A Tarleton State University graduate student received the highest award possible for her research presentation and school leaders finalized two new academic partnerships during September visits to Poland.

Sarah Shawver, a graduate soil science major at Tarleton, returned from the 7th International Scientific Symposium for Students of Agriculture with the Grand Prix Award for Best Research Presentation. Co-sponsored by Tarleton, the conference took place Sept. 15-17 at the University of Life Science and Technology in Bydgoszcz.

Slightly more than $56,000 (50,000 euros) in new funding approved this week from Erasmus+ will help Tarleton continue its ongoing partnership with the University of Life Science and Technology in Bydgoszcz, and new agreements with the University of Warmia and Mazury and Krakow Agriculture University create collaborative research and student/faculty exchange opportunities.

Erasmus+ is part of a European Union student exchange program that supports education, training, youth and sports.

“This new Erasmus+ funding will allow Tarleton and the University of Life Science and Technology in Bydgoszcz to strengthen an already strong relationship to the benefit of both institutions, their faculty and students,” said Dr. Barry Lambert, associate vice president for research and dean of Tarleton’s College of Graduate Studies. “We currently have students from the University of Life Science and Technology on the Tarleton campus, and we expect to have Tarleton students studying in Bydgoszcz very soon.”

Lambert and Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio traveled to Poland to sign the new agreements while students and professors from the university’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences participated in the scientific symposium in Bydgoszcz.

Six Tarleton graduate students presented at the symposium. Shawver’s research centered on the variation of bacterial communities within a soil map unit.

“We are extremely proud of our students for conducting the kind of quality research that’s being recognized at the international level,” said Dr. T. Wayne Schwertner, head of Tarleton’s Wildlife, Sustainability and Ecosystem Sciences Department. “It’s a great time to be a Tarleton Texan as we build a strong, worldwide reputation in agricultural and natural resource research.”

Other Tarleton presenters in Bydgoszcz and their research topics:

Anna Laurent: “Omega-3 Fatty Acids Fed to Sows Influence Piglet Inflammatory Response” Amy Okichich: “Acute Toxicity of Gossypol on Northern Bobwhites” Chelsea Matlock: “Sub-dermal, 72-mg Slow-Release Melatonin Effects on Mare Estrous Induction” Danielle Belleny: “The Effects of Restoration on Reproductive Success and Breeding Microhabitat of Northern Bobwhite in North-Central Texas” Trevor Farthing: “Costal Bermuda Grass Suppression in Texas Grasslands.” Faculty mentors accompanying the students were Drs. Donald McGahan, Kim Guay, Jim Muir, Jeff Breeden and Jeff Brady. Brady was a keynote speaker at the conference, addressing “Cloning Maturity Genes in Sorghum Bicolor.”