February 27, 2008 (Jackson, Miss.) – Amongst stiff competition from 600 students and faculty gathered at the Mississippi Academy of Sciences Meeting, four Belhaven Biology majors secured prizes in several notable categories.

The conference, held February 21-22 in Olive Branch, brought together science students and faculty from research and teaching institutions throughout the state. Belhaven College undergrads, Jerry Zifodya, Steven Thornton, Rumbi Chiposi and Peter Mittwede, along with faculty member, Dr. Robert Waltzer, submitted research presentations.

In the Undergraduate Health Sciences Poster division, Zifodya took First place, followed in Second, by the Trypanosoma Research Team of Chiposi, Mittwede, Thornton and Zifodya. Mary Hamilton Chestnut, daughter of Belhaven Biology Chair, Al Chestnut, took Third place in the poster presentation.

Thornton also won Second place for his Undergraduate Oral Presentation, further advancing an already successful day for the Belhaven Biology department. Presentation specifics as follows:

1st Place, Health Science Poster – Jerry Zifodya, “Development of Methodology to Evaluate Antioxidant Properties of water-soluble Extracts of Natural Compounds”

2nd Place, Health Science Poster – Rumbi Chiposi, Peter Mittwede, Steven Thornton, Jerry Zifodya presented together, “The Effect of Arabinogalactan and Ellagic Acid Injected Individually and Synergistically in Trypanosoma Lewisi Infected Rats”

3rd Place, Health Science Poster – Mary Hamilton Chestnut, “Mechanism of Trichomonas Resistance”

2nd Place, Oral Presentation – Steven Thornton, “Characterization of Protease Production in a Pseudomonas aeruginosa Mutant”