National Science Foundation Supports A&M-Commerce Project

The Chemistry Division of the National Science Foundation has recently awarded $300,000 to the Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) Site led by Texas A&M University-Commerce Chemistry Professors Ben Jang and Allan Headley.

The project is entitled “REU Site: Research Experience for 2-year College Undergraduates at Texas A&M University-Commerce”, and it will integrate undergraduate, mostly from community colleges, and graduate students by providing them with the opportunity to conduct research on the A&M-Commerce campus. The students chosen to participate in this experience will learn from faculty mentors while working on newly designed and collaborative research projects to develop their skills. The team hopes to pull in a diverse population of students, from geographically rural areas to allow them with a rare and unique experience seldom afforded to2-year college students. Each year, the program will target ten student researchers based on GPAs, instructor recommendation, work ethics, perseverance, lab skills and problem solving capabilities. In the interest of serving underrepresented minorities, special emphasis will be given to those groups in North Texas and near the Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana borders during recruitment.

“Over 7 million students enroll with community colleges every year,” said Dr. Ben Jang. “We are glad that our REU projects, since 2005, not only provide the research opportunities for community college students in the neighboring regions, who don’t normally get this kind of opportunity, but also complement the mission of A&M-Commerce to recruit talented transfer students.”

The NSF has approved a three year funding period for this venture beginning June 1, 2013 and ending May 31, 2016. During their time on campus, student researchers will be expected to give biweekly oral presentations and progress reports, including one final symposium and demonstration of what they learned. The REU Site focuses on real world research experiences, so participants will get the chance to travel to two different world-class companies and institutions to study and expand their knowledge.

For more information on the project and recruitment, contact Dr. Ben Jang at [email protected].