Scholars win research awards, Toro gives keynote

Eighteen students from UALR attended the 2014 Arkansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Spring Research Conference, held April 11-12 in Little Rock.

The UALR students presented six posters, more than any other Arkansas university, with junior Victoria Dawson bringing home a first-place award for her research focused on peanut allergic responses.

Senior Bukola Odeniyi earned a third-place award for her research on the effects of microgravity on mammalian cells.

ARK-LSAMP Conf group 2014

UALR Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Zulma Toro, who has a background in engineering and is originally from Puerto Rico, provided the keynote address during Saturday’s banquet.

Dr. Toro discussed her career path, and she provided advice for minority students considering professions in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Senior Dolapo Odeniyi, who won a first-place award at the Emerging Researchers National Conference earlier this year in Washington, was invited to give an oral presentation on how enzymes affect immunity and development in tomato plants.

Twin sisters Dolapo and Bukola Odeniyi were invited to discuss guidelines and their tips for getting accepted into a university M.D./Ph.D. program. Junior Jeffrey Jones was invited to discuss transitioning from a two-year college to a university.

Other UALR students who presented posters at the conference include Autumn Brown, Lafayette DeRamus, Jeffrey Jones, and Taylor McClanahan.

Drs. Jim Winter and Janet Lanza and Student Support Specialist Erin Cates attended the conference with the students.

The Arkansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation aims to increase the number of under-represented minority students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics areas.

To learn more and to apply for the scholarship, go to ARK-LSAMP.

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