Up, up and away to China!

by Brittany Carter


Benedictine University offered a chance for College of Science students to conduct research in China. Dr. Cheryl Heinz, Director of Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, and Dr. Steven Day, Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages, selected five students to join them in Beijing for a month to conduct research on both pollination and pollinators.

These students will have the opportunity to travel with all expenses covered due to a grant from the ASIANetwork-Freeman Student Faculty Fellows Program that will help sponsor the trip to Beijing, China for our faculty and students. Students Elizabeth Do, Bichnu Le, Firdous Moin, Kyle Turcic, and Sivaranjini Velanthottukoottale will be a part of the Insect Pollinators in China: Survey of the Main Characters and Exploration of Floral Cues. Each student will gather research on a different pollinator such as the genus Apis (honey bee), non-Apis bees (bumble bees and solitary bees), butterflies and moths, and flies and beetles.

The students chosen were highly recommended and are science majors. It was required that the students chosen were science major due to the research that would be conducted. Both Heinz and Day will examine the research collected by Benedictine students, and the student collaborators will produce a significant article for a major publication. The students also plan to blog in order to keep local students up-to-date with their research conducted and results found. They plan to present their findings to the Benedictine University community and conferences in the Chicago area as well.

This will be the second time Benedictine has had the opportunity to take students to China to conduct a study such as this. Day has previously chosen two students in the past to take advantage of an opportunity offered by a similar grant. Heinz and Day have to continuously apply for grants as they are not offered every semester. They are working on making this opportunity available every semester, as they are aware that a chance such as this is life-changing for students.