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Agriculture and Plant Sciences.

The 2005 meeting was a great success. There was a record number of oral as well as poster presentations. In all there were 25 presentations, 13 oral and 12 poster. All the students who made oral or poster presentations were awarded cash prizes totaling $625. Money collected for these awards was contributed by Dr. S.L. Sethi $250.00; Dr. Dinesh Goel, $100.00; Dr. Sampat Shivangi, $100.00; Mr. Bodhraj, $100.00 and Farmers' Co-op, $100.00.

The award winners are listed below:

Oral competition:
1st place -- $100.00 Rachel Stout, MSU
2nd place -- $75.00 Chonthida Kaewplong, MSU
3rd place -- $50.00 Maritza Abril, USM
3rd place -- $50.00 Peter Ampin, MSU

Honorary mention: John McGillivray (MSU), Edward Heard (MSU), Melanie Patterson (MVSU), and Preeti Kumar (UM).


Poster competition:
1st place -- $70.00 Robert Kroger (USM)
2nd place -- $50.00 Ashley Andrews (MSU)
2nd place -- $50.00 Gloria Miller (JSU)

Honorary mention: B.C. Owens (MSU), G. Somsamorn (MSU), and Youkai Lu (MSU).


Please note that the checks for all these awards are yet to be mailed.

There were three judges that participated in the evaluation of oral and poster presentations. These judges were: Dr. Frank Matta, Professor of Horticulture, Mississippi State University, Dr. William L. Kingery, MSU and Mr. Earl Gordon of Stoneville, USDA. Dr. William L. Kingery (Plant and Soil Sciences Dept, MSU) is the chair for the 2006 meetings and Dr. Evelin J. Cuadra was elected as the Vice-Chair, to be chair in 2007.

The meeting was closed by thanking Dr. Juan Silva (past chair) for his invaluable leadership, support and commitment to the Division and MAS. The chair also acknowledged the support of all the judges and vice chair, Dr. William L. Kingery and all the members.--O.P. Vadhwa


Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology

Summary of meeting events. The meeting of the CMDB Division during the MAS Annual meeting was quite successful despite some unavoidable but distracting room noise. All of our platform presenters are to be commended for performing admirably under less than ideal conditions. Amazingly, no one seemed to be overly bothered by the distractions and the noise forced everyone to pay close attention throughout the meeting. We had a total of 17 oral presentations and 24 poster presentations. Among the oral presentations, 3 were given by undergraduate students. We were quite pleased to have 3 poster presentations given by high school students who were very impressive and professional.

List of awards and awardees. This year's awards were sponsored by VWR (Best Graduate Student Presentation, $50 and Best Undergraduate Presentation, $50) and Fisher ($50 Best High School Presentation). Judge committee members are: Dr. Ross Whitwam (Mississippi University for Women), Dr. Mary Haasch (University of Mississippi), and Dr. Naila Mamoon (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Dr. Hattie Spenser (Mississippi Valley State), Dr. P. C. Yang, Dr. Elgenaid Hamadain and Dr. Stephen Ekunwe (Jackson State University). The CMDB hopes to be able to solicit additional sponsors for next year and all CMDB Division members are encouraged to contact potential sponsors as soon as possible so that we can offer more awards to deserving students. VWR is a new sponsor this year and CMDB is thankful for their generous support. The CMDB Division is very grateful for the long-standing support of Fisher and is especially thankful to Susie Emfinger who over the years has at times provided support out of her personal funds. Any members who see Susie or Ben Tull, please let them know how important their support is to the success of the division.

Best Graduate Presentation:

Antony Schwartz -- University of Southern Mississippi (Elasri Lab)

Best Undergraduate Presentation:

Amrita Balachandran -- Mississippi University for Women (in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh)

Best High School Presentation:

Jonathan Priester -- Murrah High School, Jackson, MS (UMMC--Stanley V. Smith)

Future meeting, new Chairs elected for next year. At the business meeting, Dr. Stephen I.N. Ekunwe of Jackson State University was nominated and elected as the Chair and Dr. Lidija Halda-Alija of University of Mississippi Biology Department in Oxford was nominated and elected as the Vice Chair for the CMDB division. For the first time in recent memory, several others expressed interest in taking an active role in division governance and it is hoped that these individuals continue to participate.--Mary L. Haasch


Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

The Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division had a highly successful meeting. Forty six oral presentations were made as well as twenty-three posters. Attendance at the sessions was the best in years with a consistent audience over twenty. Presentations from University of Mississippi, Mississippi State, Mississippi Valley State, MUW, USM, Jackson State, Delta State and Millsaps College. The Division Chair for next year is Professor Dionne Fortenberry of MUW. The Vice Chair is Professor Mudlagiri Goli of Misssissippi Valley State University--John Pojman

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The Division of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology has been growing in size since it was formed three years ago. At the 2005 meeting there were 6 poster presentations and 13 oral presentations. Presentations were made by graduate students and faculty. Schools represented by presentations were Jackson State University, Mississippi College, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Southern Mississippi. Topics of presentations ranged from microbial ecology to ecosystems ecology to systematics. We expect the interest and growth in this division will continue with more presentations at next year's meeting. Dr. Clifford Ochs, of the University of Mississippi, was elected as division chair for another year. Mr. Tom Mohrman, of the University of Southern Mississippi, is Vice-Chair.--Cliff Ochs

Geology and Geography

The Geology and Geography Division hosted 13 presentations and two posters at the 2005 MAS meeting in Oxford, MS on February 17th. Presenters were from the State Office of Geology (7), The University of Southern Mississippi (4), University of Mississippi (2), Millsaps College (1), and Mississippi State University (1). Four of the presentations were done by students; Amy Seiter from the University of Southern Mississippi won the best student paper award sponsored by the Mississippi Geological Society. The session attendance ranged from 8 to 16.

The Chair for the 2006 meeting is Barbara Yassin, Office of Geology ( The Vice-chair is David Ufnar, University of Southern Mississippi ( Galicki

Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

This year the division held both a theme session and an open session. The theme was "The Influence of Climate Variability and Anthropogenic factors on Biota and Biochemical Processes in Coastal Waters." The theme session was held on Thursday and included 12 oral presentations and 2 posters. One talk was cancelled due to illness. Eleven of the presentations were prepared and presented by students.

The open session was held Friday morning, when 6 talks were given, 4 by students. Two talks were cancelled.

The division meeting was held at the close of talks on Thursday afternoon. Dr. Judith Williams of USM-Gulf Coast was nominated and elected to serve as vice chair of the division during the upcoming year. Dr. Paulinus Chigbu, vice chair this year, will assume the duties of chair.--Charlotte Brunner

Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics

All the 20 presentations listed in the program and errata, except the poster by Colin Osterman and Cesar Rego were presented as scheduled. Thursday morning the poster presentations were given. Then, afterwards, several interesting talks on the application of graph theory to enumerating chemical molecular formations were presented. On Thursday afternoon, a divisional business meeting was held to elect a new chairperson and vice-chairman for next year's convention. The vice-chair, Dr. Lixin Yu stated that for personal reasons he could not serve next year. Dr. Andrew Harrell of the Engineering Research and Dev. Center in Vicksburg was re-elected chair for 2005-2006 and later on Friday Dr. Elgenaid Hamadain of Jackson State U. was elected vice-chair. On Friday morning, the special subsession on supercomputing was well attended by the heads of computing of many of the State Universities. During this session, an additional presentation by representatives of Silicon Graphics Company was made having to do with the new computer the University of Mississippi is purchasing. Also, a discussion was held about what to do concerning the recent budgetary cutbacks involving the computing departments of the State's Universities. At the end of the main session, on Friday four certificate awards for 1st and 2nd place best presentations were presented in the student and professional categories. The winners were 1) 1st place professional division: Dr. Laura Sheppardson, for her talk on "Generating Molecular Graphs for Predictive Chemistry" and 2) 2nd place professional division: Dr. Gregory Tschumper, for his talk, "Toward AB Initio Theoretical Predictions of Chemical Reactions", 3) 1st place student division: Frank Mathew for his talk, "A New Ramp Algorithm for the Capacitated Minimum Spanning Tree Problem", and 4) 2nd place student division: Susan Lukose, for her talk: "Effective Information Extraction Using Natural Language Processing Techniques". As the division did in 1995, 1996, and 1997 paper and poster presenters were invited to submit expanded versions of their talks for publishing in a divisional transactions and also the Journal of the Academy.--Andrew Harrell

Physics and Engineering

There were six professional and eighteen student oral presentations, and six student posters presented. Mr. James Hill, Director of Rainwater Observatory and NASA ambassador, conducted a symposium in which he described the telescopes and programs at Rainwater Observatory and NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn's moon Titan. We learned that, due to light pollution, French Camp is the in the best location in the southeastern United States for dark sky observing and astronomical research. The symposium, which was given in three 45-minute sessions, was well attended by members of other conference divisions with attendance increasing for each subsequent session.

