By Melissa Dossett
Our team was super excited to get right back to work on our cod and beef research this year! We met (some for the first time) with bright and shiny faces, ready for anything that might come our way. Including…having two posters ready in under a month! While team members such as myself and a few others were not too worried about this, it was a different story for the rest of the team. Most of them are freshmen or sophomores who have never participated in a formal research conference before, and/or it was their first semester with the team. Thus, a senior team member and I were put in charge of the Cod team, and another experienced member was put in charge of the Beef team. Due to the fast approaching deadline, it felt a little like: “Ok, we need two posters: Cod team, Beef team, GO”. Luckily though, our team has amazing mentors that supported us through this experience. Nonetheless, we were ready and willing to take on the challenge. Our team really rallied and got so much done in so little time. I only participated in my first conference last semester, so I was worried about coordinating a team so soon, but luckily, I had a great team to work with. I also think that by being thrown into this so fast, our team learned how to work well together in a short amount of time.
We ended up getting both posters done in the nick of time, and they were awesome! Then, came my personal favorite part–presenting. I get really excited to share with people things that I have worked hard on and I could tell my team members were excited too. I presented the Cod poster with Daniela Trevino, Emily Bandy, and Somer Smith. This group of girls in particular really complimented each other well, as each knew certain aspects about the research that maybe another wasn’t as clear on. When asked about her first conference experience at A&M, and with the team, Emily said, “I had a great experience presenting our data on salted cod. Seeing the research with everyone’s poster there made me really excited for all the things we can do with our research!” Additionally, Somer stated that, “Having the opportunity to present a research poster with my peers was amazing! I was able to tell others about our project and learn about all of the other projects being conducted at A&M.” Echoing what Somer mentioned about learning about the other projects, this is something I really enjoyed as well! We were placed next to a group who’s poster we were really interested in, and vice versa.
I think experiences like these are what really brings our team together and reminds us why we were passionate about joining the team. It also shows that together, we are able to accomplish tasks that may seem daunting!