Today was Louisiana Tech's winter commencement ceremony and the graduation of our own Demi Sandel. I was happy to attend the graduation and glad that Demi brought back a few former lab members to join in this special celebration. Demi joined the lab just as things were getting started and has seen a lot in the 3 years she has been a part of the group. Demi has been (and will continue to be as she works in the lab as a research associate in the spring quarter) a major contributor to the project investigating the role of Notch in Mesenchymal and Adipose Stem Cells. During her time in the lab Demi has received a number of awards and recognition including:
* Louisiana Board of Regents Supervised Undergraduate Research Experience Award (2015)
* 3 College of Applied and Natural Sciences Minigrants (2015, 2016, 2017)
* College of Applied and Natural Sciences Featured Student (2015)
* One of 10 students selected to present a poster (2016) and an oral presentation (2017) at the University of Louisiana Annual Academic Summit
* 3rd place in the undergraduate poster competition at the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network Annual Meeting (2017)
* Accepted to and participated in the Baylor School of Medicine SMART Program (2016)
* Demi has also presented at international conferences, as well as University and state conferences
Demi graduated today magna cum laude with a BS in Biological Sciences and will continue to work in the lab this spring quarter. Demi plans to apply for MD and MD/PhD programs over the next year and we wish her all the best. She has been a pleasure to have in the lab and a great mentor to students who join the lab. Congratulations Demi!! We are very proud of you!!
Yesterday awards were announced for the 2017 Louisiana Tech Research Symposium and everyone from the lab who presented was recognized. I could not be prouder of the lab especially considering that I have been on maternity leave all quarter and so they did much of this preparation on their own. The more senior students in the lab stepped up to help those students competing in the poster presentations, none of whom had ever done a poster before. Oral presentations were judged by faculty and graduate students from disciplines across campus. Poster presentations were judged by faculty from various disciplines across campus. Being judged by people outside of their field indicates the students' ability to talk about their research to people who are not experts in this area of biology or, in many cases, any area of biology, For most of the students this was their first poster presentation or oral presentation - not a bad way to start!
Awards were given as follows:
Katie Whitehead - 1st place Gradaute student oral presentation
Joseph Straub - 3rd place Graduate student oral presentation
Demi Sandel - Invited to attend University of Louisiana Academic Summit in undergraduate oral presentation (one of only 5 students selected in this category)
Marcus Kety, Jacob Cambre, and Natalee Dinkins - 2nd place undergraduate poster presentation and will attend University of Louisiana Academic Summit
Justin Philobos, India Pursell, and Rachel Eddy - 3rd place undergraduate poste presentation and will attend University of Louisiana Academic Summit
Matthew Busby and Michael Osmun - Invited to attend the University of Louisiana System Academic Summit in undergraduate poster presentation
Today was the annual Louisiana Tech Research Symposium. The whole lab had the opportunity to present and might have been the first time in a long time, or maybe ever, that we have all been in the same place at the same time. Good opportunity to get a lab photo!
Some of the more senior students, Demi, Katie, and Joseph, gave great oral presentations about their research. The newer students gave their first poster presentations for the lab. They had to tackle some tough questions from the faculty judges, but were well prepared and did a great job. So proud of everyone for the effort they put into preparing for today. Great job!!!
Dr. Jamie Newman
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences