I am a Bridges Scholar who is a Liberal Arts and Arts (LAA) major. After I get my Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts, I wish to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. I am personally interested in researching cognitive neuroscience and the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) in adolescents. Given the great opportunity by the Bridges program, I am able to work hands on with a mentor on a research project. Doctor Amanda Almond and I will be researching how targeted microaggressions in the medical and health fields affect women who identify themselves as feminists. My long-term goal is to achieve the highest level of education in my future profession.
Fall 2016 Update
Transferred to BC for fall 2016 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology; conducted summer 2016 bridge research with Prof. Cheryl Carmichael; graduated from City Tech in June 2016 with LAA degree.
I am a sophomore student at City Tech. I am taking Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) classes in preparation for transfer to Brooklyn College to major in Premed Biology. I am interested in the biological field because people can discover more new things that they don’t know about humans or other organisms. I always feel surprised when I have my Biology and Anatomy & Physiology classes. I would like to do some research which relates to humans. Now I have the great opportunity to work with Prof. Andleeb Zameer. We will focus our research on the immune system and nervous system interactions, and how they connect and function with each other. Being involved in the Bridges Program at City Tech helps me a lot in my academic life. It also gives me more chances to pursue and achieve my goal. Thanks to the program, I got the chance to meet amazing mentors, post-docs, and graduate students. Moreover, there is a lot of extra help provided, such as math tutoring, chemistry tutoring, and advisement for my future classes, and so on. This was truly a career-changing experience for me that I am grateful to have the opportunity to experience.
Fall 2016 Update
Graduated with honors (3.9 GPA) from City Tech with LAS degree; conducted summer 2016 bridge research with Prof. Basil; transferred to BC for fall 2016 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Biology.
I am a sophomore attending City Tech. I am taking classes preparing to transfer to Brooklyn College so that I can major in Chemistry. One of the reasons this area is of interest to me is because I am fascinated by the inner workings of our universe. I am working with Prof. Zahran and her team which is currently studying a protein using a computer to model it. My research interests range in a number of topics and I hope to be able to explore all of them. Being involved in the Bridges Program at City Tech has been helpful to me in that it has helped me really ground myself and find out what t is I want to do. I always knew I wanted to be in science and this program has given me a chance to explore topics and areas that had previously and would otherwise continue to be unknown to me. It has inspired me to continue studying.
Fall 2016 Update
Transferred to BC for fall 2016 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry; conducted summer 2016 bridge research with Prof. Alexander Greer.
I am a sophomore attending City Tech, and I am originally from Haiti. What I wanted to do with my life has always been clear to me. Medicine is my career of choice and taking care of people in need is very appealing to me. The main reason why the domain of medicine captivates me is due to the fact that it represents not only the possibility to take care of people who are in need of help but also the opportunity to potentially make a difference in someone’s life. I have been given the chance to work in Dr. Ralph Alcendor’s laboratory where I analyze the organism Tetrahymena, what it is used for, where it is found, and its important features. My other research interests involve epidemiology and pathology. The Bridges Program at City Tech provides me with supplementary skills that will enable me to accomplish my career goals. Truthfully, it really helps me to keep pushing myself beyond my limits and to keep going toward the goals that I set for myself. In my opinion, the most helpful aspects that the program offers besides gaining research experience is having mentors who offer their help and guidance to the students.
Watching cells and microorganisms under the microscope was always my dream; the world of organisms and nature fascinated my mind. After a long time of being a stay-at-home mom, I decided to pursue my career and continue my education. I joined City Tech and started as a Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) student in preparation for majoring in Biology at Brooklyn College. The Bridges to the Baccalaureate is a great program! All of the faculty members are helping me and my colleagues “to cross the bridge” to the Bachelor’s degree in one of our preferred subjects: Biology, Chemistry or Psychology. The Bridges Program gives me a chance to receive Peer Mentoring at certain times during the week in mathematics and chemistry. This facilitates a way for me to excel in those challenging subjects. In fact, I was lucky to join the program because it helped me tremendously through advising and tutoring. I like to imagine myself wearing the lab coat, investigating a sample or searching a biology topic with professors. Currently, I have the chance to participate in Prof. Alcendor’s research, which is very inspiring and made me more determined to pursue the career I always loved. The main goal of our research is to study the species Tetrahymena (a unicellular protozoan) and specifically the protein calpain.
Fall 2016 Update
Transferred to BC for fall 2016 to pursue a bachelor’s degree Biology; conducted summer 2016 bridge research at BC with Prof. Qi He.
Saber A. Ventura
I am a sophomore attending City Tech. The classes that I am currently taking are preparing me to transfer to Brooklyn College to major in Psychology. I am very fascinated with psychology. There are so many things you can explore within this field and there are so many questions that need to be answered. I am working with Dr. Hillstrom during my time in the Bridges Program. Dr. Hillstrom’s research is studying how writing your emotional trauma would improve your immune system. In addition, Dr. Hillstrom will investigate the physiological responses such as heart rate, vagal tone, and respiration. We will examine and compare the physiological responses before and after writing sessions. The Bridges Program is opening doors to students like me to start working on our careers with first-hand experience. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to explore the field that I want to pursue in the future more in depth. The program will help me get into graduate school and achieve my goal of becoming a psychologist.
