In The News


Students Tackling Summer Research Projects

From left: Steevens Delices, Kevin Pereira, Professor Ines Figueiras, Elizabeth Epstein, and Luis Lara

It is a busy summer for 17 Essex County College students who are participating in a wide range of internships and research projects at area four-year universities and even at a NASA facility.

The students are part of the College’s Garden State – Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (GS-LSAMP) program who are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) majors. Some of the participants recently graduated Essex.

“Our participation in GS-LSAMP demonstrates the strong relationships between ECC and our neighboring institutions,” said Mathematics Professor Ines Figueiras. She is the College’s GS-LSAMP coordinator.

“The GS-LSAMP Program has been funding research opportunities for ECC STEM majors at four-year universities for over ten years,” said Professor Figueiras. “These research opportunities not only provide students with a chance to use the skills they have learned in the classroom, but also to learn valuable interpersonal, presentation and laboratory skills from experts in their field that have proven throughout the years to benefit our students.”

While most of the College’s GS-LSAMP participants are at area universities, Brianna Solano is at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Maryland, now through August 9. “I hope to be able to do hands on work related to my field as a computer engineering major. It is one thing learning material in class, and another taking what you learn and applying it to something,” she added.

Brianna, an Engineering major at Essex, is transferring to Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where she will major in Computer Engineering.

Elizabeth Epstein, a Mathematics major, is participating in an NJIT research project on mathematical biology, which combines science and statistics. “I’ve always enjoyed math, so this project is perfect for me,” said Elizabeth, who formerly was a music major. “To be honest, I missed math, which is why I’m here now,” said the Verona resident. Elizabeth plans to take advantage of ECC’s dual enrollment program with NJIT this fall.

Also at NJIT this summer, is Mechanical Engineering Technology major Kevin Pereira. A projected December 2019 ECC graduate, Kevin said he wants to establish himself at NJIT as he hopes to transfer there next spring. In the meantime, his research project focuses industrial uses for high-end finishing. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn more about the high-tech equipment at NJIT.”

Steevens Delices just earned his ECC Associate in Science degree in Engineering. This is his second GS-LSAMP summer experience at NJIT, where he will be transferring to this fall. He is engaged in a lab research project testing the strength and durabitliy of certain chemical. “This program has afforded me so many opportunities,” said the Maplewood resident.

Professor Figueiras said Essex students who have participated in research experiences have continued on to complete advanced degrees and have established successful careers.  This summer’s students are doing research in a variety of fields including nanotechnology, fluid dynamics and cognitive brain development, she added.

Other ECC students in this year summer’s program include Marco Angamarca, Elisee Doh, Sena Dzirasa, Ahmed Elmonier, Cheta Ezeonyeka, Maria Gorachi, Manav Guzraty, Edson Josius, Luis Lara, Karen Reyes, Nana Messah, Diego Sanchez, and Javan Wilson.