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Faculty Mentors Guide Aspiring Researchers from Mexico in Program
Sept. 7, 2017
Through the UT Dallas-Mexico Summer Research Program, 15 students from participating Mexican universities work with UT Dallas faculty on research projects and present their findings. The students were selected from more than 240 applicants.
Fifteen undergraduates participated in a summer program at The University of Texas at Dallas that invites students from Mexico to explore STEM-related research careers in fields such as biology, geographic information systems, materials science, physics, computer science and bioengineering.
The UT Dallas-Mexico Summer Research Program is designed to equip students from participating Mexican universities with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue careers in these fields.
Through the program, students work with faculty mentors to identify and manage a research project, then analyze the data and present their findings. Students were competitively selected from more than 240 applicants.
Summer Faculty Mentors
Dr. Zachary Campbell, Dr. Michael C. Biewer, Dr. Vibhav Gogate, Dr. Kelli Palmer, Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu, Dr. Fan Zhang, Dr. Nicholas Fey, Dr. Robert Gregg, Dr. Julia Chan, Dr. Vincent Ng, Dr. Ronald A. Smaldone, Dr. Xiaohu Guo, Dr. Julia Hsu, Dr. Dinesh K. Bhatia, Thomas Lambert
Dr. Juan González, professor of biological sciences in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the program’s academic director, said participants gain enhanced knowledge and experience with research careers.
“One of our goals is to provide the students with experiences that will better inform them on the rewards of a future research career and inspire them to pursue a higher degree in one of the STEM fields,” González said. “We also hope to enhance further the collaboration between the research communities of both Mexico and the U.S.”
The program, which has existed for 13 years, was organized by the Office of Graduate Studies, the Provost’s Office and the International Center, with the co-sponsorship of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the School of Arts and Humanities and the Office of Undergraduate Education. Since 2002, 139 undergraduate students have taken part in the UT Dallas program.
The program is made possible through a partnership with 100,000 Strong in the Americas and the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research.
Dr. Julia W.P. Hsu, Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Nanoelectronics and professor of materials science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, described program participant Laura Yoselyn Quiroga as “an enthusiastic and eager young scientist.”
“She is talented and ambitious, and has done a lot of reading. She is not afraid of getting her hands dirty and doing hard work. Her performance this summer strongly suggests that she will be successful in graduate school. As a mentor, it is very gratifying to see her flourish during the short time at UT Dallas,” Hsu said.
Summer Research Participants
Adzuira Musule Palacios, Christopher Jáquez Prado, Sandra Berenice Mendoza Peñuñuri, Zayd Alejandro Grajales Moreno, Juan Maldonado Jáuregui, Miriam Yamasaki Aguilar, Daniel Ayala Niño, Jonathan Martínez García, José González Ayerdi, Swilma Labastida, Laura Yoselyn Quiroga López, Irving Osiel Castillo Rodriguez, Noor Beatriz Tuma Schmidt, Anaid Alethia Candido Lopez, Gerardo Ocampo Díaz
Dr. Nicholas Fey, assistant professor of bioengineering and mechanical engineering, praised the creative ideas that participant Swilma Labastida brought to her summer research project.
“Swilma operated with incredible maturity and independence for a researcher of her age. We are excited to submit the findings from her scientific studies for publication at an international conference and in a biomechanical engineering journal this fall. I hope she considers graduate studies in engineering and that she applies to UT Dallas,” Fey said.
Computer science student Christopher Jáquez Prado said he appreciated the collaborative interaction with his mentor, Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu.
“I initially expected some sort of boss-employee scenario, but to my surprise and enjoyment we've been working together in a cooperative way,” Prado said.
Francisco de la Torre, Consul General of Mexico in Dallas, said partnerships like the summer research program benefits both Mexico and the U.S.
“This academic cooperation, where UT Dallas excels as a leader in Texas, is helping expand opportunities for educational exchanges, scientific research partnerships and cross-border innovation so we can continue building bridges for mutual economic prosperity and sustainable social development,” de la Torre said.
Media Contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].