Students from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) and Bridges to the Baccalaureate in the Biomedical Sciences Program, attended the 15th annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Seattle, Washington in November 2015.
Nine FAMU students presented from Bridges, introducing their abstracts on various research including pharmaceutical and environmental sciences, engineering, biology, chemistry, and agriculture and food sciences. The five students who are currently enrolled at Tallahassee Community College (TCC) are Shamar Banks, Tonja Bryant, Denyo Godwin, Jerrine Fletcher, and Imani Morris. The four students who bridged from TCC to FAMU are Richard Hudson, Kehinde Idowu, Maraina Monroe, and Kyra Morgan.
“The opportunities that students were presented with were phenomenal. Students now see what is available for them through this program,” said Sharon Arradondo, Bridges coordinator. “I’ve seen a shift in their confidence and excitement for what the future has to hold for them.”
In partnership with TCC, the program’s initiative is to increase the number of qualified TCC African-American, Hispanic, Native American and other underrepresented minority students who are able to obtain a four-year degree in biomedical sciences from FAMU. The program provides participants with academic skills, research experience, and the support network for successful careers in biomedical sciences.
Professor and Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Carl B. Goodman, Ph.D., believes Bridges encourages students to learn more about scientific advances in biomedical sciences and acquire essential skills for graduate school.
“It was a delight to see our students accepted into the ABRCMS. Students not only showcased outstanding biomedical research conducted at FAMU, but they were able to see and learn more about biomedical sciences,” said Goodman.
Currently, the program is in its third year out of a five-year grant. Arradondo hopes the grant will continue at FAMU.
Bridges offers Summer Research Experience, a rigorous 10-week paid program where students formalize scientific abstracts. Qualified students attending TCC’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Program are chosen and placed in appropriate research labs based on their area of interest. Students are paired with faculty research mentors from the College of Science and Technology, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, College of Science and Technology, and School of the Environment, where they receive assistance and labs for their groundwork. Students that choose to continue their research in the fall and spring semesters are paid for their continued studies, paired with graduate mentors and tutors, and exposed to workshops and conferences.
The ABRCMS Conference is one of the largest professional conferences for underrepresented minorities and students with disabilities who are pursuing advanced training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The conference attracts approximately 3,600 individuals, including 1,900 undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students; 400 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists; and 1,300 faculty, program directors, and administrators.
Information on Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program can be found at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Information on the TCC-FAMU Bridge Program can be found at the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.