Winners Announced for From Abstract to Contract: Graduate Student Research Competition

 Gov. Mike Beebe presented awards to 23 first-place winners during ceremonies Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House. He told the students that the state needs them — to research and develop inventions and processes that will help not only the state, but also the country and the world.

The governor told the students that no one realizes, at this point in time, the problems they will solve or the ways they will make lives better, through their research. He exhorted them to persevere because the world will need the products of their work, and the jobs that work can make possible.

This year’s competition is the largest with three times as many students entered over the previous year; the broadest, with double the number of categories of study; and the first time that both first and second prizes were awarded in each category. Student research covered all areas of graduate study. Wide-ranging research topics included drought tolerance in soybeans, x-ray diffraction from atomistic simulations, SEC reporting requirements, implications for phyllosilicates on Mars, sustainable supply chain networks, cost effective armor for theater, ethics labor standards, African American funeral directors in Arkansas, rural entrepreneurship development, and many more.

 First place
• Jessica Spicer, a master’s student in industrial engineering; her adviser is Ashlea Milburn.
• Crystal Wilson, a doctoral student in industrial engineering; her adviser is Sarah Root.

Second place
• Jingjing Tong, a doctoral student in industrial engineering; her adviser is Heather Nachtmann.

Release date: 2/28/2012