Congratulations to Rachel Eddy who graduated Suma Cum Laude having completed the honors program and an honors thesis. Rachel worked in the lab for 2 years and during that time participated twice in the LBRN summer program, received a Louisiana Space Consortium Undergraduate Award, presented at a dozen meetings where she was recognized with 1st place awards in poster and oral presentations, and even presented her work at the Society for Biomaterials meeting this past spring. Rachel was the first student in the College of Applied and Natural Sciences to complete an honors thesis and was honored Friday night in a special honors program reception. Rachel has remained a dedicated member of the lab, always up for a challenge, optimizing conditions for immunofluorescence and conducting experiments in the area of osteogenic differentiation. Her labmates even came to graduation to celebrate her achievements and give her a Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine "Team" Necklace (I have the best lab - they really are a family, looking out for each other and celebrating each other!). I am so proud of Rachel and all that she has achieved during her time at Louisiana Tech. I can't wait to see what she will do next!!!
Last week the Newman Lab participated in the annual College of Applied and Natural Sciences Research Symposium. This is a great day for students from across the college to share their research with each other. It is also a day to recognize faculty, staff, and students for their accomplishments over the past year. This year the lab gave oral presentations (Scott and India) and poster presentations (Avery and Hannah, Joseph and Michael, and Jacob). Anna Morris also presented on the digital painting and biological visualization program (kind of an honorary lab member). Joseph won second place in the graduate student poster competition - congratulations! Another great day for the lab!
Today Rachel Eddy defended her senior honor's thesis, the first in the College of Applied and Natural Sciences to ever do this and only the second outside of the Humanities! Rachel presented to her committee along with friends and other faculty from the School of Biological Sciences and her art professor, Nick Bustamante. I could not be prouder of all that Rachel has achieved while in the lab and the recognition she received today for her outstanding presentation and thesis document.
Rachel joined the lab 2 years ago and in that time has presented at a number of conferences, optimized protocols for the lab, participated in successful group research projects, and been a dedicated student and lab citizen. In the past two years Rachel has presented at local and state conferences, most recently winning 1st place in the Louisiana Academy of Sciences annual meeting undergradaute oral presentation competition. On Wednesday Rachel leaves for Atlanta where she will present her research at the annual Society for Biomaterials meeting and next week she will be 1 of only 10 students representing Louisiana Tech at the annual University of Louisiana Academic Summit. Rachel was selected 2 years in a row to participate in the Louisiana Biomedical Research Summer Program, has received 2 College of Applied and Natural Sciences minigrants, and was awarded a Louisiana Space Consortium Undergraduate Research Assistantship. This is a tremendous list of accomplishments, but does not even include the other activities Rachel has been involved in, including art classes in Mural Painting and Digital Painting, and her participation and leadership in a society dedicated to raising awareness for mental illness. On May 18 I will have the privilege of introducing Rachel during the Honors Graduation Reception where out of 100 students graduating this spring, Rachel will be 1 of 3 who completed an honors thesis. I am so proud of all that Rachel has accomplished and will have more to post (with better photos) when she graduates in May. Congratulations Rachel on this amazing achievement!
Congratulations to Katie Whitehead on her admission to the MD/PhD program at LSUHSC-New Orleans. Katie joined the lab as an undergraduate and then stayed on to complete a master's degree in Molecular Science and Nanotechnology. Katie has presented at a number of state conferences where her ability to communicate her research was recognized when she was awarded 1st place in poster and oral presentation competitions. Katie also presented at a national meeting where her research was positively received by experts in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Katie has been awarded ANS minigrants and Louisiana Space Consortium grants both as an undergraduate and graduate student. Although she graduated last May, Katie has continued to work in the lab as a part time research associate, completing her second manuscript on which she is first author, and training new students in the lab. Katie has been a tremendous asset to the lab and I am so proud of all she has and will continue to achieve. Congratulations Katie - a much deserved next step in your career!
Every year the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Sciences (CBERS) at Louisiana Tech recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students who are participating in research. This year 5 members of the Newman Lab were recognized with this honor. Haley Barnett and Joseph Straub were awarded 2 of the Graduate Student awards and India Pursell, Hannah Logan, and Avery Bryan were awarded 3 of the undergraduate awards. This is a cash award that each student receives either as part of their graduate stipend or in the form of tuition support for the remainder of the spring quarter. A well deserved recognition for these 5 students!
On Saturday, March 10, 14 students from the lab got up early and drove down to LSU-Alexandria to present at the annual Louisiana Academy of Sciences meeting. Students and faculty from across the state come together every year to share their on-going research and visit with one another for the one day conference. This year a number of students from the lab presented with some of the newer students getting to go and just experience their first scientific conference. Impressively, all of the students from the lab, including one digital painting student I mentored for a medical illustration project, were recognized with a first place win and $100 cash prize for their outstanding oral or poster presentation in the graduate or undergraduate categories in the Divisions of Microbiology and Molecular and Biomedical Biology!! I could not be prouder of my students who made the lab look so professional at this conference that I was not able to attend. Louisiana Tech University has also recognized the accomplishment of these students and others from the School of Biological Sciences who attended and won in their respective divisions with this recent press release.
Congratulations to all students who attended the 92nd annual LAS Meeting!!
Undergraduate, Jacob Cambre, is passionate about helping people and this could not be more clear than in his creation of Planners for Progress. Jacob is founder and President of the organization that provides planners and mentoring to middle school students in the region. Today Jacob and his colleagues have reached out to more than 500 students with 50 active members helping him achieve the goals of the program. An article about Planners for Progress and Jacob's success was published in today's issue of the Louisiana Tech paper (pg 5). I am proud to have Jacob be a member of the Newman Lab and look forward to watching him succeed in all that he does!
This past weekend was the annual Louisiana Biomedical Research Meeting. This year the meeting was held in Shreveport, so pretty close for us, allowing more of the lab to attend. Since LBRN has been funding our lab for the past 3 years, I gave an oral presentation that was very well received by the audience and external advisory council who recognized the efforts of everyone in the lab. The LBRN meeting is always an opportunity for me to thank my students in a public setting and the fact that they all showed up, dressed professionally, and were early to the meeting made that easy to do and as they sat in a row supporting me and one another. The success of the lab and hard work of the students presenting was further recognized at the end of the night when they gave awards to the top 3 undergraduate poster presentations, top 3 graduate poster presentations, and best faculty oral presentation. I could not be prouder of what all of my students have achieved!
Dr. Jamie Newman - Best oral presentation (right)
Joseph Straub - 1st place graduate poster presentation (lower right)
India Pursell - 1st place undergraduate poster presentation (lower left)
Matt Busby - 2nd place undergraduate poster presentation (lower center)
Last week minigrants were awarded through the College of Applied and Natural Sciences. These are grants to support student research. Students write a 2 page proposal describing their research project and justifying the need for specific reagents and supplies, 8 students wrote minigrants this year and all were awarded the full budget they requested. This totals almost $3,000 in support for the various projects going on in the lab. These students all worked very hard putting together their proposals. I am proud of all of them! Many thanks to the College for their continued support of students conducting research!
Dr. Jamie Newman
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences