Student Awards

Student Award Opportunities

Each Spring at the annual OBASM meeting, the Ohio Branch recognizes outstanding student research with five awards. Students receiving awards are given a certificate and a modest cash award. 

For previous award recipients, click here

The awards include:

Ohio Branch Research Achievement Award
Best Overall Graduate Student Poster

Donald C. Cox Award for Research Excellence
Best Podium Presentation (awarded to graduate students)

Donald C. Cox was professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology at Miami University from 1978-1989. After he earned his PhD at University of Michigan in 1965, he joined the microbiology faculty at University of Oklahoma. He later moved to Miami, where he became well known as a charismatic and highly effective teacher, researcher and leader. Dr. Cox received Miami’s Distinguished Educator Award, and fostered the growth and development of the Department of Microbiology. Throughout his research career, he focused on the biochemistry and molecular biology of replication of human viruses, and ultimately studied utilization of reovirus in cancer therapy. Dr. Cox was a strong advocate for attracting young people into scientific careers, and mentored many students who have gone on to highly significant research careers.

J. Robie Vestal Award for Research Excellence
Best Environmental or Evolution Poster (awarded to graduate or undergraduate students)
J. Robie Vestal was professor of both biological sciences and environmental health at the University of Cincinnati. He earned his MS in Microbiology at Miami University and his PhD in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. His postdoctoral research at Syracuse University involved the biochemistry of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. Dr. Vestal’s research interests focused on how microbial communities function in nature. He studied microbial communities in Arctic lakes and in soils contaminated with hazardous waste, cryptoendolithic (hidden within rock) communities in Antarctica, mangrove-degrading communities in the Bahamas, and decomposer communities in municipal solid waste compost. He also investigated microbial survival under simulated Martian conditions. Dr. Vestal served on many local and national committees and chaired the Divisional Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Polar Programs.

N. Paul Hudson Award for Research Excellence
Best Overall Medical or Clinical Poster (awarded to graduate or undergraduate students)
N. Paul Hudson was chairman of the Microbiology Department at Ohio State University from 1935-1950. Dr. Hudson was recruited from the University of Chicago Medical School where he already had established a research/teaching reputation and was told to bring several colleagues with him to serve as faculty members in the department. In 1950 he was appointed Dean of the Graduate School at Ohio State University and served until his retirement in 1957. During the 1930’s he was responsible for the successful development of a vaccine against Yellow Fever, which was necessary for the war effort in the tropical countries during the 1940’s. Dr. Hudson died at the age of 95 in 1993 in Florida after retiring to his second home in Sarasota in 1970.

Allan A. Ichida Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence
Best Undergraduate Poster
Allan A. Ichida was professor of botany-microbiology at Ohio Wesleyan University. He earned his BA from Ohio Wesleyan in 1953, then attended the University of Tennessee, where he studied botany, mycology and bacteriology, and received his MS Degree in 1955. Allan’s studies then took him to the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he received his PhD in botany in 1960. Allan returned to Ohio Wesleyan in 1961 as a faculty member in the Department of Botany and Microbiology until he retired in 1995. He was a much admired professor of plant biology and mycology. His research interests were also pursued during several sabbaticals at the University of California in Berkeley. During his tenure at Ohio Wesleyan he served as president and advisor of the Ohio Branch of the American Society for Microbiology and on the Olentangy Scenic River Commission where his water quality research helped to secure the river’s “Scenic River” status. Allan continued his research in the OWU Bohannan and Kraus nature preserves.

Ohio Branch High School Research Award
This award will be presented to the top poster presentation by a high school student beginning in 2017.