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Reaching Out: PDPS Hosts Reception at PSA Annual Meeting

Three women and two kiosks in front of an open reception room

It’s always good to try something new – and it’s even better when you know it’ll work. That’s what Jesse Grimes, director of Graduate and Certificate Programs, and Natasha Dillon, Graduate Services Coordinator, were thinking as they planned to hold a Graduate Student Reception at the 2018 Poultry Science Association (PSA) Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX.

The “main goal” was simple, said Grimes: “to present our department, especially our graduate programs, to prospective graduate students.” He added that it was also “a gathering opportunity” for PDPS students and faculty.

Grimes expressed his gratitude to all of the graduate students and faculty who supported the reception and especially thanks Natasha Dillon, Lynn Strother, Marissa Herchler, Dannica Wall, Viviana San Martin Diaz and Marilyn Mayer for making the event happen.

A crowd of people in a reception
PDPS faculty, staff and students mingle with reception guest

This was the first time PDPS hosted an event at PSA, but there was reason to assume it would go well. PDPS hosted a reception for graduate students at the 2018 IPPE in Atlanta. It was a great success, bringing PDPS faculty, staff and students together with poultry industry members, prospective students and NC State alumni. Grimes hoped to repeat that success in San Antonio. He did – and then some.

The reception, held in the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, was an evening opportunity for networking and (re)connecting. More than 55 attendees signed in and mingled over hot hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Dillon said that more than a dozen attendees indicated an interest in PDPS graduate study on their sign-in form.

[A]n awesome idea that brings potential new students to the department.

lejandro Cordova, a Ph.D. student working with PDPS faculty member Edgar Oviedo, enthusiastically endorsed the reception, appreciating being able to talk with different professors and getting to know more about colleagues.

He added that the reception “is an awesome idea that brings potential new students to the department [to] be part of the Wolfpack…and create personal bonds with the PDPS family.”

PDPS graduate students and guests around a table
(left to right): Yvo, Viviana San Martin Diaz, Ivan Camilo Opsina-Rojas, Maria Camila Wisaquillo, Ivan Gustavo Garcia, Gustavo Quintana Ospina, Yewande Fasina (N.C. A&T)

It was good to share different points of view.

Viviana San Martin Diaz, another of Oviedo’s graduate students, echoed Cordova. “I had the opportunity to talk with students from other countries and to know a little more about other students’ impressions and opinions. It was good to share different points of view,” she said.

As Grimes and Dillon continue to pursue new ways of promoting PDPS graduate programs, networking receptions will stay on their go-to list of ideas. With the successes they’ve had so far, there’s reason to believe the future is rosy for graduate study in the department.