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Dr. Brenda Smith

Dr. Brenda Smith received undergraduate research research mentor in human sciences award

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dr. Brenda Smith has been named the 2015 Undergraduate Research Mentor by the Board of Human Sciences. As a nutritional sciences professor in the College of Education and Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University, Smith has been instrumental in the development of undergraduate student research.

Many students seek Smith to be their mentor, hoping to gain valuable research experience in her laboratory because of her experienced track record. She advises her students to be able to develop different approaches to solve nutrition problems, on the importance of personal and professional integrity, and to always strive for excellence.

Edralin A. Lucas, PhD, NSCI associate professor, said students who have been mentored by Smith tell of how their laboratory experience enhanced their appreciation for research and influenced their ability to critically approach and resolve difficulties.

A few years ago, Smith, who is the John and Sue Taylor Professor, launched a new effort in undergraduate research bringing a group of four undergraduates into her laboratory at one time. This new approach allowed students to learn the basics of research while attending weekly laboratory meetings with graduate students. Smith then advises students independently on the development of their research projects which are presented during conferences and seminars throughout the year.

“The undergraduate gains research experiences and at the same time, the graduate students training experience is enhanced,” Lucas said. “This type of collaboration infuses a refreshing curiosity and excitement for science into the laboratory setting.”

Smith has an impressive list of mentees from Niblack Scholars, Wentz and Freshman Research Scholars to the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholars programs.

“Dr. Smith is a very caring individual and her open door policy, constant encouragement, consistency and generous time devoted to the training of the undergraduate students make her an outstanding teacher and mentor,” Lucas said. “Her efforts will be measurable for years to come in the success of her students and the passion for discovery and research that she has instilled in them.”

The Undergraduate Research Mentor in Human Sciences Award was presented to Dr. Brenda Smith Monday, November 16 in Indianapolis during the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities annual conference.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brittany Bowman | 405-744-9347 | brittany.bowman@okstate.edu

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