Summer 2015: Bonner Edition

Posted on May 21st, by Naina Sakruti in Blog and Updates Content, Updates. No Comments

Some Bonners told us how they are spending the summer of 2015 and it looks busy! Here’s a glimpse at what some of them are doing before classes start up again this fall.

Jeffrey Hong | Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Classification: Rising Sophomore

In fall of 2014, an idea crossed my mind. I thought, what if smart watches were placed into a 3x3x3 cube configuration with a face of 9 smartwatch screens? That question sparked my interest to seeing how the idea could be more developed into a practical product. “Would an array of nine smart watches be capable of cluster computing?” The more questions I found, the more questions I had. Soon, I had thought of a general concept of creating a prototype product, enough to create a general project proposal. Having done prior activities with Samsung, I contacted them and we worked out a deal. If I could find a team of students and a professor to guide the project, then Samsung would provide the products.Jeffrey

The REEL CUBE (Research, Education, Entertainment, and Learning – Customizable User Based Electronics) team was created and the project began. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate the ability to combine nine-smart watches into a versatile platform that can act as an electronics host. The prototype’s end goal is to have the ability to accommodate a variety of user defined gadgets that can be updated to fit the technological advancements of the time. However, as more ideas came and went, some challenges needed to be overcome. Conceptually, everything was fine, but more time needed to be spent to figure out the specifics on how to custom design parts, integrate electronics into a platform with limited space, et cetera.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship is the perfect way to overcome these challenges. I will be able to work full time on the project over the course of 10 weeks and develop it into a mechanically working prototype. The programmer, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering team members will be able to contribute their specific skills once phase one of the platform is developed. Phase one includes housing electronics, connecting all the smart watches into a control unit, and designing the ports for connecting external hardware. We have high hopes of creating a functional prototype and are ready for all the challenges that may lie ahead.

For more information on SURF, click here.

Serrae Reed | G.R.A.D.E Camp


Classification: Rising Sophomore

 During the month of June, I will be helping coordinate a camp for  middle and high school girls who are interested in engineering  called GRADE Camp. Campers participate in hands-on  activities  dealing with engineering applications and work closely  with some  members of the Cullen College of Engineering faculty.

For more information on G.R.A.D.E Camp, click here.

Katherine Kerr | Honduras and Guatemala Medical Trip, Workshop Houston & Lab Volunteer

Classification: Rising Senior


To start of my summer, I will be going on a study abroad trip in May to Honduras and Guatemala. This medical missionary trip enables us to volunteer in the clinic for two weeks, doing basic medical check-ups such as looking for abnormal level of blood pressure.

After studying abroad, I will be doing a summer internship with Workshop Houston. The children from this program will get the opportunity to work on different projects at the University of Houston.

Additionally, I will be volunteering in a lab to collect soil samples which possibly contain slime mold. This soil collection will help us identify areas that are saturated or lacking slime mold.

I am really looking forward to this summer because this will be unlike any other summer I have experienced.

For more information on the Honduras medical trip, click here.

For more information on Workshop Houston, click here.

Brinda Penmetsa, Joshua Monsivais & Ton La | Brighter Bites

Classifications: Brinda & Joshua are both rising Sophomores and Ton is a Graduating Senior

Brighter Bites Brinda: We will be interning at Brighter Bites for a few weeks this  summer. We’re excited to see what we can learn from an already  existing, and successful, food and nutrition program in Houston. It is a wonderful opportunity to continue working on Cougar Chefs even  after the school year ends.

 Joshua: Through our internship with Brighter Bites, we will learn  the  ins and outs that go with making a difference in the lives of  others. Our goal is to go, serve, reflect, and learn from our service  with the  hopes of maximizing our efforts of creating a sustainable program.

Ton: By interning with Brighter Bites, we will see a first-hand proven model of how food and education together makes a positive difference in the lives of children and their families. Overall, we hope to bring newfound knowledge to the Cougar Chefs program in order to maximize outreach to families in the Houston Third Ward community.

For more information on Brighter Bites, click here.

Lydia Mammen | Africa Service Trip

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Classification: Rising Sophomore

The Lord has richly blessed me with an opportunity to serve and share the love of Jesus Christ to those in Malawi, Africa this summer. I am blown away by the way God has opened doors and provided a way for me to serve Him in a foreign land – a long awaited and deep-rooted desire of mine.

Even though I’m going there to love and serve these sweet families in Malawi, I’m quite certain that it will be them who teach me: the joy in simplicity, the love in sacrifice, and the sweetness in surrender and service. Ultimately, my hope is to love as Christ loved and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to the ends of the world, and that journey continues to Malawi.



Logan Martin, Grace Schwarz, Joshua Monsivais & Greg Goedecke

Classifications: Logan, Joshua, and Greg are all Rising Sophomores and Grace is a Rising Junior


Logan: This summer, I am going on a study abroad trip to the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador led by  Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Frankino. We will be visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station and several dive sites to experience the islands. The latter portion of the 11 day trip will be spent in Ecuador to learn about the culture there.

Grace: Exploring the Galapagos Islands has long been a dream that I thought would never achieve. I hope to pet a tortoise during my visit.

Joshua: The Honors College’s inaugural NSM study abroad trip holds one main theme: adventure. We will be venturing out to Ecuador and the Galapagos, where we will experience the origin of evolutionary thought. Eleven days of scuba, travel, culture, and food. Can’t wait.

Greg: I’m excited to visit a biome virtually untouched by man, a place where homo sapiens are the Alien.

