The first weekend in April, students from eight universities traveled to Virginia Tech’s campus to participate in the 2022 ASABE Southeast Regional Student Rally. The Department of Biological Systems Engineering hosted the event drawing more than 100 attendees. Participating schools included:

  • Virginia Tech
  • Clemson University
  • North Carolina State University
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • University of Florida
  • Florida A&M University
  • University of Georgia

The three-day event kicked off on Friday, April 1, with a packed agenda built for networking and learning. A favorite of the Southeast Rally is to designate the "most spirited" branch. Prior to their arrival, all ASABE student branches prepared a presentation of the activities, outreach, and programming they have conducted over the past year and shared them with their peers. Congratulations to the University of Florida who took home the title this year! 

The Rally planning was led by Virginia Tech Faculty Advisor Jonathan Czuba, PE, and Department Head Dwayne Edwards, PE, along with the 2022 Southeast Region officers:

President: Kendall Staunton (VT)
Vice President: Grace Rembold (OSU)
Secretary: Brooke Carter (NC A&T)
Treasurer: Mattie Wood (OSU)
Parliamentarian: Melvin Jordan (FL A&M)

The rally focused on helping students to develop their careers and build expertise. Three keynote speakers (Rusty Unterzuber, Marty Matlock, and ASABE President-Elect Keith Tinsey) underscored this theme. Rusty Unterzuber, a Virginia Tech alum, spoke of his career pathway and focused on encouraging and empowering students. Marty Matlock, senior advisor at the USDA, discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the agri-food system, and charged agricultural and biological engineering students to help create the solutions to these issues. Finally, ASABE President-Elect Keith Tinsey shared his ASABE experience and impressed upon the attendees the importance of engaging with a professional society.

Panel sessions were also conducted with recent and experienced alumni. They offered perspective on how to gain experience, assimilate in the workforce, pursue further education, and obtain professional licensure.

Julie Carrier, department head at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, spoke about the ASABE Annual International Meeting and also about an ASABE Initiative Fund that connects students through a networking approach at subsequent rallies.  A representative from the California/Nevada Student Rally and two representatives from the Midwest Regional Student Rally attended to network and collaborate. 

Networking was a cornerstone feature of the rally, and a design competition, scavenger hunt, and a capstone banquet provided opportunities. The water quality lab at the Human and Agricultural Biosciences building offered the perfect setting for students to create a filter to remove phosphates, nitrates, and sediment from a water sample. Students were given biochar, sand, clay, and woodchips to create their filtering system. A beautiful sun-filled day set the tone for tours of the biological systems engineering department, and the accompanying scavenger hunt encouraged participants to look for “cowgoyles” built in to the Hokie stone façade and take a stroll to the campus duck pond. 

During the 2022 business meeting, the University of Florida was selected to host the rally in 2023. The officers were also selected during the business meeting:

President: Nathan Bush (UF)
Vice President: Savannah Roth (UTK)
Secretary: Kevin Poole (FAMU)
Treasurer: Kennedy Belknap (UF)
Parliamentarian: Alexander Wynn (NC A&T)

All undergraduate ASABE student members are automatically members of the ASABE International Student Branch (ISB). The ASABE ISB represents more than 1,400 individuals and 120 academic institutions globally. To learn more about the ISB, contact Jasper Cunningham.

 

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