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ADA – Student members of East Central University’s Alpha Chi Honor Society Chapter excelled with a collaborative research project at the national convention this spring in St. Louis, Mo.

The Alpha Chi National Chapter offered a $5,000 prize for a team that addressed “The Future of Water.” ECU’s team placed second with a project entitled “The Worth of Water: Groundwater, a Diminishing Resource.”

Linzi Thompson, a junior environmental health science major from Sulphur, led the collaboration with her work on remediating contaminated groundwater. Mary Beth Cox, a senior chemistry major from Byng, investigated powering Thompson’s remediation method using solar cells.

Kaylin Cullum, a senior political science major from Wetumka, discussed the legal framework for surface water and groundwater.  Michael Cain, a senior cartography major from Glenpool, created a map showing a threat to groundwater in Oklahoma. Finally, Cody Soden, a psychology major from Ada, presented public opinion data regarding the cost of water.

“We were one of only five universities in the entire country which attempted this difficult project,” said Thompson.

Each member of the collaboration team presented original undergraduate research at the conference, either in the form of a paper or research poster.

In addition, two other students – Macy McDonald, a senior English major from Stratford, and Caitlin Maddox, a senior history major from Wewoka – also presented research. One student, Soden, was awarded the Mary Waterstreet Prize in Psychology for his research entitled “Empathy and the Law: Extra Legal Factors, Does the Emotional State of the Accused Affect Jury Decision Making.”

At the convention, the Oklahoma Gamma Chapter learned that it had again won a Star Chapter award. Among the requirements for becoming a Star Chapter, groups must send at least one sponsor and one student member to the annual convention and at least one of those students must present research during the event. Only four universities in the country have won this award every year since it was established in 1996.

Alpha Chi is comprised of the top 10 percent of junior and seniors at ECU and is the only university-wide honor society.


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