“It is both tough and challenging because there is homework every night, but the program also connects you to what you can do with it in the future,” Miles said. Miles plans to begin studies in astrobiology and bio-geosciences at ASU this fall.

Andre Perry II, a graduate from the Cibola High School, is attending his first Bustoz program summer session. He said the program “really teaches you to discipline yourself and manage your time wisely.” Andre will be joining the ASU freshman class this fall to study astrophysics.

Cindy Barragan Romero, Bustoz program manager, confirms that the program is intense.

“The students are immersed in lectures, homework and daily tutoring from 9 to 5 for up to eight weeks in the summer,” she said. She considers the field trips “a well-deserved break that allows them to see what they can do with the content they are learning. It teaches them that there is a lot of opportunity out there.”

Bustoz’s obituary explained that his “defining characteristic was his passion not only for the field of mathematics, but also for helping talented minority students achieve their full potential. He recognized the hard work and long study required to achieve an understanding of mathematics and sciences, and he taught his students how to rise to the challenge of mastering those demanding fields of study.”

According to the Mathematical Association of America website, Bustoz, a Tempe native, was born to farmworkers who were also valued Tempe School District employees — so much so that the school district honored his parents by naming a school after them. Bustoz earned his doctorate in mathematics at Arizona State University in 1968. Although he spent seven years away as a faculty member at University of Cincinnati and a Fulbright lecturer in Colombia, he returned to ASU as a professor of mathematics in 1976. Bustoz took pride in his Tempe roots and dedicated years of community service to the underserved communities. In 1985, he launched the Summer Math-Science program for high school students.  For his efforts, President Bill Clinton honored him in 1996 with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Additionally, ASU presented him with the Wexler and Alumni Association service award. The Mathematical Association of America memorialized Bustoz in a dedicated biography, noting his dedication to increasing minority participation in math-related degrees and his intense commitment to working with Navajo and Pima Reservation students and teachers.

Christine Lewis

PhD candidate and science writer, Biodesign Institute Center for Applied Structural Discovery and the School of Molecular Sciences