Dartmouth, USD Research Internships Awarded to TAMIU Students
Posted: 6/20/13

Dartmouth, USD Research Internships
Awarded to TAMIU Students

Two Texas A&M International University students will spend this summer in research internships at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH and the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD.


TAMIU Student Interns
Texas A&M International University biology majors Ashley Garcia (left) and Eileen Martinez (middle) are joined by their TAMIU mentor Dr. Monica Mendez. Both students competed and were accepted for prestigious summer internship programs at the University of South Dakota and Dartmouth College respectively.

Ashley García, also a TAMIU junior and biology major, competed and was accepted into three summer research programs, selecting the Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement-Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP) program sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and delivered at the University of South Dakota.

MCHC/RISE-UP provides opportunities for enhanced public health and related training to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity. Through this program, university partners offer learning opportunities for students,  promoting a more diversified and equal health system by introducing highly qualified undergraduate students  from under-represented groups to the field of public health.

García was also offered summer internship positions with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities in its National Science Foundation Summer Scholar program and  by the University of Texas’ Medical Branch for its Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), which provides research opportunities in various areas of biomedical research.

Eileen Martínez, also a TAMIU junior and biology major, competed for and was awarded an internship in the Academic Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (ASURE) at Dartmouth, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.  Her 10-week program provides room and board and a stipend.

Dartmouth's ASURE prepares students for future graduate research training.  The program will be hosted by Dartmouth Graduate Studies in collaboration with relevant departments around the campus, including Arts & Sciences, Thayer School of Engineering and Dartmouth Medical School.

Martínez will be working with Dartmouth’s Dr. Brent Berwin whose area of expertise is Immunology and Microbiology.

Both students’ TAMIU mentor, Dr. Monica O. Mendez, assistant professor of biology, said they are exceptional students.

“I have been fortunate enough to have several research students in my lab that are truly exceptional.  Ashley and Eileen are two of those students that have become experts in methods that we've developed in the lab.  Their diligence and dedication to their respective research projects have helped us produce publishable data, and have helped them develop the research tools they need to be successful in any research program in graduate school. Their selection into these research opportunities is an indication of their hard work and commitment to research.

“Although both Ashley and Eileen had an interest in medical fields when they began working in my lab, they will both be pursuing graduate degrees.  Ashley will be entering a graduate program in Public Health, while Eileen will be pursuing a PhD in Environmental Toxicology,” Dr. Mendez noted.

Both García and Martínez praised the TAMIU programs that enabled them to compete and receive the prestigious research internships.

“TAMIU has allowed me to work as an undergraduate research assistant and gain valuable research skills that are essential in the scientific field. I have worked under my mentor, Dr. Mendez, for the past year and a half and have learned the importance of hard work and perseverance. The skills that I have gained while attending TAMIU and working under my mentor has prepared me to be ready for the demands of my internship and for a future in research, ” said Ashley García.

Martínez concurred.

“Here at TAMIU I have been very fortunate to have been able to work with two research professors: Dr. Mendez and Dr. Wilson.  Their guidance and mentorship have taught me a lot about leadership, responsibility, and how to conduct research.  My experience working with them has taught me so much about the science field and how to approach and answer scientific problems.  Both taught me the laboratory skills needed to succeed in current research as well as future research that I may be a part of,” Eileen Martínez explained. 

TAMIU’s Dr. John Kilburn, associate dean of Research and Sponsored Projects, said the students’ selection speaks highly of their preparation and bodes well for their futures.

“These TAMIU students competed on a national scale for these prestigious internships that afford them truly remarkable research opportunities.  Their level of preparation is impressive and we believe that these summer research experiences, coupled with their TAMIU study, will help to afford them the brightest futures possible in their chosen fields,” Dr. Kilburn said.

Registration for the Summer Sessions and the Fall Semester is underway at tamiu.edu.  Fall classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013.

For additional information, contact the TAMIU Office of Research and Sponsored Projects at 956.326.3221, email Dr. Kilburn at jckilburn@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, Suite 326.

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