Osceola and Lake Nona Students Are Truly “STEM-sational”

A message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola & Lake Nona Campuses

As we continue to encourage students to consider majoring in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field, we also continue to look for opportunities for students to pursue meaningful scientific research experiences outside of the classroom. This summer, two Valencia students from the Osceola and Lake Nona Campuses had the unique opportunity to participate in a paid internship experience hosted by the University of Florida.

osc-stem-students1-270wOsceola Campus student Miguelina (Miggy) Sosa, recommended for the internship by Rick Dexter, professor of biology, worked for eight weeks alongside a University of Florida research scientist. She worked on a project studying bacterial growth, specifically PT6 and PT26A bacteria, on the roots of citrus seedlings. She practiced inoculation techniques, sterile lab procedures, data collection and analysis and worked with a wide variety of lab equipment. Miggy described the internship as “an amazing experience that [she] will never forget.”

osc-stem-students2-270wLake Nona Campus student Dona Silva, recommended for the internship by Kris Dougherty, professor of biology, worked in UF’s Department of Microbiology and Cell Science on a number of different projects. As a culmination of her work, she presented at the Southeastern Microbiology Summit in September on the effects of microgravity on S. mutans. Dona described the internship as “a truly awesome experience.”

If you know of other outstanding students who could benefit from a STEM internship experience, please consider nominating them for a Valencia LSAMP Internship. For more information about our LSAMP internships, please contact Eda Davis-Lowe, director, LSAMP Bridges to Baccalaureate Program, at edavislowe@valenciacollege.edu or extension 4938.

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