That’s why Delaware INBRE plans to continue reaching out to the AAP
campuses to help talented students “make the connection with research,”
Thomas Giardina, assistant professor of biological sciences in the
Dover AAP, recommended several students for the summer program.
“The INBRE Summer Scholars program is an awesome opportunity for all
UD students, but it offers unique advantages to our students in the
Associate in Arts Program,” he said.
“These students are transitioning to the main campus at the start of
their junior year, which means they need to hit the ground running if
they want to participate in undergraduate research. INBRE serves as a
Sarah Trembanis, associate professor of history and faculty
coordinator for the AAP in Dover, said the students who took part in the
INBRE program this summer did well and were all hoping to continue to
“It has been an incredible success for these students,” she said.
David Satran, director of the UD Associate in Arts Program, sees
benefits to undergraduate research that extend beyond the students
“My view is that research opportunities not only support AAP student
development by engaging their imagination and broadening their
perspectives, interests and career options, they also work to connect
the research and Delaware communities,” Satran said.
“The students don’t leave their research in the lab. They bring it back to their families and communities.”
The AAP students supported by INBRE this summer worked on a variety
of projects in several different disciplines. They helped with research
on brain cancer, the effects of concussions, the development of children
who have experienced adversity, how children with autism acquire
language and the mechanics of tendon use and damage.
Alissa Strouse, who conducted research on concussions with Thomas
Kaminski in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, called
the experience “amazing” and said she was made to feel part of the lab
team family. Doing research, she said, taught her the value of patience
because results aren’t immediate.
“For all the things we know about the human body, there’s a million
other things we don’t know,” Strouse said. “I’m interested in pursuing a
career in research so that I can … provide at least one of those
For Krystal Mendez, the summer showed her some of the variety of
research opportunities available. Her primary project involved language
impairment in children, but she was also able to assist with another
project that used technology such as UD’s functional magnetic resonance
imaging (fMRI) instrument.
She said she’s become an advocate for encouraging others, especially AAP students, to participate in undergraduate research.
“It gives students the chance to see how research works and if
they’re interested in going to graduate school,” Mendez said. “If they
are, they can leave with skills necessary for graduate school and with
connections that will help them to advance in their careers.
“Being an Associate in Arts alumni made this even more significant to me.”
INBRE Summer Scholars weren't the only AAP students who took part in
undergraduate research this year. To read about some others and their
projects, see this article about a new graduate of the Wilmington AAP who studied the effects of violence and trauma on young people and this article about a group of UD students who worked with Wilmington teens.
Article by Ann Manser; photos by Ashley Barnas