Natural science majors attend INBRE conference

December 1, 2023

November 28, 2023

By Camryn Manning, Opinions Editor

Students from the Patterson School of Natural Sciences traveled to the INBRE conference where they presented and listened to laboratory research from students across Arkansas. The conference was held on Nov. 3-4 in Fayetteville, Ark. INBRE offered many networking opportunities and learning experiences for the students in attendance. 

Dr. Sharon Hamilton, E.A. Provine chair of chemistry and faculty sponsor, commended her students and the conference.

“It was a great experience,” Hamilton said. “Most of our students were presenting a poster presentation of research that they have done over the summer or during school. They could also apply to do an oral presentation on their research. The oral presentations are competitive, and so not everyone that requested an oral presentation got to present one.”

Students also got the chance to listen to other students’ presentations and hear from several plenary speakers and a keynote speaker. Hamilton was given the honor of being the chemistry keynote speaker at the event. Her talk was titled “Developing Modern Materials for Biomedical Applications.”

Fourteen students attended the conference to present. To prepare, they either drew from the symposium at the end of summer laboratory research or created a presentation from scratch. After the presentations were completed by students, they were put before at least one faculty member for review and approval. 

Kensley Flynn, a junior biology major, gave an oral presentation about her on-campus summer research with Dr. Hamilton. 

“I have been working on a novel wound dressing,” Flynn said. “We are trying to make a covering that will encourage the healing process and maybe even deliver drugs that could help with wound health.”

Flynn enjoyed the experience of the conference and looks forward to participating in future conferences and other opportunities for natural science majors like INBRE. 

“I was able to present my research to people from colleges across Arkansas and neighboring states,” Flynn said. “I was also able to hang out with my friends and professors in the department, cheer them on in their presentations, make good memories and  meet new people.” 

Flynn encourages her peers to attend the conference in the future and fully embrace the experience.  

“I loved to be able to see the different projects everyone at the conference is working on,” Flynn said. “INBRE has an emphasis on biomedical research, so seeing all the different ways people are looking at things for medical applications in biology, chemistry and physics was informative and inspiring.”

Ouachita students won three awards at the INBRE conference. Junior biophysicis major Elise Knight won first place in the chemistry oral presentation category. Senior biology major Barrett Troup earned an honorable mention award for his biology poster presentation. Alex Treadway, a senior chemistry major, also earned an honorable mention award for his chemistry poster presentation. 

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