On the way to engineering grad schools, LSAMP Meyerhoffs @UMBC present research in Costa Rica. @NSF_EHR #LACCEI

Myela Paige, Ashok Williams, and Roy Anderson, LSAMP students in the Meyerhoff Scholars program at UMBC, used a week of their summer before graduate school to participate in the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI) annual conference in Costa Rica. Each participated in the  University System of Maryland’s 20 person delegation to the conference, with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation. Myela, Ashok, and Roy also participated in the International Student Forum: Foro Latinoamericano de Estudiantes sobre Educación en Ingeniería, which is part of World SPEED – the Student Platform for Engineering Education Development. Former student participants in SPEED include engineers who are now members of the faculty around the world. Myela, Ashok, and Roy, mechanical engineering students at UMBC, will be attending graduate school starting Fall 2016 at Georgia Tech, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and Virginia Tech, respectively.



UMBC’s Mechanical Engineering LSAMP BD Graduate Students Have an Impact on the LSAMP Students, in the U.S. and in Costa Rica.

Mechanical Engineering at UMBC was well-represented by these LSAMP students, and by UMBC graduate students: Hector Medina, Saadi Habib, and Maxim Serebreni. Hector Medina and Saadi Habib, also LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate students, are pursuing the PhD.  Hector Medina (LSAMP – California AMP, LSAMP BD – UMBC) has been a teaching assistant for the undergraduate students. The students had great things to say about being on a trip with their TAs. Some of the comments are as follows:

“I’ve heard Hector talk about grad school, engineering, and research. He talks about it all of the time, and always told us to ‘go to grad school.’ Now I see what he was talking about.”

“I see Hector and Saadi in the [engineering] building all of the time, plus Hector was my TA, and he is always real. They are among the graduate students who seem to really enjoy what they are doing, they have fun, and it shows.”

Saadi Hector and group

Photo: Top Row (L-R): Berthel Tate (Computer Science, UMBC & researcher in Electrical Engineering at UMBC), Dr. Jaye Nias (Computer Science doctoral grad, Bowie State University and former computer science professor at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore). Row 2 (semi-circle, L-R): Christopher Chester (BioEngineering, U. of Maryland College Park), Malik Abu-Kalokoh (Computer Engineering, U. of Maryland College Park), Elise Donkor (Computer Engineering, UMBC), Myela Paige (Mechanical Engineering, UMBC), Max Serebreni (Mechanical Eng., UMBC), Hector Medina (Mechanical Engineering, UMBC grad student), Yarazeth Medina (USM PROMISE AGEP & UMBC Grad Student Development Program Coordinator), Saadi Habib (Mechanical Engineering, UMBC grad student), Ashok Williams (Mechanical Engineering, UMBC), Dr. Tracy Bell (LSAMP Co-PI, Bio Professor, University of Maryland Eastern Shore)

Research presented at the conference in Costa Rica by the College of Engineering at IT at UMBC:

Undergraduate and graduate students presented research at the conference. Students noted that they were excited to have the opportunity to present their work at an international conference. The official languages of the conference were English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Participants were from Latin America and the Caribbean, the U.S., Europe, and Australia.

  • Myela presentation

    Myela Paige, UMBC Mechanical Engineering LSAMP Meyerhoff Scholar presents in Costa Rica prior to attending graduate school at Georgia Tech.

    ENGINEERING RESEARCH from UMBC was shared in Costa Rica: July 21-22, 2016, as part of the LACCEI Conference.


  • Fabrication and Characterization of Electrically Pumped Disordered ZnO Lasers. Extended Abstract # 84 Myela Paige, Bs. (UMBC, US), Kannatassen Appavoo, PhD. (Brookhaven National Laboratory, US), Matthew Y. Sfeir, PhD. (Brookhaven National Laboratory, US).
  • Mechanical Analysis of Three Coaxial Electrospun Synthetic Biopolymers. Student Paper # 70 Roy Anderson, Eng. (UMBC-LSAMP/Meyerhoff, US), Wei Tan, PhD. (University of Colorado, US), Richard Johnson, (US), Winston Elliott, (US)
  • Guidelines for Engineering Laboratory Courses: Increasing Undergraduate Student Curiosity and Material Retention. Student Paper # 83 Héctor Medina, Eng. (UMBC, US), Saadi Habib, Eng. (UMBC, US).
  • Solder Interconnects Failure Modes in Encapsulated Electronic Packages. Extended Abstract # 52 Maxim Serebreni, MSc. (UMBC, US), Craig Hillman, PhD. (DfR Solutions, US).
  • Heart Monitoring System for Personalized Arrhythmia Detection. Extended Abstract # 59 Elise A. Donkor, BSc. (UMBC, US).

