United States Department of Agriculture funded a new project to create a nationwide organization of universities to train future bioeconomy workforce. The project- Consortium for Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Education (CABLE) is led by the Ohio State University in partnership with 20 other colleges and universities including Oklahoma State University (OSU). The goal of the project is to train students to pursue leadership roles in bioeconomy-related industry and academia.
Joanna Quiah, a junior Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering student, is OSU’s delegate for the 2017-2018 CABLE program. Dr. Ray Huhnke, Director of Biobased Products and Energy Center, is serving as Quiah’s mentor for a series of leadership development experiences.
Ms. Quiah and Dr. Huhnke, together with other students and mentors from across the nation, recently attended a leadership workshop at the 2017 Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference on Next Generation Technologies (ABLC Next) held last October 16-18, 2017 at San Francisco, CA as part of the CABLE program. The 2017 ABLC Next conference brings together leaders in the advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals in order to explore emerging Bioeconomy topics. Ms. Quiah met industry executives and leaders in the bioeconomy and attended various sessions, panels, and networking events during the conference.
“ABLC Next showcased an impressive list of speakers which included bioeconomy developers, researchers, investors, policy makers, and industry leaders including Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. The conference also included a networking event where bioeconomy stakeholders from all over the world meet face-to-face,” Quiah said. “I gained more in-depth knowledge about bioeconomy from biomass producer to post consumer. I also learned that the leaders of the bioeconomy are extremely passionate about their work, and that this passion combined with advancements in technology are pivotal to the growth of the industry,” Quiah added.
Ms. Quiah also attended the CABLE leadership workshop. “During the workshop, I gained valuable knowledge about effective leadership habits and how to use them to address challenges in bioeconomy. This workshop also served as a way to get to know all of the other delegates,” Quiah said.
Throughout this school year, Quiah will regularly participate in webinars and will network with CABLE peers to write a paper on the various career pathways in the bioeconomy that will be presented during the Spring 2018 CABLE meeting at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Quiah will also organize one engagement project in OSU campus designed to provide education and awareness about the bioeconomy. “I’m hoping to make more students and faculty aware of the current state and importance of the bioeconomy, and have them recognize their roles in making Oklahoma become a leader in promoting its advancement,” Quiah said.
After completion of this year’s CABLE training, Quiah will serve as a mentor along with Dr. Huhnke, to the next student delegate selected for OSU. “I will be a resource to them as they organize their own campus project, and answer any questions they may have, utilizing my experiences from this year,” Quiah said.
“Ultimately I hope to better myself as a leader, student, and stakeholder of the bioeconomy. We, the student delegates, have been provided with an abundance of resources to grow ourselves through various connections, skills, and knowledge. My goal is to take full advantage of these opportunities and turn them into assets for the university,” Quiah said.