By Tyler Chapman
By Tyler Chapman
Amongst the pillars of marble and polished stone of storied monuments, the houses of legislative, executive, and judicial, stood Juan Carlos Lucio. He visited the Nation’s Capital last January not as a tourist but as an ambassador. Armed with his charismatic smile, subject expertise and months of proven research he stood in front of academics, scientists, and politicians, and delivered a presentation about his research.
Lucio, through hard work and dedication, was chosen to participate in a conference that took place last January sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA selected 15 of the most qualified students from the United States to represent their respective institutions with research they have collected with funding provided by the USDA. “Being selected for the Hispanic Serving Institutions Student Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture was such an honor,” said Lucio.
Lucio was chosen to present research that he had been working on for the majority of this past year. “We all had to present a poster on the work we have done with the sponsorship of the USDA. For the past seven months I have been working alongside graduate student Gexin Chen on a project dealing with Bacterial Adhesion to material surfaces,” Lucio said. “The poster presentation experience really helped me network which is very important in today’s work place. I got a lot of cards and I got to talk about my work so I had a lot of fun,” Lucio said.
Being a chemical engineering major, Lucio has been working in the UC Riverside laboratory with the Bridges Across Riverside program working alongside UCR graduate students and professors. Life sciences professor Dr. Heather Smith had these comments about their research “We are currently still working on it, and it is some pretty cool stuff,” Dr. Smith said.
According to Dr. Smith Juan has been researching biofilms or bacterial adhesion, which is the accumulation of microorganisms on a material surface. Juan has been researching how biofilms are formed which could be very valuable information for the medical industry, and sea travel. “He has got some really good data,” Dr. Smith said.
Juan is a participant in the exciting new program at Riverside City College Building Bridges Across Riverside. This is a program dedicated to bringing community college students into science laboratories at UCR and having them do actual ground breaking research. Dr. Heather Smith, a program director for Building Bridges Across Riverside had only hailing comments about Juan. “He is just one amazing dude, one of the best!” Dr. Smith said.
Building Bridges is the only program of this kind dedicated to getting undergraduate community college students to take part in actual scientific research. “It’s pretty amazing to have students at this level doing real scientific research like this,” Dr. Smith added.
“These are all RCC students in this program, our students at RCC should have the opportunities to do real research like this and now they have the chance to do so.”
Lucio and his involvement with the Building Bridges Across Riverside program is a fine example of the cutting edge ideas of higher education that are taking place at RCC.