HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Friday, more than 800 scientists from all parts of Mississippi came to USM’s Thad Cochran Center to attend the 82nd Annual Mississippi Academy of Sciences Meeting (MAS).
“So, this is basically the largest gathering of science students and educators in the state, and this is an opportunity for a lot of students to present their research in front of faculty and also exchange information with other folks from other universities,” USM Professor and Director of Mississippi INBRE, Mohamed O. Elasri.
USM graduate student, Justin Batte said this meeting offered an invaluable experience.
“It's really growing me at a professional level because I am able to interact with these people that I typically would not interact with,” Batte said. “I stay in a lab most of the day doing research so... It really allows you to expand your ability to have a professional conversation with someone about research and science as a whole.”
Friday’s meeting held nearly 300 oral presentations along with 200 poster presentations. Elasri says the most rewarding part for him is watching the students grow.
“You just look at the level of enthusiasm. Especially during the postal session because that's where they get to shine, and so it's always fun to go and talk to the students, and they are very enthused about the work they've been doing and working on for months,” Elasri said. “You just tell from the level of excitement and enthusiasm they appreciate this, so it's been very positive overall.”
USM students also lead Mississippi with 21 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists.