Last week, a group composed of 21 students and 4 faculty members, represented Southern University at New Orleans at the 70th Joint Annual Meeting of Beta Kappa Chi (BKX) National Scientific Honor Society and the National Institute of Science (NIS) in Washington, D.C. The meeting, hosted by the University of the District of Columbia centered around the theme of “Bridging the Gap in STEM* Research from Conception to Application”. At the meeting students were able to attend lectures, network with their peers along with representatives from a number of graduate and professional schools and present their research through oral and poster platforms. SUNO’s contingent represented that largest that the University has sent to the STEM conference.
Keynotes speakers included, Dr. Lawrence Tabak from the National Institutes of Health discussing his personal equation for success; Dr. Kevin Gardner who discussed the ongoing study of links between obesity and cancer and Dr. Leonard Haynes III who inspired the audience with his own keys to achievement.
In addition to their academic undertakings, students were given the opportunity to tour historically black neighborhoods surrounding the district, culminating with a trip to the national mall where students visited the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and surveyed the numerous science museums at their disposal including the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Their trip culminated in an awards banquet where SUNO students garnered a number of honors, the most in the University’s history including a sweep of one of the mathematics oral platforms. Three first time winners received awards: Amber Dillon (2nd place, mathematics oral), Schondell Thomas (2nd place, mathematics poster), and Curtis Lawrence (1st place, biology oral). Other winners included Dot’Toya Jones (2nd place, mathematics oral), Rispah Sang (2nd place, mathematics oral), Gino Loverde (1st place, mathematics oral), Monicah Jepkemboi (2nd place, biology poster), and Jasmin Jenkins (2nd place, biology poster).