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Hendrix Students Publish Paper in Peer-Reviewed Science Journal

CONWAY, Ark. (May 1, 2014) – Three Hendrix student researchers published their first paper in a peer-reviewed journal. Their paper was accepted by Applications in Plant Sciences, an open-source journal published by the Botanical Society of America. 

The student research paper authors include:

  • Adam Bigott ’14 of Naperville, Ill.
  • Kristen Finch ’13 of Russellville, Ark.
  • Austin Wofford ’15 of Alma, Ark.

The students worked with Hendrix biology professor Dr. Ann Willyard and analyzed results gathered by 11 other Hendrix students over the last four years.

“This is a ‘methods’ paper (i.e. one that demonstrates the viability of a technique) that lays the groundwork for other research papers that are in progress by the other students,” Willyard said. “Now that this paper has been accepted after peer review, our future student-authored papers will be able to focus on a hypothesis regarding the taxonomy of a specific group of ponderosa pines.” 

Their research involved extensive travel to collect plant samples in the field, molecular laboratory experiments and data analysis. This would not have been possible without a variety of funding sources that recognize the importance of undergraduate student research, including the Hendrix Odyssey Program, Arkansas Academy of Sciences, Beta Beta Beta Foundation, the Arkansas Department of Education Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship program and the Hendrix Biology Department, Willyard said. 

“This accomplishment will play an important role in the career path of each student,” Willyard said. “Finch and Bigott have accepted graduate school offers for fall of 2014 and Wofford will definitely feature this publication on his C.V. when he graduates next year.” 

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report.  Hendrix is featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit