VSU Students Take Home Top Honors at National Food and Agriculture Symposium

A critical part of this meeting is to ensure that students graduating from these institutions leave ready to assume the role of scientists and leaders in an ever-evolving knowledge-based, global, digitally-powered economy.
— Alton Thompson, Association of 1890 Research Directors (ARD) Executive Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2019

Contact: Michelle Olgers, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-6964, molgers@vsu.edu 

Four Virginia State University student researchers took home top honors at the 19th Biennial Research Symposium hosted by the Association of 1890 Research Directors (ARD). The meeting was held in Jacksonville, FL this spring. ARD is committed to the development of society-ready graduates who are in demand and uniquely trained to tackle issues impacting the nation and the world.

A key part of the ARD symposium is the role students play in hosting presentations and showcasing posters, said Alton Thompson, ARD executive director. “A critical part of this meeting is to ensure that students graduating from these institutions leave ready to assume the role of scientists and leaders in an ever-evolving knowledge-based, global, digitally-powered economy,” Thompson said. “In the words of Ben Franklin, ‘tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ We are involving our students in all levels of this symposium.”

Adebamikale Olajide, VSU College of Natural and Health Sciences, Department of Biology graduate student, was the second-place winner for her oral presentation “Meat Quality and Fatty Acid Profile of Goats Fed Hay and Sorghum Bagasse included in Standard Meat Goat Diets.” Her advisor was Dr. Adnan Yousuf, of VSU’s Agricultural Research Station.

Chidera Ntiwunka-Ifeanyi, VSU College of Engineering, Department of Engineering and Technology undergraduate student, was the third-place winner for her oral presentation “Quality Aspect of Potato Fries Affected by Design of Air Fryer.” Her advisors were Drs. Yixiang Xu and Edward Sismour of VSU’s Agricultural Research Station.

Magdalini Galanopoulos, VSU College of Agriculture, Department of Family and Consumer Science undergraduate student, was the second-place winner for her oral presentation “Functional, Structural, & Antioxidant Properties of Chickpea Protein Hydrolysates.” Her advisors were Drs. Yixiang Xu and Edward Sismour.

Matthew Renfroe, VSU College of Engineering and Technology, Department of Engineering and Computer Science under graduate student, was the third-place winner for his poster presentation “Life Cycle Assessment for Hop Production.” His advisor for the project was Dr. Zhenhua Wu of VSU’s Manufacturing Engineering Program.

Faculty, staff and students from the 19, 1890 land-grant universities shared research in more than 700 sessions and poster presentations that focused on food safety and security, nutrition, public health, small farm production and marketing, natural resource stewardship, the bioeconomy and job growth and economic health. The meeting’s theme was “Making Critical Contributions to Rural Prosperity and Solving Challenges in Food and Agriculture.”

The 1890 land-grant universities are those institutions established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890. These historically black institutions share the land-grant mission of teaching, research and Cooperative Extension. The agricultural research at these institutions is designed to improve communities in the food and agricultural sector.

Symposium sponsors include the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Southern Regional Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and National Crop Insurance Services.

The 1890 universities are: Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Central State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Langston University, Lincoln University in Missouri, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Southern University and A&M College, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.

Founded in 1882, Virginia State University is one of Virginia’s two land-grant institutions and is located 20 minutes south of Richmond in the village of Ettrick.

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