April 28, 2000

Top University of California Minority Students Gather at UCSD For Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

More than 70 of the University of California's top minority undergraduates in science, mathematics and engineering gathered recently at UCSD to present their individual research projects for discussion and evaluation before faculty, staff and peers at the annual Statewide Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Scientific Question -- Veronica Reyes, a chemistry major at UC Santa Barbara, ponders a question posed by Brian Kolner, a faculty member at UC Davis, about her scientific exhibit at the CAMP Statewide Undergraduate Research Symposium held at UCSD.

The symposium, sponsored by the California-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (CAMP), serves as a forum for students to exhibit and demonstrate academic and research achievement in their chosen field of study. CAMP is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Also attending were 15 invited minority high school students from UCSD's Early Academic Outreach Program who had recently been admitted to UCSD. The students witnessed first-hand the academic skills and commitment necessary as an undergraduate in research-oriented disciplines.

"UCSD is extremely proud to have hosted this year's symposium," says Loren Thompson, assistant vice chancellor, UCSD Student Educational Advancement, "and to be an active participant in CAMP, whose primary goal is to double the number of B.S. degrees granted to underrepresented students in science, mathematics, engineering and technology by the University of California."

Under the mentorship of University of California faculty members, undergraduates completed and exhibited research projects in: microbiology and immunology; neuroscience; developmental biology and public health; chemistry; ecology; physiology; engineering; math; engineering and applied physics.

Students were encouraged to continue their research pursuits by the event's three keynote speakers: UCSD Chancellor Robert C. Dynes, himself a renowned physicist and expert in semiconductors and superconductors; Melvin R. Ramey, chair of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Davis; and Willie C. Brown, emeritus professor of biology, UCSD.

Mentoring of undergraduates by research faculty is the cornerstone of CAMP, underscoring the belief that such relationships foster creative research and is one of the best ways to prepare students for persistence and success in graduate work. CAMP also believes that scientists and engineers are best developed through mentorship with experience scientists.

At the University of Cali-fornia's eight general campuses, CAMP also offers informational and skill-building workshops, summer programs, tutoring, graduate school preparation and other services to help underrepresented students attain and maintain high levels of achievement.

The symposium was hosted by UCSD's Academic Enrichment Programs, in cooperation with Student Educational Advancement, and Student Affairs at the University.

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