On behalf of my mosquito research, I have attended three conferences with Dr. Gee and my research partner. Overall, attending these conferences are not only a fun way to network outside of Longwood, but they help me develop professional skills that I can use for a lifetime.
In January 2019, I attended the 72nd annual Virginia Mosquito Control Association conference in Virginia Beach. The student who had the project before me participated in a student poster competition, and I was invited to support her. By attending this conference, I got to speak to graduate students and network with professors from other schools who were doing similar research on disease vectors. After realizing that my project was just as impressive as graduate-level work, it made me excited for the work I was going to do.
On January 25th, 2020, I attended the first annual Network for Undergraduate Research in Virginia Conference at Hampden-Sydney College. My partner and I did our first oral presentation on our research, while also watching other undergraduate students present from colleges all over Virginia. This conference was a wonderful and local opportunity to share our work with peers. Also, we were able to practice speaking and presenting in front of an audience to better prepare for future conferences.
On January 27th – 29th, 2o2o, I attended the 73rd annual Virginia Mosquito Control Association conference in Virginia Beach. This time, my partner and I submitted our work to the student poster competition, and we ended up winning 4th place. The conference allowed my research team to network with mosquito control municipalities across the state of Virginia. Also, we were able to learn about current research being conducted in public health, stormwater management, and mosquito control that related to our project. Since I attended this conference after my research, I was able to take away more from the speakers. For example, I actually understood their methodology and I was more knowledgeable about their equipment because I could connect their research with my own experiences.