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Research Mentor News, March 2019

Student Success Center Open House – March 15

BUILD Center computers

In January, CSULB BUILD moved into our new home in the Student Success Center (SSC), which is the now renovated PH2 building. The SSC provides a consolidated home for several campus organizations, such as BUILD, UROP, and McNair, that support students in staying in school and achieving their degrees. In addition, there are new academic labs and studio spaces for a variety of other programs.

The existing exterior area on the south side has been updated into an outdoor plaza with seating, a place to store scooters, and Wi-Fi. There is a new student lounge on the second floor, near the BUILD Center, with a view of the quad.

On Friday, March 15, there will be an official Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony in the outdoor plaza of the building followed by guided and DIY tours of the building. You should have received an invitation to this event from CSULB’s President last month. The ribbon cutting will take place at 9:30 am and tours of the building will begin at 10 am. Light refreshments will be served.

We would love to have you stop by the new BUILD Center and say, “Hi!” during this event. The new space is very nice and worth a visit. There is plenty of space—with electrical outlets to plug in devices—for BUILD trainees to study.

Save the Date: First Faculty Mixer of the Year

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 10 from 11:30 am to 1 pm. The Spring Faculty Mixer will be held in the new BUILD Center. This is an excellent opportunity to check out our fancy new location (if you haven’t seen it by then), enjoy good food, and network with fellow BUILD Research Mentors and staff.

Hold the Date for the Annual BUILD Commencement

This is an exciting time for our third cohort of Scholars, and our second cohort of Fellows, who will be completing the BUILD program at the end of this semester. Many have already heard back from universities about acceptance into Ph.D. and Masters programs.  As we learn about these we’ll be posting it to our social media accounts, as well as providing an update in a forthcoming issue of this newsletter. Thank you for helping prepare them for this achievement.

We will be holding our annual Commencement event for Year 2 Scholars and Fellows on Friday, May 3 at the USU Ballroom beginning at 6 pm. If you have a Fellow or Year 2 Scholar in your lab, keep your eyes open for your invitation.

CSULB BUILD Commencement 2018

How To Update Your Profile in the BUILD Faculty Mentor Directory

click on the edit icon

New BUILD trainees are actively seeking their mentors for the new school year and they are using the BUILD Faculty Mentor Directory site. To better attract the right mentees to your program, it is advisable that you make sure your BUILD Research Mentor Profile it up-to-date. You can do that by following these instructions:

  1. Go to
  2. Locate your profile
  3. Click on the edit icon in the upper right-hand corner.
  4. Update your information
  5. Click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.

To help you navigate the mentor database, an instructional video has been created.

How To Update Your Mentor Profile Video

Tips for creating a compelling mentor profile:

  • Describe your research in terms that a layperson can understand. These young students are not necessarily up on your field’s jargon and terminology.
  • Include your mentor/trainee contract if you use one. This helps prospective mentees decide if you might be a good fit for their interests or not.
  • If you’ve had BUILD mentees in your lab before, mention them. Knowing that someone from our program has already been in your lab can be more appealing to students.

If you need help updating your entry, massaging your content so that it is more appealing to young students, or will not be able to accept new students next year, please email the Digital Media & Communications Specialist.

Looking for New Mentees? Let Us Spotlight Your Work!

Increasing your visibility to the CSULB BUILD community can help you not only recruit new mentees, but also fellow mentors for potential collaborations. Please take a moment to download the survey (Word File) and return it to the Digital Media and Communications Specialist. Your spotlight can be posted in the BUILD Center, in this newsletter, and in social media. You can choose where your spotlight can be shared.

You are doing wonderful research and we’d like to highlight that to the BUILD community and beyond. So, turn in your spotlight survey today!

Professor of Kinesiology, Dr. Michelle Alencar

Our first Mentor Spotlight is Associate Professor of Kinesiology, Dr. Michelle Alencar. Her research focuses on telemedicine and telehealth, which she believes is the next transformative industry for our generation. “The way Uber changed the way we travel and Netflix changed the way we receive entertainment, telehealth will transform how we receive healthcare,” she says. You can learn more about her and her research on the spotlight page on the BUILD website and her profile in the BUILD Mentor Database.

Spread the Word: BUILD Student Spring Fling

Let your BUILD mentees know about the Spring Fling event being held on Friday, April 19, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm in the Bowling Alley on the first floor of the USU. This is a great opportunity for BUILD trainees to get to know each other in a fun, relaxed environment.

Tips for Communicating Effectively During Difficult Situations

There’s no doubt that communication is at the heart of human connection. It is foundational. It is fundamental. But figuring out what to say and how to say it can be a struggle, especially when it comes to effective conversations because successful messaging can be a real challenge. Discovering the best way to engage others, captivate your research crew, and connect with the world that exists outside your thought bubble can feel like a mind-numbing maze.

Continue reading this story by José Rodriguez, CSULB BUILD’s Multicultural Innovation Coordinator

GMs of the month – February

Graduate Mentors (GMs) are an important part of the CSULB BUILD program, providing near-peer support to our trainees. The GMs for February were Andrea Garcia and Bethany Lycan. You can learn more about them here. This month’s spotlighted GMs will be announced on March 15 and included in next month’s newsletter.

Mentor Supply Funds for BUILD Year 5

Please contact Marie Reed for instructions on spending your “Mentor Supply Funds” for Year 5.

Please keep the following in mind:

  1. You have until May 31, 2019, to spend out ALL of your remaining supply funds.  These funds cannot be carried over.
  2. You are required to complete the ATI/E&IT checklist and have it approved by the Purchasing Department PRIOR to the purchase of electronics and software. You can download a PDF of the form here. The completed form should be sent directly to for approval.
  3. Please refer to your mentor newsletters for announcements, updates, and purchasing guidelines.

CSULB BUILD in Pictures – CSULB Student Research Competition

CSULB BUILD’s Facebook and Instagram accounts are filled with pictures of our Associates, Scholars, and Fellows. Each month we’ll highlight a collection here.

  • CSULB Research Competition – On Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, several BUILD trainees competed in the 31st Annual CSULB Student Research Competition.

Acknowledging BUILD in Your Presentations/Publications

Please remember to acknowledge the funding from National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers UL1GM118979, TL4GM118980, and RL5GM118978 on work supported by BUILD, including support from BUILD student trainees, mentor appreciation fund, BUILD research and equipment grants. When you review your mentees’ posters, also check to make sure they have included the correct grand numbers. For a sample acknowledgment statement, NIH resources and policy, please visit the “Acknowledging BUILD in Your Publications” page on our website. It can be found under Mentors > Current Mentors.

Be Prepared

If you'd like to know what is coming up in the BUILD Learning Community for your mentee, download the current syllabus. This will give you a heads up on what events your mentee is required to attend and therefore will not be available to work in your lab at that time. This page will be updated each semester with the new syllabi.

Communicating with BUILD

We invite your news about your BUILD Trainee and any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions about BUILD. If you have any of these, in relation to being a BUILD Research Mentor, please contact us at If you have any concerns about your BUILD Trainee, please contact the Student Training Core Director at

Be sure to keep an eye out for the April newsletter.