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UBRP Students Donate to UA Fund

Students involved with the UA's Undergraduate Biology Research Program have been pooling their finances to support another student in the program.

Called UBRP, the program is supported by a range of foundations and agencies and has been engaged in an ongoing fundraising effort through the support of the UA Foundation.

And for the first time in the program's nearly 24-year history, UBRP students are donating a portion of their paychecks – $5 to $20 per pay period – to help support the program.

Many have been donating $10 per pay period, like Manuel Vasquez, a UA Honors College student studying chemical engineering.

"I felt that if I just went to a professor, it wouldn't be as easy to get a research position, much less a funded position in the lab," said Vasquez, who was accepted into UBRP this year. "I thought a program like UBRP would give me a fighting chance."

And it did.

Vasquez is now working with UA professor Kimberly Ogden of the chemical and environmental engineering department. In the lab, he is helping to produce biofuels out of algae.

"Without this program, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to be here during the summer doing research," he said. "It has helped me greatly, and I want others to have that opportunity."

Shaina Hasan, a UBRP and Honors College student, said she feels the same and was one of the 25 to donate through payroll deduction.

"I've come to really enjoy the program, and I would love for other students to continue to have the opportunity," said Hasan, a double major in  biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology.

Hasan was accepted into UBRP this summer and is working in the laboratory led by Sourav Ghosh, a UA assistant professor of cellular and molecular medicine

"A really nice thing about UBRP is that it not only give students the opportunity to do lab work, but you also work with other like-minded students who are doing a wide variety of research," said Hasan, who appreciates that the program organizes small group meetings and discussions on a broad range of topics. "I think that's what makes UBRP unique, and I want it to thrive after I graduate.

To learn more about UBRP or to make a contribution to the UBRP Fund, visit UBRP's site or donation page through the UA Foundation.