OSU Welcomes Inaugural Cohort of Life Sciences Freshman Research Scholars


Thirty-two first-year students have embarked on a year-long initiation into the world of authentic research as part of a larger project supported in part by a grant to Oklahoma State University from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Science Education Program.  The Life-Sciences Freshman Research Scholars (LSFRS) Program is overseen by faculty from the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Zoology.

During the fall semester, students will participate in an eight-week seminar, during which they will learn how to identify a research question and write a detailed proposal outlining the research they plan to conduct. They will also receive help in identifying a life-scientist who will mentor them and guide them in the development of their proposal and then conducting their research during the spring semester.  During the final phase of the program, students will disseminate their results through articles or poster presentations. 

The program provides successful students with a $1,000 award.   Dr. Donald French, professor of zoology and Project Director described selecting the participants as a pleasure and a challenge.

“We were fortunate to have a great pool of applicants,” French said, “and great support from the departments and my colleagues on the project (Drs. John Gelder, John Gustafson, Wouter Hoff, Gilbert John, and Janette Steets), so filling our initial cohort was easy, but it also meant we were unable to accept some only because of limits to the resources.” 

French described the origin of the program sprouted from the desire to provide more research opportunities to first-year students.

“We wanted a program to address the needs of students who felt ready to try research in their first year,” French said, “because of the evidence that it is associated with greater persistence among students afforded that opportunity.  Fortunately, OSU has been conducting a Freshman Research Scholars (FRS) Program, so we had a great model we could tailor specifically for those in the life sciences.  By helping students select mentors, learn the skills needed to write quality proposals, and network with faculty and peers with similar goals, these programs help students with their transition into college and the research community.” 

Dr. John Stewart, a post-doctoral research associate hired to co-teach the LSFRS seminar, echoed French’s remarks. 

“This is a great opportunity for our students, one that every researcher wishes he or she had in their first-year,” Stewart said.  “I am delighted to help our scholars get an early start learning the skills that they often don’t practice till their junior or senior years and to share with them the thrill of discovery.”  

Dr. Amy Martindale, Director of Student Academic Services and the coordinator for the FRS program for the College of Arts and Sciences, who helps support and assess the program, sees long-term benefits of the program.

“We have so many great students entering OSU, I knew we needed to and could engage so many more students in research,” Martindale said.  “Tailoring a program specifically for the life-sciences should help build a community that will augment the research experience and help draw in others.”

Students offered the inaugural scholarship:

STUDENT NAME

 

CLS

MAJ

City

State

ALVARADO, MARINA GUADAULPE

 

FR

BIOC

Tulsa

OK

BLACK, BAILEY M

 

FR

MCMB

Noble

OK

DEALY, KALYN L

 

FR

ZOOL

Midwest City

OK

FARIS, MADISON E

 

FR

MCMB

Fort Worth

TX

FLETCHER, RACHEL A

 

FR

MCMB

Allen

TX

FLORES, IVAN

 

FR

UAUN

Oklahoma City

OK

FLUSCHE, GRACE K

 

FR

BIMB

Muskogee

OK

GAUSS, JORDAN L

 

FR

BIOC

Shawnee

OK

GUNNARS, TABITHA S

 

FR

ZOOL

Tulsa

OK

HENTHORN, DANIEL J

 

FR

BIMB

Mustang

OK

HERRON, JAELEN D

 

FR

BIOL

Tulsa

OK

HOOPER, MARIAH S

 

FR

BIOC

Bunch

OK

KECK, KIMBERLY G

 

FR

ZOOL

Lindsay

OK

KIMBROUGH, SAM W

 

FR

MCMB

Marlow

OK

LANDERS, JAMIE E

 

FR

ZOOL

Broken Arrow

OK

LINN, CERRA BOLTON

 

FR

BIOL

Mounds

OK

MANLY, COURTNEY M

 

FR

ZOOL

Broken Arrow

OK

MCALLISTER, RACHEL LYNN

 

FR

MCMB

Tulsa

OK

MILLESON, BRIENNA C

 

FR

MCMB

Tulsa

OK

MOORE, JOSHUA R

 

FR

MCMB

Pryor

OK

PEARCE, MAGGIE E

 

FR

PHSL

Edmond

OK

PURCELL, LINDSEY K

 

FR

BIMB

Oklahoma City

OK

RICHMOND, JAKE R

 

FR

ZOOL

Amber

OK

SEAL, AARON D

 

FR

BIMB

Muskogee

OK

SIMON, SHARON S

 

FR

BIOC

Yukon

OK

SLAWSON, MADISON A

 

FR

BIMB

McAlester

OK

SMITH, SYDNI CAET

 

FR

MCMB

Nevada City

CA

SPICER, JACK ROBERT

 

FR

ZOOL

Chambersburg

PA

STEICHEN, CHRISTIAN L

 

FR

PHSL

Tulsa

OK

TESSMANN, SIERRA L

 

FR

BIMB

Pawnee

OK

WILSON-HENSON, KENDALL L

 

SO

ZOOL

Mustang

OK