Math and Science Students Recognized for Research

PLAINVIEW - The Wayland Baptist University celebrated another successful trip to the Texas Academy of Sciences conference Feb. 28-29. Eight Wayland students were accompanied by five faculty members and returned highly decorated for their research and presentations.

Five students gave oral presentations on their research, four of whom were recognized as having the best presentations in their sections. Sarah Macha, Elizabeth Reinhart, Krista Epley and Joshua Wynn were recognized for their presentation. Epley was honored as having the second best presentation of undergraduate research overall at the conference.

Along with recognizing current research, the TAS also awards grants for future research. Macha was awarded a second-place grant for undergraduate. The grant will fund further research and she will return to TAS next year with a report. These grants are awarded based on an extensive review process by research scientists throughout the U.S.

Macha and Reinhart tied for first place for their terrestrial ecology and management research. Macha researched the home range and habitat of the Texas horned lizard. Reinhart presented her research on molecular-based sex determination of sparrows on the high plains.

Epley's research was on the Flora of Hale County, and Wynn, who previously won a TAS research grant, was recognized in the geosciences section for his work on the geochemical and petrographic analysis of chert.

Ellen Hamzy rounded out the five students presenting with her research on the role of enzyme RecA in tuberculosis drug resistance. Hamzy presented in the biochemistry and chemistry section, the largest section of the conference.

Wayland students continue to plan and execute their research. Seven students in chemistry and biochemistry are already planning their Welch-funded research that will take place in an eight-week span over the summer. Students are planning to present their research findings at next year's TAS meeting. Additionally, four of the eight students that attended this year, including all three of the non-presenters, have plans to present research next year.

The students were accompanied by their faculty advisors Dr. Adam Reinhart, Dr. Andrew Kasner, Dr. Robert Moore, Dr. Matthew Allen and Dr. Tim Walsh.