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14 OSU undergraduate researchers earn prestigious Niblack scholarship

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Pillar with OSU engraved

Fourteen top Oklahoma State University undergraduate students have been selected as Niblack Research Scholars for the 2019-20 school year, earning $8,000 scholarships and the opportunity to conduct supervised research.

Dr. John Niblack and his wife, Heidi, have funded the Niblack Research Scholars program at OSU for 16 years. The program allows undergraduates to perform cutting-edge research in various fields.

“It takes years of dedication and perseverance to be a scientist, and it’s not easy,” Niblack said in 2017. “It’s fun for Heidi and me to come to campus and watch the scholars in action. We love watching another generation of scientists move up to the front line.”

Niblack graduated from OSU in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and earned a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Illinois before becoming vice chairman of Pfizer Inc. As a scientist for the international pharmaceutical giant, he was responsible for Pfizer's Global Research and Development Division, where he directed research into drugs for viral illnesses, cancer and autoimmune disorders.

Niblack retired in 2002 and founded the Niblack Research Scholarship program in 2004.

The scholars cover a wide variety of research fields and come to OSU from across the United States.


The 2019-20 scholars, areas of research and hometowns:

Adam Bronson
Adam Bronson, Microbiology — Richardson, Texas


Rachel Abraham
Rachel Abraham, Physiological Sciences — Stillwater, Oklahoma


Aaron Austin
Aaron Austin, Physics —Edmond, Oklahoma



Kathryn O’Connell, Microbiology — Stillwater, Oklahoma


Nina Baggett, Microbiology — Richardson, Texas

Jonathan (Ty) Derouen, Microbiology — Fort Worth, Texas

Andee Fitts, Chemical Engineering — Duncan, Oklahoma


Cassidy (Ryan) Hahn, Microbiology — Trabuco Canyon, California


Kaitlyn Lane, Chemical Engineering — Beulah, Colorado


Benjamin Nelson, Integrative Biology — Wichita, Kansas


Ryan Pruitt, Microbiology — Lawton, Oklahoma


Lee Repa, Physics — Bartlesville, Oklahoma


Cassandra Salinas, Microbiology — Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Aaron Wheeler, Chemical Engineering — Tulsa, Oklahoma


For more information about the Niblack Research Scholars program, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Harrison Hill | 405-744-5827 |

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