If you attended Onondaga Community College's Science Symposium, you couldn't help but be incredibly impressed with students as they discussed their summer research experiences. "It was a beautiful thing to see our students talk about their science research with other OCC students, faculty, and staff," said Colleen Stevens, Director of OCC's Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP). "Having the hosting graduate students and research professors from ESF, SU, and Upstate here to show their support was amazing and so appreciated. This event was truly a microcosm of our Syracuse area scientific community."
The Science Symposium was held September 13 in the lobby outside Storer Auditorium. The students who participated were all members of either C-STEP or the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (L-SAMP). The students conducted their research at either Cornell University, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Upstate Medical University, or Syracuse University.
Their research included complex topics such as:
- Computational Chemistry of Mercury and Bromine
- Assessing Osmotic Adaptation in Vibrio cholerae: Revealing the Impact of Point Mutations on the Endopeptidase ShyA
- Is copper resistance in S. cerevisiae influenced by more than CUP1?
- Optimizing Production of ULP Protease Enzymes to Cleave 6xHIS-SUMO fusion-tagged Proteins
One of OCC's C-STEP students who did her research at Syracuse University was Destiny Jackson-Parker. Her work analyzed the microbial diversity of 500 sourdough starters from four continents which revealed strong co-occurrence patterns, indicating microbial interactions shaping community structure. "The process was an eye opener for me. This was my first wet lab experience. In my career I want to pursue wet lab work. I learned a lot about the cleanliness, the need for maintenance and hard work for keeping the inventory together, and the fine tuning work of doing the actual experiment."
Jackson-Parker is a 2020 graduate of Syracuse's Nottingham High School. She's a Mathematics & Science major with a specialization in Biology. She will complete her degree this December and plans to transfer to SUNY Albany where she will work to become a pharmacist. Jackson-Parker hopes future C-STEP and L-SAMP students will take advantage of future opportunities. "Students have the opportunity to live on campus and get research experience which will look good on your resume. And it's fun. You make connections and see what it's like to be where you want to be."
Below is a list of C-STEP and L-SAMP students who participated in the summer research, and the institutions where they worked and learned:
- Dairyona Mitchell, SUNY Upstate Medical University
- Alex Espitia-Casallas, SUNY Upstate Medical University
- Elliott O'Connell, SUNY ESF
- Maria Garcia Guntin, Syracuse University
- Ike Unobagha, Syracuse University
- Destiny Jackson Parker, Syracuse University
- Mohammed Noor, SUNY Binghamton
- Carlos Rodriguez-Bornot, SUNY Binghamton
- Awa Diakite, SUNY Binghamton
- Sherly Jean-Paul, SUNY Binghamton
- Jamiya Chandler, Cornell University
- Chaniya Wigfall, Cornell University