Erika Lutter

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
Oklahoma Mentor Day


Erika Burkhead, (second from left), an assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Oklahoma State University, receives an outstanding mentor award for her work with OSU’s  Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program  during Oklahoma Mentor Day.  Participating in the award presentation are (from left) Mentor Day keynote speaker Alton Carter, a Stillwater Youth pastor; Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence trustee and mentoring advocate Molly Boren and foundation president Craig Story. Oklahoma Mentor Day, sponsored by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and its David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative, honors outstanding Oklahoma youth mentors and promotes the value of mentoring. (Photo by Travis Caperton)

Erika Lutter

Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP)
Oklahoma State University

Dr. Erika Lutter, assistant professor of bacterial pathogenesis at Oklahoma State University, has been selected as the outstanding mentor for the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.

OK-LSAMP is a consortium of Oklahoma colleges and universities working together to develop programs aimed at increasing the number of students from under-represented populations who receive degrees in STEM disciplines. Current goals and activities of OK-LSAMP focus on undergraduate research experiences, graduate school preparation and international experiences.

“Erika has been an OK-LSAMP mentor for several of our student scholars,” said Brenda Morales, director of OK-LSAMP. “Throughout her time as a mentor she has demonstrated a passion not only for advancement in her field but for the advancement and growth of all those who work with her.”

Dr. Lutter is currently mentoring Colby Starr, a sophomore at OSU. They have been paired together for one year.  She gave Colby the opportunity to get involved in research in her lab and work on his own independent research project.

Colby had these words to say about his mentor relationship with Dr. Lutter: “…She is constantly pouring knowledge into me about life and research in order for me to have the tools and instruction needed to excel in school and my career. Most importantly, she has provided me with a home on campus. She opens up her office to her students so we have a place to keep food, hangout between classes and trouble shoot experiments. This has been crucial to my success. Her ability to put herself before her students first is something that is rare from my experience and she chooses daily to push us to excel, learn and grow. Dr. Lutter cares about her students more than any professor, mentor or coach I have ever had.”