Olivia Onwodi, a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-AMP) student and senior biological sciences major, recently received an award for her research.

Onwodi attended the Emerging Researchers National Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Washington, D.C., where she won first place in the Organic Chemistry Undergraduate category for her poster presentation An Efficient Synthesis of the Calcimimetric Agent Cinacalcet. Onwodi was the only undergraduate from Illinois to present during this conference. She completed her research under the supervision of Shawn Hitchcock, professor of organic chemistry.

“I enjoyed my entire experience in D.C., especially being able to network with people who have similar interests as myself,” said Onwodi.

After graduation, she plans to continue her education and go to medical school. Onwodi will receive $300 for her first place award. She was also the recipient of a travel award to attend the conference, which paid for her conference registration and other expenses.

The Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-AMP) is one of several alliances funded by the National Science Foundation to increase the number of undergraduate and graduate students of African American, Latino, Alaskan Native, Native Pacific Islanders or American Indian ancestry who are pursuing careers in the fields of mathematics, science, engineering, technology and teacher education in these fields.

Illinois State University is part of a consortium of Illinois institutions that comprise the Illinois LS-AMP. The LS-AMP program is administered by the Julia N. Visor Academic Center’s Targeted Retention Services unit in collaboration with the Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology (CeMaST).