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Southeastern hosts inaugural Scholars Day Research Symposium

February 19, 2024

Southeastern Oklahoma State University hosted its first-ever Scholars Day Research Symposium on the Durant campus on Friday, February 16.

The symposium consisted of several poster presentations and oral presentations from students and faculty across a number of different topics.

“We are very pleased with the turnout and response from our students and faculty for a first-time event,” said Sierra Downs, program coordinator of the McNair Scholars Program at Southeastern and lead organizer of the event. “The presentation topics, student majors, and depth of study shows how strong our programs at Southeastern are in a variety of fields. This is just the beginning of great displays of our university’s strength.”

Poster presentations included:

  • Olivia Carmona, a senior Elementary Education major, “Nuturing Middle School Girls’ Interest in STEM”
  • Cynthia Keeth, a junior Psychology major, and Hunter Hightree, a senior Psychology major, “Post-Pandemic Reintegration of Inverted Versus Extroverted Undergraduate College Students”
  • Wren Pettett, a junior Biology major, “Mycoremediation of Agricultural Runoff Containing Nitrogen and Phosphorus using Pleurotus ostreatus
  • Therese Rayburn, a senior Biology major, “Determining the Optimal FBS Concentration for Cell Survival in HeLa cells infected with Coxiella burnetii
  • Anna Ritter, a junior Biology and Chemistry major, “Analysis of DNA and Purification of Fluorescent Compounds Extracted from Redbud Trees”
  • and Dr. Sheerin Hosseini, Associate Professor of Music Education, “Factors Affecting the Mental Health of Adult Musicians with Mathematical Learning Disabilities: Conclusions from a Qualitative Dissertation”.

Oral presentations included:

  • Cynthia Keeth, a junior Psychology Major, “Analyzing the Structure of the Emergency Management Degree Programs”
  • Sydnee Brown, a Biological Sciences graduate student, and Dr. Jake Pruett, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, “Spatial Ecology of Juvenile Alligators in Oklahoma”
  • and Dr. Srimal Garusinghe, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Computer, and Physical Sciences, “Synthesis of Curcumin-Metal Thiolates”.

“There has always been an undercurrent of research happening across campus and those seeking various funding sources to make it happen,” noted Dr. Teresa Golden, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southeastern. “This activity is happening all across the campus and extends even to our distance learning students. Whether it is a large or a small activity, such work deserves to be highlighted. We are proud of this first event and how it supports the goals outlined for the University in the Vision 2040 Strategic Plan.”