Three Alcorn agriculture scholars gain valuable career insights through Purdue University’s Mentoring at Purdue (MAP) summer program

Aspiring agriculturalists from Alcorn State University's Department of Agriculture are making significant efforts toward developing interest and exploring career paths by participating in an agriculture exploration program.

Purdue University welcomed Jennifer Brown, Taea Jackson, and Worlanyo Segbefia to the Mentoring at Purdue Summer Program Monday, June 24 in West Lafayette, Indiana. The program is a mentoring program designed for women and minority graduate students. By joining the program, students will grow professionally, academically, and personally to become successful individuals in their chosen area of study.

The program also aims to improve the quality of graduate education by fostering mentoring relationships between graduate students and faculty or staff members in the agricultural and life sciences.

Brown, a graduate student studying animal science, hopes to gain insight about research in her field of study.

"I became interested in this program because I want to see what career options are available to me in the field of agricultural research," said Brown, a Ville Platte, Louisiana native. "I want to know more about animal science research, so this program is perfect for setting me on the right path."

Jackson, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, appreciates programs such as the one she's attending because of their effort to mentor women and students from smaller colleges.

"This program and others with the same mission provide opportunities for students like myself with valuable experience," said Jackson, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana native. "The program gives us a chance to participate in professional development workshops. The program also positions us to learn skills that will benefit us in the future."

For Segbefia, a native of Ghana who recently received a master's degree in horticulture from Alcorn in May, attending the program is his way of familiarizing himself with Purdue and seeking advice on the steps he should take to pursue a doctorate in agronomy, with a concentration in horticulture. He applauds the Purdue professors for assisting him on his journey.

"When I came to Purdue, the professors informed me on the doctorate program application process, where to apply for fellowships and what to include, and I also learned of grant opportunities that match my interests," said Segbefia. "Because of this program, I'm more prepared to enter into the doctorate program in spring 2020."