Southeastern News

Southeastern senior earns first place at Research Day at the Capitol

Payton Whitehead of Colbert is shown with Chancellor Glen D. Johnson at Research Day at the Capitol. Twenty-two undergraduate students representing 17 Oklahoma colleges and universities presented competitive research posters to the State Legislature and the public during this annual event sponsored by Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the National Science Foundation.

Payton Whitehead of Colbert is shown with Chancellor Glen D. Johnson at Research Day at the Capitol. Twenty-two undergraduate students representing 17 Oklahoma colleges and universities presented competitive research posters to the State Legislature and the public during this annual event sponsored by Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the National Science Foundation.

DURANT, Okla. – Payton Whitehead, a senior at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, captured first place honors at Research Day at the Capitol on March 26-27.

Research Day at the Capitol was established more than 20 years ago to showcase the outstanding undergraduate research being conducted at Oklahoma’s colleges and universities in the areas of science (including social science), technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students are nominated by their institutions’ leadership to participate in the prestigious event, which is sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (OK EPSCoR), and the National Science Foundation.

Nominated students present their research to State Legislators and the public in the State Capitol Rotunda during the legislative session. In addition, students’ posters and oral presentations are competitively judged by an independent panel; winners are announced at the conclusion of Research Day, during an awards ceremony held in the Capitol’s Blue Room.

Whitehead, from Colbert, Oklahoma, took first place in the Regional and Community Colleges division for his entry in enzyme biochemistry research. He received a certificate and a $500 cash prize for his winning efforts, based on his presentation to a team of judges.

He is a Chemistry major/minor on the Biochemical Technology track.

Whitehead, who will graduate in May, has been accepted into the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology graduate program in the Biology Department at the University of North Texas. He plans to pursue a career in  biochemical research.

Southeastern student Megan Knight earns third place at Research Day

Megan Knight visits with Senator Josh Brecheen about her award-winning entry at Research Day.

Megan Knight visits with Senator Josh Brecheen about her award-winning entry at Research Day.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University senior Megan Knight took third place in the regional and community college category in the recent Research Day at the Capitol.

The 22-year-old is originally from Okmulgee, but she and her husband Stephen now reside in Caddo. The high school sweethearts will be married two years in June and will be graduating from Southeastern in May 2017.

The Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences major’s immediate goal is to attend graduate school at Oklahoma State University, followed by working with the Nature Conservatory, an organization that works with landowners and others to get the job done.

Knight’s entry at Research Day was the “Ecological Health of Streams.”

She credits Dr. Tim Patton and Dr. Doug Wood for sparking her interest in  her chosen field.

“Dr. (Tim) Patton is one of the best professors I’ve ever had,” Knight said. “He motivates his students to strive for excellence inside and outside of the classroom. He and Dr. (Doug) Wood are an inspiration to me as a budding scientist.”

“Last summer I was accepted to an NSF REU (National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates) program at Oklahoma State University. It was very competitive, more than 200 applicants, and I was the only one from Oklahoma accepted.”

The internship led to the work she presented at Research Day.

Research Day at the Capitol is an annual event to inform the legislature and the public about the high-quality research being conducted at state institutions, according to Jerry Malayer, state executive director for Oklahoma EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research). It is sponsored by that organization, along with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the National Science Foundation.

Knight was a golfer in high school and earned a scholarship from NCAA Division-II University of Arkansas-Monticello. She turned it down to concentrate on her studies.

“I have always studied hard and made good grades in school,” Knight said.  She is a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society at Southeastern.

When not hitting the books, she will spend time rock climbing with her husband, who introduced her to the pastime. She still plays golf and does some hiking and kayaking.

Patton said, “Megan is the kind of student that makes professors look forward to coming to work every day. She is smart, curious, eager, and ambitious, and almost always in contagiously good spirits.

“She elevates any class in which she participates. I’m sure we will continue to hear good things about Megan after she graduates.”

Southeastern senior represents University at Research Day

Rep. Dustin Roberts congratulates Sarrysa Eaves at Research Day.

Rep. Dustin Roberts congratulates Sarrysa Eaves at Research Day.

DURANT, Okla. – Sarrysa Eaves, a senior Chemistry-Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences major from Mead, represented Southeastern Oklahoma State University at the 20th annual Research Day at the Capitol.

Eaves was one of 24 undergraduate student researchers from 18 Oklahoma colleges and universities. Participants were selected by their respective institutions to present research posters during the event, which is designed to showcase the outstanding research being conducted by college/university students across Oklahoma.

Eaves presented research results she obtained while working as a Native

American Research Center for Health (NARCH) Student Development Program

intern at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center (OU-HSC) during summer 2014. NARCH is funded through a grant from the National Institute of Health and National Institute of General Medical Sciences in collaboration with the Indian Health Service and is designed to better prepare and encourage undergraduate students to pursue careers in biomedical research or related health sciences.

The title of Eaves’ poster was “Structural Activity of AG311 and its Efficacy on Resistant Lung Cancer Cells.” Other researchers’ names: Anja Bastian, Lora C. Bailey-Downs, Michael A. Ihnat, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, OU-HSC.

Dr. Nancy Paiva was Eaves’ advisor.

Research Day at the Capitol is sponsored by the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Reseach (EPSCoR) through a National Science Foundation grant and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Southeastern student places third in Research Day competition

Kent Davidson of Grant, shown with Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, was selected to represent Southeastern Oklahoma State University at Research Day held recently at the State Capitol. Twenty-five undergraduate students representing 19 Oklahoma colleges and universities presented competitive research posters to the State Legislature and the public during the annual event sponsored by Oklahoma EPSCoR, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the National Science Foundation. The event is designed to raise awareness of the outstanding research taking place in Oklahoma’s colleges and universities. Davidson won third place in the regional university and community college category for his cancer cell metabolism research.

Kent Davidson of Grant, shown with Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, was selected to represent Southeastern Oklahoma State University at Research Day held recently at the State Capitol. Twenty-five undergraduate students representing 19 Oklahoma colleges and universities presented competitive research posters to the State Legislature and the public during the annual event sponsored by Oklahoma EPSCoR, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the National Science Foundation. The event is designed to raise awareness of the outstanding research taking place in Oklahoma’s colleges and universities. Davidson won third place in the regional university and community college category for his cancer cell metabolism research.

DURANT, Okla. – Twenty-five undergraduate student researchers from 19 Oklahoma colleges and universities gathered at the State Capitol recently for the 19th annual Research Day at the Capitol.

Representing Southeastern Oklahoma State University was Kent Davidson from Grant, Oklahoma.  He earned third place honors in the Regional University & Community College Category for Posters.  His topic was Cancer Cell Metabolism.

Student participants were selected by their institutions to present scientific research posters during the prestigious event, which is designed to showcase the outstanding research being conducted on Oklahoma college campuses and to make legislators and the public aware of how the research can positively impact our state.

Students’ posters were competitively judged by an independent panel that selected the top seven research presentations in three categories—overall winner, regional universities and research-intensive institutions.  The students received awards at the conclusion of the event, during an award ceremony hosted by Glen D. Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education.

Dr. Nancy Paiva, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Southeastern, served as Davidson’s advisor for the event.

Research Day at the Capitol is sponsored by the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the National Science Foundation.