Information for PRISM faculty members on program activities and other events. Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
In This Issue:  

Send Us Your Chronicle Profile Materials by Feb. 15

The PRISM team will soon begin compiling this year’s Chronicle magazine. In order to meet our publication deadline, we need new and veteran mentors to submit your profile materials (bio and photos) by February 15 to

Profiles should be 200 words or less. Photos should be in a JPEG or PNG format. Consider submitting a photo of you in an interesting setting as opposed to the standard head shot. (Click here for the profile requirements and other specifications.)

To keep The Chronicle as “fresh” as possible, we ask veteran mentors to update your profiles, especially with regard to research projects, and to provide a new picture, if at all possible. When writing/updating your profile, you may also wish to keep in mind that The Chronicle is:
  • used as a program at our annual symposium,
  • distributed to important funders and organizations as evidence of our program success. 
  • used by new PRISM students to learn about potential mentors and their work. 
If you would like assistance with editing or writing, one of the PRISM staff would be happy to help.

Dates to Know

February 4: 
-  Student deadline to RSVP for
   monthly meeting

February 5: 
-  Students' spring proposals due
February 13:               
-  Monthly student PRISM meeting
February 15: 
-  Faculty bios and pictures due
-  Faculty deadline for O.U.R. nominations
February 28:
Applications due for additional supply
March 6:    
-  Students attend "The Science of Genius"
   lecture at the 92nd Street Y

March 14:
-  Faculty deadline for equipment RFPs

PRISM Mentoring Incentive - Call for Applications

PRISM is currently in a position to offer $3,000 in additional supply money to 2 faculty mentors. These funds can be used to purchase supplies or small equipment and are being offered as an incentive to active mentors. 

Applications must be received by Friday, February 28, 2014.  Awards will be announced by mid-March 2014, with all purchases to be made by August 15, 2014.  To apply, please follow the guidelines on this linked webpage and send your information to Ron Pilette by the deadline. 

Symposium and Class Scheduling

The 2014 PRISM Undergraduate Research Symposium will take place on Thursday, May 1 from 2 – 7 pm in the college’s Moot Courtroom. As you know, this is an important event for our department and our students. As such, we ask that you consider this date in planning your spring course schedules. Specifically:
  • Please avoid scheduling any major exams or assignments during the afternoon of May 1 so that we do not present our students with a conflict of interest in terms of attending and/or presenting at the symposium.
  • Please consider adding the symposium to your course schedule as a special assignment to encourage science students to attend. (In the past, some of our faculty have encouraged their students to take notes or report on a presentation as a special assignment.)
If you have a class that must meet during this time period, please consider adding a make-up session for our PRISM students to allow them to present their work at the symposium. Thank you for your consideration and support!

Next Student Meeting Scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13

The first student meeting of the spring semester will take place on Thursday, February 13 from 5:30 – 7:15 pm in 630H. Our guest speaker, Dr. Joanne Carroll from St. John’s University, will discuss the university's various graduate programs, and Chantal Adlam, our student speaker, will present her PRISM research.  

Please remind students that they must RSVP to by Tuesday, February 4. Students who expect funding for spring must attend unless a PRISM coordinator grants an excused absence for a serious conflict. As always, we invite you to attend. Click here for a copy of the faculty invitation with further details. 

PRISM Research Makes Its Way to Malaysia!

When it comes to PRISM, our mentors, students, and alumni will travel to the end of the earth to get the word out. Case in point: Dr. Nathan Lents’ and PRISM alum Richard Pizcatowski’s trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Our intrepid scientists attended the 24th Regional Congress of the International Society of Blood Transfusion where they presented their research project, “Myeloid Zinc Finger-1 (MZF-1) Transcriptionally Regulates CCN2 and CCN3 in the Hematopoietic Compartment, with Important Implications for Blood and Bone Marrow Donation,” which was conducted during Richard’s time at JJC. Richard graduated in 2011 and is currently pursuing his MD/PhD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx.

