Everine Mukeshimana grew up in a refugee camp in Africa where poor living conditions and the resulting illnesses were commonplace. That's where her dream of one day coming to the United States and becoming a nurse were solidified. This summer the Corcoran High School graduate and Onondaga Community College student is taking a significant step in that direction by participating in a summer research internship opportunity at SUNY Binghamton as part of the "Bridges To Baccalaureate" program. Her research focus is the ranavirus, a double stranded DNA virus that can cause severe infections in amphibians and reptiles. "When I was in Africa and would visit the hospital I was fascinated by the work doctors and nurses were doing. I'm working now so I can one day save people's lives. I can only achieve that by working hard."
Mukeshimana is one of 18 OCC students doing research this summer. The internships were coordinated through the College's Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP), Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), or the Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). "These research experiences are amazing opportunities to give context to what students are learning in their classes. We have talented, capable, motivated students here at OCC and we want all of the local universities and companies to know that and to view our students as potential employees and research assistants," said Colleen Stevens, Director of CSTEP at OCC.
A complete list of OCC students doing research this summer is below:
- Addelis Agosto - SUNY Binghamton Bridges To Baccalaureate with Dr. Anne Clark, Biology
- Lamar Brown - SUNY Binghamton Bridges To Baccalaureate with Dr. David Jentsch, Psychology
- Arianna Cruz Harris - SUNY Binghamton Bridges To Baccalaureate with Dr. Chris Bishop, Psychology
- Silmari Figueroa - SUNY Binghamton Bridges To Baccalaureate with Dr. Anushree Karkhanis, Psychology
- Kiylee Lescenski - SUNY Binghamton Bridges To Baccalaureate with Dr. John Swierk, Chemistry
- Yesha Patel - SUNY Binghamton Bridges To Baccalaureate with Dr. Florence Varodayan, Psychology
- Andrew Waldon - SUNY Binghamton Bridges To Baccalaureate with Dr. David Werner, Psychology
- Everine Mukeshimana - SUNY Binghamton Bridges To Baccalaureate with Dr. Peter Gerhardstein Karkhanis, Psychology
- Alexis Riccardo - Brookhaven National Laboratory, Department of Energy
- Cristian Pompey - Cornell University, Center for High Energy X-Ray Science
- Harrison Spain - Syracuse University, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Summer Research
- Jennifer Holder - Syracuse University with Dr. Latha Ramalingam, Nutrition
- Evan Zelenz - Syracuse University with Dr. Elizabeth Carter, Department of Civil Engineering & Earth Sciences
- Hatice Baysal - SUNY Upstate Medical University with Dr. Bah
- Mandeep Shergill - Syracuse University, Department of Civil Engineering & Earth Sciences with Dr. Elizabeth Carter
- Mona Osman - Syracuse University, Department of Civil Engineering & Earth Sciences with Dr. Elizabeth Carter
- Arrin Shepp - Syracuse University with Dr. Jason Fridley, Biology
- Aaliyah Nunez - Syracuse University, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Summer Research, Summer Power Lab
- Tim Brown - Syracuse University, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Summer Research, Summer Power Lab
The decision to do research this summer is working out well for Manu Shergill who enrolled in OCC's Computer Science degree program after graduating from Cicero-North Syracuse High School. He's at Syracuse University, using low-cost thermal cameras and single-board computers to determine the extent of surface water in an area and monitor it remotely. "It's been a fun experience and I'm really glad I applied for it. I've been able to hit the ground running and make consistent progress. It's reassured me I'm on the right track with my education and choice of major."
Fellow OCC student Arrin Shepp is also doing research at Syracuse University this summer. The Mathematics & Science major from Brooklyn is studying the effects of climate change on vegetation and has been building sensors for related projects. "This experience has impacted my career choices tremendously. It's given me more motivation to work within the field."
Student's positive experiences are exactly what Colleen Stevens of CSTEP and her colleagues on the OCC campus were hoping they would hear about as they worked tirelessly to coordinate research opportunities this summer. "We're working hard to form relationships with area universities and companies. These connections with other colleges, labs, and companies will lead to more opportunities for our students to pursue their goals beyond OCC."