Wayland awarded NSF fellowship

Hunter Wayland, a chemistry major from Arkadelphia who just graduated from Henderson State University, has received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She will be attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock this fall to pursue a Ph.D. in applied science.

“The NSF graduate fellowship is one of the most prestigious awards given to a graduate student in the sciences,” according to Dr. David Bateman, director of undergraduate research and assistant professor of chemistry at Henderson. “It is a significant accomplishment to receive this during the first year of eligibility.”

Bateman said Henderson has now produced two fellows in two consecutive years, both in their first years of eligibility. Cynthia Holland received the award last year. “No other school in Arkansas, with the possible exception of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, has done this,” Bateman said.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees.

Wayland has conducted research in Bateman’s lab for the past three years developing biologically active derivatives of prescription pharmaceuticals. She has also worked on two interdisciplinary research projects at Henderson. One involved the detection of Cortisol and Oxytocin as biomarkers for stress in humans.  The other determined mercury concentration in river otters in Arkansas.

Wayland has presented her research at numerous regional, state, and national conferences around the country, and has received several awards for these presentations. She intends to continue her studies in environmental chemistry at UALR.