William Carey student designs poster, gets published

Michelle Leigh Stover
Michelle Leigh Stover

HATTIESBURG, MS (WILLIAM CAREY UNIVERSITY) - William Carey University chemistry major Michelle Leigh Stover of Moselle designed a scientific poster that will hang in Green Science on the Hattiesburg campus.

She recently presented her research in this poster format at the Mississippi Academy of Science and the National American Chemical Society conference in San Francisco.

Stover, who also has a minor in mathematics, was accepted early into the physical chemistry program at the University of Alabama and will start this summer. She will graduate from Carey in May with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. Stover's poster idea came out of a summer research program in which she participated in 2009. "I worked under Dr. David Dixon computationally studying the gas phase acidities of amino acids," said Stover. "I did not choose the project, but I did end up getting better results than even he expected me too." She and her partner grad student Virgil Jackson of UA will have their work on this project published in a chemistry journal later this year.

While at the National American Chemical Society conference, professors and students roamed around looking at the participant's research and several stopped by Stover's poster. "They would talk to me about my research, and then ask where I went to school," said Stover. "This gave me an opportunity to spread the word about WCU to different university students who had never heard of it before."

Stover's poster will be displayed on the chemistry side of Green Science Building. "This will be a great advertisement to visiting students trying to decide whether or not to attend Carey. They can see the research opportunities available to them at Carey without having to go to a bigger public university."

Stover currently works with the USDA laboratory in Stoneville where she studies the energy content of different wheat and rye samples and is also a full time student at Carey.

With more than nineteen members of her immediate and extended family having made Carey their university of choice, Stover believes she knows the reason. "I've had some of the best teachers I have ever had in my life and I also like how Carey encourages all students to get involved with campus affairs."

A member of Pi Omega social club, Stover loves being involved in campus activities much like her mother and aunts and uncles before her. Besides her mother Cecilia Parker (Class of '76 ), Stover's uncles Paul ('76), Sam ('81), Donnie ('69) and Ronnie ('69) Parker and her aunt Cheryl ('72) all attended Carey. Paul's wife Lois Nelson Parker ('79) and Ronnie's wife Beth Colletti Parker ('73) both graduated as well as Beth's father and three siblings. Several cousins attended as well including Ronnie and Beth's daughters Sharon Parker Sellers ('97) and Alicia Parker Ellis ('00) and Donnie's daughter Wendy Parker Blethen ('00). Paul's son Ryan graduated in 2005.

In a 2006 interview Ronnie, Cheryl, Paul Cecilia and Donnie credited the size of the campus and Christian emphasis as the main attraction for the family. Uncle Ronnie agrees with his niece, "I think Carey is special because of the small classes, special teachers, personal attention to the student and emphasis on reaching potential," said Ronnie. "The teachers could go elsewhere to make more money, but this is their ministry, serving students."

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