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7/31/12 - Students recognized for research at MSU symposium

Eight Mississippi State juniors and seniors are winners of the university's 2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Organized by the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College in collaboration with National Science Foundation-funded undergraduate research programs, the competition earlier this week provided an opportunity to exhibit faculty-guided efforts by participants from diverse academic and research units across campus.

"The students are phenomenal; I am very impressed with the level of work they are doing," said Seth Oppenheimer, the college's undergraduate research director. "Doing research like this gives them the tools they need to be creative in their fields."

Oppenheimer said many undergraduates participated throughout the year, with projects covering a wide variety of topics, including biodiesel, genetic engineering, facial recognition, and robotics.

"We would love to see even more students represented, especially those from the humanities and fine arts," the professor of mathematics added.

Receiving certificates of recognition and Barnes & Noble gift cards, this year's winners included:

Physical Science and Engineering, Visual Presentations

First--Senior Janice L. Cunningham of Starkville, a biological engineering major and the daughter of Alexander and Monica Cunningham.

Second--Senior Ankit S. Arya of Bhopal, India, a computer science major and the son of Bhupendra and Anjali Arya.

Biological Science and Engineering

First--Visiting student Raghunandan Avula, a biochemistry and molecular biology major. [Hometown not available.]

Second--Senior Jessica L. Martin of Ft. Worth, Texas, a biological sciences major and daughter of Thomas and Charlotte Martin.

Social Science

First--Senior Anne E. Robinson of Brandon, a senior psychology major and the daughter of Bob and Jan Robinson.

Second--Senior Jamie L. Floyd of McCarley, a psychology major and the daughter of David Floyd.

Oral Presentations

First--Senior Georgene Elizabeth Grant of Stockbridge, Ga., a civil engineering major and the daughter of Spencer and Susan Grant.

Second--Junior Brittany M. Govan of Holly Springs, an aerospace engineering major and the daughter of Kelvin and Monica Govan.

Also during the awards ceremony, Domenico "Mimmo" Parisi announced that the campus-based National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center will be contributing $10,000 to support the work of the honors college, particularly in the area of humanities research.

Parisi, a sociology professor who directs the center, said nSPARC "is committed to giving back to our students and helping them engage in research."

The MSU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society provided the B&N gift cards for the winners.

In addition to NSF and nSPARC, additional support for student projects was provided by the MSU Office of Research and National Institutes of Health.

Margaret Kovar | University Relations

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