BSC Students and Faculty Members Take Part in a National Biomedical Research Conference (Bluefield)--Bluefield State College senior students Chelsea Brown, Jonathan Kinder, and Shane Musick and faculty members Dr. James Walters and Dr. Tesfaye Belay represented BSC at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in San Antonio, TX, November 12-16, 2014. This marks the seventh consecutive year that BSC students and faculty members have participated in the ABRCMS conferences.
ABRCMS is one of the largest, professional conferences for underrepresented minority students and students with disabilities to pursue advanced training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This year's conference attracted approximately 3,300 individuals, including 1,700 undergraduate students, 400 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists and 1200 faculty, program directors and administrators.
The biomedical research areas of the three BSC students were featured during the poster sessions at the conference. “At the meeting, our students exchanged information with other microbiologists and gained insight across a variety of scientific disciplines,” Dr. Belay noted. “Our students were able to speak to representatives from graduate and medical school programs at U.S. colleges and universities about graduate and professional school opportunities.”
BSC student Shane Musick, from Dr. Belay's laboratory, was one of 210 winners from a field of 2100 students to win a prestigious award for outstanding research and poster presentation. “This prestigious award allows Mr. Musick to be a student member of ASM for one year, Dr. Walters said. “It also provides a travel award to participate in the General Meeting of ASM to be held in New Orleans, May 2015, and makes him eligible to compete for a student scholarship from ASM.” Musick is the second BSC student to win this award from ABRCMS conferences. Brandon Kirby, from Dr. Belay's laboratory, was an award winners of 2012 ABRCMS in San Jose, CA.
Dr. Walters and Dr. Belay served as abstract reviewers and onsite poster presentation judges, responsibilities that gave them the unique opportunity to interact with outstanding undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate students as they pursue their passion for the sciences. The BSC faculty members also established many contacts with outside institutions interested in having our students apply to their graduate and professional programs. Brochures and information about these schools is available at BSC's Biomedical Club Library.
Travel awards for the students was provided by the West Virginia IdeA Network of Biomedical Research (WV-INBRE), the McNair Scholars Program of Concord University and the office of Dr. Ann-Jo Robinson, Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management at BSC. Musick received the travel award from McNair, while Brown and Kinder utilized travel awards from WV-INBRE.
The students are most appreciative to WV-INBRE, and McNair Scholars Program of Concord University, and BSC Office of Financial & Administrative Affairs, Dr. Belay said.
The research works are being supported by grants awarded to Dr. Belay by the West Virginia IdeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE) and McNair Scholarship of Concord University.