Fall 2016 Update
Graduated from City Tech with LAA degree June 2016; conducted summer 2016 bridge research with Prof. Jean Hillstrom; scheduled to transfer to CUNY John Jay for winter/spring 2017 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology
Nicole Bellaflores Mejia
I am a sophomore attending City Tech taking classes that will prepare me for transfer to Brooklyn College so that I can major in Biology. Biology offers the chance to learn about the inner working of humans and other organisms, making it a truly fascinating subject. The ability to understand why and how things work allow me the chance to answer questions as well as do my own research that will further my understanding of the world. I will be working in Professor Mercer Brugler’s laboratory at the American Museum of Natural History. My interest in research includes pursuing further research in genetic disorders which includes possible cures and treatments. This program was very influential in my decision to pursue an MD/Ph.D. program because it re-introduced me to the wonders of research along with the opportunity to network with amazing mentors within the field. I am grateful for the opportunity which was given to me and can truly say that I have enjoyed my experience in the Bridges Program thus far.
Fall 2016 Update
Scheduled to transfer to BC for spring 2017 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Biology; conducted summer 2016 bridge research with Prof. Mercer Brugler.
I am a sophomore attending City Tech. I am taking classes preparing to transfer to Brooklyn College so that I can major in Biology. The ability to study human life and how it works is truly a fascinating subject. I am interested in biology and psychology. I believe that it is a great opportunity to learn about the human body as well as the mind. I am working with Dr. Jeremy Seto in a molecular biology laboratory in which I have been granted the opportunity to study the molecular characterization of Serotonin 2A receptor and its role in neuropsychiatric diseases. This program has a very strong influence on my decision to pursue an MD/Ph.D. It gave me a first-hand experience to see and understand how research can be conducted. Also, I could meet many ambitious people who strive for greatness in life which causes me want to strive for even more.
I am a sophomore student at City Tech. My major is Chemical Technology since I am so interested in chemical reactions and how those reactions have an impact on the drugs. Now I am taking courses in preparation to transfer to Brooklyn College in their Chemistry Program. The ability to study drugs and how it supports people based on different compounds of substances is truly a fascinating subject to me. I want to do some chemistry research, which is related to real life. Then, I can use what I have learned and apply it in real life. I will be working in Professor Martinez’s chemistry laboratory to study the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). AD is the common and incurable form of dementia from which a lot of elderly people suffer worldwide. I really want to figure out any compound that can control this disease and provide some cure. The Bridges Program was very helpful in my decision to pursue my Bachelor’s degree and entirely broaden my horizon. I started my first research and met amazing mentors in the field including awesome peers. This was truly a career-changing experience for me and I am grateful to have such an opportunity to participate.
Fall 2016 Update
Transferred to BC for spring 2016 to pursue Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry.
I was born in Albania and came to the United States when I was ten years old. I speak three languages fluently: English, Albanian, and Spanish. I am a junior attending New York City College of Technology majoring in Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). However, I plan to major in Biology at Brooklyn College so that I can work towards attending Medical School to becoming a physician. I have and always will enjoy learning about the study of everyday life in animals and humans along with how the world is made up these various types of life. I enjoy pursuing a degree where I know that there will always be something new to learn about. I am working in Dr. Mercer Brugler’s Deep-Sea Biological Studies Laboratory at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). I plan to better understand the complexity of DNA, in hopes of having publications done. This will bring me one step closer towards my future accomplishments. This program was very influential in my decision to pursue a Ph.D. This program helps me with the start of my career. I get to experience not only research but also meeting mentors in my field to help me throughout my career path. This is truly a career-changing experience for me and I am grateful to have the opportunity to experience it. I hope to one day obtain a Ph.D. with a research concentration in genetic disorders, which include further investigation, and possible cures. Since there are many genetic disorders, of which significant amounts of knowledge are still unknown to modern medicine, there is room for someone like me to study these things.
Fall 2016 Update
Transferred to BC spring 2016 for a bachelor’s degree in Biology.
I am a Sophomore attending City Tech graduating in June 2017 with my Associate’s degree in Chemistry. I plan on transferring to Brooklyn College to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Biology and pursue a career as a Physician Assistant. I have always been interested in Biology because it allows me to explore new things, study life and improve the human body. In the Bridges program I first had the opportunity conduct research on molecular characterization of deep-sea black corals with City Tech Professor Mercer Brugler at the American Museum of Natural History. I am now currently working with Professor Andleeb Zameer on neurotrophic factors and their effects in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Being part of the Bridges Program has helped me enormously both academically and to keep pushing myself, striving for my career goals. Because of this program I was able to explore the field that I love, meet many amazing mentors and work with other students with similar goals. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of this program.
I am a sophomore at City Tech. I am currently a Liberal Arts and Science major with the goal to attend medical school. I am working with Professor Laureen Park on a project that incorporates the philosophy and psychology of the mind to answer the possibility of artificial intelligence. I want to become a doctor because I want to help people around the world who do not have access to proper healthcare and nutrition. The Bridges to Baccalaureate program has given me the opportunity to make my dream come true. Through this program, I have access to a world of resources that not only provide me with proper guidance but also introduces me to new mentors in the scientific field. I am very thankful for this experience.
I am a junior currently attending Brooklyn College. Thanks to the help of the Bridges program, I was able to graduate from New York City College of Technology with my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and transfer to Brooklyn College to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. One of the reasons this area is of interest to me is because I find biology very interesting, especially when it comes to learning about different parts of an organism and how they work with one another. One research interest of mine is to study and experiment with things that can help improve the lives of animals. I am currently doing research with Professor Sodiende on barcoding and sequencing of DNA extracted from Pangolin scales. Being involved in the Bridges program has been very helpful to me by giving me a chance to gain experience in research and working in a professional lab setting. It also gave me the chance to build a professional relationship with my mentor and point me in the right direction in pursuing my career in veterinary medicine. I am so thankful and appreciative for being part of this program and everything it has to offer.
