Fulbright Fellowship finalist Jasmine Childress ’15 won the Meritorious Oral Presentation Award, a prize typically given to advanced graduate students, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists in Omaha, Neb., in June.
Childress was one of five FSC students who accompanied Associate Professor of Biology Gabriel Langford to the meeting, which draws biologists from around the world. Langford and students Ryan Countess ’15, Mitchell Francois ’15, Trey Iakovidis ’15, and Sean Rogers ’15 defended poster presentations of research conducted in Langford’s laboratory, while Childress gave an oral presentation of research conducted over the past two years.
“This was a huge coup for the lab,” Langford said. “The highlight of the meeting for our research group was Jasmine’s award, although all five students gave excellent presentations and expressed a strong interest in attending future scientific meetings.”
Childress was the only undergraduate at the meeting to win an award, which typically go to Ph.D. students. She presented a paper co-authored with Langford and Rogers, “Reproductive plasticity in the nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis: Is reproductive strategy dependent upon tadpole developmental time?”
Childress was the 2015 Honor Walk student. She will enter the University of California-Santa Barbara’s highly regarded Ph.D. program in parasitology in the fall on a full scholarship. Rogers and Iakovidis are also entering graduate school programs in the fall.
Langford said presenting research at the meetings of professional societies has numerous benefits for students, including networking for graduate and professional school, perfecting writing and presentation skills, exposure to cutting edge science, opportunities to attend career building and grant writing seminars, and a chance to interact on a deep level with world-wide experts.
“Upon returning to FSC, students share these experiences with their fellow students, who in turn are more curious about research and discovery. Overall, FSC benefits greatly from sending students and faculty to meetings, as this process increases the rigor of scholarship at FSC and opens new doors for students and the faculty that support their research efforts,” he said.