Nationally, a total of 13 scholars were selected for the iREU (research) program this year, including the three Oklahomans who applied for the opportunity through the OK-LSAMP program for minority students.
“OK-LSAMP may be the first of its kind in the U.S. to have so many outstanding Native American women students earn a trip abroad in the iREU program. It certainly is a first in my 25-year career, which includes work with hundreds of U.S. undergraduates,” said Dr. Randy Duran, iREU director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at Louisiana State University.
Mathias, a senior in animal science at OSU, will spend 12 weeks conducting research in animal agriculture in three different labs with professors and the staff of the Federal Rural University in Purnambuco, near Recife, Brazil. When she returns to the U.S., Mathias will start in the Ph.D. program in the Louisiana State University School of Animal Science. She will receive the National Science Foundation Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship.
Redhage, a senior in microbiology at OSU, will spend at least 10 weeks in Lille, France, at the world famous Pasteur Institute with Dr. Priscille Brodin. Redhage has been offered the opportunity to extend her research to a six-month program.
She has also been offered a dean’s fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the Mayo Graduate School in Rochester, Minn., when she returns from France.
Ashley Walker, a senior chemistry major at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, is another OK-LSAMP scholar who has been selected for a trip to France. Walker, from Sand Springs, Okla., will spend 12 weeks in Grenoble, France, at Joseph Fourier University with plans to extend her stay there to six months. She will work with professors Eric Saint-Aman and Guy Royal.
The three scholars will first travel to National Science Foundation headquarters in Washington, D.C. in April to present their research posters. The iREU program and OK-LSAMP are funded by the National Science Foundation.
OK-LSAMP is the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a consortium of Oklahoma colleges and universities working together to develop programs aimed at increasing the number of students from under-represented populations who receive degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Dr. Jason Kirksey, associate vice president and head of the Division of Institutional Diversity at OSU, is the principal investigator for the OK-LSAMP program.