Project internships guide students to new careers

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Since 2012, 12 undergraduates from Texas A&M University – Kingsville have participated in summer internships, which have provided them the opportunity learn research and communication skills, and to work with faculty and graduate students at TAMUK, and at Purdue and North Carolina State Universities.  As part of their internship, all participating students have had the experience of presenting their work at local scientific meetings and student research poster contests.  Through this project, underrepresented students are becoming confident and knowledgeable research partners with important research findings to share.  All students commented that the program has had a positive impact on them; for many, this experience has shaped research interests and their plans for future careers. 




  Jacobo Solis interned with Dr. Kiersten Wise at Purdue University (2015)

"Interning really helped me learn what I wanted to do for a living. Plant Pathology is a godsend, integrating both lab work and field work at a perfect ratio which I came to love. I know now that plant pathology is something I would like to do for a living, to do my part in mitigating plant disease to ensure our standard of living."


  Amanda Lewis interned with Dr. Greta Schuster at TAMUK (2013)

"This internship gave me insight into agricultural research and inspired me to continue my educational career by seeking a Master's degree in plant science. The skills and knowledge I gained during the internship not only helped me in my internship but also in the remainder of my studies, and certainly will be useful in my future career. During this internship I gained a wide range of skills from basic research methods to teamwork to improvisation and problem solving. The internship was not only educational but a fun learning experience which offered me the opportunity to work with a variety of people in the field of agricultural research. I was able to work on different research topics and apply classroom knowledge to real world research; this encouraged me to look more into different topics and reinforced the knowledge I gained. Overall I found the internship to be beneficial to my education and professional skill set."


Megan A. Dupnik  Megan Dupnik interned with Drs. Kiersten Wise and Charles Woloshuk at Purdue University (2013)

"My internship experiences gave me the knowledge and training I needed to take the next step forward for a graduate degree. They taught me a variety of skills, gave me more hands-on experience than I could get in classroom labs, and were the major factor as to why I got into my graduate program. They helped me learn what I wanted to work on, where my education was going, and what career I wanted. When I started I had no idea what I was going to do, where I wanted to be. Now I am a TAMUK graduate and I am finishing my first semester as a UGA graduate student."


  Dale Herrington interned with Dr. Greta Schuster at TAMUK (2013) & Dr. Ron Heiniger at NC State University (2014)

"During my first summer internship, I got firsthand experience in planning my own field trial and learning how to put together a test plot with the bare essentials to prep the ground and plant the crop. There were a lot of new experiences and firsts for me, like planning and executing my own plot design ... On my second summer internship, I got to experience the complete opposite side of the spectrum, working with technology such as gps-controlled planters ... The two internships helped me decide on what I was going to do after I graduated in December 2014.  I had made up my mind to choose a career in agriculture research, so that I can help in the development of new seed technology and better drought tolerance. I am currently working as a Cropping Systems Research Specialist."


  Alvaro Garcia interned with Dr. Kiersten Wise at Purdue University (2015)

"My internship at Purdue helped me finalize my decision to attend graduate school. During my stay I got to work with both field and lab practices of plant pathology in corn, soybeans, and wheat. I had worked with genetics in sorghum the summer before, but after seeing what goes on with plant pathology out in the field, I want to pursue a master's degree in plant pathology in corn."


  Victor Gutierrez interned with Dr. Greta Schuster at TAMUK (2014)

"The internship helped me learn efficient irrigation methods that can be used on test plots. As I work for Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), I now know the meaning of water conservation. It helped me meet people in industry as well as academia, which goes a long way in the Texas A&M system. Through this internship I have experienced ways to plant, cultivate and harvest corn as well as potatoes through instruction and guidance of Dr. Greta Schuster. This Internship has impacted my respect for agricultural science and was a great educational experience."


  Kameron Koepp interned with Dr. Ron Heiniger at NC State University (2014)

"I met some great people and leaned a lot about farming and crop research. When I came back to my family farm in Texas I was able to help my father try different ways of farming to produce a better crop on the farm."