Dr. Cooper

HU PREM Scientists Engage 1,200 Students and Parents at STEM and Health Information Fair at Boo Williams Sports Complex

On Sunday, February 28, 2016, Boo Williams Sports Complex in Hampton, Virginia, Hampton University PREM (Partnership for Research and Education in Materials) scientists and other university associates engaged over 480 athletes, and over 700 parents and grandparents, about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and Health-related programs at HU. The effort focused on increasing the number of African-American, Latino, Native-American, female, and other underrepresented groups in science through early exposure to STEM and material science.

Students engaged in several hands-on material and marine science-themed demonstrations. Colorful, amorphous-shaped, sticky and stretchable materials were used and prepared by participants. Activities included Hopscotch infused with a marine science questionnaire and arts and crafts where students created marine creatures. Hampton’s University nursing staff providing free blood pressure readings. Demonstrations were led by two of the first scientists hired under the PREM grant who are training to become college science professors: Dr. Marcos Guerrero-Munoz and Dr. Stefan Cooper, Jr.

PREM visits National Institutes of HealthPREM visits National Institutes of Health

PREM students joined the Men’s Minority Health Initiative’s (MMHI) Community Fellows and SUFR students for a day at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, for a graduate and professional school fair.

The NIH Graduate and Professional School Fair, held on July 14, 2016, provided students opportunities to prepare for the next step in their careers by exploring educational programs leading to the Ph.D., M.D., DDS, M.D./Ph.D., and other graduate and professional degrees. More than 150 outstanding colleges and universities from across the U.S. sent representatives of their graduate schools, medical and dental schools, schools of public health, and other biomedically relevant programs to the Fair in the hopes of recruiting NIH trainees.

The day also included workshops on getting to graduate and professional school, M.D./Ph.D. programs, interviewing, and careers in public health, psychology, and dentistry.


Hampton University Launches Its Path to Professorship ProgramDrs. Cooper and Guerrero-Munoz

The Hampton-Brandeis PREM is committed to training and preparing post-doctoral fellows for future careers in materials research. The Hampton-Brandeis PREM's Post-Doctoral Fellow Training Program is called the Path-to-Professorship (PTP) Program. The PREM PTP Program is an enhanced post-doctoral fellowship aimed at providing superior training in cutting edge materials research that is patterned by the NIH-sponsored IRACDA Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program and the Brandeis MRSEC Educational Post-Doctoral Fellow.

This win-win relationship between PREM PTP Post-Doctoral Fellows and Hampton bears fruit in preparing individuals with superior credentials for assuming full-time faculty positions at Hampton or other institutions and a higher level of productivity projected serves as a recruitment tool to attract other high ambition and post-doctoral candidate to Hampton.

This year’s PTP candidates are Dr. Marcos Guerrero-Munoz and Dr. Stefan M. Cooper Jr.

Dr. Marcos J. Guerrero-Munoz’s is establishing research focused in protein aggregation and related diseases at Hampton University involving the training of undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Stefan M. Cooper Jr. is developing photosensitive micelles for drug delivery applications.


Dr. Richard Taylor Visits Hampton UniversityDr. Richard Taylor, associate professor in the department of chemistry at the University of West Indies at Saint Augustine (Trinidad and Tobago) is seated front row, far left.

On July 26, 2016, Dr. Richard Taylor, associate professor in the department of chemistry at the University of West Indies at Saint Augustine (Trinidad and Tobago), visited Hampton University to speak to the PREM faculty and summer research students.

His presentation was a discussion of work being conducted by the optoelectronis research group which he leads. The primary objective of his research group involves the synthesis, structural characterization and optical properties studies of a range of electronic device materials including, semiconductor nanoparticles (in particular quantum dots) and semiconductor thin films for applications in solar cells, transition and lanthanide metal inorganic liquid crystal compounds and for the short term, lanthanide metal organic frameworks for potential solid state lighting (LED) applications.

Image: Dr. Richard Taylor, associate professor in the department of chemistry at the University of West Indies at Saint Augustine (Trinidad and Tobago) is seated front row, far left.


PREM Teaches Science at the Virginia AquariumPREM Teaches Science at the Virginia Aquarium

On May 27, 2016, Hampton University’s Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) joined the Virginia Aquarium’s Communicating Ocean Science to Informal Audiences (COSIA) for a day of training and development. Hampton University’s PREM and Virginia Beach Aquarium’s COSIA collaborated in providing professional training and practice in exploring strategic and effective means for conversing (highly) technical science to informal, non-technical audiences. 

Dr. Guerrero-Munoz and Dr. Stefan M. Cooper Jr. were permitted creative input and devised a chemistry “Polymer Demonstration” infused with elements from ocean science. The understructure of the training involved introducing and providing informative education centering on synthetic and natural polymers.

The hands-on component involved adding Elmer’s School Glue to a solution of Borax in water, which upon stirring facilitated the chemical reaction between polyvinylacetate in the glue and borax (Na2B4O7‚óŹ10 H2O) affording a flexible, cross-linked polymer. Importantly, the “silly putty” is non-toxic, environmentally safe and biodegradable.


PREM Visits to Applied Research Center at Jefferson LabPREM Visits to Applied Research Center at Jefferson Lab

In June 2016, PREM’s Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Program (UG-SRIP) participants visited W&M’s Applied Research Center (ARC) at Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Virginia, to see and learn about accessible equipment within ARC facilities.

The Applied Research Center provides requisite support to research efforts at Hampton University (HU). A gregarious partnership between HU’s PREM and William and Mary’s (W&M) ARC facility within ARC core facilities has afforded fruitful gains for HU. W&M has permitted HU use of its characterization equipment, which includes an auspiciously compact countertop Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), a Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (ToF/SIMs),  Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR), Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), ellipsometer, and various optical microscopes.

PREM’s UG-SRIP: Chris Johnson, Joshua Williams, Breyah Matthews, and Ciera Matthews. W&M Staff: Olga Trofimova, Ben Kincaid, Amy Wilkerson (not present).