Month: July 2013

Students & Their Research


Students & Their Research, a set on Flickr.


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program is now accepting applications for scholars who will engage in an intensive, two-year research program. The goals of the program are to better understand and act on the determinants of health that can reduce population health disparities, and to encourage better health outcomes.

We wanted the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate to be informed of this unique opportunity for any interested members or others. This program embraces diversity and inclusion across multiple dimensions, and we strongly encourage applications from individual candidates who will help expand the perspectives and experiences the program brings to its work.

The application period is open from July 15, 2013 through September 20, 2013.

We would appreciate your support in helping us spread the word about the Health & Society Scholars Call for Applications. Below are some links to information regarding the application process that you might share with your colleagues via email, list-serve, newsletter, or other means:

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss additional steps your organization can take to share this opportunity with others, please contact Deepa Chhatwal at

The Day the World Tilted – by Andrea Martinez

Originally posted on the Sea Dragon Ship’s Blog

The Day the World Tilted- by Andrea Martinez (UB STEM/LSAMP Scholar).

Editor’s Note: Andy joined us last week for our Freshwater Research and Scientific Communications course. In the rush of the final days of the course, she didn’t have a chance to complete her blog in time to be published during her sail. However, I thought she wrote so beautifully about her experience that I would add it to our One Water Story now, so that you can see through her eyes what life on Sea Dragon is truly about.

Blogger of the Day-Andrea Martinez-Electrical Engineering Student, SUNY Buffalo University.

Sea Dragon-finally in her element!

My name is Andrea Martinez (Andy for short) and this is the day the world tilted.

I am a student at the University at Buffalo, a SUNY school, and am going into my fourth year as an Electrical Engineering student.  I currently play rugby and do research into transient effects on the lifetime properties of electrical systems.  Seems pretty distant from plastics in the great lakes, right?  Wrong.  It doesn’t matter who you are, this matters to you and you should be doing all you can to help.  Plastics in the water, as I’ve been fortunate enough to learn about on this journey, affect the fish, which upwards of 75% of people eat, the water, which we all drink, birds and more.

I came on this trip to experience something different from my normal day to day activities and my world and views on it have been shifted thanks to the brilliant minds and leaders I have the pleasure of sailing with.

Life on a boat is different than land in more ways than I initially imagined.  There is no place to buy food on the water so every meal has to be planned in advance, this seems obvious and it is, but I’m not used to knowing every meal a week in advance.  Most nights I debate what I’ll eat for dinner until I actually start cooking.  I expected the close quarters and I was used to that as the oldest of five children, seven in total, in my household.  The boat sways, even when anchored, but that took less than a day to get used to.

The biggest thing for me is the fact that there isn’t a lot of space on the boat.  It’s 72 ft long, bow to stern and maybe 15 feet at the widest point.  I’m an athlete; I was the MVP of my high school track team three years running and went to California this year with my rugby team where we placed fourth in the country.  I like to run and jump and play so it took about a day for me to go stir crazy.  Thankfully, Asta’s sister Kerstin Mail came up with a workout that can be done, and swimming against a current can be more than enough.

Teamwork is necessary to bring the sail up well!

So what was different about today?  Today was the day the sail went up.

My day started at 4 in the morning with Anchor Watch.  Much like the night before I spent half the time looking for Orion or the Big Dipper or any other constellation I could find in the dark sky.  Coming from New York City, a dark sky like this was a dream for stargazing.

Around 5:10, the blue-black sky turned shades of pink in the east.  I sat, mesmerized, and watched.  I had seen sunsets and sunrises before, but watching it peek out from behind the trees and light the sky and water on a gently rocking boat was amazing.  I could hear the birds waking up and the fish breaking the surface of the water, which just smelled fresh.  There was also a gentle breeze.

It was the kind of perfection that would be written in a novel.

Shortly after the sun rose, the captain and first mate, Eric and Shanley respectively, did.  It was around 6 when I pulled up the anchor, big mess of seaweed that was, and we set off.  My shift started at six so I stayed on deck until breakfast at 7:30 and after that those of us on deck were grinding and giving slack and yanking on ropes on different parts of the ship.  Below, others were making sure everything was properly secured for whatever lay ahead.  We learned about the keel on day two, a large metal fin that was bottom heavy and prevented the boat from flipping over even if it was sideways; I thought it was just an “in case” safety measure.

Andy grinding the winch with Dr. Bill Edwards assisting in the first sail raise of the trip!

Andy grinding the winch with Dr. Bill Edwards assisting in the first sail raise of the trip!

After lots of hard work an excellent teamwork the sail was up and catching wind.  With the motor Sea Dragon reached up to 8 knots, but Shayne tilted the wheel into a beam reach and with a whoosh of air we were over 9.5 knots.  This was the moment the world changed.  The boat sped up as the wind’s angle inched towards optimal.  The boat also tilted.  The port side began to skim the water as the starboard side lifted higher into the air.  “9.7!”

