Watch these CISER scholars as they describe what undergraduate research means to them.
Vijayanta Jain is a CISER scholar who programs robots to help children with autism learn how to better communicate with others.
Helen Scott is a CISER scholar who is conducting research on the spread of Chagas disease, a parasitic illness that already is moving into Texas.
Aicha Fokar is a CISER scholar majoring in Cell & Molecular Biology.
Marilyn Mathew is a CISER scholar majoring in Cell & Molecular Biology.
Shawna Gallegos is a CISER scholar in the Department of Surgery at Texas Tech University Heath Sciences Center.
CISER—Short for Center for the Integration of STEM Education & Research—Fills Young Scholars With a Passion for Research
For an elite group of students at Texas Tech University, the opportunity to conduct research is the best part of their education. These are the students of TTU's CISER program, where tomorrow's leaders in science, technology, engineering and math—STEM for short—train for careers as problem solvers in fields such as medicine, aerospace, robotics, biotechnology, and education.
CISER, which stands for the Center for the Integration of STEM Education & Research, exists to hire undergraduate and graduate students into the working labs of Tech's top research professors. This employment allows CISER students to earn an income on campus, in their intended field, while conducting professional-level research, presenting their research findings in professional settings, and publishing their work. They're building top-notch résumés without ever leaving campus.
CISER's comprehensive approach further supports its student-researchers through opportunities for interaction with their peers across many disciplines, peer leadership, and professional development. Throughout the CISER experience, student-researchers are guided by caring faculty every step of the way and are industry-ready when they graduate.
Over the past 22 years, the CISER program has mentored more than 500 students, consistently helping produce Texas Tech's best and brightest. Support is crucial if CISER is to continue its impact on future generations. As Texas Tech University pursues Tier One status, CISER is paramount in recruiting, retaining, and preparing those students to be the leaders of tomorrow.
"How CISER Helped Me."
Computer Science major
V.J., as he likes to be called, is an undergraduate researcher at Texas Tech's Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research. People with autism demonstrate difficulty in social interactions. But early, intensive intervention can lead to improvement. Right now, V.J. is researching the use of robots in autism therapy. Specifically: the best ways to introduce robots into therapy programs to enhance the therapy's overall effectiveness.
"Doing this research through the CISER program during my undergrad years allows me to actively engage in learning about the discipline I want to pursue as a career. Through this research, I am also able to realize the applications of my academics in real-world problems."
"How CISER Helped Me."
Helen is conducting research on the spread of Chagas disease, a parasitic illness that occurs mostly in Latin America, or did. Now it's here. It's carried by kissing bugs, and Lubbock's first infected bug was documented in February. Where will they be 30 years from now? Her study shows that bugs already in Texas will move north with global warming. The bugs Texans need to prepare for will be coming up from Mexico.
"Having been able to do research as an undergraduate has been the best part of my education. I would not have gotten near as much out of Tech without CISER. Research really made me fall in love with science and see how fun STEM is. And it made me a competitive candidate so that I could have my choice of post-bac programs. It is preparing me for my future as an MD/PhD in the U.S. Air Force."
How to Give
There are many ways to support the students of CISER by adding to existing funds.
- You can make a gift online by following this link, clicking "Give Online," clicking "Search for a specific fund," and entering "CISER" in the dialogue field.
- Or you can write a check, payable to Texas Tech Foundation, Inc., being sure to enter CISER on the memo line, and mailing it to:
Texas Tech University;
College of Arts & Sciences
Attn: Cathey Durham
Lubbock, TX 79409
- To make a gift of securities through your broker or by cash wire, please contact Amy Crumley at 806-834-3847 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- And if you or your spouse work for a matching-gift company, you can increase the value of your donation. Click here to search for your company and to find instructions on matching.
- You may designate Texas Tech's CISER Program Support Fund as the beneficiary of your will, retirement account, annuity or other account.
- A give to CISER can even give back if you choose an annuity gift to CISER that enables you to receive a guaranteed income for life.
- A charitable trust can support CISER and reward you with valuable tax benefits while continuing to provide for yourself or your loved one.
- And you can share your assets through making a gift of real estate, securities or other property as part of your legacy to CISER.