Max Roy Sunji

Photo (L-R): Max Serebreni, (UMBC, Mechanical Engineering, Graduate Student) discusses his research with UMBC’s Roy Anderson, and LSAMP Co-PI Sunji Jangha. Roy Anderson (center) will attend graduate school at Virginia Tech this fall. Max Serebreni participates in programs that are sponsored by the PROMISE AGEP at UMBC.


The University of Maryland College Park’s LSAMP program was represented at LACCEI as well. Sarah Mburu – UM College Park LSAMP-BD Fellow, presented the following work:

Atom Probe Tomography Analysis of the Local Chemical Environment at the Austenite/Ferrite Inter-faces of Cast Duplex Stainless Steels. Extended Abstract # 74 Sarah Mburu, Eng. (University of Maryland College Park, US), Radna Prakash Kolli, PhD. (University of Maryland College, US), Daniel Perea, PhD. (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, US), Samuel Schwarm, Eng. (University of Maryland College, US), Arielle Eaton, Eng. (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory , US), Jia Liu, PhD. (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, US), Shiv Patel (University of Maryland College, US), Jonah Bartrand (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, US), Sreeramamurthy Ankem , PhD. (University of Maryland College, US).

Sarah Myela

Photo: The primary language of the LACCEI conference was Spanish. Sarah Mburu (LSAMP – BD, College Park) and Myela Paige (LSAMP, UMBC) use the conference’s translation service during one of the plenary sessions while working on their Spanish. Cultural appreciation was a big part of the conference.


Elise Ashok

Photo: Elise Donkor (LSAMP UMBC, Computer Engineering) and Ashok Williams (LSAMP UMBC, Mechanical Engineering) listen to graduate student peer mentors during one of the outdoor session breaks. Ashok was part of the biomechanics laboratory at UMBC, and is looking forward to starting graduate school at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and Elise is using her skills to start her career as a Software Engineer & Consultant at Microsoft. Elise describes her work as follows: Implement Azure Applications, Dev Tools & Technologies (IIS, COM+, .NET, Data Access, VS, TFS, Compilers) for Microsoft clients.


Humanitarian Engineering and Global Sustainability

During the Foro Latinoamericano de Estudiantes sobre Educación en Ingeniería (FLEEI) forum, part of the World Student Platform for Engineering Education, students had a chance to work in teams, think about problems, present solutions, have those solutions critiqued, revise the solutions, and present the results to group and judges.

Ashok Roy Myela Costa Rica

Photo, above: Myela, Ashok, and Roy worked on teams to think of an engineering problem that they wanted to solve. They were among the participants who worked in groups to develop solutions using engineering methods. These projects were part of the humanitarian engineering focus, with emphasis on global sustainability in its many forms.


Photo, above: Roy Anderson (UMBC, Mechanical Engineering) learns about global sustainability first hand with fellow participants Gloria Opoku-Boateng (Human-Centered Computing, UMBC PhD program), Dr. Tracy Bell (LSAMP  Co-PI at  the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Biology professor), and Rosemary Parker (LSAMP Co-PI at the University of Maryland College Park and Director of the Clark School of Engineering’s Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering).

Sponsorship & Reflections Blog

This international project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation: NSF #1449322, Division of Engineering Education and Centers/Broadening Participation in Engineering (BPE), and the NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Award #1002566 for the University System of Maryland’s LSAMP program. The blog with daily questions and reflections, sponsored by the NSF EHR PROMISE AGEP, can be found here:


Photo credits belong to the collective University System of Maryland delegation of LACCEI 2016 participants. We thank all of the participants for contributing and sharing photos. 


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