The West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design will welcome Prema Arasu, a leader in biomedical research, public policy and global health, as its inaugural Davis-Michael Distinguished Lecturer and keynote speaker for its annual graduate research conference.

Arasu, professor in the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University, will present “Students in the Modern Land Grant University: Looking back, Looking around, Looking forward” as the keynote address for the 20th Annual Davis College Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholarship Day. Her presentation will begin at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, on the second floor of Evansdale Library.

Arasu’s expertise spans biomedical research, education, public policy, global health, international affairs and leadership at the nexus of business, government and community. Her previous appointments include: CEO and vice provost of Kansas State’s Olathe campus; vice provost of international programs at Washington State University; and director of global health initiatives, associate vice provost for international academics and professor in the department of molecular biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University.

During her 15-year tenure at North Carolina State, Arasu was awarded the 2002-2003 science and technology policy congressional fellowship through the American Association for the Advancement of Science and served on the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Health. Arasu has a track record of scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, and has led domestic and multinational collaborations in diverse disciplines with funding from various agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture and United States Agency for International Development.

Arasu’s presentation will be one of many highlights during the Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholarship Day. This staple event in the Davis College provides a unique forum for graduate student researchers to share their scholarly work and enhance their professional development.

Research will be presented through one of two ways: an oral presentation or poster. Research and creative scholarship are the two categories that will be recognized at both the master’s and doctorate levels. All portions of the event are free and open to the public, and will be held on the second floor of Evansdale Library. The schedule for the day (April 5) will be:

• M.S. Posters – 8:15 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
• Ph.D. Oral Presentations – 8:10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
• Davis-Michael Distinguished Lecture, Prema Arasu – 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
• M.S. Oral Presentations – 1:15 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.
• Ph.D. Posters – 1:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
• Three-Minute Thesis Presentations – 5:00 p.m.

Arasu will also present a seminar centered on human and animal health and disease trends on the following day, April 6, titled “Thinking Differently About Disease and Ecosystem Health: Active Zika in The Americas to contagious cancer in Tasmania, what next?” This session is also free and open to the public, and will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in room 1001, Agricultural Sciences Building, Evansdale Campus.

The Davis-Michael Scholars program, established to support the pre-veterinary medicine program within the Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences in the Davis College’s School of Agriculture and Food, is made possible through a generous gift from the late Gladys Gwendolyn Davis and Vivian Davis-Michael, Morgantown sisters who made the bequest to promote the improvement of veterinary medical care in West Virginia. The scholars program is the outcome of their love of animals and desire to support quality veterinary care in West Virginia.

For more information on the Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholarship Day, contact Peter Butler at For more information on the Davis-Michael Scholars Program, contact Tammy Blake at



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