Student research wins national recognition

Contact: Dr. Orlando F. McMeans
(304) 204-4300
April 17, 2013
WVSU student research wins national recognition
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – Four research students from West Virginia State University (WVSU) took top prizes at the 1890 Association of Research Directors (ARD) Symposium held April 6-10 in Jacksonville, Fla., marking the most honors WVSU has received at the event. Another WVSU student took second place at the Mid-East Honors Association (MEHA) meeting in Dearborn, Mich., April 4–6.
More than 300 posters and nearly 300 oral presentations were showcased at the ARD Symposium, which brings together researchers from the nation’s 1890 land-grant universities. Fifteen WVSU students participated in the competitive portion.

Brian Wooten took first place in the undergraduate category Renewable Energy, Natural Resources and Environment for “Continuing the Search for a Renewable/Biodegradable Hydroponic Substrate,” while Natalia Montenegro won first place in the graduate category for “Testing the Effects of Carbohydrate Perturbation on the Stability of Thermophilic Anaerobic Digestion.”

In the undergraduate category Plant Health and Production and Plant Products, Lori Morris won first place for “Role of MicroRNA Regulation for Sex Expression of Melon” and Jason Thaxton won second place for “Yield Trials for Hot and Specialty Peppers for Small Farm Production.”

“I was shocked and humbled to not only come in second but to place overall because of so many quality projects competing,” said Thaxton, who will graduate from WVSU in December. “It gives me an insight that I can do anything if I put my mind to it.”

Doug Bright placed second at MEHA for a poster presentation entitled "Developing a Modern Herbarium at WVSU." A biology major, Bright is set to graduate in May with a WVSU Honors Program distinction.

“This outstanding showing by our students reflects well on the quality of student learning and mentoring being done by research faculty here at State, said Dr. Orlando F. McMeans, vice president for Research and Public Service.”
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multigenerational institution, located in Institute, WV. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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