Missouri S&T offers summer research for students from HBCUs

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On August 1, 2022

Student wearing yellow shirt and purple gloves works in greenhouse filled with green plants with yellow flowers

Tony Munnings, a student at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, researched plants’ role in cleaning pollution from soil and water during this year’s Summer Engineering Research Academy at Missouri S&T. Photo by Michael Pierce, Missouri S&T.

Twenty students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) participated in a summer program at Missouri S&T that is designed to encourage engineering students from underrepresented groups to pursue graduate studies.

Dania Collie, a student at Benedict College, studied bridge-girder strength in this year’s SERA session. Photo by Michael Pierce, Missouri S&T.

This year, students in Missouri S&T’s Summer Engineering Research Academy (SERA) represent Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina; Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi; Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama; Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi; Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia; and Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.

Now in its fourth year, the two-month program involves the students in a range of research projects, including testing bridge-girder strength, analyzing lunar plasma to allow humans to live on the moon, and studying plants’ role in cleaning pollutants from soil and water.

“The SERA program gives students an opportunity to understand the research and capabilities we have at Missouri S&T and what opportunities graduate school could provide for them,” says Dr. Phillip Mulligan, assistant teaching professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and SERA director. “They use the knowledge they gained from their current institutions and develop deeper understanding in their fields.”

Daniel Umoh, a student at Mississippi Valley State University and SERA participant, prepares materials for 3D printing in ceramics research. Photo by Michael Pierce, Missouri S&T.

Mulligan says the SERA program provides students not only with research experiences, but also with networking, team building, and personal and professional development. While they attend SERA, the students live in a residence hall on campus and meet for weekly workshops that provide additional opportunities for learning.

Twenty students participated in SERA this summer:

  • Ikenna Aku, Jackson State University
  • Arizechukwu Anachebe, Fort Valley State University
  • Binyam Assefa, Jackson State University
  • Hawa Barry, Benedict College
  • Skye Bonaby, Benedict College
  • Antoine Bowleg, Benedict College
  • Dania Collie, Benedict College
  • Devontae Deveaux, Benedict College
  • Tykerria Fowler, Benedict College
  • Ji’han Humes, Benedict College
  • Chukwuka James, Alcorn State University
  • Decordre Johnson, Benedict College
  • Tony Munnings, Benedict College
  • Conrad Newry, Benedict College
  • Olusegun Olutade, Jackson State University
  • Demetrice Parks, Fort Valley State University
  • Denzel Paul, Benedict College
  • Anthony Stubbs, Benedict College
  • Joshua Tyler, Tuskegee University
  • Daniel Umoh, Mississippi Valley State University

The SERA program allows Missouri S&T to further build bonds with participating HBCUs and collaborate with the schools to continue research when the students return to their home campuses.

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,200 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. S&T also is home to the Kummer Institute, made possible by a $300 million gift from Fred and June Kummer. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.

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2 thoughts on “Missouri S&T offers summer research for students from HBCUs”

  • David G. Sizemore says:

    Shows MO S&T as the leader in the field.
    I would love to see a summary of these fine students results, and perhaps some will become
    our future students.

  • Interesting, but would be more so if you were to spell out the acronyms so those unfamiliar with them can understand what you mean. Graduated with my BSCE on 6 Aug 1966. Like to read about current happenings in in Rolla, but it’s frustrating not being to understand the many acronyms..