I am a Sophomore attending City Tech and I am taking classes preparing for a career in Pharmacology. One of the reasons this area is of interest to me is because it provides me with a chance to help individuals with diseases and find treatment to better improve their lives. Medicine is the wave of the future. Currently, I am working with Dr. Jean Hillstrom and Professor Pa Her’s Emotion Laboratory. There I have been granted the opportunity to study the factors affecting emotional regulation and vagal tone in an expressive paradigm. The research is focused on emotional regulation and expression and the relationship to health outcomes. We hope that through writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events we are can improve health and well-being. Being involved in the Bridges Program at City Tech has been very influential in my decision to pursue an MD/Ph.D. program. It has basically “got my foot in the door” to not only research but also to meeting many amazing mentors in the field itself including students with similar shared interest. The professors have been great guiding us and providing advice in which I look forward to using. This was truly a career changing experience. I am grateful to have had an opportunity to experience at City Tech.
I am a sophomore at New York City College of Technology. As of now, I am taking classes towards the Liberal Arts and Science degree and will be graduating in June. I am will be transferring to Brooklyn College in the fall semester. I plan to go on to medical school. I have currently conducted research with Professor Sodeinde as my mentor. I have recently worked in the laboratory with Professor Sodeinde on Barcoding and Sequencing of DNA extracted from the scales of Phataginus tricuspis for use in the forensics of wildlife trafficked in international trade and biodiversity studies where we examine which part of the scale has the best quality DNA. My future goal is to become a pediatrician because I want to help people, especially young children and those in other countries that need medical assistance. Being a part of the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program has given me the support to help me reach my future goal. I am thankful to be a part of this wonderful program.
Jermaine G. Fairweather
My name is Jermaine Fairweather, I am currently a sophomore at City Tech majoring in Liberal Arts. My plan is to major in Psychology when I transfer to Brooklyn College to pursue this Bachelor’s degree. Growing up a Jamaican household, obtaining a good education was the most important aspect encouraged by my family. When I first started college in the fall of 2014 I was a bit confused as to what I wanted to do. I began to narrow my career when my grandmother passed away in 2015 due to Alzheimer’s, then another close family relative was diagnosed with an early stage of dementia, and finally when a few friends were diagnosed with mental health issues. All of these mental problems has hit home for me which is why I plan to major in psychology when I transfer to Brooklyn college. My goal is to become a psychiatrist focused on curing mental ailments. I realize now how easy some of us can slip away because of our mental state. Being exposed to this Bridges to Baccalaureate program and working side-by -side with Professor Almond conducting research has been a great experience. Because of her great mentorship, she has exposed me to a greater understanding mental health and how to help people find better ways to take care of themselves. The experience has made the research we are doing worthwhile and I can see my dreams coming into fruition every day I work with her.
I am a sophomore at City tech, majoring in Liberal Arts and Science. I wish to transfer to Brooklyn College to acquire my
Bachelor’s in Psychology.I am working with Dr. Jean Hillstrom to get some insight into how psychology helps people deal with real life experiences. Dr. Hillstrom is researching how expressive writing improves the immune system of people. She will also be looking at the participant’s’ physiological response such as their heart rate, vagal tone, and respiration. Various rates before and after the writing sessions will be compared to see the effect of expressive writing on the immune system. The Bridges Program is giving me an opportunity not only to be a part of a research team but also to gain job experience.
I am in my sophomore in the Liberal Arts and Sciences program at New York City College Of Technology. I have always wanted to understand how we as humans think and act. There have been many times when I question the acts of others especially those who have an impact on society. I wanted to know how these people came to those certain decisions. I enjoy understanding the human body and mind and plan to continue to do this in the future. My goal is to earn a Bachelor’s in Psychology at Brooklyn College in the near future. After getting my Bachelor’s in Psychology my goal is to get into medical school and become a doctor. The Bridges to Baccalaureate program in City Tech gave me the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in researching with a mentor. Currently, I am working with Professor Jean Hillstrom, chairman of the Social Sciences department studying how expressive writing can help improve one’s physiological and mental health. I am working as an assistant researcher at Professor Hillstrom’s research lab. We are basing our research on James W Pennebaker’s research on Expressive writing. We have added some variables of our own and hope to further study how writing about one’s traumatic experience or a meaning-making experience can improve one’s physiological and mental health. I hope to better understand how a human’s body and mind works, which will help me to be a better doctor in the future.
I am a sophomore student attending City Tech College majoring in Liberal Arts and Sciences. I am also a Bridges Scholar. I’m eager to begin my semester at Brooklyn College in Fall 2017 to pursue a Biology degree to broaden my education. I am fascinated with the biological field. There is always something new to discover. I am currently working with my mentor Prof. Olufemi Sodeinde. We will examine and compare extract DNA from scales of this pangolin using different protocols and will eventually barcode and sequence the DNA following PCR amplification using different primers. The aim of the study is to generate the DNA sequence from this body part and the information will be included in a database of such information to be used for forensic analysis. Being a part of the Bridges Program has helped me academically. This program allowed me to be able to understand the values and appreciate the biological professional field.
