Hattiesburg student at MSU selected for prestigious D.C. program

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Carter Holland
Carter Holland
Photo by: Russ Houston

STARKVILLE, Miss.--A biological sciences doctoral student at Mississippi State will be part of a special Sept. 8-10 government orientation program organized annually by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Carter G. Holland of Hattiesburg is among only 20 university representatives from around the country selected to attend the organization's 2014 Student/Postdoc Hill Day in Washington, D.C. During the all-expenses-paid stay, he and other participants will take part in an orientation session focused on the federal budget process.

Holland is a May summa cum laude biochemistry/pre-medicine graduate of MSU now in his first semester of the biological sciences doctoral program. He is the son of John and Joan Holland.

Sponsored by the ASBMB Public Affairs Advisory Committee, the ASBMB program seeks to teach young researchers how the government works and involve them in science advocacy. The visiting students will assist the society in stressing the importance of government-funded research during meetings with congressional representatives on Capitol Hill.

Holland said he looks forward to networking with peers from other leading major research universities, as well as national leaders.

"It truly is an honor to be representing Mississippi State, and knowing that the entire Bulldog family is supporting me is a huge blessing," he said.

Holland said he specifically plans to discuss findings from his research on the relationship between diabetes and heart disease. The diseases are especially prevalent among Mississippians, the Forrest County native added.

Expressing gratitude for the patience and support of academic advisers Donna Gordon and Jamie Stewart, Holland emphasized that "none of what I am currently doing would be possible without them."

Gordon is an associate professor and Stewart is an assistant professor, both in the biological sciences department of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Watching these two incredible professors has inspired me to become a college professor," Holland said. "Working with them has taught me that each student is important and can have an impact on the world in which we live."

Stewart said he and Gordon continually have been impressed with Holland's "depth of knowledge and insight, attentiveness to detail and depth of curiosity."

"Carter has shown on countless occasions that he is able to effectively communicate the importance of his complex scientific work to an audience of his peers, and now, that list will include members of Congress," Stewart said.

He said ASBMB Hill Day should "not only afford Carter an excellent opportunity to hone his communication skills on a national level, but also advance him towards his passion of being an educator at the college or university level."

Dean Gregory Dunaway said the College of Arts and Sciences also is "extremely proud of Carter Holland for being selected along with a handful of other top graduate biological sciences students in the nation to participate in an opportunity to meet with congressional leaders in Washington, D.C."

Dunaway said the college, MSU's largest academic unit, "is committed to providing its students with the very best opportunities to conduct research, and professors Donna Gordon and Jamie Stewart are to be commended for their mentorship of Carter Holland."

Information on the College of Arts and Sciences is found at www.cas.msstate.edu.

MSU is online at www.msstate.edu. Also, follow the university at www.facebook.com/msstate, as well as on Instagram and Twitter @msstate.

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 05:00