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Alcorn gives strong showing during the Mississippi Academy of Sciences

Some of Alcorn State University’s brightest scientific minds were recognized during the annual statewide STEM event.

Dr. Babu Patlolla, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and professor of biology, won the Outstanding Contribution to Science Award during the 85th annual Mississippi Academy of Sciences (MAS) meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi. Patlolla, along with Dr. Girish Panicker, were also selected as inaugural fellows of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences for their contributions to science and service to MAS for over 30 years.

The awards were a culmination of Patlolla’s journey with MAS. He feels proud to become a staple in the highly regarded organization.

“Being named one of the inaugural fellows is a great recognition, as it is an elite group of statewide scientists,” said Patlolla. “When I first attended the MAS annual meeting as a graduate student in 1990, I never expected to one day receive this award. It gave me tremendous satisfaction to receive this prestigious award from the Academy I’ve attended for the last 30 years. Winning this award serves as an example for our faculty and encourages our students to continue their careers in STEM. It’s truly an honor.”

For Panicker, becoming a MAS Fellow strengthens his ability to spread the news about the scientific breakthroughs at Alcorn.

“The objective of this honor is to encourage scientists who are competent enough to tackle and solve rising disputes of the 21st century," said Panicker. "This award gives me distinguishable visibility and recognition, and I feel a deep sense of gratitude and purpose, driving me onward. This recognition as an inaugural fellow indeed is an opportunity for further consistent growth in my field.”

Other faculty members from the Departments of Biological Sciences and Mathematics and Computer Sciences had abstracts published in the MAS Journal including Drs. Alexander Acholonu, Qingwen Hu, Elena Kostyleva, Martha Ravola, Debarshi Roy, Lixin Yu, Ping Zhang, and Ms. Brenita Jenkins. Praise Ola, Sofia Ievleva, Bolutyfe Oderinde were among the student contributors to the published abstracts.

Zhang was awarded “Outstanding Performance as the Division Co-Chair for Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics.” In addition, graduate students Joycelyn Minor and Jessica Minor, who are computer and information science majors, received awards for their oral presentation in the Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics Division.