Making a Difference
I like research and science, but I wanted to do research that would help people. So, my research is focused on food traceability, which is becoming a hot topic in the food industry. Each year, it seems that food recalls are becoming more frequent and more severe. Because of this it is important, that government and industry have a way to trace and track these products. This is research that is practical and affects everyone.
I'm a graduate student in Industrial and Agricultural Technology in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and will be working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service in Washington D.C. after I graduate. I received my undergraduate degree in regulatory science with an emphasis on industrial health and safety from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Every summer since high school, I have interned at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service. This was part of a USDA/1890 Scholarship I received, which provided full tuition, summer internships and a full-time job after I receive my master's degree.
During my internships, I've worked in several different offices. I've worked with evaluations, conducted audits and worked in compliance and enforcement. Once, I even conducted audits in the middle of July in several beef processing plants in Texas. It made me appreciate my education, but also makes me feel safer about the food that I eat.
Club Participation Encourages Networking
I've been a member Minorities in Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) since 2004 and served as president of ISU MANRRS in 2007-08. It's been great because it provides a network of friends, mentors and professionals.
You Can Go Anywhere in Agriculture
There is often a huge misconception about agriculture, that it is only tractors and farming. When I mentioned that I worked for the USDA, my peers thought I would be working in a field in rural Arkansas. I told them USDA is very versatile and that agriculture can take you anywhere.