Micah Abrams

The University of Central Arkansas has prided itself on student research over the last decade.

With the increase in student research comes a need for an increase in funds to make that research possible. Thanks to the help of generous alumni like Dr. Micah Abrams, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics now has an endowed scholarship fund ready to offer students these opportunities.

“We have students who do undergraduate research in chemistry, and the knowledge they gain and the relationships they develop with faculty helps lay the building blocks for their future career,” Pat Desrochers, Chair of Chemistry Department said.

Abrams, a 2001 chemistry graduate, went on to receive his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed his postdoctoral research at Virginia Tech. He joined the UCA chemistry faculty as a theoretical chemist beginning in the fall of 2006 and served at UCA for two years. He left UCA for a position in the private sector in the Washington, DC area in 2008.

Abrams still lives in the D.C. metro area where he is currently the CEO and CTO of Raptics, Inc. He and his business partners focus on creating and deploying analytic solutions for customers in the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Intelligence Community (IC). Though he stays very busy, he donates his time and resources to UCA’s Advancement of Undergraduate Research in the Sciences (AURS) fund. Abrams pledged $75,000 in 2016 to both grow the fund and make the fund more attractive to alumni and commercial donations.

“Will Slaton and I recognize the importance of student research to burgeoning young scientists.,” Micah Abrams said. “We want more students at UCA to have the opportunity to focus on student research and be rewarded for their achievements.”

AURS supports students in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. In 2017, the fund awarded $100 to the top student thesis from each department and two $5000 summer research stipends. Starting in 2011, the AURS fund has funded eight summer research stipends and twenty best departmental thesis awards. Some of the past recipients’ research has ranged from “Comparing Efficiency of Roundabouts to Traffic Lights in Conway, Arkansas: A Probabilistic and Simulation Approach” to “E-cadherin expression in prostate cancer cells is modulated by adhesion status.”

“The fund gives students an opportunity to work with UCA faculty in the summer, focus on a research project, and potentially publish the findings in a scientific journal,” said Abrams. “I hope the fund will have a positive and lasting impact on the students who choose to pursue science, technology, engineering, or mathematics at UCA.”

For more information on AURS: http://www.aursfund.org/home

To donate to AURS: http://uca.edu/go/giveAURS