Karen L. Smith Undergraduate Research Symposium

kyle_thomasEighteen undergraduate students in the Life Sciences presented their research this past Friday at the first Karen L. Smith Undergraduate Research Symposium. Topics ranged from the host preferences of parasites to the effects of hormones on behavior. The symposium was established in November 2012 in honor and recognition of Karen Smith’s exceptional service to undergraduates at Oklahoma State University. Karen graduated from OSU with her Bachelor of Science in Physiology and her Master of Science in Psychology, and she later returned to OSU as a senior academic counselor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Karen strongly encouraged students to participate in professional development opportunities and she was instrumental in designing this opportunity for students to present the results of their research in a professional setting.

Undergraduate students presented posters describing their research to an audience of more than 150 faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. The Karen L. Smith Research Excellence Award was given to Kyle Thomas (senior zoology major, picture on the right) for his research with Dr. Alex Ophir on the effects of environmental complexity on female prairie vole oxytocin receptor. The award includes $200 and will be given to the best student presentation at the symposium each semester, which will be held every Fall and Spring semester.

For more impressions from the symposium, see the pictures in the slideshow below.