For more information on the Galapagos Study Abroad trip, click here


Dane Ralph | Cru Mission Trip

Classification: Rising Sophomore


I am overjoyed to tell you that this summer I have the opportunity to participate in a leadership developmentmission with Cru in the middle of the Ozarks. For 10 weeks, I will be living in the city of Branson with many other staff and students, working during the day and participating in a leadership development and outreach in the evenings and over the weekends. The desire is to walk with and lead people to Christ while helping better prepare us to lead on our campus and to equip us for a lifetime of personal ministry.

At the end of the summer, I hope to fall more in love with Jesus, and that as an overflow of loving Christ with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, I will be compelled to tell others about His amazing love! Your prayers are appreciated as I prepare to go forth and be the hands and feet of Jesus this summer.

Willa Hong | Houston Methodist Research Institute Summer Internship Program

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 10.53.03 PMClassification: Rising Junior

This summer I will be taking a temporary break from service to work on biomedical research at the Houston Methodist Research Institute Summer Internship Program. The program is ten weeks long and most of my time will be spent working at a laboratory in the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine.

I look forward to this rewarding and engaging opportunity since I can apply knowledge and skills I have acquired so far while intensively learning new material and techniques from my mentors and peers.


Danny Foelber | Royston, Rayzor, Vickory, & Williams LLP Internship & Research with Bauer

Classification: Rising Sophomore

This summer I will work for Royston, Rayzor, Vickory, & Williams LLP, a law firm downtown mainly focused on maritime law. I have worked there a few summers now and throughout that time my job has changed from task to task. In a law firm, one of the constant struggles is the heaps of paperwork. It adds up throughout the years, and Dannywhen I originally got to the law firm in 2012, there were decade old files that had to be organized, prepared for scanning, scanned, and shredded. This is what I primarily managed for the firm, as well as making deliveries to the courthouse, doing inventory checks on supplies, and whatever other tasks the office needed. The longer I worked there, the more tasks and responsibilities I was given. The firm improved and changed their scanning systems every summer. Their management changed too, so I had to adjust to the different ways a business runs. The most important skill I have learned while working full time for three summers now is to pay attention and be flexible. I remember once there was a case going on at the courthouse a few blocks over that had lasted for a week. My boss bolted into my office and told me that I had to race over there and deliver some documents that would be crucial for winning the case. I dropped what I was doing and sprinted to the courthouse, arriving in time to make the delivery. It’s that kind of fast paced action where everything is on the line that can only be experienced in a real work environment.

Additionally, I am doing research on different financial firms with Dr. Hitesh Doshi of the Finance department in the Bauer College of Business. We are working on a variety of research topics, which I believe will increase my understanding of financial concepts, statistics, and language.

Isme Correa & Jeffrey Hong | Smithsonian Internship

Classification: Isme is a rising Junior and Jeffrey is a rising Sophomore

Smithsonian Isme: A weekend after finals are done, I will start a 3 week  internship at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in  the Arctic Studies division. Under the mentorship of Meghan  Mulkerin, I will learn about the process in planning and developing  museum programming, such as events and festivals. Additionally, I  will aid with support work within the division. As this is my second  time outside the great state of Texas, I am ecstatic about visiting  and exploring D.C.

Jeffrey: This summer, I will be interning at the Smithsonian Office of Facilities, Engineering, and Operations. With my mentor, I will provide technical support to GEOID staffers and managing facility management tools including conducting building surveys and verifying floor plans. I look forward to my stay in D.C. and am excited to face new challenges while refining my AutoCAD skills and learning the Smithsonian standards for CAD deliverables.

For more information on the Smithsonian Internship, click here.

Faith Nomamiukor | Psychology Research

Classification: Rising Sophomore

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I will be working in a paid research position under Dr. Smith. We will be researching the effects of yoga on the behavior of school children, teachers, and prisoners. I will learn data analysis, observational skills, and improve my writing. I’m excited about this job because I plan on going to graduate school for a PhD in Psychology. Any research experience I receive will help me accomplish this goal. I’m thankful to God that I was able to get a position as a freshman. Now I have more time to explore the field of psychology and see what aspects I enjoy most. I think it’s important to start exploring future careers early on so you can know if a certain career is a good fit for you. I am currently torn between being a therapist only or doing both research and therapy. Working under Dr. Smith will give me the experience I need as a researcher to figure out what I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.

Naina Sakruti & Matthew Joseph | Haiti Medical Trip

Classifications: Naina is a rising Sophomore and Matthew is a rising Junior

HaitiNaina: The medical trip to Haiti this summer aims to set up clinics and provide basic patient care for those in need. I believe the trip will help me gain a more worldly perspective on medical treatment. Along with working the clinic with the rest of the participants, I will be putting together a video documenting the entire trip.

Matt: We are not going to Haiti simply to provide a service; we are there to see for ourselves and learn the purpose of service. With this trip we will know what the value of any service we do can really has to any who receive it.

Grace Schwarz | Cell Systems 3-D Research


Classification: Rising Junior

Between visiting the Galapagos Islands and organic chemistry, I will return to Dr. Suderman’s lab at Cell Systems 3-D. Two summers ago in this lab I assisted in the research that is published as “Innovative three-dimensional (3-D) cell-tissue culturing of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus – VIII-SCC cells on four artificial scaffold systems.” The purpose of this research was to use 3-D culture techniques to replicate the tick’s natural adult cell-tissue organization.

Using this, we could study the cattle tick’s life cycle and determine which cells are susceptible to acaricides and pathogens.


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