CFAES Give Today
Office for Research and Graduate Education

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


14 Interns Complete the 2023 OSU Research Internship Program

Aug. 7, 2023
2023 ORIP Interns and CFAES Coordinator, Alexis Didinger and Faculty Advisor, Dr. Michelle Jones in front of the Wooster Science Building

From Avi- and Roca-Hepeviruses to Beech Leaf Disease to Twospotted Spider Mites, the work that the 2023 OSU Research Internship Program (ORIP) cohort got to be a part of represented the diverse collection of research that takes place on the CFAES Wooster Campus. For 2023, 14 interns participated in the program, mentored by researchers from six different departments and centers, including: Animal Sciences, Center for Food Animal Health, Entomology, Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI), and Plant Pathology.

ORIP is a competitive internship opportunity for graduating high school seniors and current underclassmen at college or university. The goal of this program is to expand research opportunities for local students and to enhance their interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). An ORIP internship will introduce participants to a variety of scientific areas of study through laboratory and field-based research experiences, weekly lunch and learn sessions, and a final symposium. The program is managed centrally through the CFAES Office for Research and Graduate Education (R&GE) and coordinated by Alexis Didinger, Administrative Associate (R&GE) and Faculty Advisor, Michelle Jones, Professor (HCS).

ORIP Students sitting around a square table configuration in a conference room a lunch and learn session with Dr. Douglas Jackson Smith and Dr. Melanie Lewis-IveyOver the course of the internship the cohort participated in eight different lunch and learn sessions. These sessions were designed to inspire connectivity between interns and allow for networking amongst the participants and CFAES faculty members, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students. Each week, interns gathered and casually discussed the progression of their research over a meal. Halfway through the session a speaker took over and gave a brief overview of their research or their field of study. 2023 speakers included:

  • Dr. Ashley Leach, Entomology
  • Dr. Ajay Shah, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Dr. James Altland, United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service
  • Dr. Douglas Jackson-Smith, School of Environment and Natural Resources  
  • Dr. Melanie Lewis Ivey, Plant Pathology
  • Dr. David Francis, Horticulture and Crop Sciences

New for the 2023 year, ORIP interns were joined at each lunch and learn session by SROP interns who were housed on the CFAES Wooster Campus. SROP, the Summer Research Opportunities Program at Ohio State, is designed to help historically underrepresented students explore opportunities for graduate study and academic careers. SROP runs for 9 weeks overlapping ORIP.

Students on the 2023 CFAES Wooster Campus Tour hearing from Amy Miller, a PhD Candidate in Plant PathologyThe ORIP and SROP interns were also invited on a CFAES Wooster Campus tour, provided by the CFAES Wooster Director’s Office. The tour kicked off with lunch and an introduction to our campus by Dr. Andy Michel, Associate Dean and Director of the CFAES Wooster Campus. Next, the students took a tour of the Wooster Science Building with Erick Martinez Rodriguez, a graduate teaching assistant in Entomology, before being whisked away to the Secrest Arboretum. We then challenged Jason Veil, Curator of the Secrest Arboretum, to provide a quick tour of the Secrest gardens.

ORIP Interns on the 2023 CFAES Wooster Campus Tour with small jars of honey from the Bee Lab

The next stop on the tour was the Bee Lab where Dr. Reed Johnson, Associate Professor of Entomology, gave a lightning talk on the research that takes place in the Bee lab. Students got to observe a hive and even got tiny jars of honey to take home! Afterward, the participants were toured around the Student Activities Center by Jordan Roemer, the Recreation Sports Specialist.

The vans then departed for Snyder Farm for a closer look at the Apple Disease Management Research that Amy Miller, a PhD Candidate in Plant Pathology, is conducting. Jon Witter, Associate Professor at the Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI), and Brian Gwin, Special Projects and OFFER Program Director, met the students next at the Barnard Road Bridge to speak on water quality. The last official stop on the tour was the Equine Center. Dr. Sara Mastellar, Associate Professor at the Ohio State ATI, introduced the interns to some of the horses in the stable and the research that was taking place there. ORIP interns enjoying milkshakes on the Wooster Campus Tour 2923

No busy summer day would be complete without a quick stop for ice cream. On the way back to campus the tour made its way to Guerne Heights for ice cream cones, milkshakes, or Italian ice to cool off.

