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Oklahoma State University

2019-2020 Niblack Research Scholars

Oklahoma State University has named 14 students as 2019-20 Niblack Research Scholars, each receiving $8,000 scholarships and the opportunity to conduct research guided by faculty sponsors and graduate student mentors.

The Niblack Research Scholars program, administered through the OSU Office of the Vice President for Research, is a unique chance for undergraduates to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to actual research projects. Often the experience changes a student’s career direction, as it did for Matthew Hart, a 2017-18 Niblack scholar who said he had little experience with science until coming to OSU.

“The thing I enjoy the most about research is the impact it has on people’s lives,” said Hart, who conducted research on nutrition and genetics. “I’m really most interested in things that translate to a clinical environment, that really have an impact on someone’s health. Being a Niblack scholar has been vital to putting me on my career path to do clinical research.”

The annual program is funded by OSU alumnus Dr. John Niblack and his wife, Heidi Niblack. As an undergraduate at OSU, Niblack said his research experience impacted the direction of his life. Niblack graduated from OSU in 1960 and, after graduate studies, conducted research and managed the development of many well-known pharmaceuticals for Pfizer Inc., the $34 billion global company. He was eventually named Pfizer vice chairman and, following retirement, founded the Niblack Research Scholarship to offer OSU undergraduates the same research opportunity he had. 

2019-20 scholars, research areas and hometowns:

       
Adam Bronson, Microbiology
Richardson, Texas
  Cassidy (Ryan) Hahn, Microbiology
Trabuco Canyon, California
 
       
Rachel Abraham, Physiological Sciences
Stillwater, Oklahoma
  Kaitlyn Lane, Chemical Engineering
Beulah, Colorado
 
       
Aaron Austin, Physics
Edmond, Oklahoma
  Benjamin Nelson, Integrative Biology
Wichita, Kansas
 
       
Kathryn O’Connell, Microbiology
Stillwater, Oklahoma
  Ryan Pruitt, Microbiology
Lawton, Oklahoma
 
       
Nina Baggett, Microbiology
Richardson, Texas
  Lee Repa, Physics
Bartlesville, Oklahoma
 
       
Jonathan (Ty) Derouen, Microbiology
Fort Worth, Texas
  Cassandra Salinas, Microbiology
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
 
       
Andee Beth Fitts, Chemical Engineering
Duncan, Oklahoma
  Aaron Wheeler, Chemical Engineering
Tulsa, Oklahoma