In this edition of the Science Bound Senior Spotlight, Iowa State University chemical engineering graduate Yadira Cano Camacho shares her Science Bound story. The photo above features Cano Camacho (center) with her father and mother.
Science Bound representatives met with KHOI, 89.1 Community Radio here in Ames, Iowa earlier this week.
Interviewed by KHOI host, Gale Seiler, welcomed Science Bound Director Connie Hargrave and Science Bound alumnus Javier Tello and discussed experiences and the importance of Science Bound as a part of a larger conversation, revolving around recent efforts to foster conversations around race relations in Ames.
Listen to the interview -- It begins around the 35-minute mark.
When Science Bound alum Jessica Maciel-Hernandez began participating in summer research as a Lincoln High School freshman, she wasn’t thinking too much about her career. She was far more concerned with the prospect of camping for three weeks as part of the fieldwork.
“The first time I participated in the summer research was also the first time I ever went camping,” said Maciel-Hernandez, who’s now a senior at Iowa State University. “I’m a city person, so it was definitely a learning experience in many ways. I didn’t know if I would like it or not, but I told myself that I would do it for the whole time no matter what.”
Maciel-Hernandez’s willingness to try new experiences paid off. After continuing to work with the same research group through college, Maciel-Hernandez earned recognitions as a co-author of a research paper. The research she worked on indicates that among painted turtles – a species whose gender is influenced by nesting temperature – the mothers choose nesting sites partially based on gender selection.
The summer research program MacielHernandez took part in is called Turtle Camp Research and Education in Ecology (TREE). ISU professor Fredric Janzen runs this ecological research program, which tries to immerse high school and undergraduate students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the field. Janzen and his graduate student Timothy Mitchell were the other researchers included as authors on the published paper with Maciel-Hernandez.
Before participating in TREE, Maciel-Hernandez wasn’t sure about where she wanted to go with her career. Both TREE and her other work with Janzen’s group helped spur her interest in research, and she’s now hoping to find a research-related job after graduating.
Angela Mickens, surgical nurse at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, and parent of four children, encouraged her youngest child, Xarius Mickens (Roosevelt) to participate in the Science Bound program when he was invited as a 7th grader at Moulton Extended Learning Center.
“He always showed an interest and intellect in science and math. I knew this program could groom and support him in his academic endeavors,” said Mickens.
Mickens wanted Xarius to participate in Science Bound because it would give him the opportunity to explore his options in science and math.
Xarius has had many positive experiences in Science Bound, according to Mickens. One of the summer programs that benefited Xarius was “Learn and Earn”. Mickens said “the program gave him a format of what society expects: positive work ethics and earning what you deserve.”
Mickens believes the Science Bound program helped her son become more comfortable socially as well. “I have seen Xarius become more engaged with the world around him since participating with the program,” said Mickens. Science Bound has also helped Xarius learn and develop skills that will benefit him in his career.
“One skill I hope that Xarius will gain from participating in the program is proper presentation of self, in which the world can see what he can contribute as a human being,” said Mickens.
Additionally, she shared that the opportunity that Science Bound offers provides students with academic and personal support, which includes access to financial resources and professional references. “The men being present to teach my young man has had the most profound effect of all,” added Mickens.
“Xarius will be attending Iowa State University in the fall of 2016 and will major in chemical engineering,” said his proud mother. “I see him accomplishing his degree in chemical engineering and working for a pharmacological company of his choice.”