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BUILD Research Mentor News – March 2016

Dear BUILD Research Mentors,
Welcome to the March 2016 edition of our Mentor Newsletter, where we attempt to keep you up to date on BUILD and other activities of interest to those engaged in research with undergraduates.  

In This Issue:

  • President Conoley’s Reception for BUILD Research Mentor
  • BUILD Student Presentations & Awards
  • 2016-17 BUILD Program
  • Save the Dates
  • Workshops
  • Multicultural Workshop
  • Faculty Lectures
  • BUILD Student Learning Community


BUILD Faculty Mentor Reception with President Conoley

On February 2nd, BUILD faculty mentors were invited to a reception at President Conoley’s residence. Over twenty Build mentors participated and were recognized for their contributions by President Conoley, Interim Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs David Dowell, Interim AVP for Research and Sponsored Programs Simon Kim and Dean Laura Kingsford.

BUILD Faculty Mentor Reception Group Photo

BUILD Student Presentations & Awards

Recently, BUILD students and GA’s have received awards for their presentations.  Please join us in celebrating their and their mentor’s accomplishments.

  • BUILD Student Michael Carrillo (Faculty Mentor: Bryan Rourke), won an award for best student poster at the USC Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute’s 3rd Annual Research Symposium.
  • BUILD GA, Cassandra Gearhart (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Courtney Ahrens), won First Place in the CSULB Student Research Competition in the Behavioral and Social Sciences category for her oral presentation "The Influence of Sexual Assault Characteristics on Survivors' Coping Strategies Over Time "
  • Also presenting were BUILD students Genesis Gutierrez (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Erlyana Erlyana), Lauren Dunne (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Guido Urizar), and BUILD GA Preethi Panyam (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Guido Urizar).


Changes in Student Titles for the 2016-17 BUILD Program

  • Lower Division Program: Students with three years left until graduation will now be referred to as the ‘Associates’ Program with a 2-week summer LEARNING COMMUNITY (LC) component and salary package.
  • Upper Division Program: Students with two years left until graduation will now be referred to the ‘Scholars’ Program, funded by a stipend and tuition package. All Scholars are expected to participate in an off-campus summer internship program in their second summer. Please contact Chi-Ah Chun at if you have a student who is currently on salary and was expected to work in your lab this summer.


2016-17 BUILD Program Student Selection and Timeline

To facilitate the matching of students with mentors, we created a table of BUILD mentors on the BUILD website with an expanded downloadable pdf version.  We provide the students with links to your research webpages, keyword(s) connected to your research, and your description of the work a BUILD student might do in your research program (shortened to three sentences or less than 150 words if needed).  This table will be updated each Friday as new mentor interests forms are being received daily.  If you would like to update your information, please send email to

We will be reviewing student applications, interviewing candidates and making placement decisions for both Associates and Scholars before the end of the semester.  For those students who have not found a mentor already, we will match students with mentors, based on the information you have given us on the mentor survey.

  • Applications for the Scholars Program are due on March 11. Your current LD mentee may be asking you for a recommendation.
  • Applications for the Associates Program are due on April 8.


Save the Dates:

1st Annual BUILD Symposium is on Saturday, April 16
BUILD upper division students will be presenting research posters at the first annual BUILD Symposium. Your UD mentees are expected to have a draft poster ready by March 23rd to receive feedback from the BUILD faculty and the GA's. Please join the symposium to meet your mentee's family. They have been invited as they were in the Summer Symposium.
All BUILD Mentors are encouraged to come out and support our students as they share the great work they have done this year.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Chi-Ah Chun (Director of Student Training Core) at or Enri'que Flores (Program Manager) at

Upcoming Faculty Workshops

  • March 4: Dr. Niloofar Bavarian, Health Sciences Dept. will present a training on STATA software from 8:30 am -12:30 pm in KIN-057.
  • April 22: Dr. Alejandra Priedse, Educational Leadership Dept. will present a training on Intermediate SPSS software usage from 1:00-5:00 pm in LA1-206.
  • Stay tuned for additional trainings in May and June in later newsletters!

Upcoming Multicultural Workshops
The following workshops for the BUILD Research Mentors Faculty Center for Professional Development Conference Room (Library Room 507):

  • Empowering Underrepresented Students in a Diverse Classroom: Develop effective communication skills used to foster relationships with underrepresented students and empower them to achieve academic and professional success in STEM and related disciplines. Uncover the myths and assumptions about language and ethnic minority students and possible effects on academic preparedness and success. Choose from two times: Friday March 18, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm and Tuesday, March 22, from 10:00 am to noon.

Upcoming Lectures
You are invited to attend the following presentations

  • African American Eye Disease Research, given by Dr. Roberta McKean-Cowdin from USC Dept. of Preventive Medicine, on Friday, March 25, 1-2 p.m. in HSCI 103
  • Pathways to Academic Success for Latino Students, given by Dr. Maria Carreira on Friday April 8, 1 - 3pm at the Faculty Center for Professional Development Conference Room

Announcements from the LD/UD Learning Communities

  • Updating the Individual Development Plan (IDP) - All LD and UD students will be updating their IDP in the coming weeks. The revised IDP is due on March 18, and we will be asking students to reach out to their mentors to discuss their updates and IDP.  If you have any questions about the IDP, please contact Dr. Paul Weers for LD and Dr. Nim Marayong for UD.  
  • Lower Division Program  
    • Oral presentations: On April 8 and April 22 LD students will practice presenting their research in small groups.  Four students (one from each college) will be selected for a more formal presentation in front of the entire lower division learning community. Students may ask you for help about what material or data to present.
    • Attendance at the BUILD Annual Symposium on April 16 - Students don't have to present, but they can present a poster if they are willing and their mentors approve. We hope that you discuss this with your mentee.
    • Students will attend the Responsible Conduct of Research workshop on Friday April 15.

Communicating with BUILD

If you have questions about BUILD or being a BUILD Mentor, please contact us at If you have any concerns regarding your BUILD student, then please contact Enri’que Flores (