Three West Virginia University students recently presented their research to a diverse group of veterinary professionals at the annual scientific meeting for the American College of Veterinary Radiology.

Meenakshi Mukherjee, a doctoral candidate in genetics and developmental biology, and Bethany Cain and Ben Stewart, both undergraduate students in animal and nutritional sciences, traveled to Savannah, Ga., in mid-October to participate in the conference.

Founded in 1961, the organization strives to enhance and promote the highest quality of services in diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology, to optimize veterinary patient care, and to advance the science of veterinary radiology and radiation oncology through research and education.

The organization currently has 518 board-certified veterinary radiologists and radiation oncologists serving veterinary professionals, pet owners and their animals, and is the world’s leading authority in veterinary diagnostic imaging.

Among them is Jeryl Jones, DVM, professor of animal science in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, who mentored the students and accompanied them to the meeting.

With this being the first year Davis College students have presented their research at the annual meeting, Jones was extremely pleased with how the students represented the College.

“Ours were the only Ph.D. and pre-veterinary students to present during the poster session. All other posters were presented by radiology residents,” she said. “The majority of scores recorded by the judges for our students were ‘good’ to ‘very good’ and that’s an impressive accomplishment.”

Jones believes attending meetings and conferences like this is important experiential learning for students interested in science careers.

“Preparing an abstract and poster or oral presentation motivates students to assume more ownership of their research,” she explained. “Attending the meeting allows them to share their research with a large audience, get feedback on ways to improve, network with other students, meet potential future advisers or employers, and be exposed to new ideas.”
For Cain, a senior from Bridgeport, W.Va., this was her first experience presenting her research on a national level.

“To be recognized among so many accomplished veterinarians and veterinary residents was an amazing experience,” she said. “Being one of two undergraduate students at the conference, I got a lot of attention for having the courage to be part of something that I had little experience with compared to others attending the conference.”
The trip was supported by the Davis College Faculty Enrichment Grant, the Davis-Michael Foundation and the Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences.

-WVU-

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CONTACT: Lindsay Willey, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
304.293.2381, Lindsay.Willey@mail.wvu.edu

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