Langston University’s LINC STEM Scholar Wins First (1st) Place Award at Oklahoma EPSCoR Research Day at the Capitol
Langston University’s LINC scholar and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Technology) major Justina Bradley earned a 1st place award for her poster presentation at Oklahoma EPSCoR’s 2011 Research Day at the Capitol event on March 31. Her award comes with a $500 cash prize, and recognition for her stellar achievement.
Oklahoma EPSCoR’s Research Day at the Capitol has been around since 1996, and the competition is intensely competitive. Outstanding undergraduate students from Oklahoma's comprehensive and regional colleges and universities are nominated by their institutions to participate in the program. Participating institutions include just about every college and university throughout Oklahoma.
Nominees must prepare a scientific research poster on a research project that they have completed. Posters are competitively judged the day of the event by an independent panel. Posters are judged on 1) scientific presentation (clear purpose, hypothesis, background info, results, impact, further study expected), 2) student’s ability to explain project, 3) visual appearance of the poster, 4) clarity for general audiences, and 5) societal impact statement.
A lot of work goes into preparing the poster for the competition. The event oversight team recognizes this, and requires nominees to participate in a training session in order to ensure a high quality presentation. Langston University’s Department of Chemistry Chair and Langston Integrated Network College (LINC) Director, Dr. John Coleman, takes preparation to an even higher level. Nominees get his personal guidance on every detail and nuance, as well as the support of other STEM faculty and LINC staff. He says that he wants Langston University’s participants to be the absolute best that they can be. “Nobody can ask for anything beyond your very best efforts,” he frequently tells his scholars who participate in this event, and other competitive scientific research related events around the country.
Justina did not disappoint. Her grasp of her subject matter, poise, and overall presentation skills were apparently recognized by the independent judging panel. Her mother and father were on site to witness her presentation.
Justina’s research project, “Ionic Liquid Inhibition of Enzymatic Hydrolysis in Mircrocellulose”, was completed at the Brookhaven Institute in New York during a 2010 Summer Research Internship. She earned her participation on this project from a field of competitors from across the U.S. Justina also won 2nd place earlier in March for this presentation at the 68th Joint Annual Meeting of the Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society (BKX) and the National Institute of Science (NIS) at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Langston University is pleased to have one of its own recognized at this event. It serves to display the institution’s capabilities in preparing students to be leaders in STEM disciplines to the legislature, media and the general public at the State Capitol. It also serves to validate the trust that its partner, the National Science Foundation, has placed in it by awarding the institution an HBCU-UP Implementation project grant that is aimed at increasing the number of underserved students who enter college, receive undergraduate and advanced degrees in STEM disciplines, and choose STEM careers.
This is the second (2nd) Oklahoma EPSCoR Research Day at the Capitol award for a Langston LINC scholar. Steve Harris won a 2nd place award for his oral presentation in chemistry in 2006.
In addition to this stellar accomplishment, Langston’s LINC scholars (including Justina) have garnered other awards on a national level for their scholarly, scientific research projects. “Our participation in the NSF HBCU-UP grant project has provided us with the impetus to leverage Langston’s many resources to create opportunities that were either not available or recognized in the past. We will use the synergy and energy to move forward,” says Dr. Coleman.
LINC is primarily funded by two successive HBCU-UP grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), with rigorous support by the Langston University community.
Since the beginning of LINC, forty eight (48) awards have been earned by LINC scholars for their participation at regional and national competitive events for research presentations. See the list here.