Apply for OSU’s $1,000 Book Collecting Essay Prize

The Book Collecting Essay Prize is awarded as a $1,000 scholarship (disbursed Spring 2015) and a two-year OSU Friends of the Library membership each to one undergraduate and one graduate student winner.

The 2nd Annual Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research Book Collecting Essay Prize is a scholarship competition that encourages students to think critically about relationships between and among books. The prize is also a unique opportunity to develop competitive personal essay writing and open-format interview skills.

The book collection described may be either real (in possession of the student) or proposed (not in possession of the student). Both types of collections are weighted equally by the prize selection panel. You may define and describe your collection according to any criteria from author(s) and time period(s) to geographic area(s) and genre(s) and so forth. Your essay must demonstrate creativity with regards to the criteria that bind together your collection. Essays must also demonstrate in error-free prose both unique insight and intelligence. No minimum or maximum number of books is required, nor is preference given to larger collections.

All current Oklahoma State University undergraduate and graduate students in any major are encouraged to apply.

E-mail due by 5:00pm CST Friday, November 7, 2014.


OSU Welcomes 60 to the Freshman Research Scholars Program

Sixty incoming Oklahoma State University freshmen from 10 states have each received a $1,000 scholarship to pursue an early, hands-on introduction to university-level research this year. Representing 33 majors from aerospace engineering to zoology, the students will participate in the Freshman Research Scholars (FRS) program which has been recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for excellence in undergraduate research programming.

In this unique first-look at academic inquiry, students expand their education beyond the classroom by engaging in cutting-edge research under the guidance of some of the most innovative faculty on campus. FRS students learn basic research ethics and methodology while working closely with their mentors and graduate assistants to design and conduct projects that the students choose.

“My mentor personally taught me all of the new research techniques and is always willing to take the time to help me better understand my topic and let me fully participate in research without babying me,” said Sydnee Homeyer, a biochemistry major.

“We want to give students a significant research experience so they can take full advantage of all that a comprehensive research university has to offer before they graduate,” said Tim O’Neil, Undergraduate Research Coordinator in The Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research. “This early introduction is an important part of a broader initiative to increase undergraduate research in all fields of study—not just the laboratory sciences.”

OSU also offers many opportunities for students of all majors and classifications to continue their research beyond the first year. Robust, nationally-recognized undergraduate research programs at OSU include the Lew Wentz Research Program ($4,500 scholarships for up to 50 students annually) and the Niblack Research Scholars ($8,000 scholarships for up to 12 students annually). Through these programs, former Freshman Research Scholars have been awarded more than $120,000 in research funding for the current academic year.

“Of course, you don’t have to participate in a formal program to find receptive faculty at OSU who are ready to mentor interested students in research,” added O’Neil. “Our faculty makes OSU a truly vibrant community for young scholars with big questions.”

“My mentor helped me so much my freshman year and he is still completely willing to support my growth and advancement as a person and a researcher,” explained Susan Pham, biochemistry major.”He helped me through so many struggles whether academic, research or life-related. It really is a blessing that I found him as a mentor.”

For more information about the Freshman Research Scholars program and other undergraduate research opportunities at Oklahoma State University, please contact The Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research at 334 Student Union, Stillwater, OK 74078, 405-744-7313, or visit us online at​

Click for a list of the 2014-15 Freshman Research Scholars

OSU Researchers Awarded $100,000 OCAST Grant

Two researchers at Oklahoma State University will be helping develop more effective pest management approaches with a nearly $100,000 grant from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST).

Dr. Kristen Baum, associate professor of zoology, and Dr. Kris Giles, professor of entomology and plant pathology, were awarded the grant for a project titled “The Interaction of Pollinators and Pest Management Strategies in Increasing Production in a Field Generation Biofuel Crop.” The project was one of three to receive funding out a field of 29 applications that were independently peer reviewed and ranked.

The project will evaluate the effect of insecticide applications in winter canola fields on native bees, winter canola seed set and field-level production. The results are expected to help develop approaches to pest management that consider both the conservation of pollinators and control of insect pests.  Continue reading…

Travel to Cambridge with Scholar Development this Summer

The Henry Bellmon Office of
Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research

invites applicants for the
2015 “Cowboys in Cambridge” Program:

Discovering Dickens’s England: Travels with the Nicklebys
(Dr. Jeffrey Walker, Professor of English | July 5-18, 2015 | 3 Credit Hours)

In July 2015, the Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research’s “Cowboys in Cambridge” program will celebrate its 12th anniversary at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge.  The program involves two weeks of study on a course prepared by OSU’s top faculty, with completion of the course project in mid-October for fall semester honors (if applicable) or general credit (3 hours).  The program is popular with OSU’s outstanding students and known for its exceptional academic benefits at a remarkably low cost.  All successful applicants will attend a thorough travel orientation pre-departure and be assigned texts for study in May and June to prepare for this experience.  This year’s trip will include a two-day bus tour into northern England and a class visit to London.

