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College of Science News

LSAMP doctorate program names 11 fellows for 2010-11

UT Arlington has announced that 11 graduate students will participate as fellows in its 2010-11 Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge-to-Doctorate (LSAMP-BD) program. Seven of the 11 are from the College of Science.

The UT Arlington LSAMP-BD program, with generous funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to recruit, retain, and graduate increased numbers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students, especially those among women and underrepresented minorities, including African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans. Fellowships are awarded for qualified students to begin their doctoral studies in the fall semester of 2010 or the spring semester of 2011 in one of the STEM doctoral programs.

The 2010-11 LSAMP-BD fellows from the College of Science include:

Nagham Alatrash, chemistry. Alatrash, a native of Syria, received a B.S. in Chemistry from UT-Pan American in 2009. Her faculty mentor is chemistry professor Frederick MacDonnell.

Ernesto Garcia, mathematics. Garcia was born in Brooklyn and grew up in North Richland Hills. He received a B.S. in Mathematics (cum laude) from UT Arlington in May. His faculty mentor is math professor Tuncay Aktosun.

Sarah Hernandez, physics. Hernandez is a Fort Worth native and received a B.S. in Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics from Texas Christian University in 2007 and an M.S. in Physics from Miami (Ohio) University in 2009. Her faculty mentor is physics professor Asok Ray.

Samara Morris-Bobzean, psychology. Morris-Bobzean was born in Corpus Christi and received a B.A. in Psychology from UT Arlington in 2009. Her faculty mentor is psychology assistant professor Linda Perrotti.

Iván Ojeda-Ruiz, mathematics. Ojeda-Ruiz was born in Puerto Rico and received a B.S. in Math and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras in August. His faculty mentor is mathematics professor Tuncay Aktosun.

Angela Osen, earth and environmental sciences. Osen received a B.S. in Geology (magna cum laude) from UT Arlington in 2009. Her faculty mentor is earth and environmental sciences assistant professor Arne Winguth.

Joseph Salazar, earth and environmental sciences. Salazar was born in California and received a B.S. in Geology from California State University San Bernardino in June. His faculty mentor is earth and environmental sciences professor Glen Mattioli.

The other UT Arlington LSAMP-BD fellows for 2010-11 are Betsegaw Gebrehiwot, mechanical engineering; Alexis Gonzalez, aerospace engineering; Jessica Mooney, materials science and engineering; and Marianna Vallejo, mechanical engineering.

Each LSAMP-BD fellow receives a $30,000 stipend per year for two years as long as the goals are met. The LSAMP-BD program provides funding for tuition and fees, student health insurance, research supplies, and travel to professional conferences to present research results. The program also provides intensive mentoring and academic support for the fellows to be successful in their graduate studies and after obtaining their Ph.D. degrees. After the initial two-year BD funding, the fellows are supported by other funding mechanisms to ensure their timely graduation.

A weekly seminar course, worth one credit hour, is required for all program participants. It is intended to improve the fellows' skills in STEM fields and to prepare them for their professional careers.

Eleven of the 12 LSAMP-BD fellows for 2010-11 have already been selected, from a pool of over 75 applicants. There is one available fellowship to start in Spring 2011. The application for the remaining fellowship will be available soon.

For eligibility, the students must apply or be admitted to a STEM doctoral program at UT Arlington to begin their BD fellowship in Fall 2010 or Spring 2011 (or they must already be enrolled at UTA and ready to begin their BD fellowship in Fall 2010 or Spring 2011); must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents; must have participated in a federally funded undergraduate research program; and must be beginning students or not advanced students in their doctoral studies.

UT Arlington's LSAMP-BD program is managed by a team from the Department of Mathematics and the Office of Graduate Studies, in collaboration with the UT System LSAMP. For more information about UT Arlington's program, email them at