CLARKSTON, Ga. — Students at Georgia State’s Perimeter College will have more opportunities to delve into research thanks to a new $649,751 National Science Foundation grant.
Perimeter College Professor of Chemistry Vivian Mativo is principal investigator for the four-year Extra-Curricular Instrument Training Experience (EXCITE) grant to encourage two-year students to use common scientific instruments and techniques to engage in research. Virginia Falkenberg, an associate professor of biology, is her co-principal investigator.
The four-year program, which launches in January 2024, will use research equipment and resources that are typically available at a two-year college, Mativo said. A cohort of 16 students will be recruited to participate in research projects for the fall 2024-25 academic year. As part of the grant, students will receive a stipend and will be encouraged to present their research at conferences and symposiums at the end of the year. Three student cohorts will be recruited during the life of the grant.
The research opportunities for two-year college students are special to Mativo, who was inspired to become a scientist through her own undergraduate experiences working in labs, she said. Now, as a chemistry professor, she has seen firsthand the benefits of teaching research fundamentals to Perimeter students through the NSF-funded Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PSLSAMP) program, which offers a summer research experience.
“I have been involved for years in the LSAMP Summer Bridge experience, which provides introductory research experiences to minority students during the summer,” she said. “It’s really been wonderful, and I thought, ‘We need to do this type of program not only in the summer, but year-round.”
Her hope is that by introducing students to research early in their college careers through this grant, they will be inspired to go on to more sophisticated research experiences.
“But I would be happy even if the students just found out they liked science, and it was a good experience for them overall,” she said.
Dr. Vivian Mativo
Professor of Chemistry
Department of Physical Sciences
Vivian Mativo is a professor of chemistry at Perimeter College. Her professional interests involve providing research opportunities for two-year college students in their local campus communities. She has been a faculty member at Perimeter College since 2009.