Bridges to Baccalaureate 


Welcome! Our Manhattan-Bridge program seeks to enhance the number of Racially Ethnic Minority students in biomedical and behavioral sciences research by bridging the path from a minority-serving community college (Borough of Manhattan Community College [BMCC]) to a baccalaureate degree in a STEM field at a minority-serving senior college (The City College of New York [CCNY]).  Manhattan-Bridge is a two-year scholarship that includes a coordinated system of faculty mentoring, peer mentoring, peer support, diversity training, STEM coursework, laboratory training, tutoring, career/academic enrichment workshops, and supplemental instruction -- all evidence-based components that contribute to equity.  We provide trainees with research opportunities at BMCC and CCNY from committed experts in the biomedical and behavioral science fields to guide development of mentored research projects. Trainees will be provided with conference travel and research funds to facilitate their understanding of the conduct and dissemination of research findings throughout the academic year and summers. Our goal is to cultivate the educational, research and career self-efficacy of the trainees and to provide them with the social and academic grounding and research skills development to succeed in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

APPLICATION | Apply Now!       

The deadline to apply is March 15th, 2022. Do not wait until the last minute to send your application. Now is the right time to apply. 


Robert Melara

Robert Melara Ph.D
Grant Director
Multiple Principal Investigator

o: NAC 7/201 | p: 212-650-5716
e: | CCNY Profile

Dr. Melara is the Grant Director and Multiple Principal Investigator for this Bridges grant.  Dr. Melara is a psychophysicist and cognitive neuroscientist by training.  He currently is a Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Psychology at City College, City University of New York.  Dr. Melara received his Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Stony Brook and his Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research.  He has 25 years of experience as an investigator of normal and impaired processes of attention in humans.  He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles designed to identify the cognitive and neural mechanisms of inhibition, perceptual discriminability, and working memory that govern attentive focus and distraction in the visual, tactile, and auditory modalities.  Pursuit of these mechanisms has provided Dr. Melara with extensive experience using a range of laboratory attention tasks, statistical methods, and mathematical models. Over the past five years, Dr. Melara has served as Co-Investigator and Faculty mentor on a NIDA funded R25 training program (TRACC-RU; R25DA035161).


Lesia M. Ruglass

Lesia M. Ruglass Ph.D
Multiple Principal Investigator

o: NAC 8/132 | p: 212-650-7821
e: | CCNY Profile

Dr. Ruglass is a Multiple Principal Investigator for this grant.  Dr. Ruglass is an Associate Professor in the Masters in Mental Health Counseling Program, Director of the Research on Addictive Disorders (ROAD) Lab at CCNY, and PI of the NIH/NIDA-funded R25 program, TRACC-RU (R25DA035161).  Over the past 19 years, she has served in key assessment, management and oversight roles on several NIH-funded research projects (1 NIH/NIAAA R01 and 2 NIH/NIDA funded R01s and 1 NIH/NIDA funded R25). She also served as the co-investigator of a pilot translational study examining social and non-social threat processing in PTSD, PI of a privately funded study geared towards understanding and reducing barriers to City College of New York’s (CCNY) REM students’ decisions to apply to and enter psychology graduate school, and PI on a university-funded pilot study examining racial/ethnic differences in cue reactivity among marijuana users and a NCI-funded pilot study examining racial/ethnic differences in cue reactivity among nicotine users.  She has over 40 peer-reviewed publications and has presented her work nationally and internationally.  Over the past six years, she has served as PI, education coordinator, and faculty mentor on a R25 training program (TRACC-RU, R25DA035161) housed at City College of New York.  Dr. Ruglass will also serve as a mentor to one of the trainees in the program.


Alexander Gosslau

Alexander Gosslau Ph.D.
Multiple Principal Investigator

o: N-698H | p: 212-220-1317
e: | BMCC Profile

Dr. Gosslau is a Multiple Principal Investigator for this grant.  Dr. Gosslau is a Professor in the Department of Science (Biology). He has more than 20 years of experience in in Cell and Molecular Biology where he has worked on identifying bioactive substances with anti-inflammatory properties (e.g., black tea extract enriched with theaflavins; orange peel extract enriched with polymethoxyflavones) to treat degenerative diseases.  He established a mechanism in bioactives to activate the mitochondrial-mediated apoptotic-signaling pathway as a possible molecular cancer target. His work is funded by grants from NSF and NIH.  He is a mentor to REM students at BMCC and has received awards to enhance the undergraduate learning experience in multidisciplinary research projects. Dr. Gosslau will also serve as a mentor to one of the trainees in the program.


Hawai Kwok

Hawai Kwok M.A.
Program Director

o: NAC 7/120 | p: 212-650-6777
e: | CCNY Profile

Hawai Kwok is the Program Director for this grant.  She has over 13 years of experience in supporting STEM students in experiential learning and placing hundreds of students in internships in NYC, Washington D.C. and internationally.  She supported REM students in STEM laboratories, some of who entered into PhD programs and continued research work post-graduation.  She serves as Director of Academic Programs in the Psychology Department at CCNY.

Bridges to Baccalaureate Program


Alivya Barry - Evian Pollack - Bridges to Baccalaureate Scholar


Evian Pollack - Bridges to Baccalaureate Scholar


Gabriel Mascagni - Bridges to Baccalaureate Scholar


Jadhiel Rondon - Bridges to Baccalaureate Scholar


Nana Wiafe Addae Owusu - Bridges to Baccalaureate Scholar





Last Updated: 01/13/2022 15:44