My name is Kingsley Okolo. I am a Bridges student attending City Tech. I am taking classes, preparing to transfer to Brooklyn College and major in Biology. One of the reasons this area is of interest to me is because it’s so fascinating and relatable. I learn more about my body and the living things around me every day. I am working with Prof. Alcendor in a City Tech Lab in which I have been granted the opportunity to study the effects high NaCl has on T. thermophile to better understand oxidative stress and its effects on antioxidant genes. Other research interest would be marine biology.
Being involved in the Bridges Program at City Tech has been helpful to me in the following way(s): This program has kept me on track and has really helped me stay focused on my educational goals. This program has not only made me a better student but has also helped me realize my end goal. This program helps me get closer to the finish line each semester. Thanks to this program I see myself at a much higher place in 10 years. Now I see myself getting my Masters and probably my Ph.D. Things that I didn’t think were possible before, now sem certain.
I am a sophomore attending City Tech. I am taking classes preparing to transfer to Brooklyn College and majoring in Biology. One of the reasons this area is of interest to me is because biology is the study of life and how it functions. I am interested in the genes of organisms that control all its functions, and how one could manipulate and change them for the betterment of life. I am working with Professor Ralph Alcendor in his lab studying the effects of a ionophoric polyphenol compound on HEK 293 cells. Among the many procedures, we must complete gene analysis is one of them which quantitates which ones are expressed more than others. Being involved in the Bridges Program at City Tech has been helpful to me in many ways. I had already had an affinity for science but this program has further solidified that for me and showed me a much better path to follow. It has also opened my eyes to the wonders of the laboratory and the precision and dedication needed for a scientist. I have been able to meet many professionals who have life careers as scientists and other students who share a similar goal as me. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to jump start my journey on becoming a genetic engineer.
I am a Bridges Scholar at City Tech in the Chemical Technology program. After I get my Associate’s degree in Chemistry, I wish to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry or Biology as I plan to go to medical school after college. The ability to study life as a whole and be able to help save a life someday has always been a dream I can’t get out of my plans for the future. I’m currently working hands on with a mentor, Professor Peter Spellane on a research project and we will be researching on how to achieve charge separation in a porphyrin molecule under conditions of illumination. In other words, we hope to construct a molecule that has a relatively long-lived charge-separated excited state. My long-term goal is to go to medical school to practice medicine and help save lives.
Hello, my name is Sinji Shibutani and I am a sophomore at New York City College of Technology, majoring in Chemical Technology. As a current participant of the Bridges to Baccalaureate program, I am working with my mentor Professor Alberto Martinez and my Co-Researcher Miguel Gomez on a research project that explores the medical condition Alzheimer’s. We are specifically testing the interactions between various substances and the Human Serum Albumin, which is as common protein found in human blood with 6 synthesized compounds created by our mentor. The research that I have conducted in the Bridges Program has improved my ability to work with other people, as well as strengthened my communication skills. While working with my mentor I have gained more confidence in asking questions, which helps me gain clarity in my career. My research also provided me the opportunity to learn proper laboratory etiquette. I have always found that I was a tactile learner, always learned through doing, so the Bridges program allows me to learn about things I love in an environment that I am comfortable in. My life goal is to pursue a career in Forensic Science and work in a Forensic Science lab. My interest in science comes from my passion in learning how the world works, and what role science plays in the way we navigate through our lives. I feel my skills would work best with the career path of a Forensic Chemist because my current research aligns with some of the practices used in Forensic Science labs. My current research involves transport proteins, specifically HSA, a very common protein in our bloodstream. In the lab we are currently testing this proteins ability to transport different substances around the body, as a forensic chemist, I would get the opportunity to examine these proteins and understand how they work in the process.
Hello, my name is Malyka Valentine and I am a sophomore at New York City College of Technology, majoring in Chemical Technology. I plan to accomplish the goal of attaining degree in Toxicology and Forensic Science so that I can find ways to help people in my region of the West Indies. I would like to focus specifically on determining and eliminating poisons in the environment. This topic intrigues me and this is why I would love to work in these fields and I feel that my research interests will be best served in the departments of Forensic Toxicology and Environmental Toxicology. Currently I work with my Bridges to Baccalaureate mentor, Dr. Diana Samaroo, on her research on how Porphyrin interacts with DNA. While working alongside Dr. Samaroo as a Bridges Scholar my mind has been opened to the great possibilities of research. This program has also introduced me to excellent faculty members, great friends and given me a better understanding of the world of science. I will be forever appreciative of the experience I’ve received while in this program and will constantly reflect on just how much the Bridges to Baccalaureate program has changed my career for the better.
Hello, I’m Fatima Ahmed, a sophomore at New York City College of Technology, majoring in Biology/ Pre-med. I’ve always been intrigued by the functions of the human body and how we develop physically and mentally. Currently, I am working with my mentor Professor Ralph Alcendor on research that tests the effects of fresh and aged garlic on human cells; specifically HEK 293 cells. We specifically focused on cell death and whether there was more death or growth amongst cells after fresh or aged garlic have been added. Some other areas of research that I would like to personally explore in the future are identifying and creating medications, as well as studying human cells to see how the new innovative medications affect human cells. After graduating with my B.A. in Biology I want to pursue a Masters and PhD in the field of Biology, so I can be well versed in Human cells. I will then use the knowledge that I have acquired throughout the years I spent completing my coursework to attain a job in a Hospital, while also continuing to conduct my research. While working in a Hospital as a physician I would focus my research on discovering new medication to improve the quality of life of all people. I feel as though the research experiences that the Bridges to Baccalaureate program afforded me, really helped me narrow down my interests in human cells. The hands on experience that I got while working in the lab with my mentor has sparked my curiosity to learn more about how the human body functions, so that I can one day make new contributions to the field of medicine.
