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Oklahoma State University

Niblack scholarships spark research careers

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Matthew Hart, a 2017-18 undergraduate Niblack Research Scholar, works on his research project in a nutrition laboratory in the OSU College of Human Sciences.

Oklahoma State University has named 14 students as 2018-19 Niblack Research Scholars, each receiving $8,000 scholarships and the opportunity to conduct research guided by faculty sponsors and graduate student mentors.

The Niblack Research Scholars program, administered through the OSU Office of the Vice President for Research, is a unique chance for undergraduates to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to actual research projects. Often the experience changes a student’s career direction, as it did for Matthew Hart, a 2017-18 Niblack scholar who said he had little experience with science until coming to OSU.

“The thing I enjoy the most about research is the impact it has on people’s lives,” said Hart, who conducted research on nutrition and genetics. “I’m really most interested in things that translate to a clinical environment, that really have an impact on someone’s health. Being a Niblack scholar has been vital to putting me on my career path to do clinical research.”

The annual program is funded by OSU alumnus Dr. John Niblack and his wife, Heidi Niblack. As an undergraduate at OSU, Niblack said his research experience impacted the direction of his life. Niblack graduated from OSU in 1960 and, after graduate studies, conducted research and managed the development of many well-known pharmaceuticals for Pfizer Inc., the $34 billion global company. He was eventually named Pfizer vice chairman and, following retirement, founded the Niblack Research Scholarship to offer OSU undergraduates the same research opportunity he had. 

2018-19 scholars, research areas and hometowns:

Adrienne Blakey, plant and soil science

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Jenna Borrelli, microbiology

Rockaway Beach, New York

Alice Chibnall, biochemistry and molecular biology

Frisco, Texas

Olivia Davis, biochemistry and molecular biology

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Carley Eastep, chemical engineering

Jones, Oklahoma 

Samantha Howe, animal science

Sulphur, Oklahoma

Christopher Jones, geology

Edmond, Oklahoma

Shelby Mohr, chemical engineering

Haslet, Texas

Katie Mueller, microbiology

Castle Pines, Colorado

Devin Peck, chemistry

Shawnee, Oklahoma 

Natasha Prentiss, natural resource ecology and management

Lawton, Oklahoma

Sarah Soliman, physiological sciences

Newcastle, Oklahoma

Fatama Sornaly, chemical engineering

Owasso, Oklahoma

Liam Whiteman, entomology and plant pathology

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Visit for program information.

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