What is the Student Research Development Center?
The success of the Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE), a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project since 1995, inspired the MIE Advisory Board to recommend the creation of the Student Research Development Center (SRDC) as the institutionalization of the MIE project at the Ana G. Méndez University System (AGMUS), as the unit to disseminate the MIE best practices to Universidad del Este (UNE) and Universidad del Turabo (UT). The new administrative entity, with a staff of an Executive Director, an Executive Secretary, and Administrative Director, an Administrative Secretary and a English Consultant, was designed to take the responsibilities of continuing the implementation of all activities developed by the MIE experience at the System level: the pre-college research initiative, the scholarship program, the Fulbright visiting scholar series, national and international summer undergraduate research programs, conference attendance, pre-college and undergraduate symposium agenda, nanotechnology workshops, the English language and GRE and TOEFL preparation programs and the Bridge to Graduate School, with funding from the institution, the federal government and new proposals.
The center, through the years, has developed a successful K-12 Research Program funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium. This program has been successful thanks in part to its three main components: the AGMUS Saturday Research Academy which is implemented during the fall and spring semesters; the AGMUS Summer Research Experiences in Puerto Rico, the US mainland and abroad, which consists of a diversity of internships in many formidable universities; and the AGMUS Pre-College Research Symposia.
The main focus of the SRDC at AGMUS is the mentoring program and the development of its students. An early research experience is an effective tool to motivate students to open the gate for discovery and innovation, which will serve as the basis for future scientific careers. This development is made possible thanks to summer research experiences through its internships; participation in the annual AGMUS Research Symposiums, National Conferences like SACNAS and ABRCMS, the Pre-College Symposia and a diversity of conferences presented by Fulbright Visiting Scholars. All these combined serve as a bridge to graduate school, transferring undergraduates to graduate schools. The mentoring program is also extended to the network of institutions in Puerto Rico, the US mainland and abroad. Economically disadvantage minorities have the chance to have competitive experiences at top research institutions in the US and abroad, specifically Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. The mentoring activities of the SRDC are impacting students not only from Puerto Rico but from the US Virgin Islands, the US mainland and Central America, with programs funded by the NSF (Caribbean Computing Center for Excellence (CCCE), AGMUS-Institute of Mathematics, Management of the Arecibo Observatory (AO), AGMUS-Spelman College), the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Spain and the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.
The SRDC has impacted over 1,850 pre-college students with research activities since 2002 and offer opportunities for research experiences to over 529 economically disadvantage undergraduates at institutions in Puerto Rico, the US mainland and abroad.
- AGMUS Institute of Mathematics - The AGMUS Institute of Mathematics is a program designed to enhance bio mathematics at the Ana G. Mendez University System. This five-year grant created a BS in Bio-Mathematics with scholarship opportunities for students interested in pursuing graduate degrees.
- Caribbean Computing Center for Excellence - The CCCE is designed around the primary goal of increasing the recruitment and participation of students in computing disciplines. The objectives of this center are to reach and impact economically disadvantaged citizens with Alliance activities; increase the recruitment of high school seniors in the computing fields through hands-on research experiences; provide professional training in computing and increase the number of graduate students in computing fields.
- Advance Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar - The AMISR is part of an ambitious international effort that aims to create a Global Scale ionospheric Plasma Laboratory in La Plata, Argentina; by placing two NSF Incoherent Scatter Radars at both ends of the same geomagnetic field line.
- Puerto Rico Atmospheric Major Research Laser Instrumentation Program (PR-LASER) - The AMISR is part of an ambitious international effort that aims to create a Global Scale ionospheric Plasma Laboratory in La Plata, Argentina; by placing two NSF Incoherent Scatter Radars at both ends of the same geomagnetic field line.