PINEVILLE, LA (LCUNews) — Two Louisiana Christian University science majors have earned coveted spots at the University of Southern Mississippi in research experiences for undergraduates (REU) this summer.
Sophomore Joshua Poole, a pre-engineering with chemistry major from Lithia, Florida, will be doing his REU in the polymer science and engineering department. Junior Ethan West, a chemistry major from Pine Prairie, will be doing his REU in the Southern Miss chemistry department.
Poole’s National Science Foundation funded program focuses on “polymer innovations for a sustainable future.”
Poole said he is excited about the opportunity this gives STEM students to experience what an actual job in their major would be like. Plus, it comes with a $6000 stipend.
West is participating in a National Science Foundation funded program focusing on “sensing and assembly based on non-covalent interactions,” he said.
The central focus of the program is biochemistry, with the assembly of proteins and macromolecules, as well as the synthesis of bioactive molecules.
“Ethan West and Josh Poole are both excellent students,” said David Elliott, chair of the Division of Natural Sciences. “Both are dedicated learners and gifted in math and science – but beyond this, they also aspire to careers in research. Both are aiming at graduate studies in the sciences once they complete their degrees at LCU, and this is the reason their REUs at USM this summer are such a wonderful opportunity.
“They will receive training and experience beyond that which they receive at LCU, but we have found from past students that their training here has prepared them well,” said Elliott.
The REUs are nine weeks long and include research and professional training, and they culminate in a research symposium, said Sarah Payne, professor of chemistry and director of the C.S. Lewis Honors Program.
Poole and West are C.S. Lewis Honors scholars.
“Both students are great examples of dedicated, hardworking students who are willing to commit the time required to be competitive with peers on the national level,” Payne said.