Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future

2017 Annual Meeting | Oct. 22-25 | Tampa, FL

105526 Promoting Undergraduate Research in Agriculture: Opportunities for Experiential Learning and a Pathway to Graduate Studies.

Poster Number 1302

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Education and Extension
See more from this Session: Education and Extension General Poster

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Tampa Convention Center, East Exhibit Hall

John T. Bushoven1, Dave Goorahoo2, Balaji Sethuramasamyraja3, Florence Cassel4 and Anil Shrestha4, (1)California State University-Fresno Department of Plant Science, Fresno, CA
(2)2415 E. San Ramon Ave. M/S AS72, California State University-Fresno, Fresno, CA
(3)Industrial Technology, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA
(4)Plant Science, California State University-Fresno, Fresno, CA
Developing a highly-trained workforce in agriculture is a prerequisite for global food security. California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) is primarily an undergraduate teaching institution located in the San Joaquin Valley, an area globally renowned for its highly productive agriculture. Many students at Fresno State are from farm families, some of whom are children of farm workers, while some are first in their families to attend a four-year college. A common theme among these students is a sense of pride in obtaining ‘applied education’ in agriculture. Although many of them possess great potential to pursue graduate education, particularly in applied agriculture, they tend to pursue careers after obtaining their Bachelor’s degree. These students do have the ability to attain postgraduate degrees and conduct research in areas pertaining to global food security, particularly production agriculture. However, a coordinated effort to motivate these students to do so is somewhat lacking. This project, with assistance from a USDA-NIFA-NLGCA grant, initiated a coordinated effort to familiarize undergraduate students with applied agriculture research at Land Grant Institutes, federal, and state institutions in order to stimulate their interest in pursuing research-oriented careers and motivate them to enter graduate school in an agricultural science discipline. In 2016, eight student interns were placed with mentors from University of California and Fresno State. Each student participated in a research project, completed their studies, and presented their findings at various conferences. Four of the students won awards in poster competitions at various professional society meetings. Two of the students have been accepted to pursue graduate studies and the others are in the process of applying to graduate school soon. In 2017, eight more students were recruited and placed with research mentors. It is anticipated that this continuum will be an essential feature of Fresno State’s undergraduate program for global food security.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Education and Extension
See more from this Session: Education and Extension General Poster

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