Oklahoma State University has named 14 students as 2019-20 Niblack Research Scholars,
each receiving $8,000 scholarships and the opportunity to conduct research guided
by faculty sponsors and graduate student mentors.
The Niblack Research Scholars program, administered through the OSU Office of the
Vice President for Research, is a unique chance for undergraduates to take what they
learn in the classroom and apply it to actual research projects. Often the experience
changes a student’s career direction, as it did for Matthew Hart, a 2017-18 Niblack
scholar who said he had little experience with science until coming to OSU.
“The thing I enjoy the most about research is the impact it has on people’s lives,”
said Hart, who conducted research on nutrition and genetics. “I’m really most interested
in things that translate to a clinical environment, that really have an impact on
someone’s health. Being a Niblack scholar has been vital to putting me on my career
path to do clinical research.”
The annual program is funded by OSU alumnus Dr. John Niblack and his wife, Heidi Niblack.
As an undergraduate at OSU, Niblack said his research experience impacted the direction
of his life. Niblack graduated from OSU in 1960 and, after graduate studies, conducted
research and managed the development of many well-known pharmaceuticals for Pfizer
Inc., the $34 billion global company. He was eventually named Pfizer vice chairman
and, following retirement, founded the Niblack Research Scholarship to offer OSU undergraduates
the same research opportunity he had.