2 min read
Group photo of SerPIE ASEMP 2019 participants

SerPIE-ASEMP – Synergistic Efforts to Reduce Pharmaceutical Impacts on the Environment – Agricultural Science Extension Mentorship Program for Undergraduates

At a Glance: SerPIE-ASEMP

  • Program Date: June 3–July 15, 2019
  • Program Locations: Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Alabama (5 weeks) and Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee (1 week)
  • Stipend: $1500 for six weeks (travel, meals, and lodging provided)
  • Support: USDA-NIFA grant #2017-38821-26426.

Eight undergraduate students from across the country traveled to Huntsville, Alabama and Nashville, TN for the second SerPIE-ASEMP program. Taking place from June 3–July 15, 2019, we introduced students to Cooperative Extension, a host of science-based careers, and the issue of pharmaceuticals in the environment.

Students enhanced their STEM-based skill set through practical applications and experiential learning. They worked on projects aimed at innovating educational resources needed to arouse citizen interest in conservation issues related to an array of study areas. They also utilized an ELISA test kit (Abraxis, Inc) to detect levels of carbamazepine and sulfamethoxazole in the East Fork Stones and Cumberland Rivers of southern Tennessee. The program culminated with a 3-day workshop at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana, AL and formal presentations summarizing the mentees’ experiential learning experience.

SerPIE-ASEMP 2019 wasn’t all work. The group took time to enjoy Alabama’s scenic beauty and abundant natural resources through canoeing and fishing. They also toured local attractions like the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.

Program Photo Slideshow

Participant Testimonials

What did you like most about SerPIE-ASEMP 2019?

  • That the program was packed with activities that I really enjoyed.
  • It was a great program.
  • It was a wonderful opportunity for me. I learned so much.
  • All the new experiences.
  • Interacting with all the Extension staff and mentors.
  • The mentors were very engaging.
  • Learning about Extension and new career opportunities.
  • All the things that I learned about pharmaceuticals and personal care products.

What did you like least about SerPIE-ASEMP 2019?

  • It was not long enough.
  • I liked everything about the program.
  • I really enjoyed the program.

How could SerPIE-ASEMP be further improved?

  • The program was amazing. I wish it could have lasted longer.
  • I wish that I could participate in the program again.
  • Nothing. I am so grateful for this internship.
  • This internship was my greatest blessing this year.

Extension and Faculty Mentors

Alabama A&M University Faculty/Extension Mentors:

  • Karnita Garner (Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences)
  • Paul Okweye (Environmental Chemistry)
  • Sampson Hopkinson (Biology)
  • Tamara Warren (Human Nutrition, Diet and Health)
  • Wubishet Tadesse (Remote Sensing/GIS)

Tennessee State University Faculty/Extension Mentors:

  • Sam Dennis (Soil and Water Quality)
  • Richard Browning (Animal Science)

External Mentors

  • University of Arizona — Dr. Bryan Carter (Africana Studies)
  • Maria Leite-Browning (Animal Science and Forages)
  • Extension Agent Mentors
  • Roosevelt Robinson (Montgomery, Al)
  • Allyson Shabel (Decatur, AL)
  • Phillip Carter (Dothan, AL)
  • Jack LeCroy (Mobile, AL)
  • Marcus Garner (Madison, AL)

Student Mentor

  • Ravneet Kaur

Thank You Partners

The Agricultural Science Extension Mentorship Program (ASEMP) is a collaboration between the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama A&M University, and Tennessee State University; supported by USDA-NIFA grant #2017-38821-26426. (United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture)​.

SerPIE Logo

Partner logos: USDA, NIFA, Alabama A&M University, Tennessee State University