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ULM Honors Program students present at Collegiate Honors Council meeting

Published April 21, 2015

Students from the University of Louisiana at Monroe Honors Program recently attended the annual meeting of the Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council (LCHC) in Lafayette. Three students presented research.

Dipta Pokharel, a biology major from Nepal; Susan Egbert, a pre-pharmacy major from DeRidder; and Similoluwa Ogundare, a biology major from Nigeria, presented papers based on research conducted at ULM.

“Our entire panel was ULM students, so it was good to present with each other and have that support,” said Egbert, who serves as the president of the ULM Honors Program Student Council.

Egbert’s paper, “Lichen’s Secondary Metabolites as Breast Cancer Inhibitors,” discussed breast cancer, with a specific focus on the use of inhibitors in treatments. She reported the results of laboratory experiments with compounds from the lichen Usnea strigosa in which they extracted, isolated, and tested these compounds against different breast cancer lines.

Ogundare’s paper, “Lichens as Bio-Indicators of Air Quality through Estimation of Free Radicals in Thalli,” reported the results of measuring the amount of free radicals in the lichen thalli using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to develop a reference for the amount of air pollution in the area. Ogundare hopes to gain a better understanding of the degree of penetration of vehicular emissions in forested habitats in an effort to improve air quality.

ULM Honors Program students

Pokharel’s paper, “Light Quality Effect on the Growth of Arabidopsis Seedling,” compared the effects of light quality from two different light sources—light-emitting diode and fluorescent—on plant growth.

“I am extremely proud of how well-represented and how well-prepared ULM students were at LCHC,” said Dr. Joshua Stockley, director of the Honors Program. “This speaks volumes about the level of involvement and quality of research being conducted by undergraduate students in the ULM Honors Program.”

Attending the conference were honors students from colleges and universities across Louisiana. In all, 28 students represented ULM, making ULM the largest delegation at the conference.

“It says something about the commitment, support, and loyalty of the ULM Honors Program that we had the most students attending this meeting,” said Maroutcha Mouawad, treasurer of the ULM Honors Program Student Council.

The ULM Honors Program also competed in the meeting’s “Quiz Bowl.”
“It was a fun experience. I really enjoyed working with my peers to put our team in a position to compete. We may not have made it into the finals, but we had a great time,” said Justin Bordelon.

The Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council is an association of honors program directors and students from universities and colleges across the state. Students present papers and posters showcasing their own work and research, discuss specific issues related to the furtherance of successful honors programs, and compete in the Quiz Bowl competition.

“The ULM Honors Program is the best support system ever. We are there for each other, for quiz bowl, presentations, games — everything,” said biology major Edidiong Udofia.