Wednesday, October 26, 2016

bc_2016_student_cunningham_alexusColumbia, SC -- October 26, 2016 -- Alexus Cunningham, a senior biology major at Benedict College from Laurens, SC, was selected to travel to Singapore this summer for an 8 week paid summer research internship at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). While at NTU, Alexus conducted a virology research that focuses on a coronavirus, commonly known as infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). It is a highly infectious avian pathogen which affects the respiratory tract and the reproductive systems of poultry, leading to decreased egg production and poor egg equality.

Alexus was one of the six students selected from the state of South Carolina for this international internship. The program was funded through a National Science Foundation (NSF) International Research Experience for Students (IRES) from Clemson University and the South Carolina-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (SC-LSAMP) program. “My research experience in Singapore was truly life changing,” said Alexus. “Not only did I develop good research skills but I also developed great communication, leadership, social, and teamwork skills. It was a pleasure to have been chosen for such an amazing opportunity.”

At Benedict College Alexus has worked under the mentorship of Dr. Samir Raychoudhury, Professor and Dean, School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and has learned many research techniques that she used at NTU in Singapore. This work experience has enabled her to hone her in experimental design, critical thinking, instrumentation, and analytical skills. Dr. Raychoudhury quotes, “Last year around this time I assisted her to apply and then submitted my letter of recommendation for this junior biology student. I couldn’t be more excited that Alexus got selected in the NSF-IRES scholarship program directed by the Clemson professor Dr. Frank Alexis.  At times she got frustrated about the volume of paperwork that she had to complete. I did whatever I could do for her to stay on course. I am certain that her international experience will make a positive impact in her academic and personal life. Ms. Cunningham has a strong potential to become successful as a Power for Good in the Twenty-First Century.”

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Contacts:
Kymm Hunter, Assistant Vice President for Communications and Marketing; 803.705.4519 Kymm.Hunter@benedict.edu
Carolyn Wigfall, Communications and Marketing Manager; 803.705.4366 Carolyn.Wigfall@benedict.edu

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