TAMIU Soph Recipient of Rhode Island Research Fellowship
Posted: 4/18/13

TAMIU Sophomore Recipient of 2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) sophomore Mónica Martínez competed nationally and has successfully earned her place among this year’s cohort of students who will travel to the University of Rhode Island (URI) this summer.  Her experiences will expose her to laboratory research and provide an outstanding environment to learn firsthand about a career in biomedical and behavioral research.

Monica Martinez

Martínez was selected to participate in URI’s 2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF), a 10-week research program that offers opportunities to qualified undergraduate students considering a possible career in biomedical and behavioral research.  The program includes three major components: a hands-on research project with a faculty member of URI, a series of workshops and group instruction and a lecturer series. 

Jeffrey Ulricksen, SURF Program assistant, remarked that “Not only was Mónica a very strong applicant, but she also will be working with Dr. Geoff Bothun in the Chemical Engineering Department at URI who is currently collaborating with Mónica’s scientific mentor at TAMIU.”

TAMIU assistant professor for the Department of Biology and Chemistry and Martínez’s mentor, Dr. Anju Gupta, also praised Martínez for her achievement.

“Mónica is a fast learner and continues to be really motivated.  The SURF Program is very competitive and applicants from universities such as Purdue and Cornell are normally accepted, but I know that Mónica is able to compete with students from these top-tier universities,” Dr. Gupta noted.

Dr. Gupta is a Ph.D. graduate from URI and will travel to Kingston, Rhode Island, with Martínez this summer.  They presented their research at the Lamar Bruni Vergara Academic Conference this year on “Pickering emulsion-based dispersant systems for oil spill mitigation.”  Their research includes studying how bacteria-encapsulated dispersants can be used for oil spill bioremediation and how the bacteria are packaged within specialized liposomes.

Martínez would like to become a pharmacist.  She is looking forward to the networking opportunities and exposure to a field that suits her career aspirations from her experience in the SURF Program.

“Since I am going to be working at a College of Pharmacy, I am hoping to meet pharmacists who will provide me with insights and new techniques that are being used in the pharmaceutical world,” explained Martínez.  She believes that her experience in Rhode Island will also widen her scope with respects to higher level education outside of Texas.

Martínez was born and raised in Laredo. She is currently a sophomore at TAMIU majoring in Biology and is a member of the D.D. Hachar Honors Scholar Program.  Martínez is currently working at TAMIU’s University Learning Center as a biology student tutor.  She’s also Historian for the TAMIU Student Chapter of the Botanical Society of America.

For more information, contact Dr. Anju Gupta at 956.326.2597, or email anju.gupta@tamiu.edu

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