The First Phase of the Water Quality REEU Program Completes with a Great Success
Fifteen undergraduate students from Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), Texas A&M University (TAMU) and other Universities across the US attended a four-week Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates (REEU) Fellowship in Water Quality at TAMU, College Station. This fellowship provided hands-on learning experiences in water quality, exposure to careers in agricultural research and extension, and a pathway to graduate school.
Apart from undergraduate research experience in water quality, other benefits of the program include 3-hours of course credit, a $2,500 stipend, housing at Texas A&M University during the program, a meal allowance of $150 per week, internship experience with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, and a $250 travel allowance to present their research at a water quality conference. Three top-tier fellowship students showing exceptional performance in the program will also have the opportunity to apply for a fully funded scholarship to go to the 2018 BAEN Environmental Science and Engineering Study Abroad program in Leuven, Belgium.
Ali Fares, Co-PI from PVAMU, supported student recruitment, selection, and retention of the fellowship students. Fares and his colleagues at PVAMU launched a website of Water Quality REEU Program (www.pvamu.edu/reeu) in November 2016 and prepared a program brochure. The website provides detailed information about the program and allows submission of online applications. Forty-five students applied. Fifteen top-ranked students including five from PVAMU were selected for the 2017 Water Quality REEU Program.
Fares and his colleagues interacted with the program participants between June 2-29, 2017. In addition, Fares and CARC Research Scientist Ripendra Awal and Post-Doctoral Researcher Haimanote Bayabil attended the students’ final research presentation on June 29, 2017.
Students conducted their research in groups (3 students per group). The students’ research projects covered different topics within the field of water quality and waste water treatment.
Investigating the performance of aerobic treatment units and assessing the effectiveness of an aerobic clear stream unit in treating raw wastewater were among the students’ projects. A video of each of these presentations will be posted on the CAHS website. Three students among the participants will be selected for a fully paid 5 week-study program in Belgium next year organized by Clyde Munster, a Co-PI on the project and a faculty member from TAMU. In addition, students will be presenting the results of the research experience in national meetings during the upcoming academic year; the project will be partially supporting their participations. Students are encouraged to apply for the 2018 Water Quality REEU program. Application will be announced in November 2017.
Student participants from PVAMU: Praise Benson, Aerial Lowe, Nykeem Thom, Deon Sinquefield, and Christopher Rogers with Drs. Fares, Awal, Bayabil (PVAMU) and Dr. Munster (TAMU).
Photo1: Participants of Water Quality REEU program at On-site Wastewater Treatment Training Center
Photo2: Drs. Fares, Awal, and Bayabil with participants of Water Quality REEU program
Ali Fares, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Director, Cooperative Agricultural Research Center