Every student wants to spend the summer doing what they love, and for 15 Oklahoma high school and college students, that dream centered on one thing: research.
As members of the 64th class of Sir Alexander Fleming Scholars at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the 15 are spending eight weeks working alongside OMRF scientists on research projects covering subjects like autoimmune disease, cancer and aging.
“This is the ideal summer destination for me. I was already pretty sure research is what I want to do the rest of my life,” says Edmond’s Sara Morris, a Deer Creek graduate and a senior at Clemson University. “This experience has absolutely confirmed it.”
Since 1956, the program has provided in-state high school and college students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get hands-on experience in a real research environment. Each scholar works on an individual research project under the direction of senior-level scientist mentors.
“I’m gaining new experience in the lab that classrooms can’t expose you to,” said Ashley Gin, a Putnam City North grad and biochemistry and molecular biology major at Oklahoma State University. “It’s especially helped me gain confidence in the lab environment.”
In addition to working in the lab, Fleming Scholars attended lectures by OMRF scientists to learn about diverse research projects and science-related career options. They attended social events and spend time as a group outside the lab.
At the end of the summer, scholars make formal presentations outlining their individual research results to OMRF’s scientific staff.
For more information on the Fleming Scholar Program, visit www.omrf.org/fleming
The 2019 Fleming Scholars, their hometowns and current schools, are:
- Claire Abbott, Oklahoma City, Heritage Hall High School, San Diego State University
- Allana Caldwell, Stillwater, Stillwater High School, University of Oklahoma
- Grace Duginski, Oklahoma City, Bishop McGuiness High School, University of Oklahoma
- Ashley Gin, Oklahoma City, Putnam City North High School, Oklahoma State University
- Jared Gregston, Duncan, Aim Academy Red River, University of Oklahoma
- Delaney Medcalf, Springer, Lone Grove High School, Univ. of Science & Arts of Oklahoma
- Sara Morris, Deer Creek, Deer Creek High School, Clemson University
- Ken Nguyen, Oklahoma City, Classen School of Advanced Studies, Rice University
- Joshua Rogers, Edmond, Oklahoma Christian School, Oklahoma State University
- Tanvi Saran, Norman, Norman North High School, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
- Ashlea Sartin, Bartlesville, Bartlesville High School, Oklahoma State University
- MacKenzie Toliver, Tulsa, Booker T. Washington High School, Vanderbilt University
- Emma Turner, Edmond, Edmond Santa Fe High School, Oklahoma State University
- William Wang, Norman, Oklahoma School of Math and Science, Stanford University
- Kate Wheeler, Norman, Norman North High School, University of Oklahoma