Ouachita Baptist University students represented the school with distinction at the Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) conference in Fayetteville. Among the 23 Ouachita students who participated, 20 presented research results via poster or oral presentations and three students won awards and cash prizes.
John Gomez, a senior chemistry, biology and English major from Conway, Ark., was awarded $400 for first place in the biological science oral division. Emily Coffman, a senior chemistry major from Hattieville, Ark., was awarded $200 for second place in the biological science poster division, and Grace Whitaker, a senior biology major from Victoria, Texas, was awarded $200 for second place in the chemistry and biochemistry poster division.
“The conference as a whole taught me more about what’s going on in the scientific community, and it really let me see how amazing some of my peers are,” Coffman said. “It also gave me more confidence in my work and prepared me for the upcoming presentations at nationals in Anaheim, Calif.”
“When OBU students are excited about research it makes science come alive,” said Dr. Joe Jeffers, dean of the Patterson School of Natural Sciences and professor of chemistry. “It is a rewarding experience that we hope can be extended to more and more OBU students.”
“My main goal was to become more comfortable with presenting scholarly information in the scientific community, and I was definitely able to accomplish that goal. Winning was just a plus,” Coffman said, “It’s definitely an honor to be recognized for the work I’ve done, but everyone did such a great job. OBU should be proud of the way our students as a whole represented our institution.”
Although Ouachita was one of the smallest colleges at the INBRE conference, it was the only school to have three student winners (the University of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Central Arkansas and Southern Arkansas University had two winners each). Ouachita also had the second largest group of presenters.
These students will go on to present their research at Ouachita Scholars’ Day, and many of them will also present at the national American Chemical Society meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
Scholars’ Day, April 28, is an opportunity for Ouachita students to share their research and creative studies with the university community. Students wishing to submit research, posters, papers, art work, musical performances, theatre scenes and creative writing will be able to submit abstracts online from Feb. 22 to April 1. Visit www.obu.edu/honors/scholars_day.asp for more information.
For more information about INBRE and student research, contact Dr. Joe Jeffers at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5216.
By Meg Gosser