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Delta State students and faculty present during the Mississippi Academy of Sciences’ 85th annual meeting

Pictured, from left, are Delta State faculty members Dr. Yongqin Zhang, Dr. Kuan-Hui Chen, and Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding; students Zaida T. Laventure, Madisyn White, YaeEun Yun; and faculty member Dr. Joseph Lane.

Biloxi, Miss.—Three Delta State University students and eight faculty members from the Division of Mathematics and Sciences presented during the 85th annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences, hosted. Aug. 4-6 in Biloxi, Miss.

Divisional programs represented by Delta State students and faculty included chemistry, cellular, molecular, and developmental biology, ecology and evolution, geology and geography, health sciences and physics. Their contributions included five oral and 11 poster presentations.

Faculty who presented included Drs. Nina Baghai-Riding, Kuan-Hui Chen, James A. Gerald, Ahm Ali Reza, Charles Smithhart, Dafang Faith Wang, Maria Weber and Yongqin Zhang.

Assistant Professor of Geography and Sustainable Development Joseph Lane also gave an oral presentation for the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Symposia, entitled “Learner Perspectives on Informal Science and Geography Education in Bangladesh.”

Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Dr. AHM Ali Reza and Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding were chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology section. They were responsible for coordinating a symposium, student oral presentations, a poster session, and a field trip to the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge in Jackson County.

Dr. Theresa D. Gaines, assistant professor of chemistry at Delta State, was a moderator for the Louis Stokes Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation (LSMAMP) Alumni Spotlight.

Displaying their honorable mention awards are (from left) Delta State graduate student Zaida T. Laventure and senior Environmental Science and Biology major YaeEun Yun.

Several DSU science faculty members served as judges for undergraduate and graduate student poster presentations.

Several Delta State students received recognition for their scientific contributions. Madisyn White, who graduated in Environmental Science (wildlife concentration) in May 2021, received a first-place award for the best undergraduate oral presentation in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology section.

YaeEun Yun received a Millsap Award, given to the top 20% of abstracts submitted by undergraduate students, and an honorable mention award for her poster presentation titled “Prey Skeletal Elements Found in 46 Owl Pellets from Carolina Biological Science.”

Zaida T. Laventure also received a graduate Mississippi INBRE honorable mention award for her poster presentation, titled “1445 Modulation of Macrophage Plasticity and Polarization by Cancer Stem Cells.” Laventure’s abstract also ranked in the top 20% selected for the INBRE sponsored graduate student poster competition.

Click HERE to visit the Mississippi Academy of Sciences for more information regarding the presentations and more.

The mission of the Division of Mathematics and Sciences at Delta State is to provide high-quality instruction in mathematics and sciences, to encourage students to perform to their full potential and to instill a scientific attitude that will develop scientifically literate, educated professionals.

In addition to baccalaureate degrees, the Division offers preparation for health-related professional programs.

To learn more about the Division’s degree programs, faculty and scholarship opportunities, visit