2015 Course Information

The first of nineteen monthly installments of Charles Dickens’s widely popular The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby appeared on 2 April 1838 (the year of Queen Victoria’s coronation) and sold for one shilling.  Wrapped in an attractive paper cover and bound with advertisements for everything from new books and telescopes to false teeth and miracle pills, each affordable installment contained two detailed illustrations by Phiz and the next episode in the Nicklebys’ captivating adventures.  The first installment sold 50,000 copies, and the growing popularity of each subsequent number, shared and shaped by the audience who read it, led to incredible success for Dickens, who delivered the final installment a year and a half later.

In this course you will read and respond to Nickleby as did its 19th-century readers and follow in the footsteps of its hero with trips to the countryside Dales where he discovers firsthand the horrors of Yorkshire boarding schools and to London where he works to blunt the poverty, class pretensions, and legal machinations of his money-laundering uncle. Dramatic readings with a stage adaptation of a scene from the novel by the class highlight the fortnight’s entertainment—one chiefly designed to address the comic novel, the Dickensian fascination with the world of the theater, the role of the book in Victorian society, and the way readers responded to the novel in serial and helped shape what happened next.  By reading Nickleby, part by part, you may find yourself weaving the world of fiction into your own real world as did the novel’s contemporary readers. For as the novel and its characters progressed over a year and a half, so, too, did the reader’s life progress.  Readers frequently saw the change and growth in their life through the lens of the fictional character’s development, blurring the lines between literature and life.

Undergraduates in all majors are encouraged to apply for this unique course, which is designed to help students not only enjoy Nicholas Nickleby, one of literature’s greatest comic novels, but also investigate the educational, legal, political, economic, social, and historical problems that beset Dickens’s England in the 1830s—problems that continue to exist here and everywhere almost two centuries later.  Successful applicants will participate in a thorough orientation and be assigned readings for study in May and June to prepare for a journey through Dickens’s England.

Readings include Charles Dickens’s novel Nicholas Nickleby (Penguin), Robert Douglas-Fairhurst’s biography Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist (Harvard), and a package of secondary readings on education, law, economics, melodrama, and iconography in the Victorian age, as well as discussions of how readers respond to what they read.

2015 Course Costs and Scholarship Support

The actual program fee is $3,600, however, all students accepted will receive substantial scholarship support ($1,500) bringing the cost down to $2,100.  An additional scholarship of up to $500 may be available to students requesting it by submitting an optional short essay describing exceptional financial need.  Further, the OSU Office of Study Abroad has additional scholarships that students may apply for.  The cost INCLUDES 3 OSU credit hours, guest lecturers, single room and board (free breakfast daily), a formal dinner in one of Cambridge’s ancient colleges, a group photograph outside the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, a two-day bus excursion to northern England, transportation and admission to Castle Howard, a one-day bus excursion to London with admission to the Dickens Museum and the Foundling Museum, and tickets to an outdoor Shakespeare play in Cambridge.  Note that all items are subject to change.

The cost EXCLUDES travel expenses to Cambridge, miscellaneous personal expenses, and any costs associated with travel before or after the course.  Scholarship support is made possible by The Lew Wentz Foundation and The Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research’s Cowboys Scholars Society.  All tuition and applicable program fees, along with the scholarship support you receive, will appear on your Bursar account at the beginning of the fall semester in August 2015.  No OSU tuition waivers are usable for this course.  Note:  May 1, 2015 is the deadline to drop this course with no financial penalty.  After that date, you will be responsible for all the course costs, including tuition, even though it will not appear on your Bursar account until August.

Download the 2015 “Cowboys in Cambridge” Application
(Deadline: Jan. 30, 2015)

2014-15 FRS Introductory Meeting Tomorrow (Thursday, Aug. 21)

Reminder: The 2014-15 FRS Introductory Meeting is tomorrow (Thursday, August 21) from 5 to 6 p.m. in 203 Classroom Building.

All current Freshman Research Scholars will gather to socialize and learn about important program requirements and guidelines.  Former FRS will share their experiences with undergraduate research and offer strategies for successfully conducting projects.  College groups will break out to meet with their coordinators.

