Tag: heather rawls
Recently, three BIMS majors found out they will receive Bloomer and Beasley Research Fellowships for the coming year. All three are students of Dr. Gary Wilson and will be pursuing different projects investigating Bacillus thuringiensis spore properties as they pursue Honors research and write their Honors theses in the next year.
The Charles and Lisa Bloomer Research Fellowship is awarded to support research of promising students in the School of Natural and Computational Science (SNCS). This initiative of the Science and Math Advisory Board (SMAB) provides a research stipend for students as they work closely with McMurry faculty on a research project. Dr. Bloomer is a successful oral surgeon in Abilene who has generously and regularly supported the sciences at his alma mater. The biennial picnic the Bloomers host for SMAB members and SNCS faculty is a popular event building relationships and communicating the vision each holds for McMurry’s science future. The Beasley Research Fellowship is a new program supporting student research in the biological sciences. McMurry’s science alumni are spearheading an effort to create an endowment in memory of Dr. Clark Beasley, Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the Department of Biology who died this past summer. This represents the first year this fellowship has been awarded.
Recipients of this year’s awards are Heather Rawls, Miranda Nguyen, and Nicole McGunegle. Their projects will study wild type and genetically-engineered strains of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and Bacillus cereus (Bc) grown in rich and poor media. Bt is a spore-former that produces an insecticidal toxin at the time of sporulation. Bc is a commonly encountered and well-studied spore-former closely related to Bt but generally harmless. The genetically-engineered strains include Bt strains that do not form crystals and Bc strains that have been engineered to produce Bt crystals. One project will look at how the presence or absence of the crystal in rich and poor media influences spore and crystal size and toxicity. A second project will look at how growth conditions impact spore dormancy and the process of activation and germination. It is possible an undiscovered variation of quorum sensing might be involved. The third project will explore UV and chemical resistance of wild type and genetically-engineered strains produced in rich and poor media. All projects fit the criteria for BIMS research: a complete project doable in a short time frame, certain discovery no matter the experimental outcome, publishable work.
Stay tuned for updates on how this work is progressing!
Outstanding First Year Student: Heather Rawls (she also was the outstanding freshman chemistry student!)
Outstanding Second Year Student: Christina Barr
Outstanding Third Year Student: Toyosi Adewunmi
Outstanding Fourth Year Student: Chris Tatum
Danny Cooley Award Winner: Brad Rowland
The Danny Cooley Award is in memory of McMurry alum Dr. Danny Cooley, who as a graduate student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at TTU discovered the cause of sick building syndrome. Danny was an outstanding student, war veteran, decorated firefighter, and man of great character. The recipient exhibits similar qualities and receives a financial award to help with the cost of their education.
In addition to the BIMS program awards, other BIMS majors also received awards from other areas of campus for their academic achievements.
Recently declared BIMS major Nicole McGunegle was named Outstanding First Year Writer by the Department of English.
Miranda Nguyen received the All-Conference Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Award for Women’s Soccer.
Our congratulations to each of these students! BIMS majors are widely acknowledge as among the best students on campus and you make us proud!