PRISM Office Hours Unchanged

Fran and Ron will be working the same schedule this semester as they did for the fall semester. This information is posted on the PRISM office door and listed on-line. Remember that PRISM coordinators are often at meetings or off campus at events, so it is best to email Ron or Fran to set up a meeting should you have a pressing or time-sensitive matter to discuss. 

You are always welcome to hold team meetings in the PRISM room when a PRISM staff member is there. You may also use the room during non-PRISM hours as long as you give us advanced notice. Regardless of when you want to reserve the room, please do so by listing your event on the large posted calendar on the north wall.

Annual Proposals for Equipment Due March 14

Have your eye on a new, nifty piece of lab equipment? Now's your chance. We have $50,000 available for the purchase of large equipment, although smaller purchases are possible. 

Request for Proposals (RFPs) are due to Ron Pilette by Friday, March 14, 2014.  

To qualify, you must be a faculty member in the Department of Sciences. Preference will be given to those who are mentoring undergraduate students and who request equipment that can benefit multiple research labs. Click here for this year's updated guidelines.  All purchases must be made before the end of the spring semester.

Previous RFP funds were used to purchase a high-speed camera capable of taking photos like this one. Photo: Edgerton, H. E., Jussim, E., & Kayafas, G. (1987). Stopping time: The photographs of Harold Edgerton New York: H.N. Abrams.

Student Research Proposals with Your Signature Due Feb. 5

Please remind your students that their spring research proposals are due to Ron by 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5. Prior to submission, you must sign the title page (indicating you approve the proposal) and also place your initials near the statement of pledged hours for the semester. Students must submit both electronic and paper versions. Students have until 8 pm on February 5 to submit their paper copies to Ron at the PRISM office or via his mailbox on the 5th floor of NB. Students must email the electronic version, as a MS Word attachment, to Ron ( by midnight on February 5.

Outstanding Student Researcher Nominations Due Feb. 15

In our last newsletter, we asked you to nominate your best graduating student for the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher (O.U.R) Award which will be formally announced at the 2014 PRISM Undergraduate Research Symposium held on May 1. If you haven’t done so already, please email your nomination to Ron by February 15. Consult last month’s newsletter, linked here, for the guidelines. 

New Crop of Students Trained and Ready for Research

Fifteen students completed our January PRISM Research Training Workshop and now are eligible to contact you to become a researcher in your lab. We have instructed them to consider each mentor by reviewing your work on this website before applying to become part of a lab team. If you are specifically looking for new students this spring or summer, let us know at so that we can help match you with new researchers.  

This is a crop of highly-motivated students. They attended all three days of the workshop despite a major snow storm on day one and temperatures in the teens on days two and three. We thank Jason Rauceo and Marcel Roberts for leading the workshop. 


PRISM Spring Recruiting Recap

During the winter break, PRISM team members conducted activities designed to introduce students to the benefits of our program.

Annual Info Session
A group of JJC first-year students attended our Annual Info Session on January 23. The session’s agenda included: an overview of PRISM, presentations by current PRISM students of their individual research work, and an introduction to graduate school and career opportunities by admission officers from research institutes and universities. These students will be invited to join us for monthly meetings and may be part of PRISM’s Research Training Workshop next year. 

Bi-annual Lab Shadows
– Forensics majors from our partner community colleges spent three hours shadowing current PRISM students in January. By watching PRISM students conduct research in the labs, our guests gained a better understanding of the PRISM program as well as the challenges and rewards of working in a research lab. Our next shadow experience will take place this summer. It will include post first-year JJC students as well as community college partners. 
We thank Dr. Demi Cheng, Professor Pete Diaczuk and Dr. Garry Brown who volunteered their labs for the shadows.

Copyright © 2013 Program for Research Initiatives for Science Majors, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PRISM, John Jay College
524 West 59th Street, Room 05.61.00
New York, NY 10019