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Two CASNR students named 2016-17 Niblack Research Scholars

The Niblack Research Scholars program at Oklahoma State University has opened the doors of cutting-edge research for undergraduates for 13 years. This year, two undergraduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources are receiving $8,000 scholarships and the opportunity to conduct supervised research as 2016-17 Niblack Research Scholars.

The Niblack Research Scholars program at Oklahoma State University has opened the doors of cutting-edge research for undergraduates for 13 years. This year, two undergraduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources are receiving $8,000 scholarships and the opportunity to conduct supervised research as 2016-17 Niblack Research Scholars. The annual program is funded by OSU alumnus John Niblack and his wife, Heidi Niblack.

Beata Mackenroth, a senior double major in microbiology and biochemistry and molecular biology major from Newcastle, Calif., and Alicia Aguilar, a senior double major in chemical engineering and biochemistry and molecular biology from Edmond, Okla., were two of the 14 OSU students selected for the award.

“Undergraduate students selected for participation in the Niblack Research Scholars Program receive tremendous research opportunities, which commonly propel them into future successes at OSU and in graduate school,” said Karen Hickman, CASNR interim assistant dean of academic programs."

Hickman said another unique aspect to the program is the mentorship opportunity provided by working in the faculty sponsor’s lab.

“The program gives students the chance to experience first-hand what it would be like to do research at a graduate level,” Hickman said.

At the recent presentation of research from 2015-16 scholars, Niblack listed a number of personal qualities leading to success that he recognized in the careers of current Nobel prize winners.

“One of the scientists began his studies when he was 23 years old and only dared to enter his almost uninhabited field at the time because he didn’t know much about it and didn’t have any preconceived notions about what could or could not be done. He just dived in,” Niblack said. “So now you know the secrets of success in science – join areas where few have traveled; don’t worry, just dive in; don’t give up easily; be young; and most important of all, get lucky.”

Niblack graduated from OSU in 1960 and, after graduate studies, become a scientist and then vice chairman of Pfizer Inc., the international pharmaceutical giant. He retired in 2002 and founded the Niblack Research Scholarship in 2004.

The 2016-17 undergraduate Niblack Research Scholars include students in a wide variety of research fields who came to OSU from across the United States and even the world.

More information about the Niblack Research Scholars program is available at niblack.okstate.edu.

The OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources believes in the value of hands-on education and the importance of having a well-rounded student experience. Our award-winning faculty members are dedicated to developing students and passionate about adding value to the total educational experience.  With 16 majors and 59 study options, plus more than 60 student organizations, the college is committed to expanding minds and inspiring purpose. Learn more at casnr.okstate.edu.

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