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ORU senior wins Boe Award for medical research

Rachel LongORU senior Rachel Long received the Dennis Boe Award for Excellence at a scholastic awards conference in Ft. Smith, Ark. on March 28-29.

The award recognizes and honors outstanding scholarly work by the honors program and college students of its affiliated institutions. The two-day event was hosted by the University of Arkansas Ft. Smith, and was sponsored by the Great Plains Honors Council.

Long, a biology and pre-med major, is one of three winners in the juniors and seniors category. She is the second student from ORU to receive this award, and the only person from Oklahoma. Entries for the award come from six states and are all based on high level research. The winners receive a cash prize and an engraved plaque.

“I almost couldn’t believe it when I found out that I won,” said Long. “Dr. Korstad forwarded the notification to all the professors in my department and to many students.”

At the event, Long informed the audience of her research in a 15-minute presentation.

Her research paper, “Low Level Energy Laser Therapy as a Treatment for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy, ” is based on research she performed at the Cancer Treatment Center of America of the Southwest Regional Medical Center in Tulsa.

“The next day everyone congratulated me. It felt surreal. After all the time and effort I put in at ORU, it was such a gratifying experience to see the fruit of my labors,” said Long.

“To gain the experience of presenting research at a conference and have my efforts recognized was the experience of a lifetime. Being able to present my work and speak publicly in an academic setting before 300 people was amazing.”

Long did her research with Dr. Katherine Andersen at the cancer center, and credits Dr. Bill Ranahan as her research advisor. She thanks Dr. John Korstad, honors program director, Dr. Kay Meyers, honors program associate director and her professors for their nominations and support.

Long plans to do medical missions during the next year. She is in the process of applying to the doctorate of osteopathic medicine program at Oklahoma State University. Recently hired by St. John’s, Long plans to work as a med scribe where she will gain medical experience before beginning medical school.

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