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MARC ‘Family Day’ Program Showcases Student Research

Jan. 8, 2015

Psychology major Jacqueline Castro is working on research with Jessie J. Peissig, associate professor of psychology.

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Cal State Fullerton's MARC program will present its third annual "Family Day" Jan. 17, featuring the undergraduate research of the 12 scholars in the program. Parents and other family members of the students will learn more about their research projects, the benefits of research training and research careers.

The program supports underrepresented students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in biomedical or behavioral research. Selected students have the opportunity to work with CSUF faculty mentors from anthropology, biological science, biochemistry, chemistry, bioengineering, biophysics, mathematics, computer science and psychology.

"There is a need to bring the immediate and extended families of our scholars in greater contact with the mission of the MARC program, allowing them to learn about the value of a career in research, while also hearing about the exemplary research that the scholars are conducting," said Amybeth Cohen, professor of biological science and MARC program director.

Over the past 19 years, the National Institutes of Health-funded program has supported 66 undergraduates, in which 87 percent of the participants have entered doctoral programs. Initially, the program supported six scholars each year. A renewed, five-year grant awarded in 2012 — expected to total $2.3 million — now supports 12 students annually.


12:30 p.m. – Opening remarks by Cohen, professor of biological science
12:45 p.m. – Student oral presentations
2 p.m. – Research poster session
2:45 p.m. – Round-table talk led by CSUF faculty members, former MARC scholars, and local scientists Felicia Hernandez of Ambry Genetics and Belle Lynch of Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, who will discuss careers in industry and government.

The MARC scholars presenting their research and listed with their faculty mentors are:

  • Biological science majors — Bianca Ruiz (Hope Johnson, associate professor of biological science); Joshua Silva (Math P. Cuajungco, associate professor of biological science); and Jennifer Spencer (Melanie A. Sacco, assistant professor of biological science);
  • Chemistry or biochemistry majors — Alyssa Bormann (Math P. Cuajungco, associate professor of biological science); Nicolas Armada, Aneta Jelowicki and Michael Ko (Peter de Lijser, professor of chemistry and biochemistry); and Rebecca Vargas (Maria C. Linder, professor of chemistry and biochemistry); and
  • Psychology majors — Jacqueline Castro (Jessie J. Peissig, associate professor of psychology); Sean Page (Jennifer Trevitt-Carlson, professor of psychology); Miranda Petty (Iris Blandon-Gitlin, associate professor of psychology); and Carissa Romero (Eriko Self, chair and professor of psychology).

Media Contacts:

Amybeth Cohen, MARC program, 657-278-2178
Laura Arce, MARC program, 657-278-7761
Debra Cano Ramos

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