My name is Nadia Alomari and I am currently in the process of receiving my Bachelors degree in Biomedical Informatics from New York City College of Technology. To date, I am currently working at the A.M.N.H. lab with my mentor, Dr. Mercer Brugler on black corals. On September 21, 2018, I was able to join my mentor, a few scientists, and a few crew members on the RV Manta as we sailed for seven days to explore the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. On our trip, we successfully collected black corals from the F.G.B.N.M.S., and to date, have been sequencing them to elucidate new species. Under the guidance of my mentor, we plan to publish some of our results. My experience would not have been possible without the Bridges program and the assistance of the staff. They have given me an amazing opportunity to experience learning on a different level. What I learned most on that trip is how imperative it is to work in a field that you love. Although my current research does not directly correlate to medicine, I’ve found that there is an overlap in terms of procedures in the lab, genetic sequencing and protocols. Upon graduation, I plan to enter graduate school to become a Physician’s Assistant and afterwards I plan to venture into research pertaining to medicine/ diseases, while also continuing to conduct research on my newfound interest in corals.
My name is Audrey Powell and I am currently a student at Brooklyn College. Currently, I am working with Professor Amanda Almond on research that looks into the effects of micro-aggression on self-compassion, health promotion, and professional empowerment. With the data based on the survey women took, we examined emotions and different micro-aggressions. The specifications that the surveyed women must fall under are women who are enrolled in graduate programs. My future educational goals are to complete a bachelor degree in psychology, to get into medical school or continue further into Graduate studies and major in clinical psychology. My professional career interests are to become an anesthesiologist or a psychologist. If I become a psychologist I would like to expand upon the research that I partook in with Professor Almond and examine what causes the intentional and unintentional behaviors or actions of human subjects.
Hello, my name is Daisy Salas and I am currently a full-time student at New York City College of Technology, majoring in Liberal Arts and Arts. Although I am majoring in Liberal Arts, I am extremely interested in pursuing a degree in psychology. My fascination with learning how and what drives individuals to do certain things lead me to become involved in the Bridges to Baccalaureate program because of the opportunities I would be exposed to. While in this program I learned about fields that I am passionate about, for example helping individuals overcome difficulties and evaluating how past experiences shape individuals. Therefore, some of my interests include doing research in behavioral science, for example how trauma effects and changes individuals cognitively and emotionally. I am also interested in other fields of study such as emotional development in children, clinical effects of emotion dysregulation in children, adolescents and young adults. A few of my personal attributes that make me perfect for this kind of research is that I am an incredibly motivated and patient individual. I am aware that success doesn’t happen overnight and so it is important to know how to manage difficult situations professionally and effectively. The research that I am currently working on with my mentor Doctor Amanda Almond, relates to the micro aggressions women face while working in the field of psychology. With the help of my mentor, I anticipate that I will become more knowledgeable in this field, while also advancing my academic and professional career so that I can one day attain a PhD in Psychology.
My name is Sumaiyah Mahfooz and I am a sophomore at New York City College of Technology, majoring in Liberal Arts and Sciences. My academic interest lie in the fields of Biology as well as Psychology. I am interested in Biology because it allows for human development to flourish and is a binding factor related to the existence of life on earth. I also hope to engage in research relating to cognitive theories within the field of clinical psychology. During my Fall semester, alongside my mentor Professor Alcendor, I was able to gain insight into the field of biology. Throughout this semester my mentor and I studied and examined the effects of calcium chloride and glucose as oxidative stressors on Tetrahymena. My current research experience has developed my passion to delve deeper into the fields of Biology as well as Psychology. So much so that my future career goals include getting my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and applying for the Occupational Therapy Program. As I continue my research at Brooklyn College some of the projects that I am interested in becoming a part of include doing research within the fields of behavioral psychology and neurodevelopment. I feel as though my participation in the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program has allowed me to work one on one with a mentor, gain a better understanding in research related to biology and have an overall positive research experience on-campus. The Bridges Program has opened doors for me to learn and adapt new methods/approaches involved in performing research effectively.
Hello, my name is Randy Valcourt and I am a sophomore at New York City College of Technology. I was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when I was just four years old and I later became a citizen. Like many other immigrants, I am driven to succeed in my goals and dreams. Currently, I am in the process of getting my associates in Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) and transferring to City College. While in City College I wish to get a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering. My interest in the field of Biomedical Engineering didn’t spring up overnight, originally I wished to become an engineer. However, as I went through high school I gained more interest in Biology and medicine but I didn’t want to give up my enthusiasm for engineering. I was stuck between my love of engineering and my growing interest in medicine, fortunately, I was able to find a compromise in the field of Biomedical Engineering. The basic premise of this field is to face medical or biological problems through the use of engineering techniques. I fell in love with the whole concept it, and in the future, I wish to work on medical machines, prosthetics and even play a role in the creation of artificial organs. Furthermore, as a Haitian immigrant, I believe my pursuits in this field will bring pride to my family.
