Gragg chosen for Vanderbilt research program

Quincy Gragg, a sophomore biology major from Malvern, has been selected to participate in the Aspirnaut Summer Research Program this summer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The paid, 10-week program provides hands-on and mentored laboratory experiences for undergraduate students interested in a career in biomedical research. It was cofounded by Dr. Billy Hudson, a 1962 Henderson State University graduate, and his wife Dr. Julie Hudson, in partnership with Billy’s siblings Johnny Hudson ’67 and Ann Kincl ’66.

“Quincy is an outstanding, hard-working biology major,” said Dr. James Engman, professor of biology at Henderson. “He was at the top of his general zoology class, and has already impressed several faculty members in the biology department.

“He is working on an independent research project with three other biology majors in an ongoing study of the bacteria associated with cave crickets in Blanchard Springs Caverns.”

Engman said Gragg’s selection for Vanderbilt’s highly competitive Aspirnaut Program “should be seen as a strong vote of confidence in his abilities and personal characteristics.”

Gragg is the second Henderson biology student to be selected for the program. Hannah Deputy of Kirby participated last summer.

“I am extremely grateful and thankful for the opportunity to do research at Vanderbilt,” Gragg said. “The fact that I was chosen for such a prestigious task, confirms that I was meant to be at Henderson.

“Without the support and guidance of my biology professors, specifically Dr. Engman, I doubt I would have received such an opportunity. And I want to thank Vanderbilt and the Aspirnaut program for giving me such an extraordinary opportunity which, without a doubt, will open up countless doors for me in the future and give me a priceless summer experience.”

After he graduates from Henderson, Gragg said he plans to attend medical school and become a doctor.

“However, with a biology major, I have many diverse options after I graduate. I can only pray that I truly go down the road I’m meant to go down,” Gragg said. “Regardless of what I do, I know that I definitely want to help others in a significant way.”