Humility. Mentors. Passion.
Janice E. Chambers of Mississippi State used those three words recently to emphasize what years of experience have taught her about the critical factors necessary to complete quantifiable scientific investigations.
Director of the university's Center for Environmental Health Sciences and a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Environmental Health Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, she was featured speaker for the land-grant institution's 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Chambers' pesticide research has garnered more than $20 million in federal funding and the results of her investigations are nationally recognized.
The symposium is sponsored annually by the Shackouls Honors College, with this year's event recognizing 14 students for their research accomplishments.
A team of 25 MSU faculty members representing a cross-section of academic areas judged the projects.
Chambers told the students that, no matter the research areas they're completing in the future, they must remain humble and be willing to do the seemingly insignificant jobs repeatedly because those tasks help lay a true foundation for meaningful scientific study.
"Research is for the people who enjoy discovery and want to see something new," Chambers said. "You need passion. Don't get into research if you don't enjoy it; you have to enjoy discovery, and it has to be something you want every day."
She also emphasized the importance of mentors. Having five or six people who know and understand the field and care about helping a new researcher can be critical to developing the skills to study at even higher levels, she emphasized.
In addition to the honors college, the symposium is sponsored by the offices of Research and Economic Development and the Provost, along with the Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence and MSU Extension Service.
The top 2014 URS winners include (by the six project categories):
ARTS AND HUMANITIES
FIRST--Senior English major Daniel C. Hart of Oxford, the son of Anthony and Traci Hart.
SECOND--Senior human sciences major Jordan N. Holley of Corinth, the daughter of Myres and Lori Holley.
THIRD--Senior English major Hannah J. Humphrey of Burnsville, the daughter of Roland Humphrey of Burnsville and Tacey Locke of Iuka.
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING--VISUAL DISPLAYS
FIRST--Senior animal and dairy science major Taylor A. King of Bentonia, the daughter of Joseph and Tamra King.
SECOND--Junior forestry major Zachary A. "Zach" Senneff of Caledonia, the son of Trent and Bonni Senneff.
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING--ORAL PRESENTATIONS
FIRST--Senior biological sciences major Connor J. Denison of Collierville, Tenn., the son of Mitchell and Terri Denison.
SECOND--Senior animal and dairy science major Blaire O. Fleming of Clarksville, Tenn., the daughter of George and Margaret Fleming.
FIRST--Senior Katherine E. Abell of Madison, Ala., a wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major and the daughter of David and Susan Abell.
SECOND--Senior industrial engineering major Lucy N. Ly of Biloxi, the daughter of Chau Ly.
THIRD--Katherine P. Hester of Tupelo, a 2013 cum laude graduate in anthropology and the daughter of Kevin Hester and Teresa Moses.
PHYSICAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
FIRST--Junior physics major John K. "Kris" Madsen of Starkville, the son of John and Carolyn Madsen.
SECOND--Senior electrical engineering major Ravinder Singh of Hampton Grove, Ala., the son of Amarjit and Deepinder Singh.
THIRD--Senior physics major Cameron S. Clarke of Jackson, the son of Janie and Stuart Clarke.
FIRST--Senior Katherine E. Abell of Madison, Ala. [See COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT].
SECOND--Senior sociology major Sarah B. Rutland of Jackson, the daughter of Barbara Rutland.
THIRD--Katherine P. Hester of Tupelo. [See COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT].
For more about the Shackouls Honors College, visit www.honors.msstate.edu
Information about MSU is available at www.msstate.edu.