OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego junior zoology major Lacey Brown will spend 10 weeks this summer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a highly selective Research Experience for Undergraduates program in biology and neuroscience.
“It is no surprise to me that Lacey got an MIT REU,” said Cleane Medeiros, director of the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program at SUNY Oswego, which seeks to increase opportunities for historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students in science, technology, engineering and math.
“She has the ability to learn things quickly, and she’s very motivated,” said Medeiros, who wrote a letter of recommendation for Brown’s application to the MIT program. “She’s ready to absorb anything we offer her and run with it.”
Brown, a first-generation college student from Edwards in St. Lawrence County, said she would be working on biological engineering projects involving infectious diseases for 10 weeks starting June 2.
A representative of MIT’s departments of biology and brain and cognitive sciences wrote her that the program has a 10 percent acceptance rate.
Brown, who minors in chemistry, has done research with ticks at Oswego’s Global Laboratory site in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, and has studied honey bee propolis — a mixture of tree resin, secretions, beeswax and pollen.
She plans to make presentations on both studies April 17 at Quest, the college’s annual daylong celebration of student, faculty and staff scholarly and creative activity. Additionally, Brown will present her scholarly poster on Brazil’s Ixodidae ticks at a CSTEP conference this month at The Sagamore in Bolton Landing.
“My research experiences have been pretty foundational,” said Brown, who has her sights set on a seven-year graduate program in veterinary medicine. “Anything like this (MIT opportunity) is going to help me get into graduate school.”
Brown credits the CSTEP Scholars Program for preparing her for the rigors of college and beyond with workshops in writing, financial aid and Graduate Record Examination readiness.