11 Area Students Selected for TAMUC Chemistry Summer Research Experience

The Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University-Commerce will host 11 community college and A&M-Commerce students this summer for a Chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). The 2021 REU, which begins June 6, is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Participants were selected for demonstrating commendable academic preparation and enthusiasm for chemistry and science in general. Six students were selected from regional community colleges, a unique aspect of the A&M-Commerce REU grant. Two additional students—who were selected to participate in the 2020 REU prior to its cancellation related to pandemic concerns—studied science at local community colleges before transferring to A&M-Commerce. Another three students were selected from A&M-Commerce.

Selected participants include:

  • Alyson Cave, A&M-Commerce
  • Anna Corrales, A&M-Commerce
  • Cole Hinson, A&M-Commerce
  • Charles Mitchell, Collin College
  • Michael Brdecka, Navarro College/A&M-Commerce
  • Josue Mejia, Northeast Texas Community College
  • Alejandro Ortiz, Northeast Texas Community College
  • Valeria Duran, Paris Junior College
  • Cameran Nealy, Tarrant County College – South Campus
  • Hoang Pham, Tarrant County College – South Campus/A&M-Commerce
  • Chloe Duvak, Tyler Junior College

“We are excited to watch the REU program mold these young minds,” said A&M-Commerce Professor Ben Jang, who will serve as program director. “Whether these students become scientists, medical doctors, pharmacists or politicians in the future, they'll appreciate the research methodology, discipline and passion gained through this experience.”

Each REU participant receives a $4,500 stipend as well as housing and travel support for the 10-week program. Over the course of the program, students will deliver multiple oral seminars and visual reports covering their research, in addition to mid-terms and final reports.

Associate Professor Stephen Starnes, who will serve as co-program director, said participants will gain more than just academic experience.

“An overarching goal of the program is to provide research experience and professional development opportunities that encourage participants to pursue careers in chemistry or science-related fields,” Starnes said.

Students will participate in various social activities to build group dynamics. They'll attend several workshops designed to improve their scientific communication skills and build a network of support in the field of chemistry. Students will also have opportunities to tour chemical companies and organizations if pandemic precautions permit.

Learn more about the Department of Chemistry at A&M-Commerce.