This is a mandatory event for all FRS scholarship recipients.  In the event of a verifiable scheduling conflict, students must arrange a meeting with FRS Director, Tim O’Neil (334 Student Union, 405-744-7313, to maintain eligibility for the program scholarship.  FRS should not skip class to attend this meeting.

Introducing Aubrey McCutchan from Collinsville, OK

Aubrey McCutchan was just awarded a $1,000 scholarship and spot in the prestigious Freshman Research Scholars program at Oklahoma State University where, starting in the fall, she will engage in cutting-edge research in collaboration with pioneering faculty researchers.

College: Engineering, Architecture & Technology10151133_876459722369343_3769457060060020895_n
Major: Civil Engineering

What do you most anticipate about life at OSU?
Meeting new people, trying new things, and mostly the challenge that comes along with balancing my classes and having lots of fun while I’m at it.

Pluto . . . Planet or Plutoid?

OSU football Coach Mike Gundy famously declared, “I’m a man! I’m 40!” When will you join the ranks of adulthood? How will you know?
I’m not sure when I’ll ever exactly join the ranks of adulthood. I just want to enjoy everything life has to offer and accomplish any goal no matter where it may lead me whether it be buying a house or traveling the world.

What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas

If you could have one superpower, what would you want? Why?
Telekinesis–moving things with my mind just sounds awesome not to mention helpful.

Which Mythbuster is most like you: Adam, Jamie, Kari, Grant or Tory?
Jamie Hyneman

What’s the first thing that you notice about people?
Their eyes

What’s your favorite midnight snack?

What’s the best costume you’ve ever worn?

If you had to live under the sea, which animal would you be? Why?
An Orca because they are smart and ferocious.

Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate or Dancing with the Stars?
Star Wars

What do you hope to accomplish in FRS?
To know if I like doing research enough to do it my entire life as I am thinking about becoming a research professor.

OSU Botany Researcher Awarded $3.2 Million Grant

Tillers in Setaria viridis

Dr. Andrew Doust, associate professor of botany at Oklahoma State University, has been awarded a 4-year grant totaling $3.2 million to study the genetic regulation of specialized branches in grasses, known as “tillers.” Tillers play important roles in grain yield and biomass accumulation that are factors in developing better biofuels and perennial grain crops. However, little is known about most of the genes that contribute to their initiation and growth.

As part of the grant project, Doust will also be working closely with Dr. Julie Angle, OSU assistant professor and coordinator of the secondary science education program, to integrate high school science teachers into a research environment during the summers. The research, combined with professional development activities, will help educators gain a deeper understanding of how scientific knowledge is generated and assist them with curriculum development.

Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP), this project also includes researchers at Brigham Young University, West Virginia University, and the Plant Gene Expression Center in Berkeley, California.  Continue reading…

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Application Workshop

Tuesday, August 26, 20143:00-4:30 p.m.126 ITLE

This competitive program provides $126,000 in Federal support for your graduate education

Dr. Sheryl Tucker,
Associate Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate College
Former NSF GRFP Program Director and Fellow

Panel of current OSU NSF GRFP Fellows

Who should attend?
Undergraduates who are United States citizens, nationals or permanent residents nearing graduation; and, first-year and first-semester, second- year graduate students interested in or currently pursuing a graduate degree in one of the NSF-supported fields: Chemistry; Computer & Information Sciences;  Engineering; Geosciences; Life Sciences; Materials Research;  Mathematical Sciences; Physics & Astronomy;  Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences;  Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education & Learning Research.

Introducing Mellissa Rothenay from Mena, AR

Mellissa Rothenay was just awarded a $1,000 scholarship and spot in the prestigious Freshman Research Scholars program at Oklahoma State University where, starting in the fall, she will engage in cutting-edge research in collaboration with pioneering faculty researchers.

College: Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources1477863_448183525285872_298374322_n
Major: Animal Science

What do you most anticipate about life at OSU?
I expect to be fairly active on campus while spending the majority of my time working on homework and other projects.

Pluto . . . Planet or Plutoid?

Which Mythbuster is most like you: Adam, Jamie, Kari, Grant or Tory?
Kari Byron

What’s the best costume you’ve ever worn?
Modern Day Gangster

Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate or Dancing with the Stars?
Dancing with the Stars

What do you hope to accomplish in FRS?
I hope to learn as much as I can about ranching. I want to understand the modern methods of running a ranch and also learn as much as I can about how ranching was done 50+ years ago. I then want to use this knowledge to find the best possible medium that would maximize both quality and quantity.