USF Making Waves REU


Story by Sean Beckwith – REU 2019 Summary | USF College of Marine Science


Five undergraduate students spent ten weeks developing professional skills and studying marine science with mentors in five different disciplines as part of a 2019 Research Experience for Undergraduates program hosted by the USF College of Marine Science (CMS).

The students were selected by faculty members from five minority serving institutions (MSIs) who were invited to visit CMS for the Faculty Visitation Program in Fall 2018.  The goal of that program was to establish new research collaborations between USF and MSIs and to help increase student diversity at CMS. 

The objective of this REU supplement is to provide an interdisciplinary research and professional development experience that will encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue both graduate education and STEM careers.   Another goal of the NSF funded USF CMS REU program is to develop a PhD student pipeline, especially with students from other disciplines (engineering, computer science, mathematics, bio-med, etc.) who have historically not entered graduate programs in Marine Science.  Ana Arellano, who is directing the program by coordinating professional development workshops, lab tours, graduate seminars, a research cruise, and social/team building activities, also reviewed the applicants and matched their backgrounds with USF faculty members’ research.  David Naar, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (USF CMS), and Bernard Batson, Director of Diversity and Outreach (USF College of Engineering), have also been involved in developing this program as part of a Sloan Foundation designated University Center for Exemplary Mentoring. The five participating USF faculty members, Professors Tim Conway, Larry Dishaw, Xinfeng Liang, Brad Rosenheim, and Amelia Shevenell are training the students in marine chemistry, marine microbiology, marine physics, marine geochemistry, and marine geology, respectively.

CMS REU 2019 cohort
Name Undergraduate Institution REU Faculty
Tione Grant University of the Virgin Islands Timothy Conway
Angel Cedeno University of the Virgin Islands Xinfeng Liang
Alexis Peterson Spelman University Larry Dishaw
Jenelle DeVry Xavier University of Louisiana Brad Rosenheim
Richard Rivera Medgar Evers College Amelia Shevenell