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College students win awards at national conference for minority scientists

Friday, October 26, 2012

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. Ten of the KU students are in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

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.

Eight of the students from the College 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.

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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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