Recipients of the UConn IDEA Grant receive up to $4,000 per student for an individual or group project. However, the program’s participants gain more than funding. For example, the grants foster the students’ learning experiences, exploration, skill development and career preparation, according to the Office of Undergraduate Research’s website.
Of the 19 UConn IDEA Grant awardees for fall 2015, two are CAHNR students. They receive the grant’s financial and other support for their self-designed projects. One student, Christina Cotte, has an individual project and the other, Seo-Yeon Lee, is part of a group.
A pathobiology student with double major in molecular and cell biology, Cotte, will focus on what causes the depletion of B-1 subset of B cells in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). She will test for the defective portion of the cells’ development by conducting bone marrow transplants in a humanized transgenic SCD mouse model and analyzing B cell counts. The title of her individual project is “B-1 Cell Generation in Transgenic Mouse Model of Sickle Cell Disease.” Cotti expects to graduate in 2017.
Working on a group project called “Korean American Health Fair” is Lee, an allied health sciences major. Lee, with nursing student Minkyung Kim, will coordinate a two-day health fair for Korean Americans that includes educating about several health topics and providing information on insurance and the healthcare system. Lee expects to graduate in 2018.