April 26, 2018  

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Drapeau Center Announces Eagle Wings, NCUR Competition Winners

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The Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research at The University of Southern Mississippi recently named recipients of funding awards from the fall 2017 Eagle Wings and NCUR (National Conference on Undergraduate Research) competitions. The programs support undergraduates who will present the results of their scholarly activities at professional conferences.

The two Eagle Wings winners are Tori Hebert of Terrebone, La. and Cody Pope of Hattiesburg. Both are working with Dr. Kevin Kuehn in the Department of Biological Sciences, and will be giving papers at the Society for Freshwater Science in Detroit in May. Hebert’s research examines plant litter decomposition and fungal decay processes, while Pope’s looks at interactions among plant litter-associated microbial communities. The students conducted their investigations as part of Eagle SPUR (Scholars Program for Undergraduate Research).

The three students who will be attending NCUR in April at the University of Central Oklahoma are Hayley Allen of Smithdale, Miss., Gabriella Reyes of Slidell, La., and Henry Woodyard of Ellisville, Miss. 

*Allen’s presentation will share findings with synthesizing bioactive molecules that contain nitrogen rings, which provide scaffolds in many prescription drugs. She is a chemistry major working with Dr. Matt Donahue. 

*Reyes is a Biological Sciences major studying with Dr. Glen Shearer. Her project investigates the stress response pathways that an infectious pathogen uses to survive in mammalian hosts. 

*Woodyard is an economics major working with Dr. Ward Sayre, and his research explores the effects of the presence of private schools on the racial composition of local public schools.

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Dr. Amy Miller congratulated all of the funding recipients. "Student involvement in undergraduate research can dramatically impact student learning and long-term success,” Dr. Miller said. “We are so proud of the exceptional research done by our undergraduate students at Southern Miss, and are excited for them to have the opportunities to continue research and share their findings with others regionally and nationally."

For more information about the Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research, visit https://www.usm.edu/research/center-overview.