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Chancellor Allison Garrett, chief executive officer for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education and Jake Paterson (Photo by Luttler Lab)
Chancellor Allison Garrett, chief executive officer for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education and Jake Paterson (Photo by Luttler Lab)

OSU students place first, third during 2024 Research Day at the Capitol

Friday, March 29, 2024

Media Contact: Sydney Trainor | Communications and Media Relations Specialist | 405-744-9782 |

Oklahoma State University student Jake Patterson placed first overall in the Research Day at the Capitol competition March 18-19 in Oklahoma City. Fellow OSU student Olivia Fulkerson placed third in the research-intensive institution category. 

Competing among 25 students from across Oklahoma, Patterson and Fulkerson were two of four undergraduate students who represented OSU at the event.  

Patterson’s research focused on identifying a bacterium associated with chronic infections in cystic fibrosis patient’s lungs.  

“A specific motivation that made me want to do research in this area is my friend who suffers from cystic fibrosis,” Patterson said. “This diagnosis entails a greatly reduced life expectancy and lowered quality of life, and it has been heartbreaking seeing my friend’s condition slowly wear away at them. If the project I am on reaches completion, there is a chance that their, and everyone else that has CF, lives could be improved and lengthened as a direct result of my research.”  

The Poteau, Oklahoma, native conducted research under Dr. Erika Lutter from the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.  

“Honestly, it still feels a little surreal that I won the competition,” Patterson said. “I had to compete with 25 researchers that were hand-picked by their colleges, and every one of them was extremely impressive. I was honored when OSU picked me as one of the representatives, and I am ecstatic that I fulfilled OSU’s expectations of me by winning the competition.  

“I would not be where I am today without the many people in the OSU community that have helped me, so I could not be happier that I represented OSU well at this event.”  

Fulkerson’s research proposed a Bayesian optimization framework to expedite the design and production of high-strength, low-weight 3D printed polymer matrix composites.

olivia fulkerson

The Edmond, Oklahoma, native was advised by Dr. Sri Ramesh from the School of Industrial Engineering and Management.  

"I'm happy to have represented Oklahoma State positively, and participating in the event was truly fulfilling,” Fulkerson said. “I'm grateful for Oklahoma States commitment to providing opportunities such as this to students.” 

The 2024 Research Day at the Capitol event encompassed multiple activities. On Monday, students’ posters and oral presentations were individually judged at the Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. Students then met with legislators at the State Capitol Building and shared their research during a poster exhibit the next day.  

“Research Day at the Capitol is a highly anticipated yearly event because it showcases research studies conducted by undergraduate students from public universities across the state,” said Dr. Christine Johnson, associate vice president for research. “The quality of their projects is high-rate, and the students’ enthusiasm for scientific inquiry is contagious. And, because the students are all Oklahoma citizens, they can engage in conversations with their respective state representatives and senators about the benefits of doing research as a college undergraduate.” 

The event is sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (OK EPSCoR) and the National Science Foundation.  

The event's objective is to showcase the outstanding undergraduate research being conducted at Oklahoma’s colleges and universities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.   

Students’ posters and oral presentations were individually judged in Oklahoma City. The next morning, students shared their research during a poster exhibit at the Capitol and met with legislators and Capitol guests. 

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