The following is a letter the Society received from Tracey Ruhlman, a student who attended the meeting this year. It is clear that this was a rewarding and valuable experience for her.

– David Songstad


12 July 2005

Society for In Vitro Biology
514 Daniels St., Suite 411
Raleigh, NC 27605

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to thank the Society for In Vitro Biology for providing me with the opportunity to attend and present my work at the 2005 meeting in Baltimore, MD. I believe that participation at professional meetings should be an integral part of the graduate student experience. Having the chance to interact with other students and meet with established investigators helps to broaden our horizons and facilitates advancement in a way that only face to face networking can. Being selected as the 2005 John Song Award recipient not only assisted with the expense of attendance, it has helped to cultivate in me a sense of confidence and pride that will color my endeavors in research as well as in the larger community.

Through funding from my program at the University of New Orleans (UNO) I was able to present preliminary results from my thesis research in chloroplast biotechnology at the 2004 World Congress on In Vitro biology in San Francisco. I am ever grateful for the corporate sponsorship that allows the Society to waive registration fees for student participants. While I was especially fortunate to receive travel funds from the university, the additional corporate support filled the gap. While in San Francisco I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Henry Daniell, whose work I had been following in the course of my project. His lab at the University of Central Florida (UCF) is world renowned for work in chloroplast biotechnology and I had hoped to make his acquaintance at the meeting. Next month I will receive my MS in Biological Sciences from UNO and am pre-enrolled at UCF as a doctoral candidate in Biomolecular Sciences under the direction of Dr. Daniell.

This is one example of the kinds of opportunities fostered by the Society and its corporate sponsors. I hope that my story will encourage future support for student participation in the Society for In Vitro Biology. The impact the Society has had on my career is of immeasurable value and I look forward with anticipation to the day when I am able to reciprocate by making a substantial contribution in my field.

Tracey A. Ruhlman
Department of Biological Sciences
University of New Orleans