RICHMOND, Va. — Two Virginia State University students, Arrieyana Cartier and Magan Ester, presented their research at the 2nd annual “Research Showcase at the Capitol.” This event, hosted by the Virginia Academy of the Science on January 23, 2017, promoted undergraduate research in Virginia. Students presented results and progress of their research conducted at the Agricultural Research Station of VSU’s College of Agriculture.
Cartier and Ester work with Drs. Yixiang Xu and Edward Sismour in the Food Processing and Engineering Program at the ARS. Cartier, a senior with a double-major in family and consumer sciences and biology, is studying differences in nutritional qualities between sweet potato varieties of various colors (purple, orange, yellow, and white).
This is a collaborative effort between FPEP and Sustainable and Urban Agriculture Program led by Extension Specialist Dr. Leonard Githinji. Cartier hopes that her work will benefit Virginia producers and consumers through increased knowledge of sweet potato nutritional attributes.
Ester has earned a bachelor’s degree and is working on her certificate in dietetics. Her research focuses on the effects of different processing methods on various properties of isolated chickpea protein. She hopes that results will inform food processors interested in working with this important legume.
Both students were at the Virginia Capitol to display their posters showing the results of their research and answering questions from delegates and other students. Cartier was excited to see the scientific work conducted by her peers in other parts of Virginia and said she was “impressed by the quality of their research.” She was happy to meet Del. Roxann Robinson, a representative for Chesterfield County, who made a special point of seeking out the students from VSU.
This was Ester’s first time presenting her work to the public, and she said, “It was a big learning experience.” She was excited to see how interested the representatives were in the work being presented at the meeting, and she appreciated learning about how scientific work is taken into consideration during the legislative process.
— Virginia State University College of Agriculture