Jordan Jean Pierre
Hello, my name is Jordan Jean Pierre, I am a junior at the New York City College of Technology, and my major is Chemical
Technology. I plan on transferring to Brooklyn College and pursue a Bachelors degree in Biology. The main reason for my interest in the Biological field, is the potential benefits that can be discovered and applied to living beings such as myself. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been excited to learn about scientific discoveries and how they are currently changing the world around me. As time went by, that excitement turned into passion and the will to contribute to and inspire scientific discoveries. My research interest is about specialized fields in Biology where I can have a direct interaction with what I’m working with. An example of such a field is Molecular Biology, where I can observe and interact with a specimen on a molecular level. I am a member in the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program at New York City College of Technology in which I am currently acquiring a basic knowledge of Psychology by conducting research with my mentor Dr. Jean Hillstrom. Even though my main academic interest is in Biology, I deemed it useful to at least have a basic understanding of Psychology, which explains my involvement in the Social Science department. My research with Professor Hillstrom is centered in The Effects of Expressive Writing on Cardiac Impedance Over Time. The research is based on James Pennebaker’s Expressive Writing Paradigm. This study is conducted within an emotional lab where subjects are tested for three different sessions while typing about a traumatic, meaningful or neutral event in their personal lives for about 15 minutes. The EKG, Respiratory rate and the Vagal Tone of each subject would be monitored and recorded for the duration of the each session. To do so, electrodes are conveniently placed at certain locations on the subject body. This data is then analyzed and registered by authorized personnel within a spreadsheet containing similar information. Looking to the future, I plan on getting a Master’s degree in Biology, which will prepare and allow me to further my education through Medical School and beyond.
Hello, my name’s Christopher Persaud, and I am currently a student at New York City College of Technology, majoring in Liberal Arts and Sciences. I am a highly analytical person; I love data! I’m also a professional portrait photographer, beauty and fashion photo retouched and IT infrastructure builder, and Chief Product Officer of a startup called Twine, a social media app. I aspire to become a psychiatrist. I’ve always been interested in psychology! I became a photographer because I always enjoyed capturing the smiles on people’s faces. Throughout high school, I started to help people a lot, either academically or mentally, and it seems to fill a void in my own life; therefore, I felt like I would enjoy being a psychiatrist. I want to help people enjoy living in their own skin! No matter how much time I have to put in, seeing other people happy will make me just as happy. I am highly dedicated to helping and assisting others. Although I enjoy psychology a lot, I am interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at Brooklyn College, with a focus in psychology, to prepare myself for medical school. I currently perform research under my mentors Dr. Jean Hillstrom and Dr. Pa Her. Our research is called “Emotion Regulation Strategies, Meaning-Making and Gender Affect Narrative Content in an Expressive Writing Paradigm”. It has been accepted for presentation at the 30th APS Annual Convention. I feel that I owe a large amount of praise and fortitude to the Bridges program because without this program, I would not have the opportunity to present at this upcoming research conference.
Hello, my name is Laiba Choudhary and I am currently a sophomore attending New York City College of Technology, who hopes to major in Biology. One of the reasons Biology is a fields of interest for me is because the biological fields examines how closely related organisms are to each other. My research interests and experience comes from my work with Professor Alcendor in the college’s laboratory, where we studied and examined the effects of oxidative stressors including calcium and glucose on Tetrahymena cells. Being involved in the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program at New York City College of Technology has been helpful to me in more ways than I can explain. This program provided me hands on experience with a mentor which increased my overall knowledge relating to the field of Biology. While participating in this program I also decided to pursue a career in a Pre-Med program at Brooklyn College as a Biology major. Being a part of the Bridges to Baccalaureate program afforded me the opportunity to gain amazing experience that helped me shape up as a student and a professional.
Diana Benitez is of Hispanic descent but is a New York City native. Diana was born in Brooklyn to two amazing parents. She was raised to admire the arts, beginning with dance. She then learned to draw and write poems and short stories. Diana also had a great admiration for absorbing as much knowledge as she could in school. The class that she found to be difficult during her pre-college education in Science. Diana held a closed mind; thinking that science was just overly complex and uninteresting. After years of being out of a classroom setting, and having two children, Diana decided it was time to start the journey to a promising career. Wanting to obtain a career in the medical field, Diana decided to enroll in college to pursue a degree in Biomedical Sciences. As Diana attended classes, she began learning about different organisms and how life “works”. With each lesson, she became more intrigued and excited to learn more. Diana’s research project “Examining the Effects of Oxidative Stress on Tetrahymena Calpains”, which she conducted with Professor Alcendor helped expand her knowledge of Biology. Although Diana faced challenged adapting to the college and research environment, she feels that all the hard work will be beneficial to her in the future. Diana is eager to continue her journey of learning and mastering aspects of Biomedical Sciences. She hopes to get the chance to use her research experience to study neurological disorders such as Syringomyelia and learn more about how symptoms are triggered in the victims of disorders like the one mentioned above. Diana is thankful to be a part of the Bridges program and to have the opportunity to work alongside great mentors and her fellow scholars. Diana looks forward to furthering experiences and opportunities and appreciate the Bridges program for being an amazing stepping stone in her life.
Kalei Graham-Crowther was born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn by a single mother of four. Growing up her mother always made sure that she received everything she ever needed and wanted. Kalei attributes her success to the motivation and love that she received from her mother and believes her mother is the reason she is currently a Liberal Arts & Sciences Major. Kalei plans on transferring to Brooklyn College to finish her studies in Biological Sciences. Currently, Kalei’s research project along with Professor Alcendor is “Examining the Effects of Oxidative Stress on Calpain in Tetrahymena Thermophila”. Kalei never thought she would be interested in such a topic, but she feels that through more research there just might be a bigger understanding to certain pathological diseases in humans and how they’re created and even how to prevent them. Through further research, Kalei also feels that she can analyze Calpains on a wider spectrum because the full research on Calpains is not as extensive as she believes it should be. Kalei’s passion is to serve others through any work that she does is very important to her. Kalei believes leadership is not just being in charge but it’s about having humility and serving others. In the long run, after Kalei receives her degree in Biology, she plans on either becoming a Physician Assistant or going to Medical School to become either an OBGYN or Pediatrician. Kalei is not too sure where she is headed but she knows that Biology will always be in the picture.
