The National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology (NanoEarth) often partners with the Virginia Tech Graduate School to help plan the annual Virginia Tech HBCU/MSI Research Summit. The goal of the summit is to explore research partnerships between HBCU/MSIs and Virginia Tech.

This year, NanoEarth hosted Byungjin (BJ) Min, Ph.D. and Elissa Hall from Tuskegee University. Min is currently a professor in Tuskegee University’s College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences within the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences. Elissa Hall is currently an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Food Science. Both attended the student and faculty in-person sessions at the summit, learning about research partnerships, graduate school, and research funding opportunities.

Elissa Hall’s favorite part of the summit was the personal tour given by Chevon Thorpe, Ph.D., Collegiate Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Hall was able to meet faculty and staff in the Department of Food Science and Technology and discuss graduate school opportunities.

Hall is currently the Vice President of the Tuskegee Food and Nutritional Science Club. She has performed research in partnership with Kansas State, working on millet enrichment in wheat bread. She is currently working on publishing a paper related to this work. She expects to complete her undergraduate degree in May 2024 with hopes to attend graduate school studying sensory science, food aversions, and food sensitivity.

Catherine Cotrupi and Elissa Hall
Catherine Cotrupi, Summit Organizer, with Elissa Hall
Elissa Hall with Chevon Thrope
Elissa Hall with Chevon Thrope from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Elissa Hall with the crane art
Elissa Hall with suspended paper cranes
Elissa Hall with a HokieBird Statue
Elissa Hall with the graduation HokieBird statue