We all cheered as we grabbed onto things and rearranged footing.  The wind was strong and prefect for cooling down the hot day.  Sea Dragon flew across the water’s surface as we raced towards Toronto.  Under better conditions and a more experienced crew I’ve heard Sea Dragon reached 14.2 knots, but for our first time, scaling 9 was pretty good.  Now what goes up must come down, whether it a rugby ball or a park swing or a boat.

When sailing upwind the ships sails close hull, which has the boat moving in smallest angle from the wind direction possible; this creates a jagged path.  Tacking and gybing, changing which side of the boat is closest to the wind, is how the boat travels upwind.  I didn’t get to see one until after my 1-5pm nap.

In this turn, the jib sail switches from the windward to leeward side and the boat turns so that the leeward side becomes the windward side.  The boat itself evens out before tipping in the other direction.  Depending on the type, tack or gybe, the flattening out is as the boat goes up or downwind respectively.  I’m thankful everything was tied down!

This is Andy on Sea Dragon.  Out.

Andy takes the helm-she’s a natural!

Getting You into IU – Oct. 13 – 15, all expenses paid

The Indiana University Graduate School would like to make you aware of our fall recruitment program, “Getting You into IU” for prospective underrepresented and minority PhD and MFA students interested in Fall 2014 admission to Indiana University Bloomington (IUB). The event begins on Sunday October 13, 2013 and ends on October 15th.

Indiana University Graduate School will provide all travel, lodging, and meals for visiting participants selected for this program. Completed applications to participate must be submitted by September 6, 2013.

For more info: GU2IU 2013 Flyer  GU2IU_2013_FacultyColleague_Invitation

See the attached document for more information.  If you have any questions about the program, please respond to this email.  More information can also be found at

Remember the application deadline is September 6th, 2013!

MIT CONVERGE Graduate Preview Weekend

We are seeking competitive applicants for MIT’s CONVERGE program, outlined below, and encourage you to forward the information to your students.
CONVERGE, a graduate preview weekend held on campus from November 7-10, 2013, seeks to increase the enrollment of underrepresented and under-served students in MIT’s graduate programs. To achieve its mission, the program:
  • Selects participants who will be strong applicants to MIT graduate programs 
  • Exposes selected students to MIT’s graduate programs, facilities, and campus life 
  • Connects participants with MIT faculty, staff, and graduate students involved in the admissions process
  • Covers all expenses for the preview weekend
Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents; should be juniors, seniors or recent graduates within 1-2 years of attending graduate school; have strong research skills; have at least a 3.7 grade point average; and possess a genuine interest in obtaining a PhD. 
The deadline to apply is September 6, 2013.  Applications are available online: You may contact if you have questions or need additional information.
We look forward to receiving applications from your strongest students and appreciate your assistance.

North Carolina A&T State University Bridge to the Doctorate Program

North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NCLSAMP) has received funding to implement a Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) Fellowship Program at North Carolina A&T State University. The BD program will support 12 fellows for the 2013 -2015 academic periods. Support includes tuition and fees, health insurance, and a $30,000 stipend per year for two years.  Eligibility criteria include:  

·        Former participant in an undergraduate LSAMP program (written verification required)
·        U.S. citizen or permanent resident
·        Accepted into a STEM graduate program at NCA&T 
·        Enrolled as a full-time graduate student (9 hrs.)
·        Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in a STEM undergraduate major (transcript required)
·        Must be committed to pursuing a Ph.D. in a STEM discipline 
An application is attached. A limited number of spaces are available for fall 2013, therefore, applications for fall slots must be submitted by August 1st.  Applications for spring 2014 must be submitted by October 1stBridge to the Doctorate Application

Oklahoma State University Bridge to the Doctorate Program

Oklahoma State University (OSU) Stillwater, OK would like to announce the award of Cohort 7 Bridge to the Doctorate program. See links below for more info!

All LSAMP students are eligible to apply!

2013 BD Application

BD Brochure 2013

NASA Jenkins Pre-Doctoral STEM Fellowship

NASA has released a new fellowship round for the Jenkins Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Program!

This program provides:

– 10K tuition offset
– 27k stipend for Ph.D. students or 22k stipend for Masters students
– mandatory paid (8k) summer 2014 internship experience
– renewable for up to three years

Students must:
– be a U.S. Citizen
– Have a 3.0 GPA
– Be within the first 3 years of graduate school at a U.S. accredited, or U.S. territory institution; Ph.D. students must not have yet advanced to candidacy status
– Must be enrolled full-time in a STEM or STEM education discipline at a U.S. or U.S. Territory accredited institution

Deadline to apply is July 26th

Application process:

– Go to and log in to OSSI
– Complete or update your fellowship application
– Search and select up to 15 fellowship listings you want to apply to
– Submit your project idea (abstract) by July 26th
– If invited to submit a full proposal, the full proposal deadline is August 23rd

Awards will be made August 30th – Sept. 6th

Win Up to $5,000 for Designing a Poster!

Poster Design Contest

TopCoder and invite designers ages 18 and older to enter their $10,000 STEM Poster Design Contest.

They are looking for a poster that entices girls (grades 6-12) into STEM and represents STEM subjects in a fun and welcoming light.

Submission deadline is: August 31, 2013.

See the link below for details!