Student News Top Stories — 01 May 2014


The Outstanding Spring Graduates at Murray State University for 2014 were announced at the Senior Breakfast Thursday, May 1. Samuel (Sam) Joseph Pellock, from Highland, Ill., and Carli Paige Whittington, from Madisonville, Ky., were chosen for the honors.

Sam is the son of Steve and Connie Pellock; Carli’s parents are Rob and Sarah Whittington.

Pellock will receive a bachelor of science degree in chemistry/biochemistry with a minor in biology in May. A Dean’s List student, Pellock has a 3.97 grade point average. Following graduation, he will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he will enter the biological and biomedical sciences program to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

An Honors Program student at Murray State, Pellock is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta first-year honor society and Gamma Sigma Epsilon chemistry honor society, where he served as vice president.

Pellock has research experience in his field of study. A student in MSU’s BioMaPS2 National Science Foundation program, Pellock conducted research with others on “validity of Darwin’s Naturalization Hypothesis relates to the stages of invasion.” The resultant paper by the group was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Community Ecology. Most recently, findings of research by Pellock and others on an “analysis of ππ stacking interactions” was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B.

Finally, a paper Pellock and Carli Whittington authored with others on “Combining Content and Elements of Communication into an Upper-Level Biochemistry Course” has been accepted for publication in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education.

Pellock has given presentations on both ozone production in southern California and testing Darwin’s Naturalization Hypothesis.

He is the recipient of a number of academic scholarships at Murray State and was selected the Outstanding Senior in Chemistry. Pellock has served as a chemistry and biology tutor in the MSU athletics office for two years.

Pellock is a member of Hester College on campus. His many volunteer activities include roadside clean-ups, basketball arena clean-ups and community restoration projects through the MSU Honors Program. He is active in the Student Members of the American Chemical Society and was elected its secretary this year.

Whittington will receive her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences/pre-medicine with a minor in chemistry in May. A Dean’s List student, Pellock has a perfect 4.0 grade point average and is a Presidential Fellow at Murray State. After graduation she plans to attend the University of Louisville school of medicine.

Whittington is a member of the Honors Program at MSU, with service as its Student Council secretary, public relations chair and class representative. Her honor society memberships include Gamma Sigma Epsilon, Alpha Lambda Delta, Beta Beta Beta (biology), Omicron Delta Kappa leadership society and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Whittington’s research in her field of study includes “Experimental Analysis of the Relationship Between Parasite Burden in Neonates and Cognitive Abilities in House Mice (Mus musculus),” culminating in a presentation to the Kentucky Academy of Science and the Kentucky Honors Roundtable. Her study on “Linear and Covalently Crosslinked Polyesters Containing a Pendant Imidazolium Group: Synthesis and Thermal Properties” led to presentations at the American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition and the 37th Area Collegiate Chemistry Meeting.

Two of Whittington’s papers have been accepted for publication — the study she, Pellock and others co-authored and her “Crosslinked Imidazolium-Containing Polyester Networks” research that will be published in Polymer.

She has been named the Outstanding Senior in Biology and received the Sigma Xi Student Research Award last year.

Whittington has been active in numerous campus organizations. She is president of the Pre-Health Professionals student organization, vice president of the campus affiliate of the American Chemical Society and served on the Richmond College Council. Additionally, she has been active in intramural sports throughout college and served as a tutor for biology and chemistry.

Community work for Whittington includes activities at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Murray, a Murray-Calloway County Half-Marathon volunteer and work at the Eddie Ballard Western Kentucky Veterans Center.

Pellock and Whittington will give the valedictions at the May 2014 Commencement ceremony at Murray State University. The event begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, and will be held in the CFSB Center.


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