02 October 2008

More reporting on Dr. Bement's visit

The front page of the UTPA website has a story describing NSF director Arden Bement's recent visit. The REU program featured quite prominently in the article:

Ashley Longoria, a sophomore from Weslaco majoring in biology, was a co-presenter on one of the winning posters and had an opportunity to discuss her research with Bement. Longoria is a participant in UTPA’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program, an NSF-funded program which supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the NSF. The award to UTPA – Research in Subtropical Biology at a Hispanic Gateway Institution – allows Longoria and other students to work side-by-side with faculty mentors in conducting research and creating new knowledge. The goal of REU is to prepare students to enter graduate school and ultimately enter careers in research and technology.

Longoria said they talked about her research – the effect of low salinity conditions on snails after Hurricane Dolly -- and her future goals.

“I thought Dr. Bement was very one-on-one, wanted to listen and to understand everyone’s different projects. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. It was like talking to my grandfather or my dad. It was an honor to talk to him,” she said.

Longoria said she told Bement that through her participation in the REU program, she learned how much she enjoyed research and discovery and has since switched from a premed major to wanting to be a scientist.

REU student Ashely Longoria is becoming a veritable poster woman, having featured on the front page twice in recent weeks -- once for winning the poster competition, now for meeting with Dr. Bement...

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