UPIKE student selected as 2021 Ledford Scholar

The University of Pikeville is delighted to announce biology student Nyla Gulley as the recipient of the 2021 Appalachian College Association (ACA) Ledford Research Scholarship.

Each year, the ACA awards scholarships to support ongoing educational objectives. Ledford Scholars present their research from a variety of fields of study, such as health sciences, social sciences, or humanities, applying various methodologies, laboratory research, fieldwork, participant observation, interview/oral history or archival/library research. 

The undergraduate students awarded the scholarship are provided financial support enabling them to work on a significant research project during the summer. Each student will receive assistance from a faculty mentor at their home institution. During the fall semester, the Scholars provide a video presentation of their research findings, which is recognized and made available for viewing on the ACA’s website. 

UPIKE Professor of Biology Phillip Jen, Ph.D., is serving as a mentor for Gulley in determining the effects of specific neurotransmitters on breast cancer tissue.

“Ms. Gulley is an Osteopathic Medical Scholars Program scholar and one of the best overall students at the University of Pikeville,” said Jen. “Since she is on the path to becoming a medical doctor, it would be highly beneficial for her to gain some experience in medical research, especially a high-profile research project that is strongly supported by Pikeville Medical Center.” 

UPIKE Provost Lori Werth, Ph.D., encourages students to pursue specialized learning and research opportunities such as those afforded by the Ledford Research Scholarships. 

“The Appalachian College Association has been an invaluable partner for our faculty, staff and students. We are proud of our UPIKE students and their competitive research within this region and on an international level,” said Werth. “The University of Pikeville is committed to excellence and leading in the areas of research and practice.”

The program culminates with the Ledford Scholars requesting their attendance and presentation of their research findings at the ACA’s Annual Summit held in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on September 24 and 25. 

The ACA Annual Summit provides an opportunity to bring together faculty, staff and administrative leaders from across the ACA to engage in ongoing collaboration and share information and best practices in the ever-evolving effort to prepare students for success. The two-day program will showcase outstanding ACA members across a broad spectrum of teaching, research, and service and furnish opportunities to share proven strategies to implement in classrooms and work at institutions.

For more information about UPIKE, please call (606) 218-5251.