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Lehman College

2014 Student Projects

Aicha Bendia

Photo of Aicha BendiaMy name is Aicha Bendia, I was born and raised in Morocco. I am an undergraduate student majoring in Liberal Arts and Sciences (Chemistry) at Bronx Community College (BCC). My relationship with mathematics, Physics and Chemistry has been always great and honorable since I was a child, and that what let me choose a chemistry major which combines those majors together. After graduating from BCC, I plan to continue my studies at a 4-years college to attain my bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering.
I was so glad for having the opportunity to participate in this program this summer and be a part of it. I really learned a lot and gained new knowledge, and also enjoyed being at Lehman College.

I would like to thank the organizers of this program (Lehman college, Bronx Community college and Hostos college) to keep this great program for other STEM students in the future. Another thanks to Prof. Gustavo Lopez, my fancy mentor, Anthony Cruz,the lab instructor, Dr. Joseph Rachlin,Director of the STEM Scholars Program. And a special thanks to Dr. Neal Phillips for introducing me to the STEM Scholars research program. Download Bendia poster

Ahsanul Bari

Photo of Ahsanul BariMy name is Ahsanul Bari, I was born and raised in Bangladesh and migrated to the United States in 2008. Growing up I was taught education is the foundation of life, the heart of wisdom and the key to success. Education was always the main priority to my parents, whom themselves are highly educated. Growing up I was a disciplined student. Once I came to the United States, I experienced the hardship of the language barrier. I didn’t have confidence that I could continue my education until I challenged myself to overcome my weakness to achieve my goals. And so I enrolled in CUNY.

I am currently a student at Bronx Community College, majoring in Liberal Arts & Sciences (Chemistry Option). I aim to continue my education to achieve a higher degree after I complete my associate degree. I am very passionate in the field of chemistry and would like to become a Chemical Engineer and eventually achieve a PhD degree.

Spring’2014 semester was a blessed semester when I was amazed to hear from Dr. Neal Phillip that I was selected to be a part of the STEM scholars program along with the “William Hodge scholarship”.

I realized I am capable of achieving my goals with my continuous hard work and dedication. It was an honor to be a part of the STEM scholars program. This program has taught me a lot about advance laboratory techniques and different type of analysis methods in chemistry which I believe will be very helpful in the field of chemistry. I would like to thank Dr. Joseph Rachlin director of the STEM scholar program, Dr. Neal Phillip (Bronx Community College) and Dr. Soosairaj Therese (Bronx Community College) who introduced me to this program. I am also truly thankful to my mentor Dr. Naphtali O’Connor for his help and encouragement. I have gained so much knowledge from Dr. O’Connor, it was an honor to be his student.

As Einstein said “Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think” – we shall continue our life long journey of education thus to keep our mind from dying. Download Ahsanul Bari poster

Brian Gallego

Photo of Brian GallegoHello, my name is Brian Gallego and I am currently attending Hostos/CUNY. This summer I am partaking in a program called STEM Scholars I am so glad to be able to be part of this program. The program has allowed me to do research at Lehman College for the last 6 weeks. I am doing my research with Dr. Jones and two other Lehman students, Stephen Sifontes and Brian Dixion. This summer has been a great one I have learned so much with Dr. Jones. We are examining human brain areas 9 and 32 of the prefrontal cortex to see if the interneurons in those areas are altered. We are examining cells that express parvalbumin, a calcium binding protein, found in a subset of interneurons in these brain regions. We will be submitting pour results for publication by the end of the summer. I am thankful to the STEM Scholars program and I am grateful to have this opportunity. I know by being part of the STEM Scholars program it will help me open many doors in my future as I continue to dive deeper into my studies. I want to personally thank Felix Cardona, who is the Assistant Professor in Public Administration Unit at Hostos community college for giving me such an amazing opportunity. This has been an excellent educational experience and I am glad I was able to take part in it. Download Brian Gallego poster

Chevonne Cunningham

Photo of Chevonne CunninghamMy name is Chevonne Cunningham, born and raised in the tropical island of Jamaica. I must say that I am very proud to call the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” my home since the year 2011. I am currently a student at Bronx Community College where I am in the process of completing an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences (Chemistry Option) to set the foundation of becoming a Pharmacist / Chemistry Professor.

The STEM Scholars Program in my opinion is the best hands-on experience that any student pursuing a career that involves the Natural Sciences could ever have. This program has provided me with an atmosphere that has strengthened my critical-thinking skills and has shown me how the skills and knowledge I have gained in lecture and laboratory sessions are applied to solving problems Chemists would encounter on a daily basis. The weekly Friday Seminars have been a tremendous help with my personal development and have provided me with the skills necessary to be able to explain all aspects of the research to my peers and the Faculty Members.

I would like to express gratitude to Dr. Neil Phillip (Bronx Community College) for providing me with this priceless opportunity for personal and academic growth. I would like to express a heart-felt thank you to my mentor, Dr. Napthali O’cconor (Lehman College), for his invaluable time and patience that were needed to make this opportunity a success. I have learnt a lot of laboratory and academic skills from you that I will definitely find useful in the near future. Last but not least, thanks to Dr. Joseph Rachlin and the other Faculty Members of Lehman College for coordinating this program. I hope that you and the other Faculty Members will continue to provide this opportunity for students like myself and my peers. Download Chevonne poster

Coral Lopez

Photo of Coral LopezMy name is Coral Lopez. I’m currently attending Bronx Community College as a Liberal Arts and Science- Chemistry Option student. I came to this country on September 21, 2006 at 9:20pm. I still remember as if it was yesterday because I was amazed of how bright it was from the airport to my soon to be permanent resident. I felt in love with Chemistry when I was a junior in High School. Ms. Mañon who was my professor then, did a few demonstrations in the lab and it change the way how I saw science forever. I knew I would study something related to science in a pretty young age. For me, science provides a continuous challenge to the mind. You never stop asking, there is always something new.

I would like to show my deeply appreciation and thanks to Dr. Philip (BCC Chemistry Dean) for giving me this opportunity. This program opens a door of knowledge that I wanted to explore for a long time and a path that I would like to further more in my career. In the deepness of my heart I would like to become a doctor. One who challenges diseases. One who can ever forget that one of the greatest human skills is not to lose its humanity in the process of success. In addition, I would like to thanks Dr. Rachlin (STEM Program Director) for his challenging questions every Friday. Finally, thanks to Prof. Kurtzman (Lehman Mentor) and Anthony Cruz (Lehman Mentor Assistant), my deepest gratitude for their patience in this molecule structure learning process. Download Coral poster

Kodjo Agbodji

Photo of Kodjo AgbodjiMy name is Kodjo Agbodji. I was born and raised in Togo. I am an undergraduate student at Hostos Community College(HCC) majoring in Environmental Engineering. Since high school I have been very interested in Science and would like to pursue a career in Environmental protection.

I am happy to have been a part of the STEM Scholars Program. It has helped me gain knowledge and experience working in the lab and with scientific principles. I am also particularly happy for the opportunity to work with my mentor Dr. Renuka Sankaran. She is open to questions, friendly and at the same time demanding when it comes to work. She is a good mentor.

I would sincerely like to thank the organizers of the Bronx STEM Scholars program and I would like to request the program to keep continuing for the benefit of the whole Bronx community. I would also like to thank Michael Tavarez (graduate student) who was of great help and a patient teacher in the laboratory. My special thank goes also to Dr. Joseph Rachlin, Director of the STEM Scholars Program at Lehman College and to Dr. Felix Cardona from Hostos for introducing me to this program. Download Kodjo poster

Karabi Chakraborty

Photo of Karabi ChakrabortyMy name is Karabi Chakraborty. I was born in Bangladesh. I grew up in a small town named Kushtia. I graduated high school there and started my undergraduate career at American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB). I started college in America in 2014, majoring in Electrical Engineering. Even though my research topic was very different from my major, I loved learning about a totally alien world that existed before my eyes but I didn’t know. I worked with my great mentor Professor Moira Sauane. We worked on a new and very important project, where we were always trying to figure out something new that might help improve the treatment for Cancer and Gene therapy in order to help out cancer patients who are always fighting against it. Our results of the experiment were very positive and I am very hopeful that it will open new doors for many more possibilities.

