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Connecting Research and Education At Texas (CREATE) is a program committed to offering research experience for community college students. Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Center for Dynamics and Control of Materials (CDCM): an NSF MRSEC, CREATE hosts research seminars and organizes STEM-focused summer internships at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin).

Historically, CREATE's seminar series has featured guest speakers from UT Austin. These seminars, held during both fall and spring semesters, cover diverse topics related to chemistry, engineering, and biochemistry. By exposing attendees to cutting-edge research, these sessions ignite curiosity in scientific inquiry and assist students in identifying their areas of interest.


Prospective applicants to CREATE’s summer internship program are encouraged to explore the websites of participating research faculty mentors at UT Austin listed on the Summer Internship page before applying. It is recommended that applicants identify their top three research faculty mentors to facilitate pairing them with a project aligned with their interests. Past research from CREATE alumni has encompassed a wide range of projects, from exploring novel materials for batteries and solar energy generation to developing new molecules for enhanced MRI imaging and medical instruments.


CREATE summer interns will receive both course credit via UT Austin’s Extension Program and financial support via a research stipend.

Summer Research Program

CREATE offers a paid summer research internship spanning 9 weeks from late May to the end of July, taking place at UT Austin’s campus. Applicants can expect to work in research laboratories within various departments, including Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, or Molecular Biosciences at UT Austin. Participants are matched with a faculty research mentor to explore at least one project centered on a current STEM research topic. At the conclusion of the program, participants showcase their contributions during a Poster Session held in late July. Throughout the program, participants can refine their laboratory techniques, collaborate with UT faculty and student researchers, and earn course credit via UT Extension.

For further details on this program and application procedures, please visit our Summer Internship page.

CREATE Leadership Team


Sean Roberts, Ph.D.
UT Austin

  • Associate Professor - Department of Chemistry

  • Fellow of the William H. Wade Endowed Professorship in Chemistry

Dr. Roberts has served the Department of Chemistry at UT Austin since 2014. He co-developed the Honors Organic Chemistry Course at ACC and is the founder of Chemical Research at Texas, formerly known as Green Energy at Texas.​ ​

Shawn Amorde

Shawn Amorde, Ph.D.
Austin Community College

  • Professor - Department of Chemistry

Dr. Amorde co-developed the Honors Organic Chemistry course at ACC with Dr. Roberts. It is a research experience module that introduces ACC students to chemical research by allowing them to design, synthesize, and characterize a library of organic dyes and pigments with potential utility for energy applications.


Emily Que, Ph.D.
UT Austin

  • Associate Professor - Department of Chemistry

  • MSMLG Czarnik Emerging Investigators Award for 2021

Dr. Que has served the Department of Chemistry at UT Austin since Summer 2014. She has developed a series of Gd-based contrast agents and was awarded the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry Young Investigator Award (2010). Her research areas include bioinorganic chemistry and chemical biology.

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Samantha Soebbing, Ph.D.
Austin Community College

  • Adjunct Associate Professor - Department of Chemistry

  • Faculty Mentor - Science, Engineering & Math Area of Study

  • Tutor - Highland Campus Learning Lab


Dr. Soebbing has served ACC students since Fall 2016. Previously, she was a faculty member at Nashville State Community College.  Her research interests in graduate school and her post-doctoral fellowship were protein design and radiochemistry.

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Purna Murthy, Ph. D
Austin Community College 

  • Associate Professor - Department of Engineering

Purna Murthy has served ACC students since 2019. He has 25+ years of experience working in the aerospace and high-tech industries. His impressive background features roles such as a NASA engineer and Vice President of Engineering at Dell. 

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Bruna Leao Souza, student
Austin Community College

  • Honors Peer Tutor (2024)

  • Chevron Engineering Academy (Class of 2026)

  • AS in General Studies (BYU, 2011)

Bruna Leao Souza joined the CREATE team in 2024 as a Program Administrator. She is currently taking the Honors Organic Chemistry II Lab (Chem 2125-700) at ACC and pursuing a bachelor's in chemical engineering.  

CREATE Sponsors

CREATE is sponsored by the Center for Dynamics and Control of Materials (CDCM) under NSF Award Number DMR-1720595 and the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grants CMMI-2053567, CHE-1945401, and CHE-2003735.

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