STARKVILLE, Miss.--Dedicated Mississippi State undergraduates from Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and abroad didn't take a break from their research during the summer.
Instead, they explored questions relevant to their majors, which culminated in honors and recognition at the university's recent summer Undergraduate Research Symposium. MSU's Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society sponsored gift cards for the winners, who also received award certificates.
"Whatever you do, the experiences of doing undergraduate research -- wrestling with interesting and important questions -- really have an impact on you for the rest of your life," said Seth F. Oppenheimer, professor of mathematics and director of undergraduate research for MSU's Shackouls Honors College. "It will make you much more competent to judge issues in the world and to understand how new knowledge is discovered."
"These posters and papers that were presented here today suggest that you are beginning on the path to discovery that will take you to remarkable places," said Christopher A. Snyder, dean of Shackouls Honors College and MSU history professor.
Students competed in one of four categories: arts and humanities, biological sciences and engineering, physical sciences and engineering, and social sciences.
The best poster presentations was recognized, and the top three projects in biological sciences and engineering, and in physical sciences and engineering received awards. The arts and humanities track had one winner and physical sciences and engineering had two because those categories had fewer participants, Oppenheimer said.
ARTS AND HUMANITIES
FIRST: Kelsey Keefer, of Hueytown, Ala., senior architecture major and daughter of Herbert and Jerri Keefer.
Ianna May, of Indianola, a senior general science major and daughter of William and Shirley May. May also participated in the 2013 Summer Research Program for Undergraduate Underrepresented Minority Students and was recognized at an awards luncheon. She received the National Science Foundation's Undergraduate Research and Mentoring fellowship and a summer research support award from MSU's graduate school.
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING
FIRST: Visiting student Namarta Kumar of Indianola, a computer science major. (Parent and class information not available.)
SECOND: Shannon Thompson, of Picayune, junior biochemistry major and daughter of Patrick and Gena Thompson; Alexis Parisi of Benton, Ark., senior animal and dairy sciences major and daughter of Joseph and Stephanie Parisi of Oxford; and Andy Perkins, assistant professor of computer science and engineering at MSU. Parisi also received the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates fellowship.
THIRD: Jonathan Miller, of Starkville, sophomore biological sciences major and son of Andy and Roslyn Miller.
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING
FIRST: Bryan Patton, of Madison, senior mechanical engineering major and son of Phalla Patton; Sylvester Stafford, of Brookhaven, senior mechanical engineering major and son of Henry and Jo Stafford; Clay Varner, of Nashville, Tenn., senior mechanical engineering major and son of Kenny and Robin Varner, of Hermitage, Tenn.; and visiting student Ryan Crownover. (Parent, hometown and class information not available.)
SECOND: Elizabeth Stafford, of Denham Springs, La., sophomore chemical engineering major and daughter of Kenneth and Kathleen Stafford; and Mohamed "Siyam" Mohamed Ansar, of Sri Lanka, chemistry doctoral candidate and son of Abdul Kareen Mohamed Ansar and Rameena Ansar.
FIRST: Morgan Ford, of Olive Branch, senior psychology major and daughter of Randy and Thea Ford. Ford also participated in the 2013 Summer Research Program for Undergraduate Underrepresented Minority Students and was recognized at an awards luncheon.
SECOND: Britney Mack, of Edwards, senior psychology major and daughter of Don and Bertha Mack, and H. Colleen Sinclair, associate professor of psychology at MSU. Mack also participated in the 2013 Summer Research Program for Undergraduate Underrepresented Minority Students and was recognized at an awards luncheon.
THIRD: Basil Paudel, of Nepal, senior mechanical engineering major and son of Ben and Sumitra Paudel; Tausif Jamal, of India, junior mechanical engineering major and son of Kazi Zamal and Rukhsana Khanam; along with Scott M. Thompson and Keith Walters, assistant and associate professors of mechanical engineering, respectively.
Learn more about MSU's undergraduate research opportunities at http://www.honors.msstate.edu/research.