Five Langston University STEM students Earn a Place to

Compete for National Awards in STEM Research and One Wins First Place

Langston University’s Langston Integrated Network College for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (LINC for STEM) scholars enthusiastically attended the February 28th - March 2nd, 2013 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Washington, DC. Eleven students earned the right to participate in the research competition by having self-prepared abstracts of their research work accepted.


One graduating senior, Kayla Love, brought home a first place award for her presentations. Kayla Love presented methodology she help develop to potentially detect perchlorate brines on Mars. The purposed apparatus may be able to give insight into the history and future of Mars’s water content and the possibility of biological life on Mars.

Four more LU STEM scholars who competed included Terry Phillips competing in Cell and Molecular Biology oral Biological Sciences presentations; Lindsay Davis competing in biochemistry  Chemistry and Chemical Sciences oral presentations; Eugene DeLoach in Physiology and Health Biological Sciences poster presentations; and Martell McKinney competing in Genetics  Biological Sciences oral presentations.

The students were accompanied by Dr. John K. Coleman, LU Chemistry Department Chair & LINC Director/Co-PI; Ms. Irene Williams, LINC Administration Coordinator; and Ms. Brittanie Atkinson, LINC Education Coordinator. These LINC staff members were fundamental in aiding the students obtain research internship and/or prepare for this conference. Ms. Brittanie Atkinson,an LU and LINC Almuna, also competed in Biological Sciences under the graduate poster presentations.

This conference also had relaxing moments. Students and LINC staff used open time to be calm and explore Washington, DC area.

The 2013 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) was hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Education and Human Resources Programs (EHR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Human Resource Development (HRD), within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). The conference is aimed at college and university undergraduate and graduate students who participate in programs funded by the NSF HRD Unit, including underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities. In particular, the conference seeks to highlight the research of undergraduate and graduate students who participate in the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) Program and the following NSF HRD-funded programs:

  • Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP);
  • Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST);
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP);
  • Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) and LSAMP Bridges to the Doctorate;
  • Research in Disabilities Education (RDE); and
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP).

The objectives of the conference are to help undergraduate and graduate students to enhance their science communication skills and to better understand how to prepare for science careers in a global workforce. Towards this end, the general format for the 2-1/2 day conference included student poster and oral presentations.

Other conference activities included workshops focused on:

  • Strategies for applying for and succeeding in graduate programs and finding funding for graduate school;
  • Career preparation for the STEM workforce, including employment searches and retention; and
  • Understanding STEM careers in a global context and identifying international research and education opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.

Exhibitors included representatives from academic, government, business, and the non-profit sector with information about graduate school admissions, fellowships, summer research opportunities, professional development activities, and employment opportunities.

Look at amazing photos from the conference here