Vice President's Diversity Graduate Assistantship Spotlight: Tia Sanders
April 21, 2023
Tia Sanders is a doctoral student in the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences and a recipient of the Vice President's Diversity Graduate Assistantship, awarded through the Office of the Vice President for Agriculture.
Originally from Pensacola, Florida, Sanders earned a bachelor's degree in biology and nutrition and a master's in biotechnology from Alcorn State University. She decided to pursue nutrition and food sciences after her mother fell ill, which led her to pay more attention to the nutritional value of the foods around her.
"There are certain foods that are more cancer-related than others. Certain foods help benefit your body to help get you better, which influenced me to investigate what could speed up the recovery process," Sanders said.
Sanders is also the first student in an agriculture-related program to receive the prestigious National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship.
"I am very grateful for my fellowship because not many universities offer assistantships and fellowships. So, I am very appreciative to have the opportunity to gain new experiences and build new relationships while also having the funding necessary to further your career," she said.
With funding from her fellowship, Sanders is researching the health benefits of proteins found in hemp plants. She plans to use the soy protein present in hemp to make cheese.