Students partner with our community
UW-Stevens Point students serve the greater good of Central Wisconsin while
simultaneously gaining real-world experience in their field. The collaboration
between academics and the community has proven especially rewarding for one
student. Alexandrea Ollhoff, a
Biology student from Merrill, Wis., extended her education beyond the classroom
by participating in several academic and extra-curricular activities that will
make a positive impact on Central Wisconsin.
spent last summer working for the Central Wisconsin Resiliency Project. The
project works to identify and foster cooperative efforts in Central Wisconsin
aimed at creating an environmentally, socially and economically secure future.
Community development focuses on food, energy, ecosystems, waste and water. By
working at community gardens, Ollhoff was able to combine her academic
knowledge to meet the needs of the Stevens Point community. She donated fresh
produce to the HOPE Center and provided outreach to young people by encouraging
involvement with sustainable community development. “We had preschoolers come
to the gardens and we taught them where their food came from,” said Ollhoff.
“They were amazed.”
At the 2012
College of Letters and Science Undergraduate Research Symposium, Ollhoff
presented her project, “Just Wheat a minute! Hormonal analysis in tall and
short Wheat lines.” The presentation
featured research she conducted on food genetics. “It’s good to get the community involved and
inform citizens,” Ollhoff said.
research recently received a grant from the United Soybean Board, which allowed
her collaboration on soybean genetic research with Biology Associate Professor Devinder
Sandhu to be published in Functional & Integrative Genomics.
“The soybean is a Wisconsin state crop, so it’s nice to increase knowledge
about it. It’s also good to know your research will help people locally,” said
to sharing her findings locally, Ollhoff had the opportunity to represent
UW-Stevens Point by presenting a poster at the International Plant & Animal
Genome Conference in San Diego, Calif. The Plant & Animal Genome Conference
expands on recent developments and future plans for plant and animal genome
projects. With an attendance of nearly 3,000 people this year, Ollhoff had the
opportunity to network with global scholars, professionals and government
agencies on behalf of UW-Stevens Point and the community.
Ollhoff’s participation in extra-curricular activities
resulted in a successful undergraduate experience at UW-Stevens Point. Her
academics and community involvement have been awarded through grants and
scholarships and ultimately have led her to an interest in graduate research in
horticulture, plant genetics and plant sciences.
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