Millikin University

04/18/2019 | Press release | Archived content

Millikin students land top awards for scientific research

The Illinois State Academy of Science (ISAS) held their 2019 Meeting on April 5-6 at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. Each year faculty, graduate and undergraduate students from various universities throughout Illinois present their scientific research and knowledge at the meeting. Millikin University had outstanding representation at the meeting with 12 students presenting their research in the fields of biology and chemistry.

Chair of Zoology and Assistant Professor of Physiological Ecology, Dr. Travis Wilcoxen, looks forward to these opportunities where Millikin students can showcase their work and findings.

'The quality of the student work and the level of preparation of our students is exemplified by the number of students who present their work at science conferences outside of Millikin,' said Wilcoxen. 'Student participation in the ISAS Annual Meeting allows us to see how Millikin compares to other schools in the state and our consistent pattern of award-winning research from our students shows that we are doing well.'

Four of the presenting Millikin students won awards in their respective category. Raisa Zamacona-Gonzalez, a senior biology major from Getxo, Spain, was the 1st place winner for Health Science Posters; Naomi Klingbeil, a senior biology major from Pekin, Ill., was the 1st place winner for Zoology Oral Presentations; Jacob Hanes, a senior biology major from Mt. Zion, Ill., was the 2nd place winner for Microbiology Posters; and Meredith Artime, a senior biology major from Forsyth, Ill., was the 3rd place winner for Microbiology Posters.

'In my opinion, the purpose of going to conferences is not just to win an award,' Zamacona-Gonzalez said. 'But to actually be able to learn about other people's work and experiences as well as to learn more about your own research.'

Millikin students are encouraged each year to submit their projects to these types of conferences and meetings with the results being consistently favorable for Millikin student presenters.

'Our students won awards in three different divisions. This demonstrates that high quality mentorship of undergraduate research at Millikin is not restricted to only a few faculty members or departments, but is part of Millikin's culture in the natural sciences,' Wilcoxen said.

In addition to the outstanding presentations by the Millikin students, Dr. Wilcoxen was named President-Elect of the ISAS with his term beginning at the end of the 2021 annual meeting.

Other Millikin student presenters at the ISAS Annual Meeting included:

  • Saamia Salik (Chemistry Poster), a sophomore pre-med chemistry major from Forsyth
  • Erin Lukens (Environmental Poster), a senior biology major from Johnston City, Ill.
  • Logan Bader (Zoology Poster), a junior biology major from Aurora, Mo.
  • Samuel Billig (Zoology Poster), a senior biology major from Johnsburg, Ill.
  • Alyssa Koffman (Zoology Poster), a senior biology major from Decatur, Ill.
  • Jacquelyn Spence (Zoology Poster), a senior psychology major from Decatur
  • Allyson Isenhower (Microbiology Oral Presentation), a senior biology major from Trenton, Ill.
  • Owen Pulver (Zoology Oral Presentation), a senior biology major from Dwight, Ill.