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NMSU NIH Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement
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RISE Scholar Presentations at GRAS




RISE Scholar Presenta...
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RISE Office                              Letter from the Director

Minority Biomedical Research Support                   ...
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SunRISE Summer 2008

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SunRISE Summer 2008

  1. 1. NMSU NIH Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Busi ne ss Name Volume 1, Issue 1 Summer 2008 Desert SunRISE Inside this issue: RISE Spotlights RISE Grad-Writing Skills 2-4, 7 3 RISE Scholar Presentations at the NMSU Workshop Spring 2008 Student Research Symposia RISE GRE Preparation 3 Workshop gleton, William Soto, and preparation for future ca- Images at GRAS 5 Nabeeh, himself, presented reers focused on scientific Images at URCAS 5 research. Along with in- inquiry, RISE undergraduate Medicinal Plants of the South- 6 creasing submissions, Na- participants presented post- west Program Admits 24 beeh directed GRAS toward ers at the Undergraduate an artistic renaissance and Research and Creative Arts Responsible Conduct in 6 to becoming the first GRAS Symposium (URCAS), which T Research Seminars to include presenting grads is a yearly “celebration of RISE Program Contact 8 from regional universities. undergraduate creativity in Letter from the Director 8 he NMSU Graduate Following in the path of the all fields” that is organized by RISE Program Fall Events 8 Student Council GRAS scholars and in the NMSU Honors College. hosted the annual Graduate The symposium highlights Research and Arts Sympo- excellence in undergraduate sium (GRAS) on April 26-27 research and in creative art IDEAS AND GOALS in the Corbett Center audito- works. URCAS also accred- “...always think about the rium. RISE graduate student its the faculty mentors who next step,...and if you Nabeeh Hasan led efforts to guide the research and pro- don‟t have any ideas, then organize the regional sym- jects. Nineteen RISE under- try to find good mentors posium where RISE grads grads and their RISE- that will help you reach Jose Banuelos, Richard sponsored research were that next goal.” Elicier, Iliana Ruiz-Cooley, represented at this year's Gloricelys Rivera, Aerial Sin- URCAS poster by Toni Kinstle, 2008. 13t h an nu al URCA S. Olivia George, Ph.D. RISE Post-doc Spotlight on Dr. Olivia George Former NMSU RISE scholar which was highlighted as the RISE always provided me and fall 2007 doctoral gradu- issue‟s cover article. In a with access to funding so I ate, Olivia George, has ac- recent RISE interview, Dr. could attend those confer- cepted a post-doc position at George discussed how her ences...We had a peer-led St. Jude‟s Research Hospital RISE experience influenced group where we tried to help in Tennessee. Dr. George and guided her professional each other with critiques and recently published an article development: “As a RISE suggestions of manuscripts in ACS-Chemical Biology, student all of my networking that we were thinking of pub- titled “Bisphenol A directly occurred at conferences like lishing”. Dr. George received targets tubulin to disrupt SACNAS and [at] national her doctorate in Biology un- spindle organization in em- meetings like the American der the mentorship of Dr. Dr. Olivia George, Researcher at St. bryonic and somatic cells,” Society for Cell Biology— Brad Shuster. Jude‟s Research Hospital, Tennessee
  2. 2. Page 2 Desert SunRI SE Volume 1, Issue 1 RISE Mentor Spotlight on Dr. James Herndon Dr. James W. Herndon Jr., energy crisis of 1974: “North of my undergraduate re- who is a member of the Carolina was thickly forested search advisor, and was RISE Mentor Graduate Re- with pine trees and I read surprised that undergraduate view Committee, was somewhere that the sap was researchers at regional U's awarded NMSU‟s highest mostly hydrocarbons—just could make publishable con- award for excellence in re- like gasoline. I therefore con- tributions to the field. I de- search, the Westhafer cluded that it would burn, cided to go into academia Award. Recognition is and tested this theory on an during my senior under- awarded in memory of Dr. injured pine tree near my graduate year based on my Robert L. Weshafer, an house. It worked like a undergraduate research ex- NMSU professor in the De- charm and fortunately periences.” Dr. Herndon has partment of Mathematical burned itself out after the a RISE-inspired lesson and Sciences from 1946-1957. sap was consumed.” Dr. sound advice for us all: “Do Dr. James W. Herndon, Professor, Curious about Dr. Herndon‟s Herndon quickly cautions us: something that you like and NMSU Department of Chemistry research trajectory, the RISE “Do not even think about that you find interesting, and and Biochemistry staff interviewed him and trying this in the dry forests worry less about its per- inquired about his first of New Mexico.” Reflecting ceived „hotness.