Kennesaw State students presented at the Birla Carbon Symposium sharing STEM-focused research on Aug. 29, with junior Destiny Paige winning the Top Poster Award.
Paige conducted research in which she “introduced a novel composition of bioactive glass containing mixed-valence cerium oxide nanoparticles into hamster kidney cells,” according to KSU News.
As the top presenter, Paige received an additional $2,000 stipend to present her work at a future conference of her choice.
“This program is extremely special because it not only stresses the importance of research through competition, but it also stresses the importance of taking responsibility,” Paige said. “I’m very thankful for this program allowing me room to step up to the plate.”
The program prepares the students for future endeavors in STEM fields and instills confidence in their independent research abilities.
“In the spring, the College of Science and Mathematics selected 11 students to receive a $4,000 stipend to pursue their individual research interests during a unique 10-week summer program established by Birla Carbon,” KSU stated.
Scholars work with a mentor who guides them through their research and have the opportunity for exposure through the symposium.
“The greatest impact of this experience was being able to engage in meaningful conversations with industry professionals in science,” Birla Carbon Scholar Naza Okafor said. “I also found it interesting how knowledge can be passed down from one person to another like a cycle.”
Birla Carbon Scholar Emma Pearson’s favorite part of the program was how hands-on it was, as she was able to work with and draw from her mentor’s body of knowledge in her particular field of research and problem solve as she was building something “from the ground up.”
“This summer has taught me how to be an independent researcher,” Birla Carbon Scholar Tessa Jordan said. “I had to do a lot of things by myself [that] I never thought I could do. It has definitely prepared me for what it is going to be like when I attend a Ph.D. program.”
To qualify for the program, students must be a full time undergraduate student pursuing a degree in the College of Science and Mathematics and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Students must also submit an online application complete with a recommendation letter from the sponsoring permanent tenure track faculty member and a full abstract, and participate in the annual symposium to present their research, according to the program website.
The Birla Carbon Scholars program was created following a generous donation from Birla Carbon, the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of Carbon Black.According to KSU, the Birla Carbon Scholars program is in its sixth year.
For more information, visit the program’s website.