SNU Summer Research Experience 2018

Bethany, OK - The Southern Nazarene University (SNU) Summer Research Experience (SRE) celebrated its tenth anniversary with ten undergraduate students participating in six different research projects.  The projects included three in biology, one in chemistry, one in mathematics, and one in computer science education.  Students conducted their research under the supervision of six full-time SNU faculty members.  One student noted that his faculty mentor “did a great job in giving us some independence in the projects which will help prepare us for a career in research.” Topics varied from a survey of diseases carried by mosquitoes in central Oklahoma to using special software to create new uses for existing science lab equipment.  

2018 SRE Students and Faculty.  Photo courtesy of Dr. Nicholas Zoller.2018 SRE Students and Faculty.  Photo courtesy of Dr. Nicholas Zoller.

The SRE is open to SNU students who have completed their first or second year of studies in a science or math major.  The award package included a stipend, on-campus housing, and travel support for an off-campus academic conference during the 2018-2019 school year.  Student researchers spent six weeks working on their projects.  In addition to getting hands-on research experience, they also went on two field trips.  At the Lake Hefner Water Treatment Plant, they learned about how water from Lake Hefner is turned into safe drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people in north Oklahoma City.  At the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, they met researchers who are working on the cutting edge of medical research.  As one student said, “This was a great trip for seeing how research is done in the professional world.”

At the end of the SRE, students presented their work to the SNU community in a closing research conference.  Over the next year, they will continue to present their results at the SNU Science and Math Division Friday Seminar Series and at regional and national academic conferences.  They join over forty SRE alumni.  If the past is a good predictor, then they will likely obtain research positions in future summers and continue on to graduate studies in their chosen disciplines after graduating from SNU.  

Dr. Mark Winslow, Dean of the College of Natural, Social, and Health Sciences, said, “Congrats to the Summer Research Experience reaching its ten-year mark.  I’m proud of the numerous students that have participated in quality research and appreciate the mentoring relationships formed by student researchers and their faculty research professors.  Many thanks to our SNU faculty and especially to Dr. Nick Zoller for his leadership in this valuable summer venture over the last several years.”

The SRE is made possible by funding from the Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium.  The SRE meets the Space Grant goal of preparing college students in disciplines that are important to the mission of NASA.  The SNU Catalysts are also a financial supporter of the SRE.  This math and science alumni group has significantly contributed to student and faculty research projects, student scholarships, and scientific equipment for over four decades.