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From left: Adriahna Blackburn and Nina Parvin were awarded with scholarships from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

CAS students selected as first Beckman Scholars Program awardees

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 |

The Oklahoma State University Beckman Scholars Program (BSP) has selected College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate students Adriahna Blackburn and Nina Parvin to be the first scholars in the program at OSU.  

In January, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation awarded OSU with the funding to sponsor six student-mentor pairs through 2025. The program is available to students studying chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physiology, physics or microbiology.  

“Adriahna and Nina are outstanding young scholars,” said Dr. Rachael Eaton, OSU BSP director and program manager for CAS student research. “These students will represent OSU and the Beckman Scholars Program well as they undertake intensive and important research over the next 15 months. We are eager to watch them grow as leaders and scientists.” 

Blackburn is a microbiology and molecular genetics sophomore from Nardin, Oklahoma. Alongside her mentor, Dr. Matt Cabeen, Blackburn will research the mechanism of non-canonical pyocin production by strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that are used to kill different strains of the same species. Blackburn serves both the OSU campus community as the volunteer chair for the Asian American Student Association and the Stillwater community as a coordinator for Operation Catnip, which provides free trap, neuter and return services for cats in Stillwater and surrounding communities.  

“I strive to be a lifelong learner, leader and educator,” Blackburn said. “Becoming a Beckman Scholar means that I have the resources to grow and hone these skills through research experience and through the leaders and other scholars involved in the program.” 

Parvin — a physics and mechanical engineering junior from Beggs, Oklahoma — will be working with her mentor, Dr. Mario Borunda, to understand the radiation tolerance of perovskite materials to increase their stability. She is an active member of the Society of Women Engineers and serves as a representative for Transitioning Equity and Diversity into Engineering.  

"Receiving this scholarship is a game changer in my academic and professional trajectory,” Parvin said. “Being an OSU Beckman Scholar means being a part of a community that promotes diversity, education and leadership. This community will provide me with opportunities to work with and learn from other talented researchers and build lasting relationships that will support my professional growth. " 

To learn more about the Beckman Scholars Program at OSU, visit the BSP website.   

Story By: Erin Milek, CAS Communications Coordinator |

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