ORIP came to a wrap on July 21st at the ORIP Final Presentations Luncheon. The event was held in the Wooster Science Building. Dr. Gary Pierzynski, CFAES Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education & Director of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, offered opening remarks.

Throughout the duration of the 10-week program, interns had been working with their mentors and the faculty advisor to write a report detailing their research topic, methods, and findings, due at the end of the program. Students were allotted 10 minutes to present on their summer research. Faculty mentors, lab staff, SROP interns, and family members were in attendance to support the 2023 ORIP cohort and to score a free pizza lunch!

ORIP intern presenting their research findings at the 2023 ORIP Final Presentations LuncheonThe work that was presented at the 2023 ORIP Final Presentations Luncheon was impressive to say the least. It was hard to believe that the interns had only been shaping their projects for 10 weeks, as their depth of knowledge was remarkable! A complete list of student projects is available below. Stay tuned to the R&GE social media (Facebook and Twitter) accounts for highlights of the ORIP interns and their summer research projects, coming soon!

ORIP will return to the CFAES Wooster Campus in summer of 2024, but the CFAES Office for Research & Graduate Education will be on the search for mentors and speakers this winter. If you are interested in participating in the next cohort, keep your eyes peeled for our announcements to submit potential research projects, coming this winter.

Lastly, we want to thank everyone who made ORIP 2023 possible. From mentors, to speakers, to housing and logistics it took many hands to make this year a success. Your work did not go unnoticed and was greatly appreciated.  

2023 ORIP Intern Projects

Madeline Altland
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chris Ranger
Department: Entomology
Impacts of water stress on tree susceptibility to exotic ambrosia beetles

Brayden Beath Gateley
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Anastasia Vlasova
Department: Center for Food Animal Health
Research: Rotavirus A Employs Unique Strain Specific Cell Attachment & Entry Mechanisms

Marion Dix
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Francis
Department: Horticulture and Crop Science
Research: DNA-based polymorphisms to select for disease resistance in plants

Maeve Florence-Smith
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mitchell Roth
Department: Plant Pathology
Research: Exploring Features of Colletotrichum fiorineae and Beech Leaf Disease

Paola M González Lamourt
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Luis Cañas
Department: Entomology
Research: DNA identification of fungus gnat species impacting gourmet mushroom farms

Emily Greenland
Faculty Mentor: Catherine Herms & Jason Veil
Department: Horticulture and Crop Science
Research: Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera Sampling at Secrest Arboretum

Jacob Hofstetter
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Scott Kenney
Department: Center for Food Animal Health
Research: Determining the Replication and Infectivity Potential of Genetically Diverse Avi- and Roca- Hepeviruses within Placental JEG-3 Cell Line

Katherine Jones
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sara Mastellar
Department: Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute
Research: Effect of meal feeding frequency on the behavior of individually stalled horses

Juliette Maisonave
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Luis Cañas
Department: Entomology
eDNA Detecting the Green Peach Aphid

Rosetta Morgan
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michelle Jones
Department: Horticulture and Crop Science
Research: Effect of Co-Cultured Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria on Insoluble Iron Phosphate Uptake in Tomato and Marigold

Melany N. Muñiz Rosa
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ashely Leach
Department: Entomology
Research: Monitoring and Detecting Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) in OH vineyards

Kiara R. Pérez Feliciano
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Luis Canas
Department: Entomology
Research: The Use of eDNA to detect the Twospotted Spider Mites

Logan Pope
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chanhee Lee
Department: Animal Sciences
Research: Effects of supplementation of nitrate and lactate on nitrate reduction, rumen fermentation, digestibility, and methane production in a batch culture

Madeline Watson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Uttara Samarakoon
Department: Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute
Research: Evaluation of Liquid Organic Fertilizers for Containerized Production of Leafy Greens in a Controlled Environment

Article by Alexis Didinger