Hannah Albritton and Jerry Zifodya, Belhaven College Biology students, were recognized for their contributions at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences that took place on February 26 and 27, 2009. Albritton, a Biology/Pre-Med major from Zachary, Louisiana, received the 1st Place Award for her undergraduate poster presentation. Zifodya, Biology major from Harare, Zimbabwe, received the 2nd Place Award for his Clinical Heath Sciences undergraduate oral presentation.

The Mississippi Academy of Sciences annual meeting brought together colleges and research institutions from across the state to Olive Branch, Miss., for two days of meetings. Belhaven was well represented with 13 students, 5 student presentations, and 4 faculty members. Belhaven students and professors made a strong statement, both in terms of student success and faculty engagement.

While Albritton and Zifodya brought home two awards, Dr. Al Chestnut, Biology Department Chair, and Dr. Robert Waltzer, Associate Professor of Biology, left attendees with a challenge to re-think their acceptance of macro evolution at the meeting’s 200th Darwin Symposium. Both professors engaged the discussion by speaking out in favor of Intelligent Design. Dr. Waltzer believes that more friendly dialogue on the subject could yield much fruit: “If there could be more mutual respect and consideration between opposing parties instead of a desire for mutual annihilation, we might be able to accomplish the teaching of science more effectively.”