Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI)


Former QCC Student attends CCURI- sponsored National Student Poster Session

Chanele Rodriguez represented QCC at the Spring 2019 National CCURI conference in Washington, DC. 

On May 2, 2019, Chanele Rodriguez, represented QCC at the National Student Poster Session conference in Washington, DC. The CCURI National Student Poster Session was held on May 2, 2019, 3:30pm-4:45 pm in the Hart Senate Office Building Room 902. As part of this event, students were given time to schedule meetings with congressional representatives to share how funding for undergraduate research impacts the student experience. 

Chanele is currently a civil engineering major at New York University. She conducted research on ionic liquids with Dr. Sharon Lall-Ramnarine while attending QCC from 2015-2017. While at QCC Chanele was supported by the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program – RIMS, participated in two paid Department of Energy summer internships at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and presented her work at the 20th International Symposium on Molten Salts and Ionic Liquids in Hawaii in 2016. 

Chanele represented QCC earlier this month at the National CCURI conference in Washington, DC

CURRI sponsored event

The research Chanele presented was published in four peer reviewed journals with her as a co-author –

  1. Sharon I. Lall-Ramnarine, Man Zhao, Chanele Rodriguez*, Rahonel Fernandez*, Nicole Zmich*, Eddie D. Fernandez*, Surajdevprakash B. Dhiman, Edward W. Castner Jr. and James F. Wishart, “Connecting Structural and Transport Properties of Ionic Liquids with Cationic Oligoether Chains”. Journal of Electrochemical Society – Focus Issue on Ionic Liquids· volume 164, issue 8, H5247-H5262 2017, DOI: 10.1149/2.0371708jes 
  2. Sharon I. Lall-Ramnarine, Sophia N. Suarez, Eddie D. Fernandez*, Chanele Rodriguez*, Sujun Wei, Mallory Gobet, J. R. P. Jayakody, Surajdevprakash B. Dhiman and James F. Wishart, “Exploring the use of ionic liquid mixtures to enhance the performance of dicationic ionic liquids”.  Journal of Electrochemical Society – Focus Issue on Ionic Liquids, Volume 164, Number 8, H5150-H5159· 2017, DOI: 10.1149/2.0271708jes
  3. Sharon I. Lall-Ramnarine, Eddie D. Fernandez*, Chanele Rodriguez*, Sujun Wei, Surajdevprakash B. Dhiman and James F. Wishart, “Transport Properties of Ionic Liquid Mixtures Containing Heterodications”. ECS Transactions 75(15):555-565 · 2016, DOI: 10.1149/07515.0555ecs
  4. Sharon I. Lall-Ramnarine, Chanele Rodriguez*, Rahonel Fernandez*, Nicole Zmich*, Eddie D. Fernandez*, Surajdevprakash B. Dhiman and James F. Wishart, “The Effect of Lengthening Cation Ether Tails On Ionic Liquid Properties”. ECS Transactions 75(15):215-232 · 2016, DOI: 10.1149/07515.0215ecst

Our Team

CURRI team

Professor Joan Petersen, Biological Sciences and Geology Department
Professor Sharon Lall-Ramnarine, Chemistry Department
Professor Maria Mercedes Franco, Mathematics and Computer Science Department
Professor Rex Taibu, Physics Department
Professor Rommel Robertson, Social Sciences Department
Dean Kathleen Landy, Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning


What is CCURI?

  • CCURI is supported through the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Grant (Executive Director/Principal Investigator Dr. James Hewlett, Finger Lakes Community College).
  • The Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) uses an inquiry-based teaching model where students are exposed to real world science and hands-on research experiences.
  • CCURI provides several resources, including workshops/conferences, funding for start-up supplies, and a wide variety of faculty development opportunities for its 44 institutional partners located throughout the United States.
  • QCC has been a CCURI institutional partner since 2016.

CCURI Resources for QCC Faculty

  • QCC Biology Faculty have received start-up funds to purchase micropipettors that are being used for undergraduate research in the classroom activities (Environmental Science and Public Health classes)
  • QCC faculty have opportunities to attend Professional Development Workshops in field and laboratory methods that can be used for classroom-based research
    • Past topics have included bioinformatics, CRISPR gene editing, DNA barcoding, identification of freshwater sponges, and camera trapping
    • Workshops have taken place in Tulsa, Canandaigua, Jackson Hole and San Diego
  • Upcoming Spring 2019 Workshop will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • CCURI arranges travel and covers all costs of these workshops
  • QCC Faculty have access to the Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA) survey that assesses students’ self-reported gains from participating in UR activities
    • CCURI evaluator analyzes data and sends a summary report to faculty who administer the survey to their students
  • CCURI Website ( offers links to lab protocols, UR publications, and other resources


  • QCC students who are engaged in research are eligible to attend a CCURI Colloquium
  • Most recent Colloquium took place in Glendale, Arizona
    • Past conferences have been in Austin TX, Minneapolis MN, Nashville, TN and other locations
  • Students who attend have opportunities to:
    • Present their research findings in a supportive environment
    • Learn about research in a variety of disciplines
    • Find out about scholarships, internships and summer research opportunities for community college students
    • Interact with students and faculty from other colleges throughout the US
    • Meet with faculty who share their own stories and offer advice on how to be successful in science, overcome obstacles, and balance careers with family life

WAYS To get involved


  • Speak with professors to find out about their research interests
  • Attend seminars and other campus events to learn about opportunities for students interested in research


  • Ask the CCURI team about the resources available to QCC faculty
  • Attend CETL workshops to get more information about UR as a high-impact practice

Want more information?

CCURI Highlights from 2018 - Student Conferences

CCURI Highlights from 2018 November

November: QCC Students Yousif Saleh (mentor Dr. Moni Chauhan) and Jiayao Sun (mentor Wenjian Liu) presented at the CCURI Fall Colloquium at Glendale Community College (Glendale, AZ). 

CCURI Highlights from 2018 - Faculty Professional Development

CCURI Highlights from 2018

June: QCC Biology Professors Susan McLaughlin and Joan Petersen attended a Professional Development Workshop at Finger Lakes Community College (Canandaigua, NY). This workshop included laboratory and field activities focused on the identification of freshwater sponges. 

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