Staff & Faculty Involvement

conference 2021 image

Visit the 2021 Research Conference page

Bruin Brains Undergraduate Research Conference

How can SLCC Faculty & Staff Get Involved with Bruin Brains?

Students will look to a reservoir of Faculty that can guide them towards:
1. Knowledge of research formats and norms specific to your field.
2. Awareness of current literature that informs your field, to help strengthen the foundations of their projects.
3. Take part in growing academic identity & competency beliefs surrounding research

Faculty or staff interested in taking on a mentor role would self-identify themselves to be included in a reference catalog, similar to the SME Symposium Research Catalog (example here: that we would like to mimic and recreate but with a humanities, social sciences and other disciplines outside of SME concentrated topics.

Please fill out this form to let us know about your interest involvement with the Bruin Brains Undergraduate Research Conference. THIS FORM IS NOT A REGISTRATION LINK for the conference, rather, this form is geared for SLCC student services staff and Humanities & Social Sciences faculty (and other faculty outside of the School of SME) to help us streamline and centralize interested persons to better recruit and garner the type of involvement or commitment you would like to have within Bruin Brains. The Bruin Brains staff in TRIO programs will then reach out to you with further information and details.

Involvement Intake Assessment


Bruin Brains started as a student-driven research conference that focused on inclusion and diversity in research. TRIO STEM students were nervous to present at the SME symposium because of their limited experience and wanted an appreciative yet critical space to prepare their projects. Faculty feedback on posters/presentation, as central component to this event, was a key feature that students desired at the event. A guest speaker that focuses on diversity in STEM research was also a specific component on the event.

Since then, it’s expanded to include non-STEM student research and its mission is no longer to solely drive students to the SME symposium. Bruin Brains now also serves as a standalone undergraduate research opportunity for students to participate in, at no cost to them. Bruin Brains Research Conference is considered an interdisciplinary research conference with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Bruin Brains is largely funded by ACE and donations so we can include non-TRIO participants in the event.


To provide students the opportunity to present research and receive feedback in preparation for the SME symposium or other undergraduate research opportunities while acknowledging the importance of diversity and inclusivity in research.

Target Participation Audience

TRIO students; SLCC students interested in research; Faculty.


  1. You can do research.
  2. It is important that you engage in research early in your education.
  3. There are resources and support systems to help.
  4. Your identity and unique lived experiences are salient qualities that positively contribute to your research.

Faculty commitment

Similarly, to the SME faculty listed in the research catalog, TRIO would like to be able to refer students to faculty for mentorship/guidance on their research projects. Realizing this is an extra commitment that faculty would take on, we’d need faculty to self-identify themselves as willing to provide support for Bruin Brains projects. Support for these projects usually looks like helping students organize their thoughts, help coming up with a research question/topic, and resource referrals (e.g. journal articles and poster formatting). Ideally, TRIO would like to create a referral catalog similar to the SME research catalog that includes faculty from different schools outside of SME.

How to get your students involved

TRIO will create a Bruin Brains landing page that has a registration link and event details. TRIO will share the link once details are finalized. All participants must register for the event whether or not they are presenting research. Bruin Brains happens during Fall semester, typically the last week of Nov. or first week of Dec.

To get involved, contact the TRIO Programs department or the Program Managers individually -- Tanasia Valdez, Program Manager over TRIO-STEM or Mikaela Mokofisi, Program Manager over TRIO Student Support Services (SSS).

TRIO Programs Main Office Line: 801-957-4089

Bruin Brains TRIO Staff

Tanasia Valdez
TRIO STEM Program Manager
Office: 801-957-4827

Mikaela Mokofisi
TRIO SSS Program Manager
Office: 801-957-4334

Adrienne Howell
TRIO SSS Advisor 
Office: 801-957-4628

Maricela Hernandez
TRIO STEM, Advisor
Office: 801-957-4467