‟ NMSU sparks of interests in chem- back to his early college does not hire „dinosaurs‟ for THE NEXT STEP istry research and academia; years and reasons why he its faculty, and all of the “Publication is vital for a he vividly described his first chose chemistry as his area RISE mentors would provide graduate student to "experiment" during his high of research inquiry, Dr. some level of important complete the next step of school years when the coun- Herndon added, “I was very practical training for a scien- their journey…” try was in the midst of the impressed by the operation tific career.” Dr. James W. Herndon, Jr., Professor of Chemistry, NMSU RISE Grad Spotlight on Nabeeh Hasan RISE graduate scholar Na- that our faculty often fail to and as active member in the beeh A. Hasan is recipient of recognize during our tenure Biology Graduate Student a coveted Mike Watts Out- at NMSU. It is nice to be Organization. Dr. C. Donovan standing Leadership Fellow- recognized for contributions Bailey mentors Hasan in the RISE-INSPIRED LESSON “Always write and apply ship, which is awarded by other than the number of RISE Program. for available opportunities. the NMSU Graduate School. papers published or grants A few hours spent crafting In a recent RISE interview, procured.” Hasan‟s leader- manuscripts, applications, Nabeeh commented, ship presence at NMSU in- and proposals can bring “Receiving the Watts Lead- cludes administrative and tremendous respect of ership Fellowship from our academic enrichment contri- your colleagues and can graduate school was a great butions to graduate life in contribute thousands of way to start off the year. The positions as the 2007-08 dollars toward your Watts Leadership Fellowship President of the Graduate research and personal is a way that the school rec- Student Council, as coordi- income.” ognizes the leadership con- nator of the Phylogenetics Nabeeh A. Hasan, Biology tributions we have made to Analysis and Discussion NMSU RISE Graduate our departments, colleges, Group, as organizer of the Student the university community, Ecology and Evolutionary Las Cruces, and beyond, Biology Brownbag Series,
  3. 3. Desert SunRI SE Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 3 RISE Grad-Writing Skills Workshop SUMMER 2008 Josefina E. Dominguez of- Dominguez asserts, and put them on...The stu- fered a RISE Graduate Writ- “Students have to learn to dent starts seeing that tran- ing Skills Workshop this write well quickly in graduate sitions are missing from one summer on English lan- school. The better the first paragraph to the next, that guage mechanics, grammar, draft becomes, the better the ideas could be better ex- conferencing, and in self revisions that follow. [In The plained, or that a step is editing. Dominguez has 25 Craft of Scientific Writing], missing from an explana- years experience as a high this means diminishing the tion.” Workshop participant school English instructor of „zero phrases‟ or dead Nabeeh Hasan reflected on courses ranging from reme- weight. A cleaner, more pre- his experience and stated, “I “The „Meet the Mentors‟ dial to regular to Advanced cise first copy comes with developed an increased way coupled with other Placement (AP honors lots of practice.” She eagerly to critically assess my writing professional development classes). The challenges adds, “The most exciting that can only increase my sessions helped students she has met over the years moment for me is when the chances of properly convey- understand themselves as made Dominguez a great student takes over editing. In ing my message to my audi- part of a larger structure: match for leading the inten- a sense, they take my ence.” lab, department, university, sive writing workshop. „editor‟s reading glasses‟ national cohort. It occurs to me that the RISE Program is and must be the catalyst for organizing such RISE GRE Preparation Workshop SUMMER 2008 opportunities.” Josefina Dominguez, RISE This summer the RISE pro- helping the students to write class. Also, one-on-one ses- Professional Skills Facilitator gram offered an intensive better and to think more sions, in which I was able to GRE Preparation workshop. complexly.