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CCEE’s RISE program in fourth year continues to grow

This summer there are 19 students from around the world participating in the RISE (Research Internship Summer Experience) program. Initiated in 2015 by Dr. Ranji Ranjithan, Director of Graduate Programs for the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) department, RISE provides an opportunity for students interested in doctoral studies to experience first-hand our graduate programs, our campus and the surrounding area. Participants this year are from throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, India, and Nepal. Additionally, this year CCEE undergraduate students conducting summer research were also included in the RISE program.

RISE participants are paired with research mentors including faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. The RISE program also conducts weekly sessions on research and professional skill development, and organizes regular social activities coordinated by current graduate students.

Yashira M. Valentin Feliciano is a graduate student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayguez. She is mentored by Dr. Francis de los Reyes. This summer she is focused on the use of molecular methods to evaluate the variation in household and community level gastrointestinal health metrics through pit latrine fecal sludge analysis.

At the end of the 8-week program RISE students present their research findings at the annual Summer Research Symposium. “The students get an invaluable experience that helps them make an informed choice about pursuing graduate studies and about joining our graduate programs. We get a unique opportunity to identify talented prospects, especially from underrepresented groups, for recruitment as future master’s and doctoral students,” Ranjithan said. The value of this program is being recognized by other engineering departments at NC State, and this summer two departments have their summer research students participating in the CCEE RISE activities.

Miles Smith (R) is a rising senior studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Here his faculty mentor, Dr. Joel Ducoste, is helping Miles put the finishing touches on his research poster that focuses on modeling algal bio-product formation and degradation.

The Summer Research Symposium will be held on August 1st in Talley Student Center. You can find out more about RISE here.