The Society for In Vitro Biology has established several initiatives to support the professional development of our student members. These initiatives include: free registration at the annual meeting, travel awards, research presentation competitions, direct involvement with committees and program planning, and the inclusion of sessions at our annual meeting that promote student professional development. In the next several issues of the In Vitro Report we will include testimonials from students who have benefited from these student initiatives. Please remember that these student initiatives are possible due to the generous financial support of our membership. If you would like to help support the professional development of our student members, please use the following link to make a donation.
My association with the Society for in Vitro Biology began in 2002 when the IAPTC & B meeting was held in Orlando, FL. Being a graduate student at a UF research center in Homestead, FL, this was an ideal opportunity for me as a student to attend this conference, interact with researchers and know more about plant-biotechnology related research. I enquired with my professor about attending the meeting but he said he did not have the money for registration. SIVB came to my rescue and offered free registration in exchange for volunteering at the front desk and checking badges at the conference room doors. Thus began my “love affair” with the society, which has played a major role in shaping my career for the past 14 years.
I was awarded a student travel award in 2003, which enabled me to defray travel costs to Portland, OR. I graduated in 2004 and started attending conferences/meetings as a post-doctoral research associate. I was very fortunate to have a post-doctoral advisor in Dr. Dennis Gray, who encouraged me to attend and present my research at SIVB every year. Dr. Gray having a long association with SIVB, mentored me to play an active role in meetings; I have attended every single meeting for the past 13 years (excluding 2011 when I was between jobs). Oral and poster presentations at SIVB meetings gave me the confidence to face experts in the field but the greatest satisfaction was meeting the researchers in person, whom I previously knew only through research papers and books. My fruitful association with the society was also recognized when I was awarded the 2013 Young scientist award in Providence, RI.
Having joined as a faculty at the University of Wyoming, I’m continuing the tradition of asking my students to present their research; my first graduate student will present his research this year. I am convinced that the society’s policy of encouraging students by providing free registration and student awards plays a major role in allowing students to attend meetings, which would otherwise not be possible. In essence, the society is building the future generation of researchers by enabling their effective interaction with the scientific community at a very early stage in their career.
Sadanand Dhekney, PhD
University of Wyoming