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SPSU students collect awards at PSLSAMP National Research Conference


Marietta, Ga. (Nov. 7, 2011) Several members of the SPSU Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PSLSAMP) returned home from the 6th Annual PSLSAMP National Symposium and Research Conference in October with awards for the work they presented.

The National Science Foundation-funded Peach State Alliance is a collaborative effort sustained by several higher education institutions: SPSU, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Perimeter College, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Savannah State University and the University of Georgia. The alliance’s goal is to increase statewide the number of underrepresented minority students completing undergraduate degrees and pursuing graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Savannah State hosted this year’s conference on Oct. 14-15 that attracted approximately 300 students from Georgia, Connecticut, Florida and New York. More than 40 SPSU students and faculty and staff members attended; 14 SPSU students presented research.

• Joshua Gober, a senior chemistry major, took home second place for his oral presentation in the Chemistry Section.

• Nekeshia Griffin, a senior biology major, won first place for her oral presentation in the Environmental Biology/Microbiology/ Mathematics/Physics Section.

• Sonia Vanegas, a senior mechanical engineering technology (MET) major, and Davis Hsu, a junior mechanical engineering major, came in second in the Technology and Engineering oral presentations.

• Ukaku Kalu, a junior in Electrical Engineering Technology, and Eddie Pulliam, a junior in Mechatronics Engineering, took third place in the Technology and Engineering oral presentations.

The students’ research mentors were: Dr. Peter Sakaris, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Mir Atiquallah, associate professor of MET; Dr. Kai Qian, professor of computer science; and Dr. Vincent P. Conticello of Emory University.