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B-CU Highlights University Research With Its Summer CURE Program


CURE Program Director, Dr. Ram Nayar Shares Faculty Research Collaborations

The 2016 Center for Undergraduate Research Excellence (CURE) program witnessed greater interest among the faculty to apply for research funding. Eleven projects were funded, one of which is a collaborative program involving several B-CU faculty members. “Collaboration has become the norm rather than the exception these days in research,” said Dr. Ram Nayar, CURE Program Coordinator. “However, not all research under the CURE program is biomedical in nature. Social Sciences and humanities research share the same stature as the sciences when it comes to research conducted at B-CU.”

One of the largest collaborative programs underway is led by Dr. Randy Nelson, and his colleagues, Dr. Vivian Jones, Dr. Kideste Wilder and Dr. Raphael Isokpehi, a biology professor. These faculty members have trained six students to research and study the variables impacting juvenile delinquency and the risk of recidivism, a major social and economic issue that affect the disadvantaged and marginalized population of our country. Another major social issue addressed by Dr. Nichole Jones and student researchers at B-CU is the mental health factors on Black youth in the criminal justice system. “When one thinks of all the challenges our nation faces, what comes in the forefront of our discussions are democracy and civic engagement,” Dr. Nayar states. These two pillars of our very existence as a nation is revisited and studied by Dr. Paula McKenzie and students.

Additionally, Dr. Sidney Bolden, new faculty member to the College of Science Engineering and Mathematics is working with students to investigate metabolomics, the metabolic breakdown of products in coffee under several environmental conditions. The CURE program at B-CU has paved the way not only to enrich the minds of young researchers, but also to function as a platform for the faculty to write grant proposals to external agencies for funds.

Several faculty members are collaborating outside of the university to bring awareness and exposure to the science research field. Research on the synthesis of organic molecules which can be used in the future for pharmaceutical purposes or for any other biomedical use is being pursued at the Florida State University in Tallahassee, by B-CU professor, Dr. Manoharan Mariappan and his two students; Ms. Cambre’ Williams and Mr. Dominque Hale. Dr. Nayar shared, “the spirit of increasing the research resources is the hallmark of research institutions and B-CU is not far behind in claiming a spot among the elites.”

CURE facilitates research and scholarships and pairs undergraduates with faculty to provide hands-on research experience and intellectual studies. 

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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