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RISE and Shine with AACC's Summer Program

Last summer, eight AACC students got down in the dirt to take part in an enriching scientific research program – and were paid to do it. AACC's School of Science, Technology and Education hosted the first Research-Intensive Summer Experience (RISE), a two-week program funded by the Environmental Center and private donors. Aimed at providing students with a full research experience, RISE paired students with life and physical sciences faculty mentors to conduct experiments, gather data and present findings.

An introduction to the scientific process set the stage for the program’s hands-on experience portion. Students delved into field projects, gaining insights under their mentors’ guidance. RISE didn't just stop at fieldwork; participants also dedicated days to learning statistical analysis and crafting figures. Students concluded the program with a presentation of their results.

RISE’s financial incentive was a big draw. According to RISE mentor Seth Miller, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at AACC, this not only made the program accessible but also positioned students favorably for future research opportunities. Miller recognizes the importance of these research experiences due to his own student experience. "I never thought I would be a scientist, but that research really changed the course of my career," he said.The impact is evident in the testimonials of RISE’s participants. AACC student Daniel Castro savored his time out of the classroom.

“I really like going out to the field, putting on the boots, going into the mud, getting my hands dirty.”

– Daniel Castro

Student McKenna Chadwick has a clear career goal, but needed to learn if the scientific research process is a good fit for her. She found RISE, her first hands-on field experience, to be a unique chance to apply her knowledge in a practical setting.

RISE has emerged as more than just a summer program. It has become a space for passion and career exploration, leaving students with a profound appreciation for research and the sciences.


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