College of Agriculture students take home research awards

Published By: Latasha Ford April 9, 2019

Pictured (from left, front row): Lubana Shahin, Master of Science in biotechnology major; LaShombria Ellerbee, senior agricultural economics major; and Breyanna Morning, Master of Science in animal science major. Pictured (from left, back row): Dr. Daniel Blankenship, interim dean for the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology; Dr. Nirmal Joshee, professor of plant science; Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, coordinator and professor of the agricultural economics program; Dr. Thomas Terrill, associate professor of animal science; and Dr. Govind Kannan, associate dean for research.

Hard work and dedication in the classroom and laboratory allowed four Fort Valley State University students to win awards and cash prizes.

Graduate students Breyanna Morning and Lubana Shahin, along with undergraduate students LaShombria Ellerbee and Adelia McKinley, placed second and third at the Association of 1890 Research Directors (ARD) 19th Biennial Research Symposium.

The ARD symposium provides opportunities for scientists and students at 1890 Land-Grant Institutions to present research papers and posters that share innovative and practical research findings in the food and agricultural sciences.

FVSU students and faculty were among more than 1,000 participants to attend from March 30-April 3 at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida. This year’s theme focused on “Making Critical Contributions to Rural Prosperity and Solving Challenges in Food and Agriculture.”

Devoting her research efforts to this cause, Morning’s poster presentation on the “Screening of Lespedeza Germplasm for Forage Quality Indicators” led to a second place win. The Master of Science in animal science major also received a $200 cash reward.

Shahin, who is pursuing a Master of Science in biotechnology, earned third place and a $100 cash reward for her oral presentation on the “Evaluation of Five Drying Methods and Their Effects on the Physical Properties of Paulownia elongata and P. fortunei Flowers and Leaves.”

Additional awards went to agricultural economics seniors LaShombria Ellerbee and Adelia McKinley. Ellerbee took home second place and a $200 cash reward for her oral presentation on “Consumer Preferences for Goat Meat Attributes.”

McKinley won third place and a $100 cash reward for her oral presentation on “Factors Influencing the Demand for Goat Meat in the Southern United States.”

Adelia McKinley presents her research on the demand for goat meat in the U.S.

“To see our students shine and win awards is the greatest feeling for us as educators,” said Dr. Govind Kannan, FVSU associate dean for research. “I am proud of all of our students who presented their papers at the symposium and faculty mentors who groomed them.”

For more information about ARD, visit