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Summer Undergraduate Research Program Awarded $600,000

Pomona's Summer Undergraduate Research Program poster conference in 2010

Summer Undergraduate Research Program poster conference in 2010

Pomona College has been rewarded $600,000 from The Fletcher Jones Foundation for its Summer Undergraduate Research Program, which provides students with up to $4,000 in financial support for extended, focused research projects. The new grant will endow the Fletcher Jones Foundation Undergraduate Research Fund at Pomona College.

Opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in hands-on research are one of the hallmarks of a Pomona College education. Through the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), students either work on independent projects with substantive faculty mentoring or work directly for a professor as a summer research assistant.

During summer 2011, more than 140 students conducted research on a wide range of topics, including:

  • advances in solid-state polymer-hybrid dye-sensitized solar cells;
  • the role of synbindin on synapse development at the neuromuscular junction;
  • who gets designated a terrorist and why;
  • place-specific contemporary Southern California art;
  • the polarization of blazars;
  • the effectiveness of information and communication technology within social justice organizations working with immigrant communities in Los Angeles;
  • the impact of acute stress on immune function;
  • the origins of the adaptive immune system, with a focus on variable lymphocyte receptors;
  • attachment-based intervention for mothers with drug use disorders;
  • silica cementation of Lacustrine Sandstone, Long Valley Caldera, CA, which has implications for assessing the longevity of hydrothermal systems; and
  • “The Warlord Period”: Devolved Governments in Northern Republican Era China (1916-1927).

SURP students will present the results of their summer research at the 24th Annual Poster Conference on Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 4:30-6 p.m., on Stover Walk (just east of Harrison and College Ave.).

Pomona College President David Oxtoby, who is also an atmospheric chemist, understands the excitement of original research. “There is no better way to educate future scientists than to give them the opportunity to do hands-on research early in their educational program,” says Oxtoby. “For students, a SURP grant can provide a transformative experience, allowing students to discover their passion while assembling a portfolio.”

Ongoing support for the Pomona College summer research program is also provided by the Paul K. and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Memorial Fund, the Kenneth Cooke Memorial Fund, the Faucett Family Foundation, the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, the Dale N. Robertson Fund, the Aubrey H. and Eileen J. Seed Student Research Fund, the Schulz Fund for Environmental Studies, the Brian Stonehill Fund, the Elgin Fund and the Evelyn B. Craddock-McVicar Memorial Fund.

For more information on Pomona College’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program, visit:

The Fletcher Jones Foundation was established in 1968 by Fletcher Jones, co-founder of Computer Sciences Corporation, a global leader in providing technology services to businesses and governments. After the death of Fletcher Jones in 1972, the Foundation was endowed from his personal estate and is governed by a distinguished Board of Trustees. The Foundation’s mission is and has been to support private, independent colleges and universities in California.

Pomona College, founded in 1887, is known for its distinctive liberal arts education, small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and opportunities for research and involvement on campus and in the community. In October, Pomona College launched Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds, with a goal of raising $250 million.