Green Building Technology Student Dominique Etienne Presents Algal Bloom/CyanoHAB research at Biomedical Research Conference in Phoenix

By now many Hudson Valley residents are pretty wary of harmful algal blooms in area waterbodies and the health impacts they can have on humans and pets. This month SUNY Sullivan Green Building Technology major Dominique Etienne will travel to Phoenix, AZ, to present the results of her research on these algal blooms or CyanoHABs at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Students (ABRCMS).

Etienne’s poster talk, “The Effects of Climate Change on CyanoHABs,” explored the impact that seasonal temperature changes can have on these algal blooms or CyanoHABs. Her study is the result of research she did this past summer in the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program at SUNY Purchase, a paid eight-week summer research program funded by the National Institutes of Health.

“My project was very interesting to me because we really looked into the human and environmental causes and impacts of harmful algal blooms and CyanoHABs,” said Etienne. “The Bridges program did a really good job of preparing us for everything that we did. For example, we had our first practice symposium recorded so we could watch our feedback and we talked with the mentors on how we could improve ourselves. The feedback and repetitive practicing really made me improve throughout the program so I feel that I’m ready for ABRCMS!”

“I’m so happy that I get to be part of Dominique’s experience at SUNY Sullivan,” said SUNY Sullivan Bridges Program Coordinator Kathryn Scullion. “I’m proud of the research she has done through the Bridges Program and thrilled that she was chosen to present her work at ABRCMS. I feel very fortunate that she works in the labs with me and participates in the Garden Club because she’s so hardworking, intuitive, and inquisitive, and just a pleasure to be around.”

In addition to her studies at SUNY Sullivan, Etienne, a Middletown resident, works in the science labs, is a member of the Garden Club, and is interested in the Crochet, Art, and Gaming clubs. She also likes to hike on the campus’s nature trails.

“Life at SUNY Sullivan for me is super fun and educational, and my professors have been super helpful with providing me support when I reach out to them with questions I have with coursework and provide me with extracurricular opportunities like the Bridges program,” said Etienne, who hopes to work in the sustainability field after she graduates.

For over 20 years, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS) has been the go-to conference for historically excluded community college, undergraduate, and postbaccalaureate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program is an intensive eight-week summer research program at SUNY Purchase for underrepresented community college students interested in science seeking hands-on research experience. The program includes on-campus housing, a $4,800 stipend, professional development, workshops, and off-campus field trips. Interested SUNY Sullivan students should contact Bridges Program Coordinator Kathryn Scullion at For more information about the program, visit

About SUNY Sullivan

SUNY Sullivan is the leader of innovative higher education and a catalyst for workforce development throughout the Sullivan Catskills and beyond. Our diverse community cultivates personal growth and professional advancement, preparing students for success in a sustainable and interconnected world. A forward-looking, top-tier community college in New York, SUNY Sullivan offers over 40 degree programs, certificates, and micro-credentials for learners at all levels of their educational goals. We value critical inquiry and creativity while supporting our students in a culture of inclusion and respect.


November 10, 2023

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