This is my first experience working in a science research program and doing things that real scientist do. I got the golden chance to learn a lot from my scientist mentor, Professor Sauane. This experience has improved my writing skills, presentation skills, and even my problem solving skills. All these are going to be very helpful through out my career.

My special Thanks to Professor Joseph Rachlin, who have always guided us towards the right path and help us reach our goals, and for arranging this program each year for us. Thanks to our honorable Dean, Mr. Felix Cardona, for all his help and consideration. Thanks to Mr. Gbagba for choosing me from my college for this program.

Also, I must admit is about my co-mentors who helped me learn new things. Briseida, Happy, Chie, and Jordan thank you.

I have always lived in science and I will continue to live and play with science. I believe that one day we will mastermind all secrets of nature and we will rule the universe. I am interested in doing my Bachelors with a dual major in Engineering. I also want to be a researcher scientist and a professor in the future and give all precious gifts to mankind on earth. I will continue working hard toward my goals and I believe that one day all bad will just turn into a nightmare. Thanks to summer STEM program, this summer has started my new life in a new path. Download Karabi poster

Yoro Sidibe

Photo of Yoro SidibeMy name is Yoro Sidibe, Son of Souleymane Sidibe and Houssinatou Togo. I am from Mali, located in West Africa. Mali is a glorious country and a land of hospitality. It is a landlocked country. It is also a Carrefour because it bordered by seven countries in Western Africa. Its size is 1,241,240 〖Km〗^2with a population of fifteen million (15, ooo, ooo), or a density of 12 habitants per 〖Km〗^2. Mali consists of eight (8) regions and a capital city, Bamako. Some of Mali’s natural resources are gold, uranium, salt, etc… I love my country.

I graduated from high school in July 2008 at “Lycee Nany Simpara de Fadjiguila” in Bamako, Mali. Then I went to the Medical School for 3 months (October to December, 2008). Since I was 10 years old, my goal was to become a doctor one day in order to help people. In January, 2009, I got the student visa to come study in the United States of America at Arizona State University (ASU). There I was learning English as a second language because my country is a French spoken country. I have been in Arizona for 2 and half years. Then I moved to New York to stay with my uncle Ali Togo and his family. In February 2013, I have been accepted by Hostos community College for fall 2013, where my wonderful journey gets really started. I am majoring in Liberal Art and Science (Biology field). When I was in high school, the lesson that had attracted me the most was the Neurons in the Nervous System. And I decided to become a Neurologist in future. And that is the same path I am following. My biggest dream is to become a doctor and build a hospital in order to help people, especially those in need.

Being part of the Stem Scholar Program has been a great experience for me, by giving me clue of what a scientist life is, and can be. I normally like reading; however these were just related to the class courses. In this program, especially with my great and enthusiasm mentor, Dr. Renuka Sankaran, I have learned how to read scientific paper and how to analysis the results of scientific research. In addition, I have gained this ability to run the research and to plan a weekly presentation of the research and its result by analyzing the why, the how, and what will or can happen next. I sincerely cannot state the amount of knowledge I have gained in this program, about the plant’s physiology.

I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank the Bronx Stem Scholar Program Team, Felix Cardona (at Hostos), Professor Joseph W. Rachlin (Lehman), and Professor Renuka P. Sankaran (Lehman). My special thanks to my wonderful mentor professor Renuka P. Sankaran, and Michael Tavarez. Download Yoyo poster