KU News Release


October 26, 2012
Contact: John Augusto, Center for Undergraduate Research, 785-864-7351

Students win awards at national conference for minority scientists

LAWRENCE — Seventeen University of Kansas and 11 Haskell Indian Nations University students attended the 2012 Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science conference last week in Seattle.

More than 3,000 students from across the country participated at SACNAS, and 1,200 students presented the results of research projects. Lauren Beesley, senior in mathematics, received an award for her research, “Using Normalization Techniques on Microarray Data to Determine Differential Gene Expression.” With this win, students from the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development have received recognition for outstanding research at the SACNAS annual conference for the past five consecutive years.

Fourteen of the students from KU, including two McNair Scholars, and two Haskell students received SACNAS travel scholarships. These travel scholarships are given to a select group of students to attend the conference with full sponsorship from SACNAS. KU’s Office for Diversity in Science Training provided additional support for the KU and Haskell delegates.

KU and Haskell students attending the conference are listed below by hometown, tribal affiliation (if applicable) and level in school. If the student received a travel scholarship, gave a presentation or won an award, that is also noted.

• Tashina Azure, of Lawrence, is a nondegree graduate student at KU and a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and Meskwaki tribes. Azure attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training PREP program.

• Albert Baxter, of Yuma, Ariz., is a junior in environmental science at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Fort Yuma Quechan tribe. Baxter attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training BRIDGE program.

• Brook Bayless, of Topeka, is a sophomore in environmental science at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Cherokee tribe. Bayless attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Lauren Beesley, of Overland Park, is a senior in mathematics (statistics) at KU. Beesley presented at the conference and attended with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Tyler Berry, of Sapulpa, Okla., is a junior in environmental science at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Cherokee tribe. Berry attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training BRIDGE program.

• Kimberly Box, of Wichita, is a nondegree graduate student at KU. Box presented her research and attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Maureen Connolly, of Kansas City, Mo., is a senior in environmental science at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Campo Kumeyaay tribe. Connolly attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training BRIDGE program.

• Carlos Fernandez, of Overland Park, is a junior in mechanical engineering at KU. Fernandez presented his research and attended the conference with support of a SACNAS travel scholarship and the KU McNair Scholars Program.

• Marcus Florez, of Bel Aire, is a junior in biochemistry at KU. Florez attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Alexander Fondaw, of Wichita, is a junior in biochemistry at KU. Fondaw attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Devin Lasley, of Wellington, is a senior in pre-sport science/community health at KU and a member of the Cherokee and Kickapoo tribes. Lasley attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Corey Leroy, of Lawrence, is a senior in environmental science at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Northern Ponca tribe. Leroy attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training BRIDGE program.

• Cale Pete, of Gardnerville, Nev., is a senior in environmental science at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Washoe tribe. Pete attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training BRIDGE program.

• Allyson Prue, of Lawrence, is a junior in environmental science at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe. Prue attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Eric Rivera, of Omaha, Neb., is a senior in architectural engineering at KU. Rivera presented his research and attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship and the KU McNair Scholars Program.

• Jessica Rodriguez, of Richland Wash., is a senior in environmental science at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe. Rodriguez attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training BRIDGE program.

• Kayla Sale, of Olathe, is a junior in biology and mathematics at KU. Sale attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Joshua Selbe, of Fort Scott, is a senior in microbiology at KU and is a member of the Cherokee tribe. Selbe presented his research and attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Kena Senegal, of Lake Charles, La., is a nondegree graduate student at KU. Senegal attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training PREP program.

• Sarena Senegal, of Lake Charles, La., is a nondegree graduate student at KU. She attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training PREP program.

• Jacob Stops, of Billings, Mont., is a senior in molecular biology at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Crow tribe. Stops attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training BRIDGE program.

• Marvin Stops, of Billings, Mont., is a senior in community health at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Crow tribe. Stops attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training BRIDGE program.

• Rodolfo Torres-Gavosto, of Lawrence, is a senior in chemistry at KU. Torres-Gavosto attended this year’s conference.

• Christopher Trezza, of Smithtown, N.Y., is a senior in microbiology at KU. Trezza presented his research and attended this year’s conference.

• Carlos Villeda, of Round Lake, Texas, is a senior in mathematics and mechanical engineering at KU. Carlos attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Justin Washington, of Lawrence, Kansas, is a freshman in natural sciences at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the Eastern Shoshone tribe. Justin attended the conference with the support of the Office for Diversity in Science Training BRIDGE program.

• Crisandra Wilkie of Salem, Oregon, is a senior in biology (cell biology) at KU and a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa tribe. Crisandra presented her research and attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS travel scholarship.

• Julia Yang, of Manhattan, Kansas, is a junior in biology and environmental science at KU. Julia attended the conference with the support of a SACNAS scholarship.



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