Summer Research Opportunity at Binghamton University

by Annique Mclune


The SUNY Upstate Bridges to Baccalaureate Program at Binghamton University is a Research internship for underrepresented minority students. Funded by the National Institute of General Medicine, students can make their transition effectively to four-year institutions while they pursue a degree in science and math.

WCC is a participant of this program with coordinator Professor Glenworth Richards of the Biology Department who works with SUNY Binghamton to send a group of students to join the program. Each year, participants select an area of interest for research to include Psychology, Biology and Chemistry.

“It is wonderful to see a group of 17-18 students from three different community colleges who do not know each other, come together and bond as a group and make lasting friendships.” — Elizabeth DeAngelo, Bridges to Baccalaureate coordinator

The program runs for five weeks between June and July, then culminates in a student Poster Presentation. This past summer a group of five WCC students joined twelve other community college students across New York to take part in this program.

“Bridges was fun and interesting. At first you think it would be easy and but once the program started it’s a lot of work, but it is fun in the process,” said WCC Bridges scholar, Dejanai Watson. “Learning new things and doing hands on experiments that you have never done before such as doing optical vision screening on humans or growing bacteria”

Bridges Scholars are immersed in research practical with one-on-one mentorship from graduate students and learn to develop skills in data collection, organization and presentation of scientific information. The Bridges program is a paid research internship, but the experience obtained is invaluable, as students also participate in weekly excursions and other social interactions with the other Bridges scholars.

“It was a fun experience getting to know every single one of the Bridges scholars and hanging out with them, going to the zoo, going hiking, going bowling etc,” Watson said. “In my opinion, I would do it all over again because it was one of the best opportunities I got to do in my life.”

“It is wonderful to see a group of 17-18 students from three different community colleges who do not know each other, come together and bond as a group and make lasting friendships,” said Elizabeth DeAngelo, Bridges coordinator for Binghamton University. “I give all of them so much credit for having the courage to take this leap of faith.  It is so rewarding at the end of five weeks to see each of them present posters of their research and explain their respective projects at our poster presentation.”

The Bridges Program is an ideal opportunity for the summer, individuals interested in science can obtain a hands-on experience in the STEM field and enter into a new community that will help them transition into a four-year university.

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