Benefits of Participating

in the Program


1.  Guidance in navigating through college and choosing a

     career in science

2.  Preparation for education beyond the baccalaureate

3.  Participation in the Mentor Tech program
     ( ) at TTU which pairs

     the student with a mentor at TTU

4.  Employment to participate in undergraduate research with

     scientists at TTU and the TTU Health Sciences Center

5.  Involvement in a supportive and educational environment

     for underrepresented minorities


Bradon Loya

Kristin Tovar

Stephanie K. Pleasant

Andi Flores

Angel R Cueva

Bradon Loya

B.S. Physics with Honors, May 2013


     The Bridges program was truly vital in providing many initial opportunities in college. The program was a foundation from which I launched a very productive undergraduate research experience. I went on to conduct research in environmental sciences, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering. The first two research areas were done while I was at South Plains College.


From the Bridges program I was able to accomplish much more. I had an amazing college experience where, most notable, I was an intern at NASA, studied at the University of Oxford, and traveled abroad to India. The laboratory experience has given me a very competitive edge on any science subject. Although my studies were in the physical sciences (physics and engineering), I was also very knowledgeable in chemistry and biology. This well roundedness was a direct result of the research that the Bridges program allowed me to conduct.


Currently I am working at B&W Pantex as a physicist. Pantex, as stated on their website, is the “nation’s primary site for assembly and disassembly of nuclear weapons”. Undergraduate research and the Bridges program have undoubtedly helped me to attain my current position. I highly recommend this program to any serious student.



Kristin Tovar

M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy, May 2014

B.S. Human Development and Family Studies, May 2012

A.S. Arts and Science, May 2010


     My last year at SPC I joined the Bridges Program. I was unsure what I was getting myself into. The one thing I was sure of was that the program would open up a lot of doors for me. That is exactly what it did. Since I joined the program, I have been to multiple conferences, learned about great organizations to join at Tech, gained some great friendships, and figured out what I really want to do with my life. At SPC, I started off pre-med and when I transferred to Texas Tech I studied, Human Development and Family Studies. There, it wasn’t until the December before I graduated that I wanted to earn my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Without the contacts I gained from being in the Bridges program, my support would not have been as strong as it was. I had outstanding letters of recommendation from people I knew only because I participated in the Bridges program. I have graduated with my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy in May of 2014, and I look back on my journey and realize how many doors opened to me all because I joined The Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program.

Stephanie K. Pleasant

B.S. Chemistry, May 2014

TTU/HHMI Scholar

ACS Scholar


      The Bridge Program has been the stepping-stone and door opener for many different opportunities that would not otherwise be possible. When I think of the Bridge Program I think of the chance to be successful in any aspect of life that I so desire. After switching majors from nursing to chemistry the Bridge Program afforded me the opportunity attend my first national American Chemical Society Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. After conducting my first summer research project I was able to present at conferences across the country from Hawaii to New York.

Along with my conference traveling I have held research positions in both Washington with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Opportunities in Genomics Research in Saint Louis, Missouri. The plethora of scholarships I have obtained from the assistance of the program directors has far exceeded my expectations. I have been able to pay for college, because of their help. My biggest accomplishment was being accepted into the TTU-Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program, because of the previous work I had completed as a Bridge student.

My favorite thing about the Bridges Program is traveling to the SACNAS Conference. You get a better understanding of science and how others really want nothing more than to help you succeed in life. If I could give you any advice it would be to take a chance on learning something new. The best feeling in life is having a group of people that support you no matter what field or career you choose. By being a Bridge student you will be able network with other students, scientists, and researchers while gaining valuable mentors along the way.

As a Bridge student I have gained confidence in myself. I know that wherever I may go in life I will take the skills that I have been taught along the way such as: letter writing, networking, and knowing when to ask for help. These skills that I have learned will be an invaluable asset as I move forward in my academic and professional career.



Andi Flores

B.S. Biochemistry, May 2014


     Before I even knew about the Bridges program I would have never thought of myself to become the future aspirer as I am today in the science world. The first time I heard of the program I was sitting in my chemistry class and watched in on these Bridges students present their research to the class, and at that very moment I knew I had to become a part of this program. Joining in the program was probably the best thing that has happened to me in my whole college experience. While in the program I have made many friends along the journey, but most importantly the experience that was given to me was probably more than money could buy. Also while attending South Plains College I was working on my associates in arts and science.  I have to admit I did have to step up my game being that I am a little competitive, to continue on. Being beside students who were literally in the same shoes as myself felt reassuring that I was where I was supposed to be. Transferring out was even of an experience for me. Since then I am now attending West Texas A & M University where I plan on receiving my bachelors in biochemistry. I still keep in contact with advisors and my friends in the program even though I chose a different route than Texas Tech. I miss the program and the entire experience. One thing is for sure the memories I gained with the Bridges program are the ones I hope to remember forever.



Angel R Cueva

B.S. Microbiology, December 2015

A.S. Arts and Science, May 2012


     I joined the Bridges Program my freshman year at South Plains College: being fresh out of high school and having big dreams. At the time I was unaware that the Bridges Program would help me accomplish them or at least point me in the right direction. The support I received from Dr. Driver and Dr. Canas-Carrell is incomparable! They saw the potential with in me and gave me the wings to fly. Through Bridges I was able to join Dr. Kai Zhang’s lab at Texas Tech University, where I worked on a project involving an eukaryotic pathogen. It was with this project and the Bridges program that I was able to present at the SACNAS national conference 2011 in San Jose, California. I graduated from South Plains College and transferred to TTU being Pre-Dental (as planned) with a Major in Microbiology and Minor in Chemistry. In the process of transferring I was able to join the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, thanks to a wonderful letter of recommendation from Dr. Canas-Carrell and my PI--Dr. Zhang. I was able to continue research as an HHMI scholar and attended SACNAS 2012 in Seattle! This summer I switched labs due to my interest in Biofilms and for the last two months I have been able to shadow at a Dental Clinic here in Lubbock. I am truly grateful for this program and all the opportunities it was to offer: whether they are aware of them or not. I am well off on my way to becoming a Doctor of Dental Surgery possibly pursuing an MD and this is all thanks to The Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program.



 Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program  •   P.O. Box 41163  •  Lubbock, TX 79409  •  T: 806-885-0308  •  F: 806-885-2132