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 Jennifer Abshire of McLoud

SWOSU Biology Student Named Young Ambassador for American Society of Microbiology

Southwestern Oklahoma State University biology student Jennifer Abshire of McLoud was recently named the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Young Ambassador for the state of Oklahoma.

Abshire will serve as the Oklahoma representative to the ASM Young Ambassador program, which aims to advance the microbial sciences and mobilize the next generation of scientists to solve global challenges.

“The position is very prestigious and is often awarded to PhD Candidates or post-doctoral researchers working at large research institutions,” said Dr. Regina McGrane, assistant professor in the SWOSU Department of Biological Sciences in Weatherford. “For an undergraduate student at a regional university to be awarded this honor is pretty unique.”

As an ASM Young Ambassador, Abshire will participate in networking and professional development activities with other ambassadors from across the United States and around the world. She will aid in collaborations between ASM, Oklahoma universities and the local scientific community.

Abshire will communicate Oklahoma’s specific funding and support needs to ASM and will work to instill a passion for science in future generations.

Last summer, Abshire participated in an undergraduate research fellowship supported by ASM and has since expressed her desire to bring Oklahoma into the “microbial future.” Abshire recognizes potential solutions to Oklahoma’s agricultural, environmental and health challenges within the field of microbiology.

Through her appointment, Abshire hopes to host public awareness events, work with Oklahoma legislators to promote funding for microbial research, and initiate a “Microbiologist for a Day” shadowing event for high school students.