Getting Ready for Global Seminar

This past week at GSA, the students were divided into their groups for the Global Seminar project they will be working on for the month. The five topic areas for the project are global food security, food safety, childhood obesity, climate change, and bio-energy. Each project group includes one student from each of the five majors and focuses on a specific subtopic within the topic area. For example, one group of students researching the topic of childhood obesity will be writing about the feasibility of implementing the National Farm to School Network in U.S. schools.

Since their arrival, students have heard lectures from the perspectives of an agricultural economist, an expert in the field of sustainable energy, and a professional in the world of meat science. Even this early on in the program, these talented students are beginning to understand how integrated all of these apparently separate disciplines are, as well as how the knowledge they acquire in these classes can be applied to their research topics. As the project groups begin to work more closely together to achieve their goals and experience life as future scientists and leaders, the students will learn the importance of teamwork, discipline, and communication.

Over the course of the month here at VT, each project group will work together to create several final products to be presented at the Research Symposium that will occur at the end of the program. Students will write a 10 to 12 page research paper, create a brochure, design a large poster display, and make a Powerpoint to supplement their oral presentations. The research project will certainly test students’ skills as scientific writers, leaders, and orators as they collaborate with others to complete each of these tasks, but I’m certain that they are all up to the challenge!

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Students visited the Newman Library computer lab and learned how to conduct research using scholarly journals and other library resources.

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