|Undergraduate Math Major Participates in STEM Research Conference at Cornell
Yazmin Feliz, a junior majoring in mathematics, was one of several students who participated in the 2011 Upstate Lois Stokes Alliance for Minority Partnership (ULSAMP) conference held March 4-5. The two-day event, titled “Progress Maximized,” was held at Cornell University. The event provided undergraduate and graduate students with an opportunity to present their research, and demonstrate their contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) scholarship.
Feliz’s research, titled “The Fabrication of Nanoporous Alumina for the Prevention of Pathogenic Adhesion,” notes that food-borne illnesses continue to be a serious public health threat in the United States. Her research goal focuses on understanding the fundamental rules related to the attachment of bacterial food-borne pathogens to nanostructured surfaces, as a way to design nanoengineered surfaces that are able to restrict pathogen attachment. Diana Borca-Tasciuc, assistant professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering, serves as her faculty mentor. The project is a joint collaboration between Rensselaer and the Department of Food Science at Cornell University. Feliz says that in the near future, she has a strong interest in working with engineering and scientific technology in order to positively impact the lives of animals.
In addition to Feliz, Lara Peguero, a junior majoring in nuclear engineering, and Derick Boamah, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, attended the conference. Barbara Ruel, director for Diversity and Women in Engineering Programs in the School of Engineering, coordinated the opportunity for the Rensselaer delegation.
The conference provided STEM educators, administrators, researchers, and corporate representatives with an opportunity to network and share resources to continue to diversify STEM fields, especially at the advanced degree level. In addition to Rensselaer, ULSAMP member institutions include Clarkson University, Cornell University, Monroe Community College, Onondaga Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Syracuse University.