Central Arizona College Project Puente Interns Recognized
By Angela Askey, Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Twenty-two high school and Central Arizona College students recently completed the Project Puente Summer Internship program and received recognition for their accomplishments during a Poster Presentation Ceremony.
Students were selected to participate through an application process and completed a 20-hour boot camp prior to beginning their internship. Each student was assigned a mentor who they worked with throughout the summer.
Dr. Crystal McKenna, CAC Grant Coordinator explained, “More than 240 hours were logged per student this summer with an impressive total of 5,300 combined hours.” She added, “Upon completion of the internship, each student earned three college credits.”
The internships took place at five sites throughout Pinal County. Mentors from the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center (MAC), University of Arizona Maricopa County Cooperative Extension (MCCE), USDA/ARS Arid Lands Agricultural Research Center (ALARC), Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, and Global Water Resources shared their extensive knowledge with the students.
Marshall Logvin, Project Puente, USDA/NIFA Grant Coordinator stated, “The mentors of this program are the true heroes. More than 14 mentors and professional staff gave of their time, were enthusiastic and coached the students towards the successful completion of the program.”
Interns shared a synopsis of their projects. Following is a listing of the poster presentation title, name of the student intern and mentors/organization they worked with.
“SymTRX® Effect on Iceberg Lettuce.” Amy Fan, MAC
“The Effects of Nitrogen Fertilizer and Irrigation on the CO2 Fluxes of Cotton.” Andrew Reed, ALARC
“Drought Stressors and Anthropogenic Influences on Monarch Butterflies in a Reconstructed Habitat?” Zoe Gentry, Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area
“The Efficacy of Postemergence Herbicides for Liverseedgrass Control on Turf; Assessing Arthropod Populations in Native grasses and Alternative Groundcovers When Turf grass is Removed.” Zoe Castillo and MCCE mentors, Kai Umeda and Worku Burayu
“What Microbe Population is Most Essential in Decomposing Organic Matter?” Ishan Sharma, and mentor, Jeff Lemley from Global Water Resources
“Growers Perceptions and Understanding of Biofuel, Bioproducts, Guayule, and Recycled Water in the Southwest” Kyra Skuse and Katie Carroll working with MAC mentors; Jessica Dery, Stevi Zozaya, Natalie Brassil and Dr. Channah Rock
“Lab Method Comparison of E.coli Testing Methods for Agricultural Water: mTEC Filtration and IDESS Colilert® Methods.” Katelynn Carroll and Kyra Skuse with MAC mentors; Stevi Zozaya, Emily Mann, Natalie Brassill, and Dr. Channah Rock
“Soil Texture Analysis and effects on Growth of Direct-Seeded Guayule.” Sara Xi, ALARC
“Utilization of a Drone with Remote Sensing Capabilities to Monitor Plant Growth and Nitrogen Status,” Sameer Vij, ALARC
“Mitigation Strategy Evaluation for Cadmium in Desert Spinach.” Elijah Quito, MAC
“Thrips in Cotton: Friend or Foe?” Maxine Cruz with MAC mentors, Isadora Bordini and Peter C. Ellsworth
“Which Came First: The Chicken Serum of the Egg White?” Rebecca Poole, ALARC
“Pick a Card, Any Card, Protein Distribution Accuracy.” Jason Zhang, ALARC
“Cyclops: An Autonomous Platform for Field-Based High-Throughput Phenotyping,” Alex Manning, ALARC
“Carbamazepine Uptake and Soil Moisture Status on Radishes.” Julia Kennedy, ALARC
“Comparison of Rubber and Resin Concentration Between Irrigated and Non-irrigated Condition in Six Guayule Genotypes.” Adrianna Chambers. ALARC
“Plant Size, Rubber and Resin Contents of Improved Guayule.” Amber Dearstyne, ALARC
“When Clarifier 3 was Taken Offline, What Happened to the Sludge Blanket and Daily Average Turbidity?” Lauren Castillo, Global Water Resources
“Beaver Activity in the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area.” Anthony Quigg, Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area
“The Effect of Reduced Ionotropic Receptors and dsRNA degradation in Lygus Hesperus.” Hasaan Masood, ALARC
“Validation of Exon 6 Skipping in Pink Bollworm ABCA2 Transporter.” Lucila Garcia, ALARC
“RNAi-mediated Knockdown of Wing Development Genes in Lygus Hesperus.” Yousef El-Sheikha, ALARC
About Project Puente:
Project Puente is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA) Hispanic Serving Institutions Higher Education Grant Award (#2015-38422-2406) to support the future workforce by engaging Latino, Native American and other underrepresented minorities in agricultural-related fields. Through innovative teaching and experiential learning, Project Puente prepares students from high school through college for careers that support food, agricultural and natural resources. CAC’s Project Puente is designed to augment the high school CTE agriculture and biotechnology programs by providing a seamless high school to college to bio-industry career pathway for students throughout the county.