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College of Science & Mathematics

SEEDs of Ambition

Emily Mancini and Dr. Timothy Vaden Prepare Their Experiment

Emily Mancini had always had a passion for mathematics, and when high school combined the academia with science, she had found a new love. “I want to major in chemistry,” explains Mancini, a senior at Delsea high school, for science to her combines a love of numbers, with the challenges of over coming complex challenges and puzzles.

In the laboratory across the hall, Maribel Juarez, a senior at Bridgeton high school, her attention focused on the instrument in front of her, explains, “I’ve loved science since 8th grade when my science teacher believed I’d be good at it.”

Maribel Juarez Works on a Project Assigned by Lark Perez

Both Mancini and Juarez traded in the surf, sand, and sun, just narrowly escaping the heat, and replaced them with beakers, goggles, gloves, and lab coats, for an atypical high school summer of learning, and “hands on” chemistry experience.

The Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvantaged (SEED), sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS), is beginning its second year at Rowan University. SEED offered these two ambitious women the educational chance of a lifetime. “The SEED program is a great opportunity for our faculty and students to reach out to the next generation of students” Dr. Greg Caputo, Chair and associate professor of the Chemistry and Biochemistry departments writes. “Getting students excited about science in high school will help ensure they find opportunities in STEM majors and careers,” Caputo, both the coordinator of the program and PI with the ACS, reiterates.

“I heard about it through my high school guidance counselor,” Mancini stated. Similarly, Juarez’s AP Chemistry teacher recommended the program to her as well. The SEED program offers laboratory experience to students who may not be able to afford such an opportunity until later in their college or future careers. The awardees also gain a stipend and access to a SEED scholarship when they begin their college careers. It is an eight-week program running from July 1 through the end of August.

Juarez, under the guidance of Assistant Professor Lark Perez, will be spending her time studying Quorum Sensing, while Mancini, under the guidance of Assistant Professor Timothy Vaden, will be spending the dog days of summer assisting him in his research on ionic liquids and their application in the Chemistry and Biochemistry departments.

The CSM faculty provides an invigorating network of support and challenge to students, as last year’s SEED students achieved a publication in The Journal of Physical Chemistry, one of the top journals in the field of physical chemistry.

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