Four students will be conducting biomaterials-related research this summer
Concord, N.H. (June 23, 2022) – Five Community College of New Hampshire (CCSNH) students have been selected for the NH BioMade (Undergraduate Research Training (URT) program. Four have accepted and will spend the summer conducting biomaterials-related research.
Great Bay Community College (GBCC) students Nick Mixon, Mason Jacques and April Weeks along with Manchester Community College (MCC) student Gwendolyn Tupman will receive $600 per week to work with a faculty mentor as a member of a research team. This is the fourth year that CCSNH students have been invited and grant funding through the NH BioMade program to explore a pathway to the rapidly growing, high wage biomanufacturing workforce.
“These are particularly powerful experiences for recent CCSNH graduates, boosting their scientific skills and knowledge in the summer just prior to transfer,” said Dr. Leslie Barber, GBCC professor of biological science and CCSNH faculty fellow. “By choosing a research experience at the institution they plan to attend, students can also build connections with faculty and other students. Time and time again, we have seen how these prior connections ease the transfer experience and contribute to later student success. But whether transferring or returning to CCSNH to complete their degree, all of our participants benefit from the boost of confidence and insight that comes from this experience with professional scientific research.”
The New Hampshire Center for Multiscale Modeling and Manufacturing of Biomaterials (NH BioMade) program is led by UNH, in partnership with Dartmouth College, CCSNH, Keene State College and UNH-Manchester. Its goal is to advance the design and manufacture of biomaterials and develop the knowledge to predict and control their composition, structure, properties, and function. Accomplished through a “model, make and measure” systems-level approach to research, NH BioMade supports New Hampshire’s biomaterials industry through knowledge generation, academic-industrial research partnerships, and workforce development, enabling rapid advancement in biomaterials design and manufacturing. Biomaterials, such as those used in implants and tissue engineering are the focus for NH BioMade research in areas of composites for orthopedics, sheet metal for trauma fixation, scaffolds for tissue regeneration and structures for biosensor applications.
The specific projects in which CCSNH URT students will be participating are:
Nick Mixon, from Rochester and a current student in the Chemistry program at GBCC, will be working with Won Hyuk Suh, assistant professor of biotechnology at UNH Manchester on the “Peptide Hydrogels for 3D Printing of Human STEM Cells” project.
Mason Jacques, from Rochester and a recent graduate of GBCC with an associate degree in Engineering Science, will be working with Katie Hixon, assistant professor of engineering at Dartmouth College on the “Assessing the Feasibility of Integrating 3-D Printing and Polymer Scaffolds” project. Jacques is transferring to UNH in the fall to study Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS).
April Weeks, from Portsmouth and a graduate of GBCC with an associate degree in Biology, is working with Nate Oldenhuis, assistant professor of chemistry at UNH on the “Development of pDNA-Based Molecules” project. Weeks will be transferring to the Bioengineering program at UNH CEPS this fall.
Gwendolyn Tupman, from Pembroke and a recent graduate of MCC with an associate degree in Life Sciences, will be working with Linqing Li, assistant professor of chemical engineering at UNH on the “Developing a Vascularized 3D Tumor Model to Screen Drugs for Cancer Treatment” project. Tupman will be transferring to UNH Manchester in the fall, to study Biotechnology.
In addition to the URT program, transferring CCSNH students are eligible to apply for $10,000 in scholarship funding ($5000/year for up to two years) to complete a baccalaureate degree in a major that relates directly to the research objectives of NH BioMade.
NH BioMade is funded through the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). In previous years many of the CCSNH URT students have gone on to be awarded transfer scholarships to continue their education.
The Community College System of NH consists of seven colleges, offering associate degree and certificate programs, professional training, transfer pathways to four-year degrees, and dual-credit partnerships with NH high schools. The System’s colleges are Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth and Rochester; Lakes Region Community College in Laconia; Manchester Community College; Nashua Community College; NHTI – Concord’s Community College; River Valley Community College in Claremont, Lebanon and Keene; and White Mountains Community College in Berlin, Littleton and North Conway. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the “65 by 25 Initiative,” which calls for 65% of NH citizens to have some form of postsecondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.