(STEM)2 Scholars to do Summer Research at Cal State Fullerton

Preparing a workforce proficient in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math has been identified as a critical national priority. To help meet this challenge, Cypress College, in partnership with Cal State Fullerton, created the (STEM)2 Program with the goal of increasing student participation, persistence and success in these fields.

The program now offers educational, scholarship, transfer, and career opportunities for Cypress College students. Features include workshops, guest speakers, one-on-one counseling, peer mentoring, paid summer research opportunities, and a host of other benefits. This summer, thirteen STEM Scholars have been accepted for the Summer Research Experience at Cal State Fullerton.

Sophia Plaza

STEM2 SRE 2016 Sophia Plaza

Major: Environmental Engineering

Sofia will be doing working with Dr. Joseph Carlin, whose research interests include marine geology. She and other students will investigate sedimentation in coastal environments (e.g. estuaries, marshes, near-shore marine waters), and what we learn about environmental changes from this sediment.

Sophia is looking forward to exploring aspects of the engineering field through her summer research.



Miguel Ruiz

STEM2 SRE 2016 Miguel Ruiz

Major: Biochemistry

Miguel will be working in the lab of Dr. Amanda Evans, whose research includes asymmetry, medicinal chemistry and materials synthesis. Her current research is investigating new, safer and more efficient ways to make the chemical structures — such as ‘cyclopropane rings’ containing only three carbon atoms — that are commonly found in many pharmaceutical drugs and in the organic materials that are used for alternative energy applications.

Miguel’s future career interests include bio-tech (such as bio-renewables or energy) and molecular pathology.


Khoa Nguyen

STEM2 SRE 2016 Khoa Nguyen

Major: Civil Engineering

Khoa will be doing research with Dr. Beena Ajmera on two projects. In the first, students will prepare a database of landslides before an earthquake event and right after the post-earthquake rainy season to evaluate if the post-earthquake rainfall triggered any landslides. The second will focus on evaluating the possibility of using scrap tires and construction waste in civil engineering applications, including backfill of retaining walls, pavements for sidewalks and walkways, and embankment, as well as ground improvement to increase the load bearing capacity of weak foundation soils.



Andrew Bankson

STEM2 SRE 2016 Andrew Bankson

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Andrew will be working for Dr. Chin Chean Ngo, whose research projects include measurement of thermal conductivity and permeability of porous media, which is related to the design of in-floor heating for industrial, commercial, and residential applications; and the design of an electrohydrodynamics (EHD) pump, which is a technique that has been actively applied to heat and mass transport processes in various industries including energy, food, and aerospace.

Andrew’s future career interests include the medical and energy fields.



Selina Jaimes Davila

STEM2 SRE 2016 Selina Jaimes Davila

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Selina will be working with Dr. Gina Passante, whose research interests include physics education.

Selina enjoys the mechanical engineering field, as the profession is a way to combine her love of math with a keen interest in building things.






Stephany Angarita

STEM2 SRE 2016 Stephanie

Major: Biochemistry

Stephany will be doing research in the lab of Dr. Nilay Patel, whose interests include the gene regulation of apolipoportein E (apoE) and the role of apoE in Alzheimer’s disease.







Samuel Rodriguez

STEM2 Sam Rodriguez and Dr Lovelace

Major: Physics

Sam (pictured at left with STEM2 Director Yanet Garcia, Dr. Geoffrey Lovelace, and Dean Richard Fee) will be working again with Dr. Lovelace, whose research interests include gravitational physics, numerical relativity, and simulations of merging compact objects. Dr. Lovelace’s current research focuses on using numerical relativity to model sources of gravitational waves, such as merging black hole-black hole and black hole-neutron star binaries.


Brittany Cortez

STEM2 SRE 2016 Brittany Cortez

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Brittany will be doing research for Dr. Binod Tiwari, whose projects include reducing the impact of earthquake ground shaking on infrastructure, the effect of post-earthquake rainfall on stability of slopes, and the use of recycled materials in civil engineering infrastructure.

Brittany’s career interests include civil engineering research related to geographic issues in Southern California.




Jazleen Barbosa

STEM2 SRE 2016 Jazleen Barbosa

Major: Geology

Jazleen will be working for Dr. Adam Woods, whose research interests include sedimentology and stratigraphy, paleo-environmental analysis of pre-Cenozoic sedimentary rocks, life in stressed environments; mass extinctions and their aftermaths, gas hydrates and their sedimentologic record, and modern and ancient carbonate reefs and platforms.

Jazleen is interested in working in the petroleum industry after college.




Yvonne Garcia

STEM2 SRE 2016 Yvonne Garcia

Major: Computer Science

Yvonne will be doing research with Dr. Abhishek Verma on the classification and mining of multimedia data. This research aims at images and videos as a starting point and gradually broadens its scope to cover some of the other facets of multimedia data. More specifically, it looks at novel color models for image feature extraction and statistical machine learning techniques for classification.

Yvonne would like to be a software engineer. Her dream gig is with NASA, and she hopes to start her own company someday.



Ana Avila

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Ana will be working in the lab of Dr. Leigh Hargreaves, whose research interests include electron scattering from atomic and molecular targets. Dr. Hargreaves uses state of the art electron spectrometers to measure scattering probabilities for electrons colliding with targets such as water, alcohols, and furan derivates. This enables a better understanding of  damage caused during radiation therapy, helping improve the safety of such treatments for cancer patients.

Adriana Marin Vasquez

Major: Microbiology

Adriana will be doing research in the lab of Dr. Garrett Struckhoff, where her research projects will include the conversion of brewery waste to biofuel using algae.

Chidi Ewenike

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Congratulations to each of the students who have been selected. We look forward to seeing the results of your research!

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