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As part of its charitable contribution plan, Battelle, a global nonprofit research and development organization, recently donated $20,000 to support student research in the College of Science at Eastern Kentucky University.

“Undergraduate research is a high-impact practice with demonstrable effect on student learning and student engagement, said Dr. Tom Otieno, interim dean of the College of Science, who accepted the check on behalf of Eastern. “The gift from Battelle will enable us to provide three students with the opportunity to focus on undergraduate research during the summer. It will also benefit additional College of Science students by providing support to students traveling to conferences to present the results of their research.”

The check presentation ceremony was held recently in EKU’s New Science Building. Dr. Jerry Pogatshnik, associate vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School, welcomed the Battelle team to EKU. Representing Battelle from the Richmond site were Mark Needham, Battelle site manager; Steve Downing, laboratory manager; Dr. George Lucier, deputy chief scientist; and Heather Grant, chemical personnel reliability program coordinator.

Noting that Battelle founder Gordon Battelle’s vision was for business and scientific interests to work together as forces for positive change, Needham praised the developing relationship between Battelle and EKU.

“Our business relies significantly on personnel with background in STEM and we currently have a number of EKU alumni working for us,” Needham said. “I am glad we can support you in training more students in STEM areas, and I hope some of them will become our employees.”

The students receiving the awards were selected on a competitive basis. Charles Greif, a senior forensic science major, will work on a project in the area of synthesis and applications of peptides in the laboratory of Dr. Margaret Ndinguri, assistant professor of chemistry. Angel Shelton will research the use of satellites in mapping geologic stress fields on Mars. She will be supervised by Dr. Christopher Hughes, an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences.  Dr. Tanea Reed, an associate professor of chemistry, will supervise Meranda Quijas, a senior biomedical sciences major who will research lipid profiles of moderately traumatic brain-injured rats using multidimensional treatment strategies.

“An undergraduate research experience will be incredibly beneficial to my aspirations because it will give me a glimpse at what fully dedicating myself to research is like,” Greif said.  “Graduate school is almost all research, and this foundation will help me comprehend the complexities of graduate level research.”

When the second phase of EKU’s New Science Building is completed this summer, the facility will be the largest of its type on any college campus in Kentucky.

Battelleis a global nonprofit research and development organization involved in the development and commercialization of technology for a wide variety of industry and government customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle’s commitment includes supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives that can make the greatest impact. Battelle in Richmond is a teaming partner supporting systemization activities at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant as part of the Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Joint Venture.