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KU, Haskell students participate in diversity in science program

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

LAWRENCE — Sixteen scholars in programs from the Office for Diversity in Science Training (ODST) participated the 2017 Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science conference earlier this month in Salt Lake City. 

“I am very proud of all the Haskell and KU students that represented our programs well at the SACNAS conference,” said Estela Gavosto, ODST director and associate professor of math. “In particular, I would like to highlight the accomplishment of Cay Thompson, a KU Bridge Scholar from Haskell Indian Nations University who won a research presentation award for her poster titled ‘The Effects of Water Level on Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in a Restored Wetland.’”

The students are scholars in programs funded by the National Institutes of Health that support and give opportunities to underrepresented students to pursue research careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences:

  • 500 Nations Bridge Collaboration: Haskell Indian Nations University/KU (Estela Gavosto, KU, and Melissa Holder, Haskell)
  • KU Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Program (Gavosto and James Orr, KU professor emeritus)
  • KU Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (Gavosto and Orr).

Students who presented research posters at the SACNAS conference are listed below:

Sumer Al-Ahdali is a sophomore at Haskell Indian Nations University majoring in American Indian studies/social welfare. Al-Ahdali is a scholar in the Bridge Program mentored by Nancy Jo Kepple, assistant professor of social welfare.  Al-Ahdali is affiliated with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Tribe.

Sofia de la O, of Bel Aire, is a senior at KU majoring in chemical engineering. De la O is a scholar in the IMSD Program mentored by Mark Shiflett, Distinguished Foundation Professor of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering. 

Katherin Morales, of Emporia, is a senior at KU majoring in behavioral neuroscience and psychology. Morales is a scholar in the IMSD Program mentored by Chris Gamblin, professor of molecular biosciences.

Zalma Molina, of Dodge City, is a sophomore at KU majoring in petroleum engineering and geophysics. Molina is a scholar in the IMSD Program mentored by George Tsoflias, associate professor of geology.

Sarah Schaefer, of Overland Park, is a junior at KU majoring in chemical engineering. Schaefer is a scholar in the IMSD Program mentored by Michael Wang,  associate professor of pharmaceutical chemistry.

Cay Thompson is a sophomore at Haskell Indian Nations University studying environmental science. Thompson is a scholar in the Bridge Program mentored by Amy Burgin, associate professor of ecology & evolutionary biology, and Terry Loecke, assistant professor of environmental studies and assistant scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey. Thompson is affiliated with the Cayuga Tribe. 

Kayla Wilson, of Olathe, is a senior at KU majoring in biology. Wilson is a scholar in the IMSD Program mentored by Robert Ward, associate professor of molecular biosciences.


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