“The future is in the hands of the young generation,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. Dedicated to education for over 30 years, Alltech inspires and fosters young students and scientists through interactive educational experiences and sustainable ideas. For the past five days, the Alltech 30th Annual International Symposium not only attracted over 2,000 professionals from around the world, but also recruited 190 students to participate in its journey of innovation.
The event kicked off with a special student welcome dinner on Sunday, May 18 at the Hilton hotel in downtown Lexington. Proud to represent their universities in this international meeting, students attended the dinner in colorful university t-shirts and logos. Among the crowd, there were Alltech internship students, Alltech Young Scientist competition finalists, Alltech campus ambassadors, and students representing 45 universities from around the globe. One of the student ambassadors from North Carolina State University, Danielle Wick, shared her Alltech story with the group:
Danielle was first made aware of Alltech as a freshman when she was given the opportunity to travel to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ and the 2013 Alltech International Symposium in Lexington, Kentucky. She was selected to be the Alltech campus ambassador, and worked hard to get over 250 students to apply for the Alltech Young Scientist competition from North Carolina State. She was highly regarded by her peers and professors and graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a minor in agricultural business management.
Following the opening session at the 2014 Alltech International Symposium, students were presented with the latest discoveries and participated in high-level discussions on topics ranging from Africa, to Life Sciences, to Algae, and Business & Technology, and networked with more than 2,000 industry professionals Kentucky Night at the Alltech Arena.
Among all of the great activities and opportunities, one of the most nerve-racking, though exciting activities of all was the Alltech Young Scientist final competition. There was unprecedented interest in the competition this year, with more than 8,500 participants representing the future generation of animal, human and plant health scientists. Eight regional winners representing Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America were awarded this expense-all-paid trip to attend Symposium, where they presented their research in front of a panel of international judges for the graduate grand prize of $10,000 (USD) and the undergraduate grand prize of $5,000 (USD).
Gillian Johnson from Ireland, who was named the global undergraduate winner, burst into tears when she walked off the stage during the award ceremony that was held in the closing plenary session. “My dream has come true! It is such a privilege to present my research and be awarded at the global level,” she said.
Lei Wang from China who studied in the USA, was the other winner for the global graduate division. “Thank you so much, Alltech, for having this awesome program. I have learned so much throughout the past five days. The prize is encouraging and inspiring for me to pursue a career in science in the future.”
With the closing plenary concluding the success of the Alltech 30th Annual International Symposium, our students are heading back home soon with knowledge, inspirations and enjoyment gained from this week. We wish them best of luck and success in their future!