OU researcher Andrea Contina and his team have identified the genetic structure of the Painted Bunting, a neotropical migratory songbird, using microsatellite DNA and single nucleotide polymorphisms to develop high-resolution markers that differentiate between individual birds breeding in Oklahoma and across the United States. Through this research, Contina and his team now can differentiate between eastern and western Painted Buntings and identify the species pattern of migration and population of origin.
University of Oklahoma students Jill Craighead, Mikayla Baldwin and Jacob Cullum have won first, second and third place in the 2018 Neustadt Lit Festival poster design competition. The competition is part of an annual collaboration between World Literature Today and the School of Visual Arts. Craighead’s winning design will be used in promotional materials for the 2018 Neustadt Lit Fest from Oct. 9 to 11 on OU’s Norman campus.
Norman Company Aids in Thai Cave Rescue
Weather Decision Technologies, a company founded by OU alumni and located on the OU Research Campus, contributed to the dramatic rescue of 12 young Thai soccer players and their coach, who had been trapped in a cave in northern Thailand for more than two weeks. With impending monsoons a major factor in the timing of the rescue, WDT’s WeatherOps was brought in to provide the most accurate forecast for the area to give rescuers a time frame, which was critical to the safety of both divers and those stranded in the cave. All 13 people were brought to safety over the course of three days.
Sooner pitcher Paige Lowary was the top pick of the Chicago Bandits and becomes the second player in OU softball history to be selected No. 1 overall in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft. Fellow pitcher Paige Parker joined Lowary as a first-round NPF Draft selection, taken by the USSSA Pride of Viera, Fla., with the sixth overall pick. The Pride selected Sooner center fielder Nicole Pendley with its second-round pick, the 12th overall in the draft. On the Pride roster Parker and Pendley will be joining former Sooners Keilani Ricketts, Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley, Nicole’s older sister.
A Perfect 10
OU sophomore Maggie Nichols was named the 2018 NCAA Individual All-Around Champion with an NCAA record of 39.8125. The 2018 Big 12 Gymnast of the Year owns 15 career perfect scores, recording eight scores of 10.0 or better in 2018, including at least one in every event, to become the first gymnast to complete a “Gym Slam” in back-to-back seasons. She is also the first to ever score at least two perfect 10s on every event. She holds the OU program record for most perfect marks in a season, besting her 2017 total of seven.
Stephenson Cancer Center Earns NCI Designation
The Stephenson Cancer Center on the OUHSC campus was recently designated as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Center. With this award, the Stephenson Center joins an elite group of 70 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers nationwide. These institutions represent only the top 2 percent of cancer centers in the United States. The Stephenson Center is the only NCI-designated center in Oklahoma. The designation includes a five-year, $10.1 million grant that will support research programs and infrastructure, recruitment of top academic researchers, and community outreach.