2012 Goldwater Recipient Charles Coomer

Charles Coomer, a junior in the Honors College at WKU, has been involved in microbiological research for two years. In the lab of Dr. Rodney King, associate professor of biology, Coomer is characterizing viruses that infect bacterial cells so that they can be sorted into different clusters. Before beginning his research, he was enrolled the Genome Discovery and Exploration Course at WKU, a part of the National Genomics Research Initiative, where he first worked with Dr. King.

2012 Goldwater Recipient Michael Crocker

Michael Crocker is in his fourth semester of research at WKU through his participation in the Gatton Academy. In the labs of Dr. Jeremy Maddox, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Lester Pesterfield, professor of chemistry, Crocker is working with microscopic silica gels to create a more effective, inexpensive and thorough way to treat industrial waste.

Episode 1: Introducing Innovate Kentucky

Gatton AcademyThe Innovation Update is a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of innovators carrying the spark in Kentucky. Whether it be students developing new technology or some of the most accomplished STEM practitioners in the Commonwealth, these innovators will illuminate the path to Kentucky’s future.

The first episode of the Innovation Update features Corey Alderdice, Assistant Director for Admissions and Public Relations for the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky.

Corey is one of the people responsible for securing a new J. Graham Brown Foundation grant that will help fund a new initiative called Innovate Kentucky. In this episode, Corey discusses the need for greater STEM awareness in the state and how Innovate Kentucky will address those needs.

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2012 Goldwater Honorable Mention Lukas Missik

Lukas Missik, a second-year student in the Gatton Academy from Danville, received a 2012 Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention. Missik, the son of Christine and John Missik, is in the second year of his current research project. He spends much of his time working with Dr. Dominic Lanphier, associate professor of mathematics. Missik’s research focuses on finding the probability of winning a round-based duel.

2012 Goldwater Recipient Clarice Esch

Western Kentucky University junior Clarice Esch, an agriculture major from Somerset, received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship to continue original agriculture research. Esch, the daughter of Joe and Carol Esch, graduated from the Gatton Academy in 2011. A previous recipient of the Greater Research Opportunity Fellowship from the Environmental Protection Agency, she is conducting research to find alternative fertilizers to reduce the pollution associated with nitrogen-based products.