The School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences and the School of Arts and Sciences host 3rd annual Centers for Research Excellence Symposium

The Alcorn State University School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences Center for Biotechnology was the site of the 3rd annual Centers for Research Excellence Symposium, February 9. Students and faculty from Alcorn State as well as colleges and universities throughout the state attended. The primary goal of the symposium was to showcase the research done at Alcorn, and provide an additional opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their talents both professionally and academically.

“I thought orchestrating the symposium was a good idea, because it’s important for us to communicate research. I wanted to bring a conference setting here that is free of charge, so therefore if the students go to a national, regional, or state conference they will know what to expect,” said Dr. Davida Crossley, assistant professor and symposium director. “It’s a form of teaching, not only in the classroom, but teaching as to a large number of students.”

Opening remarks were given by Dr. Keith McGee, interim dean, School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, and director of the Center for Biotechnology. The symposium featured 11 oral presentations, 14 poster presentations, two poster sessions and three speaking sessions.

“This symposium helps to solidify the things we learned and did in class. Sometimes, it’s easier to do things rather than talk about them. The more you talk about a subject, the more information you can expound upon,” said Bryanna LeBeaux, senior, biology/pre-medicine major. Lebeaux presented a poster titled, “Determining M46 Expression in the Dimorphic Fungus Histoplasma Capsulatum.”

The symposium ended with an award ceremony that recognized each person for their participation with a certificate of appreciation. Those who received high marks were given plaque awards.

The awardees were, Kyler Holmes, for best graduate oral presentation for her work on the “Development and Management of Sweet Potato: Virus Disease Resistance through Biotechnology Approaches;” Jasmine Wheatley, best graduate poster presentation on the “Development and Applications of a Virus-Free Sweet Potato Program for Limited-Resource Farmers in Mississippi;” Julia Kristman, best undergraduate oral presentation for “Implications of Mobile Applications for Clothing Retailers.”

Other awardees were, Raymonnesha Edwards, best undergraduate oral presentation for “An Investigation of State Superintendents in the U.S.: Ethical Leadership Perspectives, State Leader Demographics, and State Education Characteristics;” and Lydia Batey, best undergraduate poster presentation for “Variation in Total Cartenoid & B-Carotene Levels in In-House Hybrids during Storage and Processing.”

Dr. Babu Patlolla, dean and professor of biology, School of Arts and Sciences, gave closing remarks.

“Thank you all very much for coming to this symposium. This was a vision [that] we had two years ago and since then it has been very successful,” said Patlolla. “To all of the presenters, you all did an excellent job. We appreciate you all.”

In addition to Crossley and McGee, the symposium committee included, Dr. Shenika Poindexter, assistant symposium director; Shavonda McDonald, poster committee chair; Dr. Yan Meng, lecture committee chair; Dr. Margo Montgomery-Richardson, editorial service committee chair; Dr. Anant Singh, awards and search committee chair; LaKeisha Stewart, internal advertisement committee chair, and April Stampley, registration committee chair. Vendors at the research symposium included the Office of Counseling and Testing, Office of Graduate Students and ASU Spark.

For more information on upcoming research events, contact Dr. Davida Crossley, at (601) 877-6657 or [email protected].

Contributing writers: Renita Lacy and KeAmber Council, Student Media Interns