I chose Florida State University because of the conducive environment for learning and the networking opportunities for career advancement.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
My strong desire to develop the capacity for global impact in my field of study.
Importance and impact of research
Are you aware of starch in dry beans? Yes, starch is the major carbohydrate component in dry beans. Dry bean starch is resistant to digestion, and that is one of the reasons dry beans stay longer in your stomach. Dry bean consumption is globally on the increase based on three factors: low glycemic index, low calories, and high nutritional benefits. The health benefit of a dry bean is associated with the presence of resistant starch, fiber, proteins, phenols, vitamins, and minerals. Dry beans contain about 60% to 70% total carbohydrates on a dry wet basis, and the majority of carbohydrate is starch (22% to 45%). Food products made from dry beans have their physicochemical properties attributed to their starch components. Knowing this to be true, dry bean starch can be an alternative source of starch. My work is to isolate starch from different types of dry bean and to study their functional and physicochemical properties and how they can possibly be used in our food products.
To become faculty at a research institution and make a positive contribution in my field of study and ultimately develop the capacity of others for global impact.
Advice for anyone considering graduate school
Know yourself, know your prospective mentor, and know what you want. Fail, fail, fail, and fail again until you succeed. The more you master failure, the closer you are to success. Failure is part of success.
Accomplishments during graduate career
I developed an improved method of dry bean starch isolation and have isolated starch from twenty different types of dry bean and still counting. I have also published and presented my research at scientific conferences. This experience provides a sense of fulfillment in contributing to the knowledge already existing in the area of carbohydrate research.