“My experience with the Life Sciences Freshman Research Program was a positive one in every aspect. The opportunity to conduct research as a freshman is one few universities have the capacity to provide, and I feel blessed to have had the chance to experience such a program. The faculty and staff I interacted with during my time as a [LS] Freshman Research Scholar were endlessly helpful and clearly willing to devote their time to make sure each student had a positive experience. It was clear to me that everyone involved in the program wanted each student to succeed while learning as much as possible from their mentors and individual research. Along with the benefits of an early introduction to research, this program also gave me the chance to create a scientific poster for the first time, which has been useful in many of my science classes as I have continued in my undergraduate career. Additionally, the opportunity to present my work at a research symposium allowed me to gain oral presentation experience, which again is generally uncommon for freshmen. This program provides Life Sciences students with many advantageous opportunities that are unlike anything most of us have ever had the chance to participate in before, and I am so thankful for the many ways it has positively impacted my college career.” – Abbi Wright, Year 3
"When I applied to the Life Sciences Freshmen Research Scholar (LSFRS) program I did not expect to be accepted into it, whatsoever. I was ecstatic to take part in research and get the full experience of it. I am appreciative that I was a part of it and still get to be as an Ambassador. The LSFRS program has provided me with guidance in how scientific research is conducted and what consists of it. It was also rewarding in a way that I had more knowledge than peers that were not in the program with me during that time. It has given me a wonderful mentor that I love working with and whom I still work with till this day. LSFRS has also given me connections and wonderful opportunities, such as becoming a teaching assistant for Introductory to Biology. I would not have been able to do it if it was not for Dr. French, Dr. Stewart, and the lovely, Coral Rewasiewicz. They all were very supportive and still are! I believe this program can greatly benefit future students and inspire them to pursue research further on in their collegiate career.” – Tabby Gunnars, Year 1
“Becoming a member of LSFRS has proven to be one of the most important and beneficial decisions that I have made in my undergraduate career. While allowing me to join a state of the art laboratory to participate in novel research, it also opened the door for opportunities outside of the lab. It provided the tools and opportunity for me to establish a lasting relationship with several professors that I would likely have never interacted with if I had not participated in the program. One of these relationships eventually lead to the establishment of one of the professors as my faculty mentor, as well as joining the professor’s laboratory group to conduct additional advanced and independent research. LSFRS has also provided me with information about other great programs such as the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, or the HHMI EXROP internship. I had not heard of these programs before joining LSFRS, and would likely have never heard of them if I was not a member of LSFRS. These are a just a few of the many amazing things that LSFRS has provided me throughout my college experience, and I can honestly say that participating in the program was one of the best decisions that I have made as a college student.” – Dustin Cochran, Year 3
“The Life Sciences Freshman Research Program has made an impact on my life by showing me what it is really like to be in the scientific community, and by giving me a chance to get connected to a research mentor through a structured program. Because of this program, I have found a research lab that I am still involved in, and have gained real world science experience through the learning of technique and the completion of my own research project. Being a part of the LSFRS Program has been one the most enjoyable experiences I have had at Oklahoma State University, and I am thankful for the opportunities in research it has given me.” – Caroline Sanders, Year 2
“Having the opportunity to do research through the Life Science Freshman Research Scholars program as a freshman gave me a sense of direction and added value to my academic career. It allowed me to experience a lab research environment and realize that my interest in research may be larger than I had first anticipated. It opened my eyes to the opportunities available to undergraduates, and influenced me to continue research as I changed majors and plans for my future. Through this program, I was guided through the challenging process of scientific writing, which was an immense help as I created research proposals to apply for the Wentz and Niblack scholarships later in my undergraduate career. LSFRS encouraged me to seek out guidance from the brilliant faculty and staff within the research community, and facilitated me in meeting professors and graduate students who were eager to help. This program welcomed me to the science community and I would not have considered a future in research without its influence. From freshman to senior, my research experience has been shaped and sculpted by my experiences writing, working in the lab, apply my research skills, and making connections in the science community.” – Grace Ogden (nee Flusche), Year 1
“As a freshman, it's common to feel unsure of how to go about pursuing your dreams. To the few who are ambitious and determined enough to want to pursue research, there's a program available called Life Sciences Freshman Research Scholars that will show you how to start off on the right foot when it comes to your research goals. Since my freshman year, I have been awarded both the Wentz ($4500 for research use) and the Niblack ($8000 for research use) Research Scholars Program here, at OSU.
The LSFRS program on campus gave me exactly what I needed to push my career goals forward. I’m currently in the process for applying to internships across the country this summer. The amount of research related topics I can include in my CV and resume are priceless. Additionally, the access to excellent sources for letters of recommendation who know you very well is a great comfort. LSFRS gave me a chance as an incoming freshman and taught me how to grow from an ambitious child to a purpose driven and well equipped young adult in the world of research.
The future, at times, seems daunting to a college student, but thanks to LSFRS and the other research opportunities I’ve gotten due to this program’s initial influence, I’m excited for my future career because I know I have what I need to excel. If I am hired at a university, someday I will absolutely try to find a way to reach freshman interested in research because having those skills taught to you early on is vital. LSFRS is the ideal opportunity and I’m very proud to say I was a part of it.” – KatyAnn Dudley, Year 1
“The HHMI program has helped me to become a stronger scientist by providing me a mentor who allowed me to work on my own with live specimens. It solidified my love for studying animal behavior and helped me to decide that my career goal was to be a veterinarian.” – Shelby Stavins, Year 3