CUNY CREST HIRES Director, Dr. Shakila Merchant delivered a talk on ‘CUNY Summer Programs’ Highlights and Methods of Communication’ on February 16, 2024 as part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) GEO REU Network conferencing meet. This small meeting discussed aspects of running a research internship for undergraduate students in the geosciences.

Recently, Dr. Shakila Merchant and NCAR members, Dr. Valerie Sloan, Director of REU-GEO Network and Dr. Samayiah Farid, Scientist, UCAR, received the NSF REU GeoNetwork funding (2023-2026). This NCAR initiative/network produces resources that help in effective execution of the REU internship in STEM and thus providing students a rich research experience. In her role, Dr. Merchant works with Dr. Sloan and Dr. Farid to support and strengthen the GEO REU PI community network.

During the meeting on February 16th, Dr. Merchant provided highlights of the 2023 CUNY summer programs such as CUNY CREST HIRES and the CUNY CREST Summer Bridge. She talked about the key program elements, peer-based vertical mentorship model, and program schedules. Further, Dr. Merchant elaborated on the methods and platforms used to improve communication and other aspects of these programs to make them effective and impactful.