Creating a set of diverse experiences

Creating a set of diverse experiences

Belinda Heckman (global resource systems, dietetics) is interested in almost everything. She has literally taken her adventure around the world and applies her background in production agriculture to the new things she sees to form a comprehensive picture of food systems. In fact, it was a semester abroad program along the Nile in Uganda, Africa, working with Amaranth and other pseudo cereals, that most prepared her for her latest internship with Plant Genetic Resource Aide Organization: NCRPIS (North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station).

In this internship, Belinda is building on the knowledge from her time in Uganda but through the viewpoint of research. She is learning about research methods, genetic diversity preservation, and production of nutritionally dense foods. Though Belinda’s primary task is helping manage production of seed on the Pseudo cereal crew at a USDA Seed Bank, she is also reading literature, doing mini experiments, and completing tasks in the right way the first time to prevent future issues. All these skills are providing Belinda a foundation to serve the community through nutrition.

Everything is a learning experience for students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Students apply what they have learned in class to a variety of settings that help them refine their career path and help them prepare to enter the workforce.