Rebecca Caldbeck and Caleb Gooden, two undergraduate students in the Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology (ABT) program, receive awards. 

Rebecca Caldbeck is a senior at the University of Kentucky in the process of pursuing a dual degree in ‘Agricultural & Medical Biotechnology’ and ‘Natural Resources & Environmental Science’, as well as a certificate in ‘Distillation, Wine, and Brewing Studies’, focusing on fermentation technology. She serves on the UK executive board of both Ag Biotech Club through the College of Ag, Food, and Environment, and Energy Club through the College of Engineering. Rebecca has worked part-time in a metabolic and genetic engineering lab and enjoys being involved with undergraduate research. Upon graduation, Rebecca has plans to pursue graduate studies in biotechnology, with a strong focus on environmental consciousness. 

After competing in the Oswald Research & Creativity Competition, Rebecca placed in two different areas. Under the mentorship of Dr. David Hildebrand of Plant and Soil Sciences, she received both first place in the physical and engineering sciences and second place in biological sciences in the Oswald and Research Creativity competition, with her project entitled Feeding a growing population-Feasibility of leghemoglobin as visual marker for facilitating plant genetics based nutritional improvement.

Established in 1964, by former President John Oswald, the Oswald Research and Creativity Competition is an annual event where undergraduate students can submit reports, all forms of creativity, and scholarship. The competition consists of seven unique categories (biological sciences; design; fine arts; humanities, from creative and critical-research approaches; physical and engineering sciences; and social science), with two cash awards per category. This includes, but is not limited to, artistic and musical creations; creative writing and poetry; and reports of studies and research in the humanities, the social, natural, and medical sciences, agriculture, business, architecture, and engineering.

Caleb Gooden, UKY CAFE Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology (ABT) undergraduate student, was recently awarded a CAFE undergraduate research activity award. Caleb is currently working on research with Dr. Art Hunt, Professor, Plant and Soil Sciences. 

"I am working with Dr. Hunt to study the mechanisms of root nodulation in red clover. We believe a regulatory RNA, TAS3, may inhibit nodulation in clover. Thus, due to the importance of red clover as a forage crop in the agricultural industry of Kentucky, TAS3 is an attractive target for manipulation to increase nitrogen fixation and enhance its agronomic value. I will be using the funds from my RAA to pay for registration at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in April 2021." -Caleb Gooden

The Research Office at the University of Kentucky offers undergraduate students a funded research opportunity. The focus of the Research Activity Award (RAA) program is to enhance excellence and innovation in research. Thus, these awards are made on a competitive basis to undergraduate students to give them a basic research experience to complement their coursework. 


Congratulations to both Rebecca and Caleb for these awards!