April 10, 2014 – Fort Valley State University junior Brandon Beaty recently won an award for presenting research at an international conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The plant science-biotechnology major attended the 4th Annual International Conference on Biotech on March 11 along with two of his FVSU peers, Ashley Norris and Jasmine Scott.
The trio who are pursing undergraduate degrees in plant science-biotechnology described the trip as life changing, saying it opened up their eyes to the possibilities of international opportunities post graduation.
“The experience was mind-blowing,” Beaty said about the trip that exposed him to more than 70 scientists and students representing countries across the globe. The Perry, Ga. native won an award for best paper oral presentation.
“It was the best experience I’ve ever had,” he said.
In addition to presenting research, students also had a chance to visit the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Dubai Campus, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ACBA), the United Arab Emirates University as well as experience Middle Eastern culture.
Norris recalled some of the highlights of her trip which includedvisiting the Global Village and the Dubai Miracle Garden, the world's largest natural flower garden, which has over 45 million flowers.
“There were shops set up for about 40 countries, and you could walk around in each shop and see the culture of each onesuch asthe clothes, food and jewelry,” said the 22-year-old, Warner Robins native. The studentalso mentioned how the conference was valuable.
“It was interesting to see what students are researching in other countries,” Norris said. The scholar, who plans to continue her academic journey and pursue a doctorate, said she hopes to participate in more international conferences throughout her academic career.
Scott said the seven-day excursion has changed her perspective.
“I’m considering international jobs and graduate programs in the future,” Scott said. The Atlanta native said she encourages other students to pursue opportunities beyond their comfort zone. “Be confident, be prepared and enjoy your experiences,” Scott said.
Dr. Sarwan Dhir, a FVSU professor of biotechnology and director of FVSU’s Center for Biotechnology said Norris, Scott and Beaty were selected for this trip based on academic performance, internship experience, leadership qualities and research presentation skills. Dhir said he is proud of his students’ accomplishments.
“For the first time, our students were selected to present their research work at an international meeting, and they did an excellent job. Our undergraduates also exposed FVSU to an international audience,” Dhir said. This conference and travel expenses for the students are funded by the National Science Foundation.
For more information about FVSU’s plant science-biotechnology program, contact Dr. Sarwan Dhir at (478) 825-6687, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FVSU Agricultural Communications Department