The RISE Program was initiated at University of Puerto Rico-Cayey in 1984. Since the beginning this program has been funded by the National Institutes of Health through a series of grants either to Dr. Jose M. Velazquez or Dr. Robert Ross.
Goals have always included the following:
- Creating opportunities for faculty and students to conduct biomedical research at Cayey,
- Providing a series of seminars and workshops presented by visiting scientists from the continental United
States of America, and
- Offering research experiences in the academic year and in the summer months for undergraduate Cayey science majors .
Growth has occurred in all aspects of the program. During the last few years the RISE Program has averaged over one seminar every week during the academic year. Involvement with student clubs ( Biology Honor Society, Chemistry Circle, American Medical Student Association, Math Circle, and T-Med ) and classes has allowed for each speaker to have a greater impact on the college community and curriculum. The Freshmen Skills component is an outgrowth of an earlier program at Cayey – The Howard Hughes Program. This five-year grant ended in 1998 and most aspects have been continued in the RISE Program.
Science education and research opportunities have especially grown since the inauguration of the North Science Building with 26 laboratories in 2007 and the commencement of use in August 2008. RISE student research projects both on Island and off Island were highlighted during the ceremony. Dignitaries such as the mayor of Caguas, Mr. William Miranda and of Cayey, Mr. Rolando Ortiz, attended.
- Offering an intensive General Biology course with more lab experiences in the summer ( First Summer Freshmen Skills),
- Encouraging more faculty (mentors) and students to be involved in semester-long research projects, and
motivating freshmen level students to continue a research career.
Summer research positions have grown from three student participants to over 50 students each summer