“ When asked articulate more clearly the The workshop prepares stu- about which strategies were students' particular tenden- dent applicants for a com- most effective in reaching cies, seemed to speed the petitive advantage in the the workshop objectives, learning process. It is hard to graduate application proc- West added “The students teach writing, because the ess. GRE prep instructor seemed to respond to read- students' skills vary so Allyn West stated that “my ing published essays, and widely, but I think the one-on main objectives, for the they also seemed to respond -one approach helped the RISE workshop, included to any modeling we did in most.” RISE Staff Spotlight: Linda Amezquita Linda Amezquita is the RISE through humor.” Linda for their future that the RISE Records Specialist and Web spends her days multi- program offers them. I be- Master who greets new tasking and ensuring every- lieve I have actually had the RISE applicants with her one is on the books. She opportunity,...to witness the sweet sense of humor. Linda adds, “The most exciting moment when the realization says, „I think my sense of part about working in the hits and everything begins to humor is a good quality. It RISE To Excellence pro- fall into place. It truly is like helps me remember that gram is seeing an undergrad watching a light come on in there are few situations or student suddenly realize the the eyes of that special stu- occasions that can't be opportunity and possibilities dent.” helped by finding balance
  4. 4. Page 4 Desert SunRI SE Volume 1, Issue 1 RISE UG Spotlight on Jenifer Fleming NMSU RISE participant and the most exciting when tak- was in RISE, so I had spring 2008 graduate, ing college courses. I there- planned before.” She adds, Jenifer C. Fleming is enter- fore decided to work in a “I am very excited to leave ing the Ph.D. Biomedical biochemistry laboratory and NMSU—the only downfall is Sciences program at the found research enjoyable. I I will no longer be close to University of California, San am going to get my PhD and my family.” Reflecting back Francisco, this fall. Before work in industry doing re- on her experiences, Fleming Fleming started this exciting search.” Fleming has care- advises new RISE partici- phase of her career, RISE fully planned her academic pants to “do as many sum- OPPORTUNITIES staff asked about her par- trajectory; she exclaims, “I mer internships as possi- “...do as many summer ticular area of research in- already knew what I was ble—they may be hard and internships as possible— quiry and interests. Fleming going to do with my life be- far away but they really help they may be hard and far commented “I have always fore entering the RISE pro- in the long run.” Dr. Peter J. away but they really help been fascinated with science gram. I had been in MARC Lammers mentored Fleming in the long run.” and found biochemistry to be for the two years before I during her RISE tenure. Jenifer Fleming, Ph.D. student in Biomedical Sciences, UCSF RISE UG Student Spotlight on Jaime Guerra RISE undergraduate student studies are performed. It RISE program have both Jaime Guerra is recipient of was a once-in-a-lifetime ex- prepared [me] enough that I a summer 2008 internship perience and I won‟t forget will not be hit too hard by the opportunity at Cornell Uni- it.” When questioned about difficulty of a Ph.D. program. versity. One opportunity the transition to the next I would like to thank both my leads to another recalls level of his career, Guerra lab and the RISE program Guerra who said, “RISE al- remarked, “I‟m a little nerv- for preparing me so well...It lowed me to go to Costa ous about the next step in would have been a lot Rica as a field assistant for a my academic development harder without that guidance grad student. This experi- but am eager to finish with and preparation.” Dr. Timo- ence was great and it en- school altogether. I think the thy F. Wright mentors abled me to learn how field lab I am working in and the Guerra in the RISE program. RESEARCH GOALS RISE UG Student Spotlight on Natasha Yazzie “The goal of my research gives me the opportunity RISE undergraduate student members. I will also have ence and inspired me to to give back to the Natasha Yazzie is a summer gained more networks and continue my education...The community. This 2008 recipient of an intern- great references if I need goal of my research gives [environmental biology] ship opportunity at the Fred them.” Yazzie is a Biology me the opportunity to give research is beneficial to Hutchinson Cancer Re- major with an expected back to the community.” both the environment and search Center (FHCRC) in graduation date in spring Yazzie will present two post- people, especially those Seattle, WA. Yazzie has 2009. She plans on applying ers at SACNAS this fall.. that have limited income.” practical expectations for out-of-state to earn her Ph.D. One presentation is on her this experience; she says, “I Yazzie‟s enthusiasm for bio- summer cancer research Natasha Yazzie, Biology, expect to gain more knowl- logical research will continue and the other is on her RISE NMSU RISE Undergraduate Student edge and learn more lab in grad school; she adds, environmental biology re- techniques that I can use “...the RISE graduate school search with mentor Dr. Anto- and share with other lab preparation is a great experi- nio Lara.
