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Scholarships

MARC U*STAR Honors Program

Honors Recipients

The Purchase College Maximizing Access to Research Careers/Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC U*STAR) Honors Program is sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences/National Institutes of Health (NIGMS/NIH).

The program supports academically talented students from groups underrepresented in STEM who intend to pursue a PhD or MD/PhD.

Support and Training in the Junior and Senior Years

  • Tuition, fees, and health insurance
  • $1,000 per month stipend
  • 4 semesters of research at Purchase College
  • 10-week national summer research experience 
  • Attendance at scientific conferences
  • Bi-weekly program seminars

Meet Our Students 

Jorge AcunaJorge Acuna

I am a junior biology major. I received my associate’s degree from Rockland Community College (RCC) where I was vice president of my chapter of the beta beta beta Biological Honor Society. After my bacteriophage research experience with Dr. James Daly in the Purchase College Bridges Program, I implemented two new bacterial research models using M. marinum and M. aeruginosa with my colleagues at RCC. My M. marinum research focused on a fish pathogen related to M. smegmatis and M. tuberculosis and my M. aeruginosa research focused on cyanobacterial blooms. I am working with Dr. Daly again this fall to continue research on bacteriophages and Renibacterium salmoninarum, a fish pathogen that causes bacterial kidney disease. After graduating from Purchase, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Microbiology or Virology.

 

Josue Flores

Josue Flores

I am a third-year biology student, as well as a MARC U*STAR scholar and a J2 scholar. I am currently performing research with Dr. Elliott Abrams studying molecular processes functioning during early development using zebrafish embryos. Specifically, I am looking at expression levels of a gene that is related to brambleberry, which is involved in the process of fertilization. This fall I am also serving as a learning assistant for General Biology I. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree at Purchase College, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology.

 

 

Germain MezaGermain Meza

I am a senior Environmental Studies major and a MARC U*STAR scholar. This summer I did research at the Shannon Point Marine Center at Western Washington University. My project investigated whether Anthopleura elegantissima showed any preference for different types or size of microplastic. In my senior thesis I will compare reproductive rates of Hemigrapsus sanguineus at the beginning and end of their season. With help from my project advisor, Dr. George Kraemer, my research will identify differences in reproductive rates of this invasive species of crab. After receiving my bachelor’s degree from Purchase, I plan to pursue my Ph.D in Chemical Ecology. 

Mennefer BlueMennefer Blue

I am a junior psychology student. I am working with Dr. Yanine Hess this year examining the different responses people can have to social rejection. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I will pursue a doctorate in either clinical psychology or developmental psychology. I hope to conduct research on adolescents, specifically those at risk of dropping out, drug abuse, or juvenile delinquency. I wish to understand the factors that contribute to these negative consequences so that I may one day create a not-for-profit organization that will equip vulnerable young adults with the skills needed to reach their full potential.

 

 

Angelique Malcolm

Angelique Malcolm

I am a junior majoring in Biochemistry. I have previously worked with Dr. Mark Jonas researching how genome-wide methylation affects responses to elevated carbon dioxide in the model flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This year, I will be working with Dr. Elliott Abrams to investigate a novel gene related to brambleberry, which affects fertilization, and determine its function in embryogenesis. Specifically, I will be genotyping brambleberry mutants using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). I am eager to continue pursuing applications of biomedical sciences during my final undergraduate semesters. After receiving a bachelor’s degree at Purchase College, I plan to expand my research career and pursue a Ph.D. in Biochemistry.

Lina RuizLina Ruiz

I am a third-year biology major. My fields of interest are evolution and genomics. I am working with Dr. Mark Jonas, investigating how changes in genome-wide methylation affect responses to elevated carbon dioxide in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This past summer I participated in the Amgen Scholar Program at UC Berkeley, where I conducted research on phage-mediated protection against Pseudomonas syringae in tomato plants. Currently I am a Learning Assistant for General Biology I Lab. After graduating from Purchase College, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology.

Meet Our Graduates 

Jordan Billups 

Jordan Billups's HeadshotI am a senior math/computer science major and I am interested in the intersection of computer science and biology. This past summer I participated in the Rosetta Commons REU at Northeastern University. As part of the internship, I added features to a puzzle-based human computation game which leverages human problem solving skills to predict protein structures and even design new proteins. In particular, my research focused on encouraging players to explore a broader range of possible puzzle solutions and, hopefully, generate more diverse structure predictions. I will be giving a poster presentation based the  results of that research at ABRCMS in November and intend to continue the work for my senior project. 
After graduating from Purchase College I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in bioinformatics.  


 Pamela Grigas

Pamela Grigas's headshotI am a senior psychology major and a MARC U*STAR scholar. This summer I was a research assistant at Columbia University and worked with my faculty mentor Dr. Van C. Tran on a project about gentrification and psychological well-being. This fall I am beginning my senior project with the guidance of my faculty advisor Dr. Krystal Perkins. My work will focus on racial stress and mental health/well-being. In addition, I am currently a teaching assistant for Research Methods I. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I plan to complete a Ph.D. in social or clinical psychology and study racial and ethnic differences in terms of racialized experiences, mental health, and health disparities.​ 

 


Sarah Ann King 

Sarah Ann King's HeadshotI am a third year biology major. I began college at Nassau Community College. I have had an interest in biology and biological technology for as long as I can remember.  I am currently conducting research on the interactions of the antimicrobial peptide Maximin-3 and manufactured lipid membranes, under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Middleton. I serve as a peer tutor for General Biology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Statistics. Following the completion of my bachelor’s degree, I will pursue a doctoral degree and research career in regenerative medicine.