Biology students win awards at NC-LSAMP conference

Nia Brown is shown presenting her research during the 2023 UNCP PURC symposium
Nia Brown is shown presenting her research during the 2023 UNCP PURC symposium

Three UNCP Biology students won competitive research awards during the annual conference of the North Carolina - Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NC-LSAMP).  Nia Brown won 1st place in the Agricultural, Biological, Chemical Sciences division for her presentation, “Bee Conservation,” and Kinsley Adams won 2nd place for her presentation, “How to Safely Remove Honeydew Insects using Histo-Clear Prior to DNA Amplifications.” Graduate student James Locklear won 2nd place in the Biological Sciences & STEM Education division. His presentation was entitled, “Perceptions of Pollinators: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Among Faculty, Students, and Staff.”  The awards came with prize money. North Carolina State University hosted the conference, which was held virtually on Friday, 31 March 2023. Attendees included community college, undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty from the southeastern United States.

UNC Pembroke students who presented during the 2022 annual conference were Emily Harrison, Katina Oxendine, David Hoskings, and Minh Huy Giang.  Katina won top place in her category, Agriculture Science. Biology alumnus Kameron Richardson, who is in graduate school at the University of Idaho, served as a panelist in the graduate student symposium.

The North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation STEM Pathways and Research Alliance (NC-LSAMP SPRA) is funded by the National Science Foundation and was created to enhance the quality and number of students who complete baccalaureate degree programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. North Carolina A&T State University is the lead institution for the Alliance, which is comprised of eight of the 17 institutions in the University of North Carolina System. Among the Alliance’s goals and objectives are to diversify the workforce in STEM disciplines, to empower students to enter graduate programs, engage in innovative research, to disseminate findings, and to collaborate in activities that broaden impacts. 

Dr. Velinda Woriax, professor and chair of the UNCP Department of Biology, is a long-time member of the state’s leadership team, and over the years, she has recruited many students to participate in the Alliance’s annual research conference.