Puente Project emphasizes biomedical careers


Students involved in the Puente Project will spend much of their time in the Life Science building at CSU-Pueblo. photo by Brittney WhatleyColorado State University-Pueblo is sponsoring a program this summer for minority students who are underrepresented in health sciences and wish to pursue careers in biomedical research.

The Bridges to Biomedical Careers Program, also known as the Puente Project, is a six-week, full-time course that begins Monday, May 24. The program runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, July 2.

Only 16 students are accepted into the program, and the application deadline has been extended to Friday, May 7. After applications, transcripts and letters of recommendation are received, CSU-Pueblo faculty members will interview potential students.

Lee Anne Martinez is the program’s director. “The ultimate goal of the program is to help the health status of the United States by training diverse groups of people that will do research to advance our knowledge in health,” Martinez said.

Those who take part in the program will be provided with hands-on research experience in the areas of cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology and anatomy.  Students will also have the chance to work with many of the professors in the science and mathematics departments at CSU-Pueblo.

Students involved in the Puente Project will spend much of their time in the Chemistry building at CSU-Pueblo. photo by Brittney Whatley

Previous students, who successfully graduated from the program, were rewarded.

“The program is free. In addition, participants will be compensated for their time to help free them from financial obligations during the program,” Martinez said.  The stipend that students will receive is $1,920. Students are also provided with class materials and supplies.

A former student of the Puente Project, Ryan Gutierrez, who is graduating this May with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, said his favorite part was that the program was free.

Aside from that, “I learned a great deal of information from the professors and the other students,” Gutierrez said.

This program provides a smooth transition into a four-year institution, as successful participants are encouraged to continue their studies and research in an undergraduate program.

“This prepared me for what a university would be like,” Gutierrez said, “With the Puente Project I walked out knowing a great deal of information that I can utilize in my future career.”

Martinez is excited for the program to begin. “I love to see the enthusiasm of the participants, and their development over the six-week period as they become more confident in their abilities,” Martinez said.

Details about the program and application materials are available at www.PuenteProject.com. For more information, contact Martinez at 719-549-2744 or  leanne.martinez@colostate-pueblo.edu.

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