TAMIU Students, Faculty Headed to Singapore for Research

TAMIU Students, Faculty Headed
to Singapore for Research

Four Texas A&M International University graduate students and their mentors, Dr. Ruby Ynalvez and Dr. Marcus Ynalvez, are preparing to travel to Singapore later this month to study the relationships between East Asian graduate students and their mentors and how they influence scientific innovation.

Students going on the trip are Susan Aguilar, sociology graduate student, Andrea Beattie, political science graduate student, Claudia Garza-Gongora, biology graduate student and Arturo González, sociology graduate student.

Mentors accompanying the students are Dr. Marcus Ynalvez, principal investigator (PI) and Dr. Ruby Ynalvez, co-investigator (Co-PI).

Susan Aguilar, Arturo Gonzalez, Claudio Garza-Gongora, Dr. Ruby Ynalvez, Andrea Beattie

Students going on the trip to Singapore are (L to R, Back row): Susan Aguilar, sociology graduate student, Arturo González, sociology graduate student, (L to R front row): Claudia Garza-Gongora, biology graduate student, Dr. Ruby Ynalvez and Andrea Beattie, political science graduate student.

“While the United States has enjoyed a global status of leading the world in science and technology, many are concerned that the U.S. might be falling behind other nations, specifically the East Asian countries,” said Dr. Marcus Ynalvez, TAMIU assistant professor of sociology.

He explained that the purpose of the study, “Transmission of Tacit Skills in East Asian Graduate Science Programs,” is to understand how tacit skills learned through close interaction with mentors are passed from mentors to mentees.

The results will help them come up with science policies and best practices in doctoral science training.

“The project looks to understand the realities behind the statistics, and how the U.S. might be able to learn from the successes of other nations as we seek to increasingly work together as a global community, as well as maintain our national goals and competitive edge,” he continued.

Sociology graduate student Susan Aguilar explained the students’ roles.

“Our job is not only to assist in the goals of the project, but we will also be taught survey skills, sociological studies of science and technology and learn how molecular laboratory skills are effectively acquired by and transmitted to mentees,” she said.

“They will also benefit from an enriching cultural experience that will assist them in their ability to better succeed as professionals in the global scientific community,” added Dr. Ruby Ynalvez, TAMIU assistant professor of biology.

Co-PIs Dr. John Kilburn and Noriko Hara conducted surveys in Taiwan in 2009. Dr. Marcus Ynalvez and Aguilar also conducted surveys in Japan last month.

The project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science of Science and Innovation Policy Program (SciSIP).

For more information, please contact Dr. Marcus Ynalvez at mynalvez@tamiu.edu or 326.2621 or visit offices in Dr. F. M. Canseco Hall, room 313F.

University summer office hours are 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Thursday and 8 a.m. – noon, Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu