Tougaloo and Rust College Students Join Rhodes in Summer Science Research Program

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Publication Date: 7/17/2007

Like many top liberal arts colleges, Rhodes provides opportunities for undergraduates to experience graduate-level science research. But through a recent grant, Rhodes this summer is offering such opportunities not only to its own students, but also to interested students from historically black colleges and universities.

Fifteen colleges and universities across the nation are winners of the 2007 awards for the Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program, sponsored by the Merck Institute for Science Education (MISE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Each award provides up to $60,000, paid over three years, for joint use by the biology and chemistry departments at each recipient institution.

Cherita Brown and Felicia Samuels from Tougaloo College in Jackson Miss., and Kaddy Camara from Rust College in Holly Springs, Miss., are working with Rhodes students Tyler Cullender, Barbara Gordon, Mary Elizabeth Huddleston, Sarah Mercer, Mina Sharifi and Jackie Ward in studying cell division in cancer and other projects currently being investigated by chemistry and biology faculty.

“The Rhodes model is generous in its commitment to include students from other institutions,” says Richard A. Weibl of AAAS. “This kind of collaboration is to be celebrated, and certainly was very positively considered when the program proposal was reviewed.”
 
“We’re fortunate at Rhodes to have facilities to support the kinds of faculty research programs that can involve our students in meaningful, publishable research,” says Rhodes Biology Professor Terry Hill.  “We’ve found that undergrads from our sister colleges in this area can gain as much as do our own students by working in our labs, and our research programs benefit from their enthusiasm.  Bringing together students from a variety of campuses expands our ability to prepare the next generation of research scientists.”