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Jen Burks and Leila Nyberg

Jen Burks and Leila Nyberg

In September of 2010, Jen Burks and Leila Nyberg were awarded travel grants to go to Beijing, China to attend the "US-China Joint Symposium on Energy, Ecosystem, and Environmental Change." Both students stated the trip lent incredible value to their graduate school experience by enhancing both their professional and personal development. With respect to professional development, they delivered oral presentations on their research, and learned valuable information by hearing international researchers speak on a myriad of topics. They also toured the State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, and the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences (Chinese Academy of Sciences). Additionally, Jen and Leila were giving the opportunity to develop international collaborations with both students and faculty that share similar research interests.

To compliment the academic rigor of the trip, both students had the chance to experience the country's culture and history and expand their international perspectives. They were treated to a Chinese Cultural Evening at Laoshe Teahouse, where they enjoyed a family-style dinner, drank lots of tea, and watched a showcase of traditional entertainment, including Beijing Opera, acrobats, and music. On the final day of their trip, they toured the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

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