Tesia Posekany has been awarded a highly-competitive National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellowship at Iowa State University.
Tesia, a sophomore biology major at Buena Vista University from Woodburn, will work this summer alongside Dr. Steve Whitham, a plant pathologist and associate professor at Iowa State University, to study plant-virus interactions and the effects of viruses on plant genes.
“I knew I wanted to pursue an opportunity that would allow me to experience a different, beneficial scientific environment,” Tesia says. “For my search, I focused on programs that involved plant science and/or genetics; however, the programs include focuses from all across the scientific discipline. I wanted to gain experience in my developing scientific discipline and also expand my contacts within this discipline.”
Dr. James Hampton, professor of biology at BVU, assisted Tesia in applying for this fellowship, which will provide her with a $4,400 stipend. Only about 15 students were selected for the program, and Tesia believes the BVU science program has prepared her well. It is her first career-related summer experience.
“This program will broaden my perspective of my chosen scientific discipline,” Tesia says. “It will give me an opportunity to work side-by-side with an expert in this field for 10 weeks. I will gain many skills and immense knowledge during my time at ISU. I feel that this program will aid me in identifying a more precise career path.”