Alex Abare, a senior from Columbia, SC, receives a travel grant from the George Miller Armstrong Plant and Environmental Sciences Program as well as the Wigington Scholarship.
Alex has always been fascinated with the greener revolution and the idea of starting his own business. His hard work and dedication led him to obtain an internship this past summer at The University of California, Davis under Doug Cook. Through this internship, Alex engaged in research on optimizing the relationships between plants and bacteria to make them as productive as possible in their natural soil environment. The knowledge gleaned from the research Alex participated in will be carried out in Ethiopia in the future.
We asked Alex a few questions about his life at Clemson, his future career goals, and what being able to attend this internship experience meant to him! Check out his answers below!
What is your major (and minor if applicable) and how did you choose it?
I am majoring in Plant and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Agronomy. My minor is Plant Pathology. I chose my field of study because sustainability is an important concept and I wanted to puruse a major that embodied sustainability principles in either fuel or food production.
Why did you choose to attend Clemson University?
I chose to attend Clemson University because it offers the most comprehensive agricultural program in the state of South Carolina.
What is your favorite class?
My favorite class has been PES 4900 - Beneficial Soil Organisms. I was able to apply classroom theory to a real life setting during my internship at University of California, Davis.
What has been your best experience at Clemson University?
My best experience has been initiatiing the Tiger Gardens Creative Inquiry - PES 4960/70. Over the past two semesters, our team has constructed a raised bed vegetable garden system on campus and is currently constructing a similar garden for Pendleton Elementary School. I enjoy the hands-on nature of these projects.
What are your future goals?
After graduating in May 2017, I plan to begin a highly diversified small-scale farm operation in the Greenville area that focuses on mushroom, hop, and organic vegetable production.
What are some extracurricular activities that you are involved in?
I am an employee at the Student Organic Farm, previous predident and returning memeber of the Clemson Agronomy Club, and involved with two Creative Inquiries: Biointegrated Greenhouse and Tiger Gardens.
What does the scholarship you received mean to you?
Being an independent student, I work hard to maintain my grades while avoiding student loans. It is often difficult to do both. Fortunately, the Wigington Scholarship and travel grant through the George Miller Armstrong Plant and Environmental Sciences program has enabled me to allocate more time to my academics and other activies this year.
This has been edited for length and clarity.