Program Highlights


HT established an application process and requirements for the STEM Research Scholars Program.  They recruited two undergraduate students for the spring program. Erin Poinquito, a senior Biology major, undertook research in microbial genetics and biome analysis (analysis of bacterial communities inhabiting various environments) with Dr. Amanda Masino of HT and Dr. Kerry Kinney of the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at UT Austin. Darrell Robinson, a junior Biology/Chemistry double major, completed research analyzing data from thermal injury models conducted at the Dillard lab at the UT Austin. He worked with Dr. Kenneth R. Diller and Dr. Sepideh Khoshnevis. Mr. Robinson entered an Engineering Ph.D. Program at Louisiana Tech. Biology major Bria Harris, HT’s third STEM Research Scholar, undertook research in microbial genetics and biome analysis in the summer. It was a collaborative project between Dr. Masino and Dr. Kinney. The genetics and molecular biology research project, will continue into the 2015-2016 academic year and involves surveying the microbial diversity of various indoor environments.


TSU’s primary objective is to recruit, mentor, and train outstanding students in the pursuit of the B.S. Physics degree. These students will pursue opportunities within the Navy upon their graduation, and during the summer (internship opportunities). The strategy is to impact the most students possible. This takes two forms: mentoring (including course work support) and immersion into the physics discipline.  Both Ryan Woods and Fouad Farhoud were mentors.  Other students are: Juan Amaya, Gisela Luna, Lentynie T. Tran, and Major Mosley. Some of the students were supported beginning in fall 2014. Others were more recently supported during the summer 2015. Mr. Farhoud, Mr. Amaya, Ms. Tran, Mr. Mosley, are slated for the program during 2015 – 2016.  Dr. Victor Migenes joined the faculty and will help build a radio astronomy program.  TSU plans to build an instructional radio telescope



The DoN Materials Research Scholarships and Fellowships (DoN MRSF) was formalized at UTSA and the application procedure was integrated with the online application system of the College of Engineering.  The UTSA team hosted the visit of Lt. Col. (ret.)Ed Tovar at a seminar/luncheon event attended by interested students.  The first DoN MRSF was awarded in early Oct. 2014. During the second semester, four more students accepted scholarships.They were all awarded summer internships. Brady Emokpae conducted research at the Applied Research Lab, UT Austin (under the guidance of Dr. Barlett).   Amadou Diallo, Bryan Gamboa, Steven Rosas, and Brandon Young, conducted research atUTSA. They each had a research project, received training on research, technical writing, and preUTSA students visit SwRIsenting skills.  They also gave a presentation at a research seminar and completed a technical report.  Students were critiqued during a mock interview and created a LinkedIn profile. Mr. Tovar organized a visit to the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio for the DoN Internship students.

UTSA students visit SwRI



Patrice Burrows, a radiobiology senior, and Dr. Dimitri Tamalis traveled to the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory (NETL) at UT Austin where they performed radiation based research.  Ms. Burrows was selected to participate in a summer research internship at UT Austin. She worked under the supervision of Dr. Odofike Ezekoye on the chemistry of fire burns entitled “Modeling of Fire Tornadoes”. During her internship she also learned how to use a gas chromatograph.  Radiochemistry senior, Ckeurcheley Leblanc did a six-week summer research internship in radium in the oil and gas industry at NETL. Dr. Tamalis and Dr. Landsberger also participated in this project, “Disequilibrium in the Uranium and Actinium Series in an Oil Scale Sample from Texas”. Both Dr. Tamalis and Ms. Leblanc presented the results of their research at the ENVIRA2015 conference in Thessaloniki, Greece on September 20-23, 2015. 

   UT Austin   

The program supported students from FMU, UTSA and UT Austin for summer internships. The three students who did research projects at UT Austin this summer were: Brady Empoake from UTSA; and Ckeurcheley Leblanc and Patrice Burrows both from FMU.  Three Hispanic UT Austin students also did research supported by the ONR grant. Jose Shiloh Sanchez a junior in ME/Physics worked with Dr.'s  Steven Biegalski and Sheldon Landsberger on the characterization of shielding materials. Edwin Paredes, a former senior in ME, is doing his post baccalaureate work at Los Alamos National Lab. Michelle Robles a sophomore doing a BS, worked with Tracy Tipping (Health Physicist) as a lab tech at the NETL. An additional student, Richard Lara (Physics), worked as an undergraduate technician in the analysis of heavy metals in the Arctic Atmosphere also supported by Environment Canada grant.  Mr. Lara also did an internship in the summer funded by Argonne National Lab.  He worked with Dr. Sasan Bakhtiari in the Nuclear Engineering Division.