Eastern Student Awarded American Society of Plant Biologists Fellowship

Roshani Budhathoki ’19 and her mentor, Biology Professor Vijaykumar Veerappan.

By Anne Pappalardo

Eastern Connecticut State University student Roshani Budhathoki ’19 was recently awarded a summer undergraduate research fellowship from the American Society of Plant Biologists.

The ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows program funds promising undergraduate students so they can conduct research in plant biology over 10 weeks during the early part of their college careers. The scholarship includes a generous stipend, funds for research supplies and a travel grant to attend the 2019 Biology Research Conference in San Jose, CA, as well as a two-year ASPB membership.

The scholarship is a nationally competitive award. Budhathoki is one of only three awardees selected from the “Primarily Undergraduate Institution” category. She is also a recipient of Eastern’s Department of Biology’s Marc Freeman Summer Research Scholarship. Budhathoki has given oral presentations of her research work at several professional conferences, including the American Society of Plant Biologists-Northeast Section Meeting and the Eastern Colleges Science Conference. She received best oral presentation awards at both conferences, and also presented at Eastern’s on-campus research conference in the spring.

“When Roshani approached me in Fall 2017 to do independent research in my lab, I accepted her without hesitation because she was one of the best students in my genetics course. Roshani is passionate about plants and her long-term goal is to get a Ph.D. in plant breeding and genomics,” said Budhathoki’s faculty mentor, Biology Professor Vijaykumar Veerappan.

“I am looking forward to working on this project this summer and will hopefully present my findings at the 2019 annual ASPB meeting,” said Budhathoki. “This fellowship will help me continue my proposed research – it’s a wonderful opportunity to gain research experience and hands-on training while I am preparing to apply for graduate schools.”

“I am thankful to Eastern’s Biology Department for supporting undergraduate research. I found out about this fellowship from Professor Veerappan. Professor Ross Koning also assisted me in the application process and wrote a recommendation letter. Another great thing about the fellowship is that it welcomes international students like me.”