Research Day at the Capitol Recognizes Oklahoma's Top Undergrad Researchers

Last fall Dr. Glen D. Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, invited the state’s university presidents to nominate their institutions’ top undergraduate student researchers to participate in the twenty-third annual Research Day at the Capitol. 

This week, those 22 students, representing 17 colleges and universities, gathered on the State Capitol’s fourth floor rotunda to showcase the outstanding research being conducted on Oklahoma’s campuses. 

Members of the State Legislature and Capitol guests visited students’ poster displays to learn more about the research projects, which covered important topics including pesticide effects, water quality, and cancer research.  

Research posters and oral presentations were competitively judged by an independent panel. The panel selected the top seven researchers in three categories—one overall winner, three regional university winners and three research-intensive institution winners. The students below received awards during a ceremony at the Capitol at the conclusion of the event.  

For more information on this or other EPSCoR-sponsored programs, visit or email Gina Miller, outreach coordinator, at Access a photo album of the event via our Flickr account.  



Overall Grand Prize   Devin Laurence
Institution:  University of Oklahoma
Hometown:  Bartlesville
Research Topic:  An Integrated Experimental-Computational Approach for Multiscale Investigations of Atrioventricular Heart Valves with Applications to Individual-Optimized Surgery Planning

Pictured (L-R) Devin Laurence, Chancellor Glen D. Johnson


First Place, Regional University & Community College Category – Payton Whitehead
Institution:  Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Hometown:  Colbert
Research Topic:  Increased Expression and Purification of Medicago Truncatula CDNA-Derived Anthocyanin Reductase

Pictured (L-R) Payton Whitehead, Chancellor Glen D. Johnson


First Place, Research-Intensive Institution Category – Nicholas Paul Foster
Institution:  Oklahoma State University
Hometown:  Edmond
Research Topic:  Meteorological Data Collection with Unmanned Aircraft for Three-Dimensional Forecasting Advancements

Pictured (L-R) Nicholas Paul Foster, Chancellor Glen D. Johnson


Second Place, Regional University & Community College Category – Myshal Morris
Institution:  Langston University
Hometown:  Tulsa
Research Topic:  Metabolomics Analysis of the Dysregulated Immune System in Astronauts for Extended Space Missions Using Ground Analogs

Pictured (L-R) Myshal Morris, Chancellor Glen D. Johnson


Second Place, Research-Intensive Institution Category – Austin Fehr
Institution:  University of Tulsa
Hometown:  Oklahoma City 
Research Topic:  The Effects of Light Sources on Nutrient Production in the Growth Phase of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Pictured (L-R) Austin Fehr, Chancellor Glen D. Johnson


Third Place, Regional University & Community College Category – Lindsey Hendricks
Institution:  Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Hometown:  Bessie
Research Topic:  Pick Your Poison - Sublethal Effects of Pesticides on Amphipod Life History Traits 

Pictured (L-R) Lindsey Hendricks, Chancellor Glen D. Johnson


Third Place, Research-Intensive Institution Category – Grace Katherine Ogden
Institution:  Oklahoma State University
Hometown:  Muskogee 
Research Topic:  Management of Italian Ryegrass in Oklahoma Winter Wheat

Pictured (L-R) Grace Katherine Ogden, Chancellor Glen D. Johnson