Yamilet Cruz is 18 years old and completing her first semester at New York City College of Technology. Her parents and both of her sisters were born and raised in the Dominican Republic. Yamilet was born shortly after her family arrived in the United States. Yamilet’s parents come from a small city in the Dominican Republic and never got the opportunity to study and gain the education they would have liked to. Yamilet’s Mother and Father had a limited educational background. For this reason, education has always been enforced in Yamilet’s household. The main reason why Yamilet’s parents decided to migrate to the United States was to give her and her sisters a chance to get a better education and be successful in their chosen careers. Yamilet’s parents have always pushed their children to do well and motivated them to finish school. They believed that getting an education is very important and it’s something that nobody can take away from you. Coming into New York City College of Technology, Yamilet had no idea what she wanted to major in, all she knew was that she wanted to do something that involved working with children. She recently decided that she wanted to study psychology when she took her first psychology class. Yamilet realized that she really enjoyed learning about all the different concepts in Psychology. Yamilet’s interest in Psychology helped her with her research project “Exercise, Smoking, and Weight Maintenance: Exploring and Confirming Factoral Structure of Decisional Balance Measures on Diverse Samples” which she conducted with Professor Almond. Yamilet is certain that Psychology would be a great career choice because she loves working with people and helping them in any way that she can. The main reason why Yamilet decided to pursue the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program is that she knew that it would be an amazing opportunity that would open many doors for her in the future. Yamilet looks forward to working with the other members of the program. Overall, Yamilet believes that being in the Bridges Program will be a great experience that she could use to help further her career in Psychology.
Luci DeVoy is an Indigenous student born and raised on her home reservation in rural Michigan. She is currently pursuing a degree in the STEM field to address the disparities that face women and transgender patients of color face when pursuing healthcare, specifically in maternal-fetal medicine. Luci worked during the Fall 2018 semester with Professor Seto on the research project “Comparative Analysis of Fecal Microbes in Turtles”. Her research this past semester has centered on differential microbiomes found in turtle digestive systems. This semester has afforded me the opportunity to experience a small look into the field of research and development. Luci is very thankful for such a unique opportunity to be a research assistant at this point in her education. When not in school Luci is active in American Indian Community House programming and other LGBTQIA Events in NYC including being on the planning committee for this year’s World Pride March.
Mariam Kamara is currently a student at New York City College of Technology. Mariam is originally from Guinea and migrated to the United States five years ago as a non-native English speaker. Now, her resilience and hard work drives her to reach her goal of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and to get her Masters degree in Public Health. Mariam has always wondered why people behave the way they do and believes it has something to do with our Psychology. She believes that Psychology is a study that helps one gain insight into the function of the brain and understand how human behaviors are formed. Mariam’s research project with Professor Almond called “Exercise, Smoking, and Weight Maintenance: Exploring and Confirming Factoral Structure of Decisional Balance Measures on Diverse Samples” in the Fall semester of 2018 directly aligned with her interests in Psychology. Not only did she get to work with a professor who is an expert in her field of interest but she also was afforded the opportunity to learn more about Psychology as a whole. Mariam’s research on exploring and confirming factorial structure with Professor Almond on diverse samples has benefited her greatly and helped her realize her love for the field of Psychology.
Samantha Lee is a scholar who strongly believes everyone deserves healthcare whether they are coming from the low-income background, immigrants, current residents, or people who are not receiving the right care. Samantha hopes to one day to help people and influence people to stop hate crimes, stop discriminating people by race, we deserve to be treated equally whether by race, social class if they’re poor, rich, gay, straight, etc. She has a very strong passion for medicine and believes that healthcare is very important for everyone. Samantha hopes to be successful not just for herself but for people who are in need to have access to medical care not just in states but around the world. Samantha currently works as a Medical Assistant and is trying to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant. During the Fall 2018 semester, Samantha worked with Professor Sodeinde on the research project “Barcoding and sequencing of DNA extracted from the scales of Phataginus tricuspis from Nigerian locations”. Samantha acknowledges the role that her current occupation played in preparing her for this research opportunity. She currently works patients from various backgrounds, who have many different health ailments. The experiences she has with her patients influences her current occupational interests. Asides from her goal of becoming a Physician Assistant she also wants an opportunity to work with a non-profit health care organization. Samantha ultimately wants to use her platform to be a good influence on people and especially for the future generation.
