TAMIU Sophomore Researcher Going ‘SURFing’ in Rhode Island
Posted: 6/5/13

TAMIU Sophomore Researcher Going
‘SURF’ing in Rhode Island

After a national competition, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) sophomore Mónica Martínez has successfully earned her place among this year’s cohort of research students who will travel to the University of Rhode Island (URI) this summer.  And you might say she’ll be “SURFing” while there.

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. 

Monica Martinez

Her SURF experiences will expose her to laboratory research and provide an outstanding environment to learn firsthand about a career in biomedical and behavioral research.

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, praised 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.

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

Dr. Gupta is a Ph.D. graduate from URI and will travel to Rhode Island with Martínez this summer.  They presented their research, “Pickering emulsion-based dispersant systems for oil spill mitigation,” at TAMIU’s Lamar Bruni Vergara Academic Conference. It studies 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 and 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.

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

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

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