  5. 5. Desert SunRI SE Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 5 RISE Scholar Presentations at GRAS RISE Scholar Presentations at URCAS
  6. 6. Page 6 Desert SunRI SE Volume 1, Issue 1 Medicinal Plants of the Southwest Program Admits 24 The Medicinal Plants of the and visiting professors. Six MPSW participants have transi- Southwest Workshop (MPSW) tioned to the RISE to the Doctorate component of the RISE is a component of the NIH program, and are working in RISE mentor laboratories. The Medicinal Plants of the Southwest MPSW participants showcased their summer research energies Workshop Program (images above RISE program at NMSU. and below). MPSW is a collaborative by presenting their work at the Medicinal Plants of the South- teaching venture between Dr. west Workshop Poster Presentation. The poster titles are listed Mary O‟Connell and Dr. Anto- below: nio Lara. The MPSW program 1. “Tropane Alkaloid Concentrations in Datura innoxia Located offers intensive research ex- in a Rural Versus industrialized Setting.” perience for RISE participants Julian Sandoval, Sara Samani, Erica Perras to study medicinal properties 2. “Comparative Analysis of Leaves and Seeds for Tropane of southwest native flora at Alkaloids in Datura innoxia.” NMSU. The MPSW program Jamira Virk, Raymundo Chavira, Darryl Reano admitted 24 students for the 3. “Effects of Heat and Light on Lycopene in Tomato Fruit.” summer 2008 workshop se- Karla Almaraz, Pablo Coss, Elena Taylor ries. A typical workshop 4. “Comparative Analysis of Capsaicin in Habanero and schedule consists of lectures Japanese Red Jalapeño Pepper.” and lab activities. Participants Jarret Williamson, Kelli Buchanan, Tasha Rodriguez search the literature, design 5. “Comparative Analysis Between Representatives of an Array experiments, harvest plant of Capsicum fruit varieties for the Presence and Bioactivity of materials, extract compounds, the Chemical Constituents: Capsaicin and Carotenoids.” run separation analyses, de- Emilia Casillas, Mariela Jimenez, Charmaine Vega velop bioassays, populate the 6. “Analysis of Processing Effects on Organic and Non-Organic MPSW database with results, Solanum lycopersicum Levels of Lycopene and β-carotene.” write, and critique peer papers Kathy Donoher, Lekeah Durden, and Jesus Martinez for web publication. The work- 7. “Evaluation of Levels of Steroidal and Tropane Alkaloids in shop series encompass a Solanum elaeagnofolium and its Antimicrobial Properties.” holistic approach of inquiry Janeth Sanchez, Brittany Herrera, Trevor Wilhelm with guest lecturers, including 8. “Analysis of Solasodine Extracted from Solanum elaeagno physicians, herbalists, folium as an Anticancer Compound.” curanderas (healers), story- Alexandru Boje, Jessica Fitzgerald, Jessica Perez tellers, community scientists, Visit the MPSW Web site for more info at: http://medplant.nmsu.edu/ Responsible Conduct in Research Seminars The RISE Program launched ties that surround the practice Professor of Biology), 2) the Responsible Conduct in of science in the 21st century “Introduction to Ethics and Research (RCR) Seminar require that scientists work Philosophy” (Timothy Cleve- series, the first of its kind on together to develop and es- land, Professor of Philoso- the NMSU campus. “It is the tablish the ethical standards phy), 3) “NMSU Research responsibility of all scientists, of their profession.” The 2008 Ethics Policies” (Robert Czer- whatever their professional summer seminar series of- niak, Associate Vice Presi- stage, to maintain abreast of fered an opportunity for all dent for Research), and RCR education and to ensure members of the RISE com- 4) “NMSU Policies and Pro- adherence to the highest munity to attend and discuss cedures for Research with standards of scientific integ- presentations on four topics: Human Participants” (Manuela rity,” says Dr. Serrano, RISE 1) “RCR Education Require- Quezada-Aragon, Director, Program Director. “Moreover, ments in NSF and NIH Train- NMSU Office of Compliance). the legal and social complexi- ing Grants” (Elba Serrano,
  7. 7. Desert SunRI SE Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 7 RISE UG Student Spotlight on Kellie Jurado RISE undergraduate student Jurado‟s accomplishments plished two of my career Kellie Ann Jurado is a spring include spearheading the goals: I will have research 2008 recipient of the NMSU Las Cruces Transitions pro- experience at a prestigious Honors College Scholarship gram, which provides assis- institution with superb scien- for International Research, tance to foster children in the tists; and, I will have per- which provides a summer form of lifebook packages sonal progression from ob- internship opportunity for her and material resources. “A taining an independent inter- at the Max Plank Institute in lifebook is designed to en- national experience with a Leipzig, Germany. The able the foster child to un- widened cultural [view of] Award is for outstanding derstand significant events diversity.” Drs. Laura sophomores and juniors in in the past, confront the feel- Thompson and Wenda Tre- RESEARCH FOCUS the third year of undergradu- ings that are secondary to vathan have served as Ju- “Human reproductive ate study. Recipients are these events, and become rado‟s mentors in the RISE ecology focuses on challenged “to refine