The George Mason University Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program (ASSIP) was established in 2007 for high school and undergraduate students to gain hands-on experience in laboratories at George Mason. Students work alongside Mason researchers using state-of-the-art technology to solve hypothesis-driven questions in biochemistry, biodefense, bioengineering, bioinformatics, chemistry, computer science, cybersecurity, environmental science, genomics, geoinformation science, mathematical modeling, medicine, nanotechnology, neuroscience, sports medicine, physics and proteomics.
Often participants’ names are published in scientific journals and their work is presented at scientific conferences. In addition to gaining valuable laboratory and research experience, students have the opportunity to meet with scientists from varying disciplines in the scientific field. The 2015 ASSIP began on June 25 and concluded with a poster symposium on August 14 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia.
Daniel Alvarez, Solmaz Eskandarian, Christopher Johnson and Stacey Boyd from NOVA’s Biotechnology Program successfully completed the program at the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID) at Dr. Fatah Kashanchi’s lab. Kashanchi is the director of research at NCBID. NOVA students conducted research using nanoparticles.
“I am grateful to Dr. Gomez who invited me to the nanotechnology partnership which resulted in these internships. The students were mature and fully enthused about their research, which is a sign of the high quality of the students at NOVA,” said Kashanchi.
“The NOVA Manassas Campus is very interested in creating research and educational opportunities for STEM students and specifically in the field of nanoscience; wonderful partners like Dr. Kashanchi and ASSIP program director Amy VanMeter Adams, and our colleagues at George Mason University work with us to create a sustainable STEM pipeline into the workforce, and truly contribute to a great educational experience for our students,” said Dr. Ia Gomez (MA), interim associate dean of science and applied technologies.
Under the leadership of Provost Roger Ramsammy, Manassas has acquired state-of-the-art nanoscience equipment, including scanning electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes and 3-D optical profilers. Ramsammy is also leading the NOVA College-wide STEM Initiative (NCSI) launched in 2014. NOVA plans to invest in equipment and faculty development to ensure NOVA students receive the most current training.
“By providing access to innovative technologies and curricula, NOVA will be able to equip our students with the competitive skills they need for satisfying, well-paying careers,” said Ramsammy, who is leading the effort with Executive Vice President Melvyn Schiavelli, and Gomez, who is responsible for the implementation of this college-wide initiative.
For more information, contact Gomez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.530.8255.