Around the State: UMHB students participate in Watson Scholars’ Day

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor students unveiled their undergraduate and graduate research projects during the 2023 Watson Scholars’ Day. (UMHB Photo)


More than 110 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor students unveiled their undergraduate and graduate research projects during the 2023 Watson Scholars’ Day. Sponsored by the university’s office of research, Watson Scholars’ Day requires students to identify a topic, conduct research and explain their findings publicly. In the quantitative category, Christine Flores placed first among graduate students for her research project, “Agreement Between Body Mass Index and Percent Body Fat in Resistance-Trained Men and Women,” and Catherine Porfirio, Emily Kinney, Jason Samuel, Alexis Stokes and Angela Valdez placed first among undergraduate students for their project, “Readability: A Study of STAAR Reading Levels for 2019, 2021 and 2022.” In the qualitative category, Kayla Abshire placed first for her research project, “A Study of Elementary Teachers’ Perceptions of Technology Support at Private Texas Schools During the Onset of the Global Pandemic.” In the literature review category, Amber Dickey placed first for her project, “The Shelf Life of Besremi: A Polycythemia Treatment: A Literature Analysis.”

Marshall Hall on the East Texas Baptist University campus. (ETBU Photo)

East Texas Baptist University’s office of academic success and the Academic Center for Excellence tutoring lab was awarded certification as a Level 1 certified tutor training program by the internationally recognized College Reading and Learning Association. Achieving certification means ETBU has met the association’s high standards for tutor selection, training, direct service and evaluation as an integral part of its overall tutoring program. The Academic Center for Excellence tutoring lab provides free resources to students for all of ETBU’s general education and major-specific gateway courses. The tutoring lab is open 20-plus hours each week and provides more than 1,100 one-on-one appointments every school year. Tutors also work closely with faculty members to provide supplemental instruction and large-group test preparation sessions in an effort to create strong study habits in ETBU’s undergraduate population.

Wayland Baptist University’s Kenneth L. Maddox School of Mathematics and Sciences received a $75,000 equipment grant for chemistry research from the Welch Foundation. Robert Moore, professor of chemistry and author of the grant request, said the funding will help the university purchase a benchtop nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, which is useful for identifying organic compounds. It is the last piece of equipment needed for the school to be in line with the required holdings of an American Chemical Society certified degree program. The grant also will enable the university to buy a multi-mode microplate detection system, which has broad applications, including cancer research, Moore said. “This grant will enable our faculty to continue to work closely with our students to pioneer science research and enhance their educational experiences through hands-on learning,” said Cindy McClenagan, vice president of academic affairs. “We are grateful for the Welch Foundation’s investment in our university and our shared commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and innovation.”

Chloe Spiller

Chloe Spiller, a cyber engineering student at Houston Christian University, was awarded the Department of Defense Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarship. Spiller becomes the first Department of Defense SMART Scholar at HCU, formerly Houston Baptist University. She is among 526 students chosen from across the country to participate in the SMART scholarship-for-service program in 2023. This award provides students full tuition for up to five years, along with mentorship, summer internships, a stipend and full-time employment with the Department of Defense after graduation. It offers students hands-on experience at one of more than 200 Department of Defense facilities during their internships and the chance to apply this knowledge as early career professionals. During summer internships, SMART scholars work directly with an experienced mentor, gaining technical skills.


50th for Houston Northwest Church. Steve Bezner is pastor.

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