December 2014 - The University of North Carolina at Pembroke



December 2014 - The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
December 2014
Volume 2, Issue 2
UNCP-RISE Cohort 9
Special Points of Interest
RISE-ing to the Challenge
UNCP-RISE Fellows Present at Chapel Hill
Marcus Sherman and Justin Branch presented their research at the 14th Annual
Distinguished Scholar Seminar (DSS) Day. This event is held every year at
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and provides an opportunity
for students “to engage with outstanding researchers and educators and to learn
more about attaining careers in science”. The program is organized by scholars
in the Seeding Postdoctoral Innovators in Research and Education (SPIRE)
program, of which The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is a partner
institution. This year’s DSS Day included a keynote address from Dr. Todd P.
Coleman, University of California, San Diego, as well as a Poster Session, a
Career Options panel and Laboratory tours, and other events during the day.
 DSS Day
 CASL Club
 Mentor/Fellow Social
 Women In Science
 Diversity
Justin Branch,
(Above) and
Marcus Sherman,
Page 2
RISE-ing to the Challenge
AISES Mentorship Program
RISE Fellow Alexander McGirt was selected to participate in the AISES Mentorship Program.
The Lighting The Pathway program through AISES, and funded by the National Science
Foundation, is an undergraduate program that aims to improve the employment of minority staff/
faculty at institutions within the STEM concentrations of study. For the duration of the process,
the student is assigned to a mentor (professor), from whatever school that has qualified or
appropriate professors, who guides the student along in their studies and advises them to
ensure that they take the best steps and opportunities available to better prepare them to enter
the academia based occupational setting. For the first two years
a stipend is awarded and assistance is provided to students in
building connections and attending recommended meetings and
Alexander is excited about “the opportunity the Lighting the
Pathway Program provides to build a good foundation in
connection and experience”. In order to be selected as a
participant, Alexander had to have a 3.0 or higher cumulative
GPA and express a desire to become a faculty member at a
college or university, or having a professional career in his chosen
STEM field. Only 30 students were selected for this honor out of
more than 1,500 AISES student members. AISES is the American
Indian Science and Engineering Society. Alexander will receive
funding to attend research presentations, meetings and other
events related to his STEM studies.
In October, Carlisha Hall attended the Council for Undergraduate
Research (CUR) “Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Symposium” in Arlington, VA. The Symposium provided Carlisha an
opportunity to present the research she conducted during her summer
internship with the Indiana University Animal Behavior Research
program. Carlisha was also able to learn about National Science
Foundation funding for graduate school and career opportunities in
STEM fields. Undergraduate presentations at the Symposium were by
research mentor nomination only. Carlisha’s presentation was on The
impacts of food restriction on reproductive development in a seasonally
-reproducing mammal, the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus)”.
Page 3
Volume 2, Issue 2
Carlisha Hall and Catheryn Wilson were
selected to present their research at the
Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology
(SICB) Conference in West Palm Beach, FL.
The conference will be held in January and
will feature workshops, symposia, and special
sessions. Both Carlisha and Catheryn will
participate in the poster presentation session
and share their summer internship research.
Carlisha Hall
Catheryn Wilson
Alex Foster was selected to present his research at the Society for
Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
(SACNAS) Conference in Los Angeles, CA. SACNAS is held each
October and provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary and
interactive networking and encourages undergraduates, graduates,
and career professionals as they move toward leadership in the
science profession. Alex presented his research poster on the work
he did during his summer internship at Vanderbilt University:
“Substantiating the Four Neutrino Hypothesis from the Gösgen
Caleb Stubbs attended the Southern California Conference for
Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) at California State University in
Fullerton, CA in November. He presented research he did during his
summer internship at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. The
SCCUR Annual Conference is multidisciplinary and includes more
than 800 participants from the sciences, humanities, arts, and social
sciences. Caleb’s presentation was on “VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3
Expression as a Function of Jagged-1 Over Expression in HUVEC
RISE-ing to the Challenge
Page 4
Dr. Robert Canida, Director of the Office of Diversity and
Inclusion and the Multicultural Center, presented a workshop
on Diversity for the UNCP-RISE Fellows. Participants were
asked to explore their personal thoughts and beliefs and use
them to analyze how they perceive others based on titles and
stereotypes. It was a highly engaging workshop which
presented new ideas to attendees and opened pathways to
more in-depth discussions of diversity issues.
