns came to UMBC from regional community colleges and Morgan State University. The interns, who were nominated for the eight-week positions by representatives of their home institutions, worked on faculty-mentored research projects in small groups, had regular lab meetings with Ott, and presented their work at UMBC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fest (SURF). Here they are after SURF with Ott (far left) and STEM BUILD Research Core Director, Phil Farabaugh, Ph.D. (far right).

BTP Trainees at all stages in their journey through UMBC participated in SURF, from new Cohort 5 students attending a research conference for the first time, to BUILD Training Program alumni who are pursuing independent research projects at UMBC and elsewhere, some as MARC U*STAR Trainees.

Two UMBC BUILD Trainees stand with their research poster.


Sana Behdin (photo on the right, standing on right) and Jasmine Shaibani (photo on the right, standing on left) are BTP Trainees who presented at SURF. They both talked about how STEM BUILD is a “super supportive” community, especially the advising component. Jasmine shared that she’s now more excited about continuing to pursue research and that STEM BUILD has given her a much better sense of what research is.



A UMBC BUILD Trainee explains his research poster to another BUILD Trainee.





Stephen Peltzer (photo on the left, Peltzer is presenting) is further along in his UMBC career. This summer, he conducted independent research with Dr. Brad Peercy, professor of mathematics and statistics. STEM BUILD “helped me get going,” Peltzer said. This summer was his first one-on-one mentored research experience. “It’s something I can be really proud of,” he shared.





UMBC BUILD Trainees explain their research poster to guests at the Summer Undergraduate Research Fest

BTP Trainees Holden Beauzile (photo on the right, standing left) and Jamie Mushrush (photo on the right, standing right) worked together on their research project this summer and co-presented a poster at SURF. Mushrush said that STEM BUILD has “exposed me to so many opportunities.” Beauzile added, “The program really helped us develop as scientists.”








The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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