a world more fully involved in the Program. In summer 2008, reproductive physiology view or philosophy of life that future planning of their lives” Kelly transitioned to our NIH- and the regulation of will complement and bring a states Jurado. She adds, MORE sister program, reproductive effort in higher level of understanding “After my arrival back at MARC (Minority Access to natural human populations. to his/her undergraduate NMSU, I will have accom- Research Careers Program). I plan to dedicate my life to education.” Remarkably, this naturalistic approach to the science of reproduction.” Kellie Jurado, Psychology RISE UG Spotlight on Savannah Benally NMSU RISE Undergraduate Student NMSU RISE and participant an account of the benefits life I am sure will bring en- and May 2008 graduate, tied to joining a program— joyment, and supplement my Savannah Benally is enter- such as RISE—that guides curiosity of the inner work- ing the University of Wash- and supports professional ings of life...While I was in ington Ph.D. program in Mo- development, career plan- RISE, I didn't have a clear lecular and Cellular Biology ning, networking, and pub- concept of what was re- this fall. In a recent RISE lishing. She remarked, quired in graduate school. interview, Benally provided “Programs like RISE, MARC RISE essentially allowed me VALUES OF NETWORKING and AIP have contributed to to decide to actually attend “...I am fortunate to have a my ongoing success. Grad school. Once I joined former Aggie help me get They've coordinated work- MARC and approached my settled into Seattle, and a shops, info sessions, senior year, the details of graduate student's way of classes, seminars, etc. that publishing became apparent. life. I couldn't give a better allowed me to develop skills I do anticipate publishing the example of the benefits of socially, academically, and new findings of the research networking. ” in choosing a career.” I've contributed these past Benally attributes much of three years. I also know how Savannah Benally, her success to the active important and beneficial a Ph.D. student in Molecular support of these programs. publication in an upstanding and Cellular Biology, She eagerly adds, “I am fas- journal could influence University of Washington cinated by science. Working where I take my career, toward a biochemistry de- which prompts me to set gree has opened doors to a high goals for my graduate research.”
  8. 8. RISE Office Letter from the Director Minority Biomedical Research Support Our RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS-RISE) Community at New Mexico State University is committed to New Mexico State University MBRS-RISE Program 1200 S. Horseshoe Circle, Room 365, Foster Hall, scientific research that will promote human health and re- PO Box 30001 MSC 3AF duce illness and disabilities. RISE is a National Institutes of Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001 Health (NIH) initiative that supports student scientific devel- E-mail: mbrsrise@nmsu.edu opment activities in minority-serving institutions through Phone: 575-646-8040 | Fax: 575-646-7011 awards from the Minority Biomedical Research Support RISE is supported by NIGMS award (MBRS) program. The goal of NIH-RISE is to diversify the R25GM061222 scientific workforce by increasing the number of students from underrepresented groups who complete Ph.D. degree programs in biomedical and behavioral research. RISE on the Web! Dr. Elba Serrano http://biology-web.nmsu.edu/nmsurise/index.html Professor of Biology & RISE Program Director RISE Program Staff Cathilia Flores, Program Coordinator Linda Amezquita, Records Specialist Josefina Dominguez, RISE Professional Skills Facilitator RISE Program Fall Events Citlalin Xochime, Editor, RISE Professional Skills Facilitator RISE Undergraduate Applicant Preparation Workshop. This workshop offers practical experi- ence in the planning and development of applica- tion materials for graduate school programs, intern- ships, or post-baccalaureate positions (Citlalin Xochime, Workshop Facilitator). RISE Graduate Professional Skills. BIO698 fo- cuses on fellowship preparation, conference pres- entation skills, and strategies for identifying and securing postdoctoral positions. The course was developed for RISE Graduate Scholars and is open to all NMSU predoctoral students (Dr. Elba Serrano, Professor of Biology). SACNAS National Conference. Eighteen RISE RISE Student Advisory Committee Scholars will present their research at this year‟s conference on “International Polar Year: Global Jesus Cuaron, RISE Graduate Representative Change in Our Communities,” October 9-12, 2008 Yvonne Diaz, RISE Undergraduate Representative in Salt Lake City, Utah. Amanda Munoz, RISE Undergraduate Representative Applicant Interview Preparation Workshop. This Emigdio Reyes, RISE Graduate Representative workshop covers best practices and lessons learned for navigating the graduate interview proc- ess (Citlalin Xochime, Workshop Facilitator). RISE Scholar Portfolio Preparation Workshop. This workshop reviews essential genres of a port- folio package. The focus is on genre preparation and revision for a competitive edge for positions across academia, industry, and government (Citlalin Xochime, Workshop Facilitator).

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