Poster Presentations Highlight Student Research

On March 11, BMCC’s Annual Student Research Poster Presentation showcased the works of students from the following on-campus organizations: CSTEP, Cleo and Zack Project, Honors, LSAMP and S-STEM.

Students stood in front of their colorful three-fold posters, answering questions about their research to invited guests from the BMCC community.

The posters were standing in rows on long tables, allowing guests to easily view the displayed subject matter.

The Research Programs at BMCC
CSTEP is the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program designed to foster a student’s success in preparing for professional licensure and careers in medicine, law, business, education, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health.The CSTEP advisor at BMCC is Professor Lalitha Jayant.

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 of the Science department 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 at least 12 completed BMCC – i.e., non-transfer – credits with no remediation pending. BMCC professors Jerrold W. Schoenblum and Carol Wasserman are the co-chairs of the Honors committee.

The LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) program in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is federally-funded and University- supported. The overall goal of LSAMP is to ensure a long-term capacity to produce significantly greater numbers of minority students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers through lasting changes achieved in the participating institutions.

The advisor for BMCC’s LSAMP program is Giselle Acco of the Office of Students Affairs, who also coordinated the poster presentation event. S-STEM, which is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarship Program, is intended to address the critical shortage of a technically-trained workforce that is essential to the well being of this country and economy. S-STEM is funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the advisor is BMCC Science Professor Sara Salm.

Students proudly display work
Once students selected their poster topic for presentation, they asked a faculty member to mentor them throughout their research.

“The BMCC faculty mentors are here with their students,” said Dr. Sadie Bragg, BMCC’s Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, who was in attendance, and spoke at, the event. “They’ve been true mentors to these students. And these students worked so hard.”

According to Giselle Acco, the 2009 Poster Presentations reflected the growth of research activities at BMCC. “The research student scholars presented diverse projects that generated stimulating conversations among the presenters, students and faculty and staff.”

Most posters had a health or science theme, although some students presented their literary or social science research. The student research is done outside usual classroom commitments.
Acco said the number of students participating in the event has “increased significantly,” since last year.

Mathematics major Maannyah Patel presented a poster that focused on statistics. Her faculty mentor was Professor Alla Morgulis of the Mathematics department. Patel used charts and graphs to show the profits and losses of a Mountain Bike company.

A member of S-STEM, Patel said the poster research piqued her interest in statistics. “In doing this project, I learned more about how math is used in macroeconomics,” she said.

Student Darren Swinson is also a member of S-STEM. Under the guidance of mentor Dr. Lin Leung, he researched “a variety of databases.”

“Everything you do in life today needs a database,” he said, standing in front of his poster that showed different types of access databases that can be organized via computer.

Student Gary Waiyaki is a member of Cleo and Zack Project. He presented a poster about high blood pressure, and through his research he learned that high blood pressure was genetic. “I’m excited to be here—and I’m proud,” he said of the event. “I was really challenged and motivated by this project.”

BMCC Honors student Maria Piedrahita presented a poster based on a feminist literary work she felt passionate about, called La Mujer En El Poema de Mio Cid. “The message of my poster is the hope that we can continue towards a better society,” she said. “It shows how women have evolved in so many ways.”

A High Turn-Out of Presenters
Senior Vice President Bragg presented awards and certificates to the students. “I’m ecstatic to be here,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for students to practice speaking to others about their research. It’s a skill that will be helpful for them in the job world or at other colleges, when they present in front of an audience.”

Acco agreed, stating, “The most memorable part of the event was the passion and pride the students exhibited as researchers.”