My name is Destiny Mercado. I am 20 years old, attending City Tech. This is my second year in college. One day over the spring semester I visited a dermatology office, the doctor prescribed me a medication for my back and chest acne. In such little time, the acne went away. I was so inspired by the way the medicine works and how it works. I used to study all the medications that were prescribed to me, and I would look at the drug facts and search them up, I was always just so fascinated. My mom once asked me why don’t I become a doctor. At first, I didn’t really take it into consideration, I thought I was not smart enough to become a physician. I knew there was going to be a lot of schooling involved if I become a physician. At that moment I felt like I couldn’t handle it, or the science especially. My mom is diagnosed with a very bad rash, she has a weird case of rash that made it hard for doctors to identify the condition, my mom lost hair, she sheds countless of dead skin, she did not look the same anymore, she was depressed for a very long time. A few weeks later my mom took me to a dermatologist appointment she had. The doctors told her good news that scientist had announced a new medication called dupixent that will cure her rash, as long as she takes it every month. That made my mom so happy, so that made me happy. The dupixent medication worked. My mom had this condition for 2 years and no medication would work. Finally, they recommended her a new medication “dupixent” and that changed her life forever. That amazed me so much, what medicine could do. I then felt the calling of becoming a physician. I want to help other people with their medical conditions like how my mom was helped, I want to make a difference in this world in the field of medicine. I spent my whole summer studying dermatology terms, skin conditions, even skin cancer, and Mohs surgery. I am currently taking biology and I am in love with the subject, I learned how much I love science and the magic behind it. I study it every day, and for the first time in my life, I feel like I can encounter anything I put my mind to. I used to look at research programs every day to be more hands-on with science and set my brain to some new challenges. My goal is to learn, and the bridges program fitted just right with that. I am honored to be apart of the bridges program where they helped me achieve goals I wanted to achieve to prepare for the med field.
Lisbeth Amberina Peralta Minaya was born in the Dominican Republic where she lived up until the age of four. She grew up in Sunnyside, Queens and was raised by her grandmother. Lisbeth’s grandmother influenced her to always work hard for what she believes in and pushed her to always be involved in her academics. When she was in third grade her teacher told her mom it would be impossible for her to be proficient in her math class due to her struggles with Mathematics. The teacher gave her the opportunity to take one exam that would allow her to pass the class. Lisbeth remembers rewriting and practicing so that she could get a passing grade. Lisbeth ended up with such a good grade that she got into the Honors Mathematics program the following year. Through this experience, Lisbeth learned she could do anything she put her mind to and worked hard for. Throughout high school, Lisbeth enjoyed Mathematics and Science classes. Due to the fact that she was interested in these subjects, she decided to continue exploring the Science and Mathematics field. In Fall 2018 Lisbeth had the opportunity to work with Professor Sodeinde on the research project “Barcoding and sequencing of DNA extracted from the pyrgomorphid grasshopper, Zonocerus variegatus”. In the short period of time she worked with her mentor, she realized how interesting it is to actually work in a science lab and learn something new every day. Lisbeth strongly believes in health, medicine, and science. She believes that after she gets her degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, she will continue her education. Lisbeth believes in science and all the possibilities that it can do to make this world a better place.
Leah Pierre-Louis came to the United States at the age of eleven from Haiti. Today she is happy to be a citizen because she has been afforded so many opportunities. Leah feels that if she was not able to migrate to the United States, she would not have been able to accomplish half of the goals as a college student. Currently, Leah attends New York City College of Technology and is majoring in Liberal Arts and Sciences. In the future, Leah intends on majoring in Biology. Leah’s current research “Examining the Effects of Oxidative Stress on Tetrahymena Calpains”, which she conducts with Professor Alcendor helps her delve deeper into the field of Biology and explore her passions even more. Leah never knew that she would be so interested in learning about the human body. However, after joining the Bridges to Baccalaureate program her research experience strengthened her interest in Biology even further. Today Leah still feels that she is constantly learning more about herself and her interests with the help of others around her. At this moment Leah is unsure about the career that she would like to pursue after graduating college, but she does know she would like to enter the health care field so that she can fulfill her passion of helping others as well as developing/discovering new medicine to cure diseases.
My name is Shadin. I was born in Bangladesh in July 6, 1997 and grew up in a world where it was hard to dream and think about doing things that are big. Everyone had a boundary and level set by the society and if you didn’t follow that guideline you’d be looked down and bullied down to put back to the place where people wanted you to be. In 2007 I came to United States with my family with a hope of better tomorrow and a better life for myself. I wanted to break the barrier of failurue that my parents followed and be a winner but yet I wanted to work for the others instead of working to pocket myself with money. I always wanted to work on making the world a better place I wanted to help people and the world and I thought art is the way to go. But life is a journey of figuring out what’s our purpose in life and in December of 2017, after spending some times I. The Rohingya refugee camps, I started looking at life in a different way. I still wanted to help the world and make people’s lives better but this time I figured that I found my true purpose in life which is to become a surgeon. Bridges program allowed me to go through the experience of research which will make me a strong candidate for medical school and I am beyond thankful and honored to be a part of this program.
Willnely Scroggins is a Latina from the South Bronx, working to prove statistics wrong. She is currently pursuing her associates in Liberal Arts and Arts at New York City College of Technology. After completing her Associate’s degree she will then pursue her bachelors for Psychology at another university. A lot of her interests in research include research on the underprivileged as well as minorities (mostly leaning towards women). Her research on the foster care systems and child neglect helped her in her research project “Exercise, Smoking, and Weight Maintenance: Exploring and Confirming Factoral Structure of Decisional Balance Measures on Diverse Samples” which she conducted with Professor Almond. Her research, as well as her prior interests, have driven her to pursue a job in social work, so she can continue her research on health. At the beginning of Willnelly’s college career, she tried to force a health career on herself, but she knew that her passion has always been Psychology. Willnely is interested in pursuing a Masters in Social Work and is even considering becoming an esthetician as well. Willnely feels that the Bridges program is and will play an integral role in her success. In her opinion, she feels that getting into a career with no support is challenging, and she is eternally grateful to have a mentor like Professor Almond guiding her towards the steps she has to take to have a career.