School of Agriculture environmental science students accepted into various summer research and study abroad programs

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program. The Department of Agriculture is proud of four of its environmental science students for successfully securing prominent internships with the organization this summer.

Andrion Erves, a freshman from Vicksburg, Mississippi, will be studying abroad at Universidad Veritas, a private university in San José, Costa Rica. While there, she will learn how to examine agricultural food systems from an ecological systems perspective. Erves is currently a dean’s scholar and a member of the Freshman Mentor Club. After graduation, she plans to attend MeHarry Medical College.

Jatavian Smith, a first-year transfer student, will work with Purdue University’s Summer Research Program in Digital Agriculture. He will be learning about how to combine technology with detailed data to improve harvests while using limited resources. Upon graduation, Smith aspires to find ways to give back to his community and university. He credits his mother for teaching him all that he knows and encourages other students to utilize their research, ask questions, and be confident in themselves.

Te’Yah Wright, a sophomore from Jackson, Mississippi, will be the first student from Alcorn to attend the Doris Duke Conservation Program at the University of Michigan. She will be studying forest dynamics under global change factors by conducting experiments near Ann Arbor and Northern Michigan. During her stay, she will also have an opportunity to develop her research project. After graduation, Wright hopes to one day become a certified nutritionist and dietician to be able to assist others in promoting healthier eating habits.

Tymesha Nabors, a junior from Vicksburg, MS, will be participating in the Food, Energy, and Water Security Program at Mississippi State University. In previous years, Nabors served as an intern with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center. Some of her duties included monitoring plants in greenhouses and conducting water sampling and environmental risk assessments. Nabors is currently a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Her plans consist of attending the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics and utilizing her degree to gain a more lucrative career.

Many REU programs target minority students from underrepresented universities in conducting research. Students are granted stipends, and in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF resources must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions.

“Students who participate in REU programs gain real-world experience,” said Dr. Jacqueline McComb, assistant professor of environmental science and director of the Mississippi River Research Center.

McComb also serves as an academic advisor, and she was instrumental in helping students attain internships.

For more information about the National Science Foundation or Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, please visit