Graduate Student Awards

Oral Competition (18 presentations)

1st Place Manish Hiranandaani $100.00

2nd Place Matthew Inman 50.00

3rd Place Yizhe Zhang 25.00

Poster Competion (Six Posters)

1st Place Tezesw Tadepalli $25.00

The $100.00 cash award for first place in oral competition was donated by the School of Engineering at The University of Mississippi. Tennessee Valley Authority donated $350.00 to our program: of this, $100.00 was used for student competition awards and $250.00 was paid as an honorarium to Mr. Jim Hill of Rainwater Observatory. Mr. Hill indicates that he will use the honorarium to help pay for the new Research telescope being acquired from Colorado.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Robert Fritzius of Shade Tree Physics and Dr. Alexander Yakovlev of the Electrical Engineering Department of The University of Mississippi. Division Officers elected for 2005-2006 are: Chairman: Dr. Alexander Yakovlev, The University of Mississippi; Vice Chmn: Dr. S. Kant Vahpayee, The University of Southern Mississippi.--Robert Fritzius

Science Education

The Division of Science Education had a very successful meeting with two full days of presentations. There were 26 platform and five poster presentations with three workshops scheduled for Friday afternoon. These 34 presentations indicate growth of the Division. During the business meeting Dr. Joe Sumrall of the University of Mississippi was elected as Division Chair for the 2005-2006 year. The elected Vice Chair is Mr. Todd Adams of the J. L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory of The University of Southern Mississippi.

For the first time awards were presented to student participants. A certificate and cash award of $25 was awarded to an undergraduate and graduate student. Ms. Erica Peterson of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson County Campus, Gautier, MS received the undergraduate student award for her presentation entitled Defining Walter Anderson's Influence On Linoleum Block Printing In the United States At The Walter Anderson Museum Of Art. Ms Jana J. Causey of The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS was the graduate student recipient. Ms Causey's presentation was entitled Design And Implementation Of An Interpretive Science Trail For Grades K-12.--Sheila Brown

Psychology and Social Science

In 2005, the Division of Psychology and Social Science continued its steady growth with a full day of excellent presentations. Posters and papers were presented by undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from The University of Mississippi, Tougaloo College, Jackson State University, The University of Southern Mississippi, Millsaps College, Delta State University, University of Mississippi Medical Center, University of North Carolina-Fayetteville and the University of Phoenix. Again, the breadth of psychological and social scientific research was highlighted with papers focusing on such varied topics as using movies to teach principles of logotherapy, trait anger and spirituality, the effects of calcium enriched diets on weight gain, a study of skeletal materials from Chickasaw Bayou, casinos as workplaces, a comparison of in-class and online student evaluations, and a study of Garnett's bush-babies.

Each year divisional awards for best undergraduate and graduate poster and oral presentation have been sponsored by Dr. Pamela Banks, Department of Psychology, JSU. The decision was made to designate the annual awards in honor of Dr. Banks' mother, Mrs. Thelma Gipson. Mrs. Gipson was a life-long advocate of education and took great pride in the educational advance she witnessed in the state of Mississippi during her lifetime. This year's Thelma Gipson Best Undergraduate Paper Presentation Award went to Minervia Scott of Jackson State University, for her paper, The Role of Religiosity on Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Expectancies Among African-American College Students. The Best Graduate Student Paper Presentation Award went to Stacy Curry, The University of Southern Mississippi, for her paper, The Use of Anthropometric Data in Otolemur garnettii Subspecies Identification. The Best Undergraduate Poster Award went to Theresa Woodard, Jackson State University, for her poster, Trait Anger and Spirituality. The Best Graduate Student Poster Award went to Evan Lee Garner, The University of Southern Mississippi, for his poster, A Study to Determine Traits of Asian Ancestry through Measurement of the Mandible. Each student received a certificate and a monetary award.

At the divisional business meeting, Dr. Sheree Watson (USM-Psychology) was elected chair of the division for 2005-2006. Dr. David Swanson (UM--Sociology) was elected vice-chair. Finally, as usual, special thanks go to Dr. Marie Danforth (USM) who was a great help in transporting equipment for this year's meeting.--Ann Marie Kinnell and Sheree Watson
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Title Annotation:Divisional Reports
Publication:Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Previous Article:Mississippi Junior Academy of Science.
Next Article:Mississippi Academy of Sciences: sixty-ninth Annual Meeting--February 2005; Late and corrected abstracts.

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