Baylor University
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences

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Spring 2018 Davidson Lecture & Awards

The Department of Biology hosted the 30th annual Biology Awards Night and Floyd and Lorene Davidson Lecture on April 20th, 2018 at 7:00 pm. The Department of Biology recognized the honorees for our Outstanding Senior Awards and those students who were awarded a departmental scholarship for the upcoming academic year. Honorees for these awards are listed below as well as photos taken during the event.

Davidson Lecture 2018

Dr. Erika Abel, Undergraduate Program Director & Senior Lecturer, with Dr. Dwayne D. Simmons, Department of Biology Chair
Dr. Abel receiving a plaque for her service to the Department of Biology
Drs. Simmons and Abel presenting Luke O'Dowd with the Cornelia M. Smith Award
Presenting Outstanding Senior Awards
Presenting Outstanding Senior Awards
Presenting Outstanding Senior Awards
Presenting Outstanding Senior Awards
Recognizing Outstanding Senior Award Recipients
2018 Outstanding Senior Award Recipients
2018 Outstanding Senior Award Recipients
Dr. Simmons with the Butler Scholarship awardees, Harris Rosenblad and Lillian Carter
Dr. Simmons with the Kenny Cameron Memorial Scholarship recipients, Crystina Huerta and Ashton Smelser
Dr. Simmons with Eugene Crowder Memorial Tuition Scholarship Recipients, Andrew Ensenberger and Austin MacDonald
Dr. Simmons with David W. Eldridge Endowed Scholarship Recipients, Jessica De La Fuente and Tristin Chaudhury
Drs. Abel and Simmons with one of the Folmar Undergraduate Tuition Scholarship recipients, Amanda Muck
Drs. Abel and Simmons with one of the Limnology and Aquatic Ecology Scholarship Recipients, Sofia Sonner
Dr. Simmons with the Folmar Research Grant Recipients, Preston Simpson, Garrett Ray, and Kavita Kantamneni
Dr. Simmons and Abel with our graduating Biology Student Ambassadors, Mehul Mistry, Kate Lovell, and Ryan Keck
Dr. Stephen D. Davis
Dr. Simmons presenting Dr. Davis with a thank you for a wonderful lecture
Dr. Davis and Dr. Simmons
Dr. Abel and Dr. Simmons

Cornelia M. Smith Award
Luke O'Dowd

Outstanding Senior Award

Mohammad Aboul-Jibin Kelly Bryant Bailey Bunce
Andreanna Burman David Carpenter Evan Cross
Jessica De La Fuente Kristen Fain Jolene Gremel
Destanee Hamilton Basel Hamwi Thomas High
Courtney Hunter Yealeen Jeong Ryan Keck
Taronish Madeka Adam Maners Samantha Marley
Shannon Martin Kayla Murphy Sanjan Nyak
Ngoc Nguyen Elizabeth Nicholson Luke O'Dowd
Shravya Pothula Anne Sandstrom Kendyl Schreiber
Alay Shah Sonja Smeding Kasey Stokdyk
Jennifer Welch Lorena Yzaguirre  

Dr. and Mrs. Ernest C. Butler Freshman Biology Scholarship
Lillian Carter and Harris Rosenblad

Kenny Cameron Memorial Scholarship
Crystina Huerta and Ashton Smelser

Eugene Crowder Memorial Tuition Scholarship
Andrew Ensenberger and Austin MacDonald

David W. Eldridge Endowed Scholarship
Tristin Chaudhury and Jessica De La Fuente

Folmar Undergraduate Tuition Scholarship
Amanda Muck and Clayton Smith

F. Ray Wilson Endowed Scholarship
Yaeleen Jeong and Jennifer Welch

Limnology and Aquatic Ecology Scholarship
Brittany Perrotta and Sofia Sonner

Folmar Research Grant
Kavita Kantamneni, Garrett Ray, and Preston Simpson

The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Stephen D. Davis, who is a Distinguished Professor of Biology at Pepperdine University.
His lecture title was "Undergraduate Students as Scholars."

Dr. Stephen D. Davis during his lecture

Stephen D. Davis, PhD
Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

Dr. Davis has served as coordinator of Pepperdine's Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Biology, has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR), and was the lead organizer for the 18th annual meeting of SCCUR in 2010. He has been selected as a Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Fellow at Pepperdine University, Teacher of the Year at Pepperdine University, and a competitive award from Baylor University, the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.

Dr. Davis's distinctive approach to teaching has been to facilitate student scholarship through the completion of research projects, the writing of Honors Theses, presentation by students of their research findings at regional and national scientific conferences, and finally through student publication of their work in refereed, scientific journals. He has co-authored journal articles with over 50 undergraduate students and has directed 28 undergraduate students in their Honors Thesis in Biology.

He has been the Principle Investigator on over 15 government grants, primarily from the National Science Foundation. In addition, Dr. Davis and his colleagues have received numerous grants to support their Summer Undergraduate Research in Biology (SURB) program at Pepperdine University, with nearly continous NSF funding for the last 30 years. Between 1990 and 2009, Dr. Davis was the PI on six NSF REU site awards and two NSF RUI awards, as well as co-PI on two NSF REU site awards. He is currently the PI on a NSF IUSE award that engages first-year students in authentic research, in their first-year seminar, through laboratory internships and summer research experience. The program is known as First-Year Students as Scholars Program. The seminal idea is for the beginning biology majors to transcend the notion of being consumers of knowledge to becoming co-creators of new knowledge with a faculty mentor.

Much of Davis's personal research centers on plant physiological ecology, including adaptations of chaparral vegetation to wildlife, drought, and freezing. He has published in such journals as Nature, Ecology, The American Journal of Botany, Plant Cell and Environment, Ecological Monographs, Global Change Biology, New Phytologists, Oecologia, Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society and The International Journal of Plant Science.

Dr. Davis earned his Ph.D. in 1974 from Texas A&M University, after which he joined the faculty at Pepperdine University in Malibu. He has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, UCLA, University of Utah, and Baylor University.

Department of Biology