Skip to main content

Arts and Sciences

Open Main MenuClose Main Menu

Meet our Scholars

The OSU Beckman Scholars Program selects two undergraduate Beckman Scholars each year from 2023-2025 to embark on a prestigious 15-month, mentored research experience. Scholars receive $21,000 in stipend and research support.

2023 - 2024

Adriahna Blackburn and Nina Parvin will conduct exciting research with faculty mentors and engage in leadership development from June 2023 to August 2024.

Read the full Scholar announcement.


Adriahna Blackburn

Adriahna Blackburn is a rising sophomore majoring in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics with a Pre-Med concentration from Nardin, OK. Adriahna’s mentor is Dr. Matt Cabeen (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics).


  • Learn more about Adriahna!
    Adriahna started her research journey in high school and selected OSU for the many research opportunities for students. Adriahna looks forward to growing as a leader and researcher through the Beckman Scholars Program.  Her project “Assessing the molecular roles of XerC and PrtR in non-canonical pyocin production in P. aeruginosa” aims to understand the mechanism of non-canonical pyocin production by strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that are used to kill different strains of the same species. Beyond research, Adriahna is the Volunteer Chair for the Asian American Student Association and a Coordinator for Operation Catnip Stillwater.
  • Project Abstract
    R-type pyocins are nano “spear guns” present on Pseudomonas aeruginosa that are used to kill different strains of the bacteria. Standardly, pyocin production is a result of DNA damage, but can also be induced by xerC mutants of strain PA14. We first ask if other laboratory strains of P. aeruginosa (PAO1, FRD1) and clinical strains express and produce R-type pyocins after the xerC gene is deleted. Answering this involves deletion of the XerC gene and testing for pyocin production and inserting luminescent transcriptional reporters for the pyocin gene to test expression. Our second question asks what mechanisms of expression and production of pyocin are regulated by PrtR? This is approached by testing strains with deleted prtR from a point mutation, complementing the strains with plasmid-borne prtR genes, and building strains with epitope-tagged PrtR. Through this project we will learn more about the interactions of xerC and pyocin expression and production in laboratory and clinical strains of P. aeruginosa and acquire more knowledge about the complex role of PrtR in pyocin expression and production.

Student scholarship recipient


Nina Parvin

Nina Parvin is a rising junior majoring in Physics and Mechanical Engineering from Beggs, OK. Nina's mentor is Dr. Mario Borunda (Physics).


  • Learn more about Nina!
    Nina is excited to begin her research journey as an OSU Beckman Scholar. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge of material science through research and learning from her mentor and fellow team members. Through her project “Understanding the radiation tolerance of perovskite materials to increase their stability,Nina will perform density functional theory calculations to rate the materials' properties, such as the energy needed from radiation to damage them and the stability of defects near water molecules. Outside of research, Nina is active in the Society of Women Engineers, is a club representative for Transitioning Equity and Diversity into Engineering (TEDE) and enjoys painting and dog training.
  • Project Abstract
    A critical issue with perovskite solar cells is that they are unstable when exposed to oxygen, water, or UV light. The perovskite structure is soft and degrades. Surprisingly, these materials are tolerant to the radiation experienced in space. Before the solar cells leave the atmosphere, they must survive moisture while waiting for the rocket launch. It has been shown that introducing hydrophobic organic molecules as spacers between the perovskite structures increases their resistance to moisture. Only a limited number of spacers have been used. In this research project, the Beckman Scholar will explore in silico the radiation hardness of perovskite materials and then design organic molecule motifs to improve their stability. 

Student scholarship recipient


2024 - 2025

2025 - 2026


Back To Top