Prestigious NSF Graduate Fellowship Awarded to CREST Alumna PDF Print E-mail

Nayomi in wisconsin

Nayomi Plaza, outsanding UPRM and CREST alumna, has been selected to receive a 2012 National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellowship. Her selection was based on her outstanding abilities and accomplishments. This is the last and most prestigious award in a long list of recognitions that Nayomi has received. Currently she is graduate student in the Materials Science Program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Co-advised by Dr. Joseph Jakes and Prof. Donald S. Stone, she is now conducting fundamental studies on a moisture-activated shape memory effect in thin wood slivers at the Forest Products Laboratory. This is an enthralling topic with implications in battery membrane research and further understanding of wood-water detrimental phenomena.

TMS Awards Best of Show to a CREST Student's Poster PDF Print E-mail

On March 11-15, 4,339 attendees from 68 countries converged to the 141st Annual Meeting of The Minerals Metals and Materials Society (TMS) held in the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, Orlando, Florida. Four students supported by CREST participated in the Student Poster Contest in different Technical Divisions of TMS: José Moreno and Grace Rodríguez (Mech. Eng. undergraduates), Rafael Soler (Chem. Eng. graduating senior), and Luis Zapata (Civil Eng. graduate). Additionally, Elvin Estremera (CREST Mech. Eng. graduate) talked about his work on porous metals in an oral presentation.

Grace and Rafael won the First Prizes for their posters in their divisions: Extraction and Processing Division and Materials Processing & Manufacturing Division, respectively. Rafael's work was titled In the morning of Tuesday 13, Grace was also informed that she had won the Best of Show honor in the undergraduate category. Grace's poster was titled  Processing of Al Wires and Its Effect on Their Electrical Properties. According to Prof. Garry Warren, 2011 TMS President and competition judge: "Grace’s technical component was very strong and her presentation was quite good." Grace works with David Florián, Mech. Eng. graduate student in Prof. O. M. Suárez's research group.

This is the second year in a row that a CREST student brings the Best of Show award to Puerto Rico. In 2011 Roberto Manzano, currently an engineer at GE, had won this same award. Additionally, Rafael Soler had won the First Prize of the poster competition held during the 2011 MS&T annual conference.


Grace Rodríguez and her ribbons

UPRM Participants in TMS 2012


Another Successful Participation of CREST Students in the Annual ERN Conference PDF Print E-mail

On February 23-26, 2012, the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) was held in Atlanta, GA. This annual conference is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students who participate in programs funded by the NSF Human Resource Development program, with particular emphasis in underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities. Around 150 outstanding undergraduate students from around the nation, including a dozen of UPRM CREST students, had the opportunity of presenting their corresponding research projects. One of CREST students, Melissa Cruz-Acuña, an Industrial Biotechnology senior student, member of Prof. Oscar Perales' research group (CREST IGR2), gave an oral presentation titled "Cd-based Quantum Dots and Bio-conjugates for Bio-imaging Applications in Human Pancreatic Carcinoma Cells." Another one, Jaileene Perez-Morales, an industrial engineering student and member of Prof. Mauricio Cabrera-Ríos's (CREST Seed IRG) group on Applied Optimization presented her poster titled "Meta-analysis: The Search for Potential Cancer Biomarkers." Melissa won the 1st prize of Best Oral Presenter in the Division of Biological Sciences/Biomedical Engineering, while Jaileene won the 2nd place in the undergraduate poster presentation of the Biological Science: Cancer Research category.


Jaileene's work, coauthored by Marilia Pérez, Érika Jaramillo and Dr. Clara Isaza, received additional support from PR-LSAMP, NIH-Initiative for Bioinformatics, and Lockheed Martin. This is the second year in a row that Melissa Cruz receives an award in this conference.

We proudly congratulate Jaileene and Melissa on their achievement, as well as the coauthors of their works and our CREST students who participated in this event!

Jaileene Pérez and her poster 

 Melissa Cruz and her award

Graduating Senior Receives Awards in National Conference on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology PDF Print E-mail

In November 2011, during the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), Industrial Biotechnology senior student Christie Rodriguez presented a poster titled "Surface Functionalization of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Magnetic Drug Targeting." This research is part of Dr. Oscar Perales-Perez's interdisciplinary group (IRG2). During this conference around 1,300 outstanding undergraduate research posters were presented. Christie received the Outstanding Poster Presentation award in the categories of Engineering, Physics, and Math. Additionally she received an award in a new category: Interdisciplinary Research. In this category 160 students competed and 41 were recognized. Earlier this year, Christie received a Research Stipend Scholarship from the partnership established between MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Puerto Rico for her research related to cancer therapeutics.

Christie Rodriguez

CREST Student Wins First Prize in International Materials Conference PDF Print E-mail

In October 2011, during the 2011 Materials Science & Technology international conference Rafael Soler, Chemical Engineering senior student presented his poster titled "Electrochemical Dealloying of Aluminum-Zinc Alloys: Formation of Macroporous Structures" during the Undergraduate Poster Competition. This work was coauthored by Amarilis Declet (Chemical Engineering senior student) and Elvin Estremera (Mechanical Engineering graduate student) and is part of a collaborative project by Profs. O. Marcelo Suarez (IRG4) and Arturo Hernandez (IRG3). The level of the competition is reflected by the affiliations of the remaining prize winners: DoE Ames Labs, Iowa State University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Alabama. The novelty of the experimental methodology led the team to file a disclosure of invention to produce porous metals intended for catalytic applications.

Rafael Soler and the Blue Ribbon

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NCBEDSA is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez