(February 28, 2011)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Biology student receives top presentation award

SHREVEPORT, La. (Centenary News Service) — A biology major at Centenary College has been awarded the top prize for the best overall paper presentation by the Texas Society of Mammalogists during their recent meeting at Texas Tech University.

Dallas Krentzel, a junior originally from Bossier City, La., received the Robert Packard Award which honors the student for the "best overall paper presentation" during the society's 29th Annual Meeting. Along with the recognition, he also received a $300 cash award.

Dallas Krentzel
Dallas staring into the orbital fenestrae of a 260 million year old gorgonopsian, Lycaenops. (courtesy photo)

"This award is usually given to a graduate student," said Dr. Loren Ammerman, associate professor of biology at Angelo State University and TSM secretary-treasurer. "The judges were very impressed by his presentation."

Krentzel presented the research he accomplish over the summer at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, titled Description of a new specimen of Ictidostoma Hemburyi (therapsida; therocephalia) and the Phylogenetic Relations of Therocephalians to the Mamalian Lineage.

"This was a huge honor for Dallas," said Dr. Scott Chirhart, associate professor of biology. "The judges were so impressed by his presentation that it is the first time in almost 30 years that an undergraduate student has received the award."

The Texas Society of Mammalogists was established in 1983 to promote the study of mammals, both living and fossil, and is open to anyone with a sincere interest in the field of mammalogy. Most members are professional scientists or students.

Organized meetings are held annually to provide the opportunity for students, both undergraduate and graduate students, to present results of their research projects and to interact with professional mammalogists working in the state of Texas.

This is not the first time Krenztel has been recognized while at the College. In April 2010, he was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate award of its type in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering. He was one of 278 students from across the country and one of three students in Louisiana to receive the award for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Upon graduation, Krentzel plans on obtaining his Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology, conduct research in evolutionary, functional, and developmental biology, and ultimately teach at the university level.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 371 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.