Top CSTEP honors for SUNY Old Westbury trio

CSTEP in the right direction: SUNY Old Westbury students (from left) Jourvonn Skeen, Nimra Hameed and Nelson Euceda captured first-place awards during this month's 2018 Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program Statewide Conference.

Several young minds from SUNY Old Westbury have earned top honors in a New York State competition designed to promote academic excellence among full-time, economically disadvantaged STEM students.

During the 26th annual CSTEP Statewide Student Conference, titled “Journeys Beyond Excellence” and held earlier this month in upstate Bolton Landing, roughly 700 Collegiate Science Technology Entry Program-enrolled student researchers from 52 New York colleges and universities shared their work in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

Top oral and display-based presentations in the categories of Natural Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences and Technology/Human Services were honored during the event’s capstone awards banquet, with three SUNY Old Westbury presenters capturing first-place recognition in their respective categories.

Biochemistry major Nelson Euceda took first place in the Chemistry/Biochemistry Poster Research Competition with his project, “UVA-Induced 6-Thioguanine Superoxide Radical Production Enhanced by Glutathione.”

Nelson worked under the supervision of professor Ruomei Gao in SUNY Old Westbury’s Chemistry and Physics Department.

In the Social Sciences Oral Research Competition, biological sciences majors Nimra Hameed and Jourvonn Skeen won first place with their presentation, “Developmental Lead Exposure Alters Rodent Maternal Pup Retrieval Disrupting Adolescent Social-Play.”

Both students were mentored by professor Lorenz Neuwirth of SUNY Old Westbury’s Department of Psychology.

CSTEP is a NYS grant-funded initiative designed to foster academic excellence among under-represented or economically disadvantaged full-time college students majoring in the STEM fields or in majors leading to licensed professions.

The annual three-day conference is designed to enhance participants’ understanding of academic disciplines and to foster networking with fellow CSTEP researchers, and to give students an opportunity to benefit from career-development workshops and presentations.