Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE)
The Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement at Fort Lewis College (FLC U-RISE, formerly MARC) is funded by a research training grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The objective of this honors undergraduate research training program is to prepare underrepresented students majoring in scientific disciplines to pursue Ph.D.s and long term careers in biomedical or behavioral science research. Faculty mentors at FLC train a small group of highly qualified junior and senior underrepresented students in an honors program strong in research opportunities and science curriculum.
The primary goal of the U-RISE Program at FLC is to provide support to undergraduate students, who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences, to improve preparation for graduate training in a research based Ph.D. program. Students apply to the U-RISE program during the second semester of the Sophomore year, and if accepted, students begin working with a Research Mentor during a summer research experience between the Sophomore and Junior years and continue in the U-RISE Program for the reminder of the Junior and Senior years.
Juniors and Seniors chosen for this two-year Research Trainee Program become active members of a scientific research community. This valuable opportunity, rarely afforded to undergraduates, is the best preparation for graduate training and a career in biomedical and behavioral science research.
At the center of the U-RISE experience is research. U-RISE Scholars will work on faculty-directed research projects about 12 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during the summer. The capstone of the U-RISE Program is a summer research experience at a research intensive university.
Additionally, U-RISE Scholars will participate in activities that enrich their research experiences, workshops designed to prepare them for graduate school and careers in biomedical and behavioral science research, and participate in peer recruiting activities.
The 2024-25 U-RISE Program application will open January 2024. Please review below for details about what to submit and to see an example of a personal statement.
Prior to applying, please contact and meet with potential Research Mentor you would like to work with if accepted into U-RISE program.
Students who meet the eligibility requirements may apply for the program by completing the online application, application materials and requesting that faculty submit letters of support to email@example.com, prior to the due date.
Apply to U-RISE
Application Materials include:
In addition, each applicant will be interviewed by the Selection Committee as part of the application process.
Students must meet the following eligibility criteria by the program start date of June 1st:
Questions about eligibility?
Email Dr. Kenny Miller, FLC U-RISE Program Director
Many faculty are available to serve as U-RISE Research Mentors. Faculty members work closely with U-RISE Scholars to develop research and professional skills and provide guidance during the application process for summer research and graduate school programs.
A descriptive list of potential research projects can help you decide which U-RISE Research Mentor you want to apply to work with. If you are interested in working with a faculty member who is not listed below, please contact Dr. Kenny Miller.
View Research Projects
The following organizations assist under-represented students interested in careers in the sciences:
NIGMS funds the U-RISE Program. NIGMS supports biomedical and behavioral research training programs that help provide the most critical element of good research: well-prepared scientists. NIGMS encourages institutions to diversify their student populations and thus increase the participation of underrepresented individuals in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences.
SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and leadership positions.
ABRCMS is a national conference encouraging undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, and graduate students to pursue advanced biomedical and behavioral sciences training, including mathematics.
AISES has worked to substantially increase American Indian/Alaska Native representation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields - as students, professionals, mentors, and leaders.
Search possible graduate school and summer research opportunities.
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Kai Gurnoe Brantley is a first-generation nontraditional college student from Santa Cruz, CA. He is working towards his degree in biology with a minor in chemistry and concentrations/ certificates in honors and pre-health.
Sofia Estes comes to FLC from Allen, Texas and is currently working with mentor Dr. Kulesza to pursue a degree in cellular molecular biology.
Maddie Adams hales from Silverthorne, Colorado, and works with Dr. Nora Flucke towards a degree in Public Health with a minor in Sociology. (photo)
Paula Sanchez's hometown is Grand Prairie, Texas. She will be pursuing a major in cellular and molecular biology under the mentorship of Dr. Yiyan Li.
Kiara Nanez is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in the summer of 2023, she worked with Dr. David Blake on a project researching leishmaniasis. She will continue her studies toward a major in Cellular and Molecular Biology.
Alexa Dobbs graduated from FLC with a Chemistry degree in 2019 under the mentorship of Dr. Callie Cole. She is currently a doctoral student in Chemical Engineering at Georgia Tech University.
Ayax Anguiano is from Canyon, Texas and recently graduated with a degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. His mentor was Dr. Caroline Kulesza. In the Fall of 2022, Ayax will continue pursuing his research education at University of Colorado at Denver.
Gerald Bush is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He graduated in May 2022 with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. His MARC/U-RISE mentor was Dr. Steven Fenster. Gerald Bush is currently obtaining his doctoral degree in Neuroscience at the University of Miami.
Cassidy Hawley came to Fort Lewis from Oklahoma and graduated with a degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology in May 2021. Her mentor was Dr. Shere Byrd.
Diego Novoa is from Juneau, Alaska. He graduated in 2019 from Fort Lewis College with degree in Chemistry. Currently, he is a doctoral student in Chemistry at the University of California – Berkeley. His MARC mentor was Dr. Callie Cole.
Hannah Tsingine is from Kirtland, New Mexico. She graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2020 with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology and her U-RISE mentor was Dr. Caroline Kulesza. Currently, Hannah is obtaining her doctorate in Immunology at Johns Hopkins University as a Vivien Thomas Scholar.
Wall Dahlenberg is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2017 with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. She is completing her graduate degree in Biology at the University of Minnesota. Her MARC Mentor was Dr. Les Sommerville.
Jesse Duran is from Española, New Mexico. He graduated in May 2022 with a degree in Computer Engineering. His MARC Mentor was Dr. Yiyan Li. Jesse spent some time working at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and in fall 2023 he will be starting a doctoral program in Engineering at Texas A&M University.
Leandrew Dailey is from Piñon, Arizona. He graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2018 with a degree in Biochemistry. Currently, he is doctoral student in Chemical Biology at the University of California – San Francisco. His MARC mentor was Dr. Steven Fenster.
Lindsey Charley hails from Indiana and graduated in May 2021 with a degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Her mentor was Dr. Steven Fenster. Lindsey is currently employed as a Research Technician at CellChorus in Houston, Texas.
Marcus Williams is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2020 with a degree in Biochemistry. Marcus went on as a PREP Scholar at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is currently starting the Medical Science Training Program at the University of California – San Francisco where he will be working towards earning his MD and PhD degrees. His MARC mentors were Dr. Jeff Jessings and Dr. David Blake.
Nicole Atencio graduated with a degree in Biochemistry in May of 2021 and with the support of mentor Dr. Kenny Miller.
Sophie Mancha is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in Engineering in 2018. Currently, she is a doctoral student and National Science Foundation GRFP Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her MARC mentors were Dr. Jeff Jessings and Dr. David Blake.
Tori Quintana is from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2019 with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. Currently, she is a doctoral student in Cancer Biology at the University of Arizona. Her MARC mentor was Dr. Steven Fenster.
Megan McKinley came from New Orleans and was a U-RISE scholar working on a degree in Cellular-Molecular Biology with mentor Dr. Keisha Carlson.
Jycole Bush came to FLC from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she graduated in Spring 2023 with a degree in Biochemistry. She is currently at the University of Texas in San Antonio.
Asa Laskie came to FLC from Los Alamos, New Mexico. After completing a degree in Cellular-Molecular Biology, he returned to his hometown to gain experience working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, after which he will continue to pursue a research career.
Jasmine Keyes was raised in Colorado Springs, CO, and in Spring 2023, graduated from FLC with a degree in Chemistry. She went on to pursue research at UC San Francisco.
Dr. Kenny MillerProfessor and Director, FLC NIH U-RISE ProgramDepartment of Chemistry144 Chemistry Hall970-247-7623Email Kenny
Nicole CareyU-RISE Program CoordinatorEmail Nicole
Phone: 970-852-5190Email: firstname.lastname@example.org