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Journeys Beyond Excellence

Posted: May 9, 2018 — by Michelle Moore

Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) program was able to take six students to spend a weekend at the Sagamore Resort in Lake George to network and attend research presentations. CSTEP is a grant funded New York State Program that helps to increase the number of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students pursuing careers leading to professional licensure or professions in mathematics, science, technology and health-related fields. Over 650 CSTEP students attend a state-wide STEM conference.

Students had opportunities to attend oral research presentations, poster presentations, networking events and a graduate transfer fair. FM students were able to interact with students from 55 other CSTEP colleges and universities.

One of these students was Michelle Ferriano. Michelle is working on an Associate Degree’s in Science here at FM in hopes of becoming a biomedical engineer. She will be graduating and transferring after the fall semester. Michelle is applying to North Carolina State and Cornell University. The CSTEP conference has inspired her to pursue a research project. Ms. Ferriano says, “It was interesting to see students my own age (under 20 years old) that are doing research that can change the world. The diversity of the knowledge and fellow students was outstanding… To say the conference was just fun and inspirational is an understatement. It was empowering!!”

Giovanni Harvey also attended the conference and felt it was “an eye opening experience and made me realize how big STEM is and how many opportunities are available. Seeing a large number of minorities’ present research was monumental and has encouraged me to want to research as well.” Gio is working on an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts with a focus in Law.  He aspires to be a civil rights lawyer in the future.

A third student at the CSTEP conference was Jonathan Rivera. During his time at Amsterdam High School he took part in STEP (Science and Technology Entry Program), the high school version of CSTEP. He attended a similar STEM conference when he was a high school student. He said his experience was familiar yet new and exciting. He said, “Seeing students grow from the high school level to the college level was amazing.  The CSTEP conference confirmed that I want to pursue a degree in Psychology with a concentration in Higher Education.  I know that I was able to achieve my goals and wanted to help others do the same.”

Laurie Lazinski, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, was selected to attend the CSTEP conference and judge chemistry poster presentations. Laurie stated, “It was an honor to judge college research projects from colleges across the state. The projects varied in topic and students were knowledgeable about their research. It was incredible to see what undergraduate students are capable of.”

CSTEP at FM provides students with opportunities to conduct research on-campus or connects them with off-campus partners. At next year’s conference, we hope to have one of our students present their research and compete.

For information or questions about CSTEP, please contact: Lourdes Thebaud at lthebaud@fmcc.edu or Michelle Moore at mmoore@fmcc.edu.

Michelle Moore is CSTEP Academic Advisor/Counselor.


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