UMD Students Win Big at the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) National Conference

UMD MANRRS National Conference Participants

Image Credit: Dr. Evelyn Cooper

April 16, 2018 Samantha Watters

Adeola Adeoye, a senior Nutrition major, took first place in the competitive research poster competition earlier this month at the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) 33rd Annual Career Fair and Training Conference. This national conference is designed to foster inclusion and advance MANRRS members in their academic and professional fields, while providing opportunities for students to network, interview with interested organizations, develop leadership skills, and demonstrate their current skills and abilities. Miriam Tasker, senior Environmental Science and Technology major, also led a team of students to a second place overall finish in the quiz bowl, giving UMD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) a commanding presence at the national event.

The research poster contest provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to gain experience in presenting their research before an audience of peers, researchers, and professionals. Adeoye’s presentation entitled “Body Fatness Measures for Local South Asians in Relation to National Cutoffs Used for Disease Intervention: A Pilot Study” sought to address the biases in standard measurements used to classify an individual as healthy or unhealthy predominantly based on data from people of European descent. The findings may provide a better understanding of body fat measures in South Asian populations and how to assess overall health in these populations.

Adeoye is a Banneker Key Scholar, AGNR Peer Mentor, as well as a MANRRS member. “It was amazing to be rewarded for all the hard work that went into completing the project,” says Adeoye. “Being at the MANRRS conference was my first time seeing other students present their research, and it allowed me to learn how to integrate my academic work into a professional setting.” Justan Randolph, a senior Environmental Science and Technology major and MANRRS member, also presented a research poster in the noncompetitive poster event.

The MANRRS quiz bowl event is designed to increase and test the knowledge of MANRRS members on a variety of topics. This year’s quiz bowl team, the Terror-pins, was comprised of Tasker as team captain and MANNRS Secretary, Jade Walls: junior Animal Science major, Trey Marbury: freshman Animal Science major, and Sagar Desai: freshman Agricultural and Resource Economics major.

“Competing in MANRRS quiz bowl was a fantastic experience, says Tasker. “We were asked questions about agricultural economics, biology, soil science, chemistry and MANRRS history. We were a well-rounded team with different strengths, and were able to function as a cohesive unit while both having fun and maintaining focus. With the help of Latisha Judd, MANRRS co-advisor, we were able to make our practices simulate a hyper-competitive environment, which gave us an edge in each round of the competition. We were very proud to have placed 2nd out of 27 teams.”

Other student participants at the various conference events included Michaela Mealy: senior Environmental Science and Technology major and MANRRS President, Nathaniel Carter: Physics major, Jarvis Scott: Animal Science graduate student, and Latisha Judd: Animal Science doctoral candidate and MANRRS co-advisor.