BP supports biology student research initiative at Nicholls

THIBODAUX – BP invested $50,000 in a Nicholls State University program that provides biology students with yearlong research and mentoring experiences.

Created to improve the retention of science majors, the Scholarship ‘N’ Action program targets first-generation freshmen and sophomores as well as minorities and women. Selected students are teamed up with faculty mentors and work on laboratory and field research projects in various biology disciplines. Dr. Raj Boopathy, distinguished service professor of biological sciences, said Scholarship ‘N’ Action enhances one-on-one mentoring, elevates the quality of research being done at Nicholls, engages diverse students in science and enriches the undergraduate research experience.

“This program broadens students’ horizons regarding science careers and produces well-qualified science teachers who have research experience,” he said. “Our program has several successful alumni who have gone on to graduate school and impressive careers. BP’s generous support will help make it possible for eight more students to participate in this year’s program.”

Al Ledet, a 1982 Nicholls graduate and facility manager of BP Preservation & Maintenance Facility in Schriever, said this donation is one of several investments BP is making to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“BP is very proud to partner with Nicholls to continue this program and help keep students interested in the sciences,” said Ledet, whose son Dylan is a pre-medicine major at Nicholls. “We hope that these long-term relationships will help build up the next generation of mathematicians, engineers and scientists.”

Previously, Scholarship ‘N’ Action was funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents through a five-year, post-Katrina stimulus grant. For the program to continue as its current level, Nicholls must raise $100,000 in private funds each year to cover student stipends, research supplies and travel funds. For more information on donating to Scholarship ‘N’ Action, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 985-448-4005.