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Texas A&M-Kingsville McNair scholar's research honored at ABRCMS' 2022 conference in Anaheim

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Texas A&M University-Kingsville senior and McNair scholar Brissa Acevedo was honored for her presentation at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Anaheim, Calif. Acevedo, who is studying chemical engineering, presented her research, “The Future of Biodiesel & Wastewater Treatment,” during the conference held Nov. 9-12.

“Based on my research, I was able to conclude that microalgae have the potential to be a good candidate for industrial triglyceride production and wastewater treatment,” Acevedo said. “If this research is applied to developed and undeveloped communities, not only will they have access to potable water, but they will also be able to develop economically by contributing to the biodiesel industry.”

Acevedo, from Rosenberg, was one of 20 undergraduate students whose research was recognized at ABRCMS in the Engineering, Physics and Mathematics category. Over 2,000 students presented their work at the conference across 12 categories. Acevedo was the only student from Texas recognized in her category, which also honored the research of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Clemson University, Temple University and the University of Arizona.

The ABRCMS conference wasn’t the only opportunity Acevedo had to share her research. She presented as part of the Baylor McNair Scholars Conference in Waco and the Rice University Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium in Houston.

Acevedo said she was proud to have the chance to share her research and experience as a McNair Scholar and to represent the ‘first-gen’ Latinx community.

TAMUK senior and McNair scholar Brissa Acevedo was honored for her research presentation at the 2022 ABRCMS conference.“I am thankful for the opportunity ABRCMS 2022 gave me to network, share my experiences, and expand my knowledge in different science topics,” Acevedo said. “I am truly honored to be a recipient of an ABRCMS 2022 Presentation Award.”

Dr. Matthew Alexander, associate professor of chemical and natural gas engineering, worked with Acevedo as a faculty mentor and was co-named on her presentation at ABRCMS. He said he had a great experience working with Acevedo on the project, noting she is a “very committed and motivated young researcher.”

“She is a top-notch student, very bright, and I have confidence that she can do most anything she sets her mind to,” said Alexander. “She has very specific goals, and her work is clearly of the caliber necessary to attain those goals. Her commitment and motivation have gotten her to this level of performing excellent research work.”

In addition to being a McNair Scholar, Acevedo is part of the university’s Honors College and a Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo Scholar. Acevedo is set to graduate in Spring 2023 and plans on attending graduate school with the goal of obtaining a Ph.D. in engineering and public policy.

“I believe it is important to use my engineering knowledge and expand the information to the general population when it comes to risk communication and analysis,” Acevedo said.


For 20 years, the ABRCMS has been the go-to conference for underrepresented community college, undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. To find out more about this conference, visit

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