Public 2-Year Schools

Middlesex Student Selected to Participate in Governor’s STEM Scholars Research Project

A Middlesex County College student, Julissa Gesumaria was selected to participate in the Governor’s STEM Scholars research project, a program to encourage high school and college students to go into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. Ms. Gesumaria, a Biology major, is conducting research on the effects of specific physical activities on brainwaves and cognitive performance. She plans to go into the field of neurology.

“Studies suggest that bi-manual coordination, using two hands to complete a task simultaneously, can enhance brain activity,” said Carmo Ferreira, research coordinator at the College who is working with the students. “Using electroencephalography (EEG), she is testing the effects that mental activities have on the brain’s alpha wave frequencies before and after a test subject performs various two-handed physical activities such as dribbling two basketballs – one in each hand.”

Ms. Gesumaria is also testing how a subject performs at a mental activity after completing a more physical one. Here, Ms. Gesumaria records the brain waves of high school student Wendy Wu as she completes a puzzle in two minutes.

“We’re trying to have these students see the effect on the brain when we do these types of activities,” Ms. Ferreira said. “In fact, Julissa is also currently testing the effects that relaxation has on brain wave patterns. It’s fascintating and really helps the students learn about brain function.”

Middlesex County College and East Brunswick Public Schools signed an agreement officially launching the MCC/East Brunswick High School College Pathways program

At the signing, seated from left: Mark McCormick, MCC’s vice president for academic and student affairs; Joann La Perla-Morales, College president; Victor Valeski, East Brunswick superintendent; and Vicki Becker, vice president of the Board of Education. Standing: Marla Brinson, MCC’s dean of student affairs; Patrick Madama, vice president for institutional advancement; Michael Vinella, East Brunswick High School principal; Deborah Gulick, director of curriculum; and Evelyn Ogden, assistant superintendent

The initiative provides East Brunswick High School students the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree by taking college courses while still in high school. At present, more than 450 East Brunswick High School students have registered for 40 classes. Courses include mathematics, English, public speaking, accounting, computer science, natural sciences, history, political science and psychology, and world languages.