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Student Training Philosophy
The mentoring of students involved in scientific research is one of my most profoundly rewarding activities at SFSU It is in this capacity that I am able to combine my fascination with scientific discovery and my need to serve the community by becoming a role model for minority students considering a career in science. As a research professor, I strive to empower students by teaching them the strategies required to participate in active research. In doing so, I hope to provide them with the necessary methodology to make the most of their educational experience.
I am committed to the success of the undergraduate and graduate students in my laboratory. It is not enough to give students the tools and techniques to conduct research; they must also receive careful instruction, encouragement, and support. They must be expected to succeed, and they must be given the resources needed to reach their goal. As with any mentor-mentee relationship, the goal is to empower the apprentice to become like the mentor. In this way I find my greatest fulfillment since I measure personal success by the number of individuals I help to reach their true potential.
The students involved in my research program are treated as young scientists and not as laboratory technicians. They are integral members of the research team involved in all aspects of the research plan. The questions asked in my laboratory are sophisticated, yet the techniques utilized to address them are relatively straightforward. This gives the undergraduate or Master's student the opportunity to assemble a complete story for publication and/or presentation at professional meetings, during their tenure in my laboratory. Students areexpected to keep up with the scientific and technical literature so that they can contribute to the experimental design and methods implemented. They are encouraged to expand upon and develop testable hypotheses related to the proposed studies. As a senior researcher, however, I help them decide which experimental questions to pursue, and which experimental designs to implement. Furthermore, students are expected to effectively communicate their research findings, and are therefore trained in how to speak precisely and organize a research presentation. My ultimate goal when it comes to the students in my research program is to empower them to become my colleagues.
All of the students
working in my laboratory have been and are currently funded. Presently,
the student researchers in the laboratory are supported by RISE and MARC
student training funds, as well as by my NSF/RUI research grant. Past
student support has included, MBRS, Bridges, and GAANN. I feel that it
is important that students conducting research in my laboratory be financially
compensated. In this way, the need for them to work outside the university
is minimized, and the ability for greater participation in the laboratory
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Last modified September 2003