Approximately 800 researchers, professors and students from across the state converged on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi for the 82nd Annual Mississippi Academy of Sciences meeting held Feb. 22-23 on the Hattiesburg campus.
This annual conference, sponsored in part by Mississippi INBRE, consistently attracts hundreds of attendees representing every institution of higher learning in the state to celebrate the research being done in Mississippi. According to the MAS Executive Director, Dr. Hamed Benghuzzi, this year’s meeting had something for each person there.
“This year, the level of abstract submission in every division was phenomenal. The increase in the number of symposia and mini-symposia with highly credentialed speakers arranged by various divisions this year was outstanding,” said Benghuzzi.
The MAS Meeting was especially beneficial for student attendees. The meeting not only allows for a large number of student presentations, but also provides recognition for the top undergraduate and graduate presenters through awards sponsored by Mississippi INBRE and Millsaps College.
“MAS is beneficial for students because it provides an accessible forum for students to present research,” said Dr. Tim Ward, Interim Associate Dean of College, Associate Dean of Science and Professor of Chemistry at Millsaps College. “The most talented students often think they need to seek out opportunities outside of Mississippi. MAS is important for student retention as it shows them many of the great opportunities within our state.”
While the MAS Meeting is highly beneficial for students, the benefits of such a meeting can be felt throughout the state as this provides opportunities for researchers to learn from each other and build beneficial partnerships.
“This conference is a great opportunity for Mississippi faculty and students to come together and share their scientific findings. It is also great for networking and creating relationships amongst our scientists,” said Elasri.