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MSU agricultural students sweep state science competition


MSU agricultural students sweep state science competition
Photo by Kevin Hudson

Eight Mississippi State University students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences swept the oral and visual display competitions at the 82nd Mississippi Academy of Sciences annual meeting.

Rebecca Humphrey, an undergraduate student in animal and dairy sciences from Sarah, placed first for her undergraduate poster.

Master's students Hunt Walne and Zhongyue Yang placed first and third in oral presentations, respectively. Walne also placed first in the visual display competition. Walne, a native of Collierville, Tennessee, is an agronomy student under the direction of Raja Reddy, a research professor in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Yang, a native of China, is pursuing a degree in animal and dairy sciences and conducts research under Assistant Professor Shengfa Liao.

Five students placed in the doctoral category:

  • Chathurika Wijewardana placed first in the oral presentation and visual display competition. She also won the second-place award for graduate-level overall competition. She conducts agronomy research under the direction of Reddy.
  • Firas Alsajri placed second in the visual display competition. The agronomy student also works under the direction of Reddy.
  • Nitin Dhowlaghar placed first in outstanding journal publication and third place in oral presentation. The India native currently works as a postdoctoral associate and earned a degree in food science, nutrition and health promotion under the direction of Associate Research Professor Ramakrishna Nannapaneni.
  • Naqeebullah placed third in oral presentation and visual display. The agronomy major is a native of Pakistan and under the direction of Reddy.
  • Bhupinder Singh placed second in oral presentation. The India native is majoring in agronomy under the direction of Reddy and Assistant Research Professor Daryl Chastain.

Wijewardana and Salah Jumaa, both agronomy doctoral students in plant and soil sciences, also received the Honor of Excellence in Biomedical Sciences representing the Mississippi IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence scholars. Jumaa is a native of Iraq conducting research under Reddy.

Caption: Mississippi State University winners at the Mississippi Academy of Sciences include (first row, l-r) Bhupinder Singh, Chathurika Wijewardana, Grace Adegoye and Naqeebullah; (second row, l-r) Raja Reddy, division chair; Hunt Walne; Salah Jumaa; Firas Alsajri and Nitin Dhowlaghar.

Dated: 4/25/2018