“The seminar
explored worklife balance and
current issues
associated with
developing a
career in
science as a
Women In Science
Dr. Claire Gordy and Dr. Erin Shanle, both of the UNC Chapel Hill
SPIRE Postdoc Program, conducted a “Women In Science” Seminar
on October 30th. The “for women only” seminar explored work-life
balance and current issues associated with developing a career in
science as a woman through an open discussion. Students in
attendance were able to openly discuss some of the challenges that
face women who enter STEM-related fields and strategies they can
use to overcome them. Dr. Gordy is currently a Visiting Assistant
Professor of Biology at UNCP. During the spring semester Dr. Shanle
will serve as a Visiting Professor in the department.
Dr. Claire
Gordy (Left)
and Dr. Erin
Shanle (Right)
Research Ethical Conduct
Dr. Conner Sandefur of the UNC Chapel Hill SPIRE Postdoc
Program and Visiting Assistant Professor at UNCP presented a
workshop on Research Ethical Conduct for the RISE Fellows.
The workshop focused on how to maintain ethical conduct in a
variety of situations that can arise while working with science
research, publishing a journal article, and other activities.
Page 5
Volume 2, Issue 2
In its second year as part of the UNCP-RISE workshop series, this semester’s CASL Club
followed a more traditional journal club format. The first session included an instructor-selected
paper and the CASL Club worksheet to demonstrate one manner to read and analyze primary
scientific literature. The other two meetings of the semester were led by students who selected
papers and facilitated the discussion. Carlisha Hall kicked off the student led meetings with a
paper entitled "Behavioral and physiological female responses to male sex ratio bias in a pondbreeding amphibian." In the third and final meeting of the semester, Catheryn Wilson led the
discussion on her paper selection entitled "Galactose Metabolism by Streptococcus mutans." The
CASL Club will return in the near future and will be open to any student who would like to
learn more about reading and understanding scientific literature.
UNCP-RISE Fellows along with Dr. Robert Poage and Professor Sailaja
Vallabha attended the 2014 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for
Minority Students (ABRCMS) in San Antonio, TX. Seven current RISE
Fellows (Carlisha Hall, Morgan Pait, Caleb Stubbs, Marcus Sherman,
Alex Foster, Justin Branch, Catheryn Wilson), as well as former RISE
Fellow Christopher Long, were selected to present their research posters
at the conference. Marcus Sherman placed in his category and received
a “Meritorious Award for Distinguished Presentation” in Molecular and
Computational Biology against 109 other presenters.
Applications for RISE Cohort 10
(2015-2016) will be accepted
beginning in February.
We’re Viral!
Facebook at: Uncp Rise
Please visit the UNCP-RISE Website to learn more about RISE and
what it has to offer for
undergraduate biomedical and
behavioral researchers!
Helping create a more diverse
research workforce.”
Join us on FaceBook to receive
updates on the latest RISE
Department of Biology
1 University Drive
P.O. Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372
Phone: 910.775.4428
Fax: 910.522.5745
[email protected]
What Is UNCP-RISE And How Does It Impact Our University?
UNCP-RISE is a grant-funded program for students who are considering a career
in the area of biomedical or behavioral research. The goal of this program is to
help create a more diverse research work force by working to: prepare UNCP
students to be the research scientists of the future, support and enhance an
atmosphere conducive to undergraduate research in the sciences at UNCP, and
allow students to participate in activities that will enhance their confidence,
academic skills, and technical abilities. The UNCP-RISE program is open to
students of all classifications *majoring in biology, chemistry, physics or a related
field with plans to pursue a graduate degree. RISE is a program funded by the
National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
UNCP-RISE supports student research and academic activities at all undergraduate levels. Students will receive financial benefits as well as professional
experience and training that will better prepare them to enter and succeed in a
graduate program. RISE Fellows are offered faculty and peer-led Supplemental
Instruction for gateway courses and attend workshops in time management,
writing, and problem solving , among others. They engage in hands-on research
with faculty mentors and receive assistance for internships at other research
institutions. Financial support is available for travel to attend and/or present at
conferences. RISE students earn a wage of $12.50/hr to participate in program
The Oxendine Science Building is
home to UNCP-RISE. Administrative Support Assoicaite Sonda
Rogers is a key program leader!
This publication is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact the Accessibility Resource Center,
DF Lowry Building, 910-521-6695.

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