CARC Student Researchers Discuss Findings with Summer Bridge Participants

Nineteen summer bridge participants interacted with Cooperative Agricultural Research Center (CARC) summer student researchers to learn about projects related to the work being performed by CARC research scientists. It was an intentional and collaborative strategy between the CARC and the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Human Ecology to introduce incoming agriculture and nutrition majors to the diversity needed to solve real life daily societal issues.

Tiffany Latin, Senior Agriculture major, discussed the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) organization while also providing valuable information about being a student in CAHS. As President for MANRRS here at PVAMU and as Region IV Student Vice President, she believes that Freshman students are excited about becoming college students and jumping head first into their careers. She explained the importance of keeping their grades above a 3.0 always and the importance of joining an organization as an outlet into traveling abroad, finding scholarships, college internships and networking on campus and into their professional careers. Tiffany won first place oral presentation award at the 12th Texas A&M University System Annual Pathways Research Symposium.

Aashvija Upadhya discussed her project which she conducted with Dr. Ram Ray. She is a Computer Information Systems major, with an interest in learning about how satellite measurements are related to agriculture. She was grateful for the opportunity that allowed her to conduct research on topics that could utilize satellite data, as well as the opportunity for generating maps and understanding how different land covers and climate changes impact the spatial and temporal distributions of carbon fluxes.

James Fearon, a Chemical Engineer major who works with Drs. Laura Carson and Suhbani Bandara in the Plants Systems Group, had his first research experience using green synthesis to create nanoparticles from naturally grown plants. He explained that his eyes were open to understanding the possibility of research, reading, testing and analyzing results in scientific journals to discover the applications that research has on our daily lives.

Yassine Cherif, a mechanical engineering major, has worked as a student researcher on the Water Management team, here in CARC for the last three years. He presented his research findings at different symposiums and conferences where he extended his network that led to internships. As a student researcher, he indicated that he was able to combine engineering with agriculture to develop a remote sensing system for real time monitoring of soil temperature and water content. He won a second place award at the 12th TAMUS Annual Pathways Research Symposium.

Gabriel Phillips, a Senior Agriculture major, has worked four years at the PVAMU Greenhouse located on our farm under the mentorship of Drs. Peter Ampim and Aruna Weerasooriya. He indicated that he has learned a great deal about planting of seeds, harvesting crops, grafting and fertilizing plants. He shared that his top priority was always in maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher. He joined MANRRS one year ago and attended the MANRRS National Career Fair and Training Conference for the first time and won third place in a research poster competition. He plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Plant Pathology.

Phillip Harris, who graduated in May 2017, with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and concentration in Agricultural Business, highlighted working on our farm for four years. He talked about his project related to the growth of a variety of okra and the experience he gained by presenting at conferences. He is pursuing an opportunity to work for the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Jessica Watts, a Biology and Agriculture double major, spoke about the importance of having an exceptional grade point average during your freshmen year. She indicated that her desire was to become a veterinarian but has since been involved with working alongside Dr. Shaye Lewis, a reproductive physiologist in CARC, for the last two years, and she is now leaning more towards working on a PhD so she can continue to study genetics and conservation.

Laura Carson
Laura E. Carson Ph.D.
Research Scientist
(936) 261-5010