This program assists underrepresented minority students in successfully transferring to a STEM Bachelor’s degree program.

STEM C2 Summit

PCCC Students Present Original Scientific Research at the STEM C2 Summit

Carlos Macazana and Rebecca Vera, both NNJ-B2B* STEM students and biology majors, were among participants from 25 area colleges and institutions presenting original scientific research at last month’s STEM C2 Research Summit held at Bergen Community College.

The C2 Summit is an initiative to foster excitement about STEM majors in higher education, smooth the transition from two-year to four-year college STEM programs, and enhance the potential for success in STEM careers, especially by partnering with business and industry.

“These kinds of collaborative opportunities between two and four-year colleges are crucial to the continued success of today’s STEM students, and I am especially thankful that Bergen Community College supports these efforts with such fervor said Professor Thomas Van Aken, a science professor and B2B project coordinator at PCCC.

Participants included two- and four-year colleges from New York and New Jersey, as well as selected high schools and sponsoring companies such as Sivo Scientific Company and Orange and Rockland Electric Company, among others.

An exhibition space displayed over 75 posters detailing the work of the researchers, who investigated a wide range of subjects including robotics, alternative energy, simulated performance, and more.

Students were also matched with mentors. “We try to pair up the students with mentors based on their interests, their major field of study, or sometimes on the university the students are interested in applying to,” explained Professor Van Aken.

Carlos’ project is Influence of Recurrent Flooding on the Diversity and Composition of Eusocial Insects in Tropical Guyana, done in collaboration with Dr. Jessica Ware and Dr. Phillip Barden of Rutgers University-Newark.

Rebecca researched the Heuristic of Predicting Protein Flexibility, mentored by Dr. David A. Snyder of William Paterson University.

“This was a great opportunity for me to get experience on how to present a poster properly and I have gained a TON of confidence and knowledge about the scientific world that exists,” said Carlos.

He added, “I am very grateful for the opportunity that was given to me because it has truly changed my life and life goals. I could not have done any of this without the help of the B2B program at PCCC, and especially without the assistance of Professor Thomas van Aken and (PCCC science) Professor Kala Mayur.”

Professor Van Aken said both Rebecca and Carlos had begun their research last summer with GS-LSAMP** faculty members. Both students will publish their research in collaboration with their research mentors.

“The fine research conducted by Carlos and Rebecca is a testament to the commitment and dedication these students bring to all aspects of their academic life,” said Professor Van Aken.

“I couldn’t be more proud of their achievements.”