Bhiravi Rathinasabapathi, 2011 Agriscience Award

Written by on September 25, 2011 in 2011, Agriscience Award, Student

Bhiravi Rathinasabapathi

Bhiravi Rathinasabapathi

Eastside High School
Gainesville, Florida

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation are honored to have awarded the achievements of the 2011 $5,000 Agriscience Student’s Award Columbus Scholar.

Bhiravi Rathinasabapathi is a student who has spent most of her life in Gainesville, Florida. Her interests include science, service and literature. She developed an interest in science at an early age, starting with an elementary school science project on soft rot in potatoes. Over the years, she has studied various topics in plant biology, including the genetics of high-temperature stress tolerance.

She is currently researching the biofortification of crops with iron. Biofortification is the breeding or genetic modification of plants to increase their nutrient content. Bhiravi is examining the effects of the overexpression of a ferritin gene on plants’ iron content and biomasses. This research may eventually lead to an iron-biofortified crop. Such a crop would combat anemia, which affects an estimated two billion people worldwide. For her research, she was selected as a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search and has received various awards at regional and state levels.

Bhiravi has been involved in many other activities during her high school years. She volunteered at a hospital and started a club to support Room to Read, an organization that provides educational resources to children in developing countries. Her interests in English led her to become president of her school’s creative writing club and a member of the National English Honor Society. She is also a National Merit Scholar. Bhiravi will continue her education at the University of California, Berkeley in the Fall.

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation is honored to have had the assistance of the following distinguished individuals serving on the 2011 Agriscience Awards Evaluation Committee:

  • Robert W. Clark, Ph.D.
    Professional Personnel Development Center
    Workforce Education & Development Program
    Penn State University
    University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Gary Matteson
    VP Young, Beginning, Small Farmer
    Programs and Outreach
    The Farm Credit Council
    Washington, D.C.
  • Meghan Mueseler
    Cargill, Inc.
    Wichita, Kansas
  • Pat Earle
    McBee High School
    McBee, South Carolina


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