Last week, eleven Woodland Community College (WCC) students began conducting research in UC Davis science laboratories as part of the WCC MESA Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (MURSP). MURSP is an opportunity for community college students to gain hands-on research experience at an early stage in their STEM career. Students are participating in enrichment activities to enhance their preparation and confidence to transfer to a four-year university and pursue a career in a STEM field. The eight-week paid summer research program runs from June 20, 2023 - August 11, 2023 and culminates with a student poster presentation session. This program is in partnership with the University of California, Davis Graduate Preparatory Programs, Graduate Student & Post Doctoral SACNAS Chapter at UCD, and the UCD Microbiology Graduate Group.
Our chapter is organizing seven professional development seminars. This week our MURSP students learn about how to write a Resume/CV. This workshop was presented by the Internship & Career Center (ICC) on campus.
AP Computer Science students from River City HS learned how to assemble DNA fragments into a genome! This workshop was led by Ethan Holleman, an IGG grad student in Dr. Fred Chedin's lab.
The UCD GSPD SACNAS Chapter, in collaboration with the MANO (Mentoring, Advising, and Networking Opportunities) Project and Woodland Community College, hosted a discussion series to achieve cross-institutional collaboration and community trust-building at large. We had STEM graduate student volunteers leading small, informal, and inclusive discussion groups to share their experiences prior to and during graduate school. Café con pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread and coffee) was provided.
Thank you to WCC and MANO! We couldn't have done this without our volunteers: Amelia Brie Bennett (Ph.D. candidate, Microbiology), Jessica Hallstrom (Ph.D. candidate, Food Science & Technology), Regina Agulto (Ph.D. candidate, Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology), Maribel Anguiano (PhD Student, Neuroscience), Celena Lozano (2nd year PhD Student, Neuroscience), Erika Bueno (PhD candidate, Entomology), Tana Hernandez Barrueta (PhD candidate, Food Science), Deana Villagomes (PhD student, Molecular & Cellular Biology), and Elizabeth Reyes Gallegos (PhD Candiate, Entomology).
Our K-8 Outreach chairs organized hands-on DNA lessons with eight classrooms at Prairie Elementary in Woodland. Students got to make a DNA model and assist in performing DNA extraction on strawberries.
Thank you to our UCD grad student volunteers who made this possible! Abdallah Hashem, Erica Nielsen, Jasmine Esparza, Crystal Homicz, Johnny Vertiz, Jared Lee-Kin, Sage Madden, Nitin Beesabathuni, Ben Guthrie!
Students from Woodland Community College were invited for an immersion day on campus! The goal of this event was to introduce the idea of graduate school and conducting research to the students.
1. California Raptor Center
Students learned about ongoing avian research and conservation efforts at the California Raptor Center.
2. Graduate Student Panel
Next, our students attended a Graduate Student Panel and learned about the journey of two current graduate students at UCD, Camilo Echeverria and Angelica Carranza. Both graduate students had previously attended community college and gave a unique insight to the Woodland students.
3. Lab tour - Sean Collins lab
Our first lab tour began at the Sean Collins lab in the department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Current graduate student, Diana Sernas, gave a brief presentation on the ongoing research of the lab, showed the powerful microscopes used, and showed off their lab space! For many students, this was their first time stepping into a lab.
4. Exploring campus
We took the students to explore Shields library and to a 500-student lecture room. Many students had never seen a lecture room of this size!
5. Lab tour - Shock Compression lab
To end our day, we toured the Shock Compression lab in the department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Current project scientist, Dylan Spaulding guided our tour. Students learned about the ongoing research of the lab, had first hand experience of seeing the extremely large canons used by the lab, and held different projectiles used in previous experiments.
A special thanks to Dr. Lorena Navarro, MESA director at Woodland CC and to our funding sources: Graduate and Professional Student (GAPS) grant and Beyond Tolerance grant.