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Staff Reports

MURFREESBORO – Many of the brightest young minds in chemistry from high schools across the region participated in the recent Middle Tennessee State University Department of Chemistry Scholarship Tournament.

MTSU chemistry officials revived the tournament, which was last held in 2015, and conducted once again in the science building.

The event was an effort to recognize nearly 30 outstanding chemistry students from Rutherford and surrounding counties and get them to consider MTSU as their college choice. Participants included seniors who had completed a year of chemistry and qualified juniors.

Incentives included special awards – scholarships to attend MTSU and cash – to the top three finishers from the about 90-minute exam “based on general chemistry that a high school student would have covered,” said professor Norma Dunlap, who oversaw the running of the event.

College of basic and applied sciences dean Bud Fischer presented scholarships and checks to first-place Faith Viers ($2,000 scholarship and $500) with Central Magnet School in Murfreesboro, runner-up Callie Hall ($1,500 scholarship and $300) with Central Magnet and third-place Daniel Bergman ($1,000/$100) with Mt. Juliet High School.

The students toured the 250,000-square-foot Science Building, including research labs, that opened in 2014 and learned about the program from current students Myranda Uselton, 2015 tournament winner; Kayley Stallings, 2015 participant; Avraz Anwar; and Daniela Taylor.

The visiting students observed research posters that were presented by MTSU students at regional and national meetings. The chemistry department provided gifts for the students and their teachers.

“Our intention is to make this a yearly event,” Dunlap said.

MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.