Columbia State Student Accepted Into Harvard Undergraduate Research Program

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – April 4, 2017) - - - Columbia State Community College freshman, States Labrum, has been accepted into the Harvard University Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in ecology for the upcoming summer.

This summer research undergraduate program invited applications from two-year and four-year undergraduate institutions across the U.S. The selection process for the program, which involved an in-depth interview of the candidates by the Harvard Faculty, was highly competitive.

At Harvard, Labrum will be working on the “Disentangling the Factors Behind Thermal Acclimation of Respiration Observed in a Long-Term Soil Warming” experiment. During the 11-week program, Labrum will work alongside ecology scientists and fellow undergraduate researchers. The laboratory-based program will include hands-on work collecting soil samples, measuring carbon dioxide fluxes, measuring microbial biomass and characterizing and analyzing collected data.

“We believe that States will greatly benefit from the Harvard summer research program by receiving a valuable learning experience as an undergraduate researcher,” said Dr. Elvira Eivazova, Columbia State assistant professor of biology. “He will have the opportunity to get more deeply involved in the scientific process and will be able to share with his undergraduate peers.”

The program will take place at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University’s 3,500 acre laboratory and classroom, located in Petersham, Massachusetts where Labrum will have access to state-of-the-art research equipment and mentorship from the scientists leading the project. Labrum future objective is to work in ecological informatics and modeling. He plans to continue his education and earn his bachelor’s degree in biology at a four-year institution after he graduates from Columbia State.

“Biological science deals a lot with being in a laboratory and the ability to evaluate, interpret and apply numerical and general scientific information. I will be doing similar work at Harvard.” Labrum said. “I will gain an in-depth understanding of the processes of working in a lab and collecting experimental data.”

Labrum, who has lived in Spring Hill for 11 years, noted that this area in Tennessee is growing rapidly – he hopes that he will be able to bring back the observation techniques that he learned at Harvard so he can use them to predict how construction and air pollution will affect the soil, as well as the overall climate of Tennessee.

While at Columbia State, Labrum has worked as a student volunteer for STEM GiRLS, a program for middle schools girls, where he helped to set up and demonstrate basic laboratory techniques. Labrum plans to work with Eivazova on a new undergraduate research program, funded by the Columbia State Community College Foundation, and hopes that he will bring back some of the Harvard research methodologies to incorporate into the program.

States Labrum

Photo Caption: States Labrum

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit www.ColumbiaState.edu.

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.

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