Forty of Oklahoma State University’s top students were recognized for their outstanding research as Wentz Scholars at the annual symposium held in the Browsing Room of Edmon Low Library on Friday, April 25. 

The Wentz Research Program provides students $4,500 a year to conduct innovative research in their respective fields. Each student is paired with a mentor for the yearlong project.

“I’m certain Mr. Wentz would be proud of what OSU students are able to accomplish, thanks to the continued generosity of the Lew Wentz Foundation,” said Dr. Joshua Ward, director of scholar development and undergraduate research. “The benefits to students and faculty are tremendous, whether in competition for prestigious national and international fellowships, admission to top graduate schools, securing highly competitive jobs or attaining the skills required to grow as a researcher.”

This year’s symposium began with a poster browse session, followed by an award ceremony to recognize outstanding work. Winners were recognized in two categories, Life, Physical and Engineering Sciences, and Arts and Humanities, as well as honorable mentions from each category. 

Ryan Greenway, a zoology senior from Amarillo, Texas, was awarded the best poster in the Life, Physical and Engineering Sciences category. His research was entitled “X hellerii in toxic sulfide springs: Patterns of adaptation like in other sulfide spring poeciliids?”​ 

In the Arts and Humanities category, Will Bryant, a senior psychology major from Cypress, Texas, received the best poster award for “Short-term memory recollection and aversive and neutral images: Does worry play a role?”

Honorable mentions in the sciences category went to Nataly Daggy, a nutritional sciences sophomore from Stillwater, and in arts and humanities to Natalie Richardson, a human development and family sciences senior from Arapaho.

The Wentz Project Scholars, by state and hometown with their majors and project titles.



John Baggerly; NREM/Forest Ecology/Natural Resources,”Breaking Ancient Connections: Have We Created Our Own Monsters?” 


Dawson McNeill; NREM/Wildlife Ecology & Management, “Use of brush piles by wintering Harris’s Sparrows in Oklahoma.”


Natalie Richardson; Human Development & Family Science, “Effects of Deployment on Marital Satisfaction.”


Kaitlin O’Hagan; Zoology, “The effects of shear stress on cystathionine-y lyase gene expression in human coronary vasculature.” 


David Hidinger; Chemical Engineering, “Ocular Drug Delivery System Using a Bio-membrane Attached to a Contact Lens.” 


Keri Shaw; Human Development & Family Science, “Interactions between Students Receiving Special Education Services, Their Peers, and Their Teachers in Mainstreamed Classrooms.”


Tara Blasier; Zoology, “Effect of Metal Exposure on Intensity of Pelage Coloration in Lasiurus Borealis, Eastern Red Bat.”


Rori Buresh; NREM/Wildlife Ecology & Management, “Understanding Plant-Soil-Microbial Processes to Enhance Sorghum Bioenergy Production.”


Logan Scott; Mechanical Engineering, “Developing Economic Projections for Incentivization for Domestic Molybdenum-99 Radionuclides.” 


Kate Janike; Nutritional Sciences/Human Nutrition, “The Effect of Exercise and Weight Loss Diets on Bone Strength.” 


Nick Elory; Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary, “Effects of myglobin primary structure on non-enzymatic metmyoglobin reduction.” 

Midwest City

Rebekah Sook;Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, “The Effect of INI-1 on the Phenotype of Atrt Tumors.” 


Courtney DeKalb; Horticulture Business, “Substitution of Peat Moss with Yard Waste Compost in Basil Transplant Production.” 

Ryan Rahhal; English, “Ginsberg and Lowell: The Representation of Cold War Madness.”

Oklahoma City

Kathleen Nelson; Mechanical Engineering, “Characterizing the Mechanical Properties of Collagen Membranes Loaded with Cells.”


Keely Redhage; Biology, Poteau, OK, “Characterization of Whole Cell Enterococcus faecium.” 


Casey Landis; Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, “Molecular Epidemiology of Viruses Contributing to Bovine Respiratory Disease” 


Abigail Buntin; English, “T.S. Eliot and the Jazz Age.” 

Andrew Romans; Psychology/Marketing, “Frames of Enchantment.” 

Nataly Daggy; Nutritional Science/Human Nutrition, “Dried Plums Ability to Protect Against Post-Menopausal Weight Gain.”

Kayla Davis; Biochemistry,”Analysis of PaClp Mutants through Two-Hybrid Assay.”

Ariel Leff; Mechanical Engineering, “Determining the Efficiency of Improved Stoves for the Developing World.”

Hannah Spitler; Biosystems Engineering, “Settling of Suspended Solids in Anaerobic Sequencing Batch Reactors.”

Peter Storm; Biosystems Engineering, “Evaluating Biochar as a Bioretention-cell Media Amendment to Reduce Nitrate in Stormwater Runoff.”

Jodi Vinyard; Physiological Sciences and Engineering, “Using Load Cells in Horse Shoes to Detect the Forces of the Hoof.” 


Lindsey Williams; Chemical Engineering, “Characterizing Mast Cell Development within a Tissue-Equivalent Model.”

Donnie Worth;Chemical Engineering, “Advanced Characterization of Dispersions in Flowing Conditions with Application to Improving Pipeline Efficiency.” 


Brandon Davis; Liberal Studies,”Throwing Away the Key: Assessing Oklahoma’s High Incarceratin Rates.” 

Brandi Gallaher;Physiology, “Coxiella burnetii driven modulation of host cell NF-kB activation during infection.” 

Megan Reidy; Physiology/Zoology, “Fungal Flora of Oklahoman Bats.”

Cassandra Rodenbaugh; “NREM/Wildlife Biology/Pre-Veterinary, “Identifying the Course of Progression and Resulting Effects of Persistent Feather Dysplasia on Juvenile Bald Eagle.”


Zoe Austin;Zoology, “Operant Conditioning in Anole Lizard Species.” 


Karen McPhearson;Veterinary Medicine, “In Vito Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in the Diabetic Myocardium.” 



Jordan Beehler; Environmental Science/Natural Resources, “Uncovering Climate and Soil Carbon Feedbacks Using the Oklahoma Mesonet” 



Kyre Larrabee; Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary, “The Effects of Anabolic Growth Promotants on Cellular Receptors of Adipose Tissue in Finishing Cattle.”

Rose Hill

Louis Steigerwald; Geology, “Magnetic Survey of a Fault Splay of the Wilzetta Fault in Central Oklahoma.”



Ryan Greenway; Zoology, “Xiphophorus hellerii in toxic sulfide springs: patterns of adaption like in other sulfide spring poeciliids.”

Fort Worth

Josh Giles; Marketing/Management, “Marketing one of OSU’s Best Kept Secrets.”


William Bryant; Psychology, “Effect of Worry on Short-Term Memory Recollection for Recollection for Aversive and Neutral Images.”


Paige Coody; Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary, “Restricting Wild Animals from Self-feeders: Cattle & Wild Animal Behavior.”


Scott Shelley; Geology, “Comparing the Petrographic Characteristics of Mississippian Limestone Outcrops and Subsurface Cores.”  ​

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