Read on to hear about the successes of Nano Technology students across the country.
When Sarah Teters started her employment career, her job was low-tech.
Right out of high school, the 19-year-old enlisted in the Army and served from 2008 to 2014. After her service, she found work as a security guard, but it offered few career advancement opportunities.
“I didn’t make very much money,” she recalled. “The job wasn’t cutting it, and I didn’t know what else to do. I knew I needed an education, though. I decided to go back to school in 2016 because I needed a real career.”
Enrolling in college was an important first step for Teters to reinvent herself. The divorced mother of three had just moved in with her mother, enabling her to sign up for general education classes at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus.
“It was on me to supply the money,” she cautioned. “It was essentially ‘go time.’”
A self-professed problem-solver, Teters discovered math classes that challenged her. These classes became the basis for her to transition into the Microelectronics Technology Program.
Paula talks about the journey through nanotechnology education and what it has meant to her.
Marina Achterman is a Chemical Engineering student at Pasadena City College where she maintains a 4.0 GPA. She was one of three students selected for a paid internship with PCC’s BUILD PODER (Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research) program. It is part of the National Institute of Health Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative.
Her scientific poster “Winging It: Interdisciplinary Lessons from the Blue Morpho Butterfly in Physics, Chemistry, and Nanotechnology,” was selected and featured at the 2020 Virtual ATE Conference.
She hopes to complete her associate degree in fall 2021 and transfer to a University of California campus to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering, and perhaps eventually earn a PhD.
Cameron joined the Advanced Materials Technology program at NVC in 2019, to earn a Level-1 certificate in Nano-biotechnology.
He was enrolled in the Biomedical Engineering program at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), and also was willing to study in Nano-biotechnology certificate in Advanced Materials Technology program and expand his knowledge in the field of biomedical science, and nanotechnology. He completed his internship at the department of Microencapsulation and Pharmaceuticals at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). He was also involved in the Nano ambassador program which he helped high school students enrolled in the summer Nanotechnology workshop in SEM trainings. He graduated in spring 2020 and is continuing at UTSA to earn a bachelor degree in Biomedical engineering. He has a passion for using nanostructures in biomedical devices.
Marisa joined the Advanced Materials Technology program at Northwest Vista College in 2017 to earn an associate degree in Nano-biotechnology and was graduated in Spring 2019. She always had a passion for biomedical applications of nanoparticles, drug delivery methods and tissue engineering techniques. Marisa completed her degree with an outstanding GPA of 4, and was able to pass every single course in her degree plan with grade A.
During her education in Nanotechnology program, she worked with many nano-fabrication and characterization instruments. She completed hands-on training in Nanotechnology lab at NVC, and has spent her internship at Micro-Encapsulation Department at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) under supervision of SwRI’s scientist.
She was also working on a collaborative project between BME department at UTSA and SwRI on cancer therapy. She was then inspired by the type of research being done at BME department and decided to apply for this program. Marisa transferred to Biomedical Engineering at University of Texas at San Antonio UTSA. Her goal is to continue her education in biomedical fields.
Billie attended Dakota County Technical College(DCTC) from 2009-2012 to earn her AAS in Nanoscience Technology. In 2011 she was hired as an independent contractor for DCTC to be the nanoscience lab assistant and technical assistant to Deb Newberry and the Nano-Link Center for Nanotechnology Education grant. After earning her degree in 2012, she was hired full time by DCTC as the nanoscience lab manager and Nano-Link project coordinator. She taught a high school nanoscience lab course for school district 917 for two years, from 2013-2015. She was a TA to Deb Newberry in her nanoscience lab courses, Intro to Nanotechnology class and Nanoelectronics class. In 2015, Billie went on to obtain her BS in Project Management. In 2018 she became the Nano-Link Project Manager. Her work with Nano-Link caught the attention of other ATE centers and projects and in 2020 obtained her BS and was hired by Pasadena City College as a contractor to be the Center Manager for the newly awarded Micro Nano Technology Education Center.
David started as an engineering major student at Alamo College and was also graduated from the Level-1 Advanced Nanotechnology certificate program at NVC. After taking Nano courses he was inspired to UTSA Department of physics and continue doing research in the Nanotechnology laboratory at UTSA. He said the encouragement and experience he gained in the laboratory made him want to transfer to UTSA and continue his nanotechnology research.
David received a fellowship from NSF. NSF fellows receive an annual stipend of $ 34,000 for three years, along with $ 12,000 for tuition and fees. The fellowship also provides its fellows with opportunities. He used the research from his time in the lab at NVC and UTSA, and the experience he gained from his internship, to write the proposal sent to NSF. He is eager to learn more about nanomedicine to combat cancer. He is now attending the University of California, San Diego to earn a Ph. D. in bioengineering.
Andrew graduated from the Nano-biotechnology Level-1 certificate in Spring 2019 at Northwest Vista College.
He spent a paid internship at Department of Materials in Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), where he gained hands-on experience working with advanced nanotechnology instruments, under supervision of SwRI’s scientists. He then applied for a full-time position at SwRI, and got hired right after graduation.
He is now a technician specialist at SwRI at the Department of Materials Engineering, where he works on material characterization and analysis.
Samuel joined the Advanced Materials Technology program at Northwest Vista College in 2017 and graduated from the program in 2020. During his education, he received valuable experience and training on operating Nanotechnology instruments, synthesizing nanomaterials, and devices. He spent his internship project at Tower Semiconductor company in San Antonio.
Tower Semiconductor provided cleanroom training and wafer detection and analysis. Samuel completed 300 hr training and was able to get hired at this company after the duration of his internship. He is now a process specialist in the photolithography and etching site at Tower Semiconductor. This is an example of the type of strong work-study partnership program between the Advanced Materials technology program, the industry participating and offering internships, and especially for students, who need opportunities for real high-tech job experiences in their field of study while completing their education.
Corey joined the Advanced Materials Technology degree plan at Northwest Vista College in 2020. During spring 2020 and with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic he was taking Nanotechnology and Engineering courses virtually and also gaining the background knowledge in engineering and Nanotechnology. He started as an intern in Tower Semiconductor in Fall 2020 and was able to immediately get hired as a process specialist.
Roy started as an engineering major student at Northwest Vista College. He started to take Nanotechnology courses out of curiosity. He enjoyed learning about Nanotechnology and continued gaining experience in various fields such as microscope and spectroscope techniques. As a result of his education in the Nanotechnology program he was offered a paid internship project at Tower Semiconductor where he was trained on photolithography processes and analyzing defects in silicon wafers. After successfully completing his project, he continued to work in this company while he is still continuing his education to become an engineer.
Jason graduated from the Nanotechnology program at Northwest Vista College (NVC) in 2012. He then transferred to the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at San Antonio and received a bachelor in Physics. After graduation, he started his Ph.D. and was able to receive a prestigious funding award from the National Science Foundation, to continue his research in nanoparticle synthesis and application. During his education at NVC, he was awarded the Nano Japan Scholarship, which allowed him to travel and spend a full summer training in Japan. He is now a research associate at Kleberg Advanced Microscopy Center at UTSA.