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Jump Start to Research

"In the past, research programs focused on juniors and seniors. Today, students who get into top programs start research early."
– Dolores Bradley Brennan, Ph.D.

To give students an earlier start, the RISE program offers the Summer Training About Research Techniques, a six-week program for admitted incoming first-year students and rising sophomores, which places biology, chemistry, and psychology majors in active research laboratories, where they are mentored by faculty at Spelman and other local colleges. They also receive instruction in all aspects of research and learn about careers in research.

By 2012, the number of RISE program seniors going directly to doctoral programs had increased to 80 percent, compared to20 percent in 2005. “We did this by raising our expectations of student performance, expanding our emphasis on students’ professional development, and having a dedicated staff and faculty to support the students,” said Dr. Bradley Brennan, whose areas of interest include brain and behavior, sensation and perception, learning and memory and quantitative methods.

Muthike Shines as an Accomplished Researcher

Chemistry Student in LabChemistry major Angela Muthike, C’2017, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry, has been conducting research since her first year at Spelman. Working alongside faculty mentor Peter Chen, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and chemistry, the Kenya native researches the development and use of coherent multidimensional spectroscopy to study the properties of molecules. Muthike has also conducted research in summer programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Emory University and at Genentech, a San Francisco-based biotechnology company. In 2015, she was awarded the Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry by the American Chemical Society, and participated in a two-week study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain.

“Spelman has afforded me a rich, spectacular and extensive experience, which has produced the scholar in me, as well as preparing me for global involvement,” said Muthike, who served as an analytical chemistry teaching assistant at Spelman. “I have taken every opportunity to learn and serve as much as I can.”  View Muthike's "Road to Graduation" video.

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Office of Undergraduate Research

Spelman Messenger Fall 2017