Hometown: Kot Kapura in Punjab, India
Major: Doctorate Student, Entomology
Anticipated Date of Graduation: December 2020
Why did you decide to come to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
My advisor Joe Louis and our lab research focus are the two main reasons of why I am at UNL. I was very much interested in pursuing my doctorate research on plant-insect interactions. Louis’s mentorship reviews made a great combination with my research interests.
What is your favorite thing about University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
Coming to UNL for my doctorate degree is one of the greatest things that happened in my life. Particularly, great opportunities for professional development and gaining soft skills, along with innovative research is my favorite thing about UNL.
How has diversity and inclusive excellence played a role in your CASNR experience?
UNL provides us an exceptional experience of working with folks from different parts of the world and gives us opportunities to learn other cultures. In my opinion, this is very crucial for professional development in this highly connected world. Specifically, CASNR makes us realize “We all belong”.
What is your favorite class you have taken so far and why?
My favorite class is insect control by host plant resistance, ENTO 409/809 taught by Joe Louis. I took this class in spring 2017, my first semester at UNL. This course covers the basic concepts and understanding of plant defense mechanisms and strategies to insects and this is what my all research about! The most interesting thing about this course is to understand how concepts of different subjects like entomology, plant physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology are integrated to develop novel pest management strategies.
What are your plans post-graduation?
At this moment, I am very much open towards both academia and industry. It just depends on the opportunity and right timing.
What’s life like outside of school?
In this COVID-19 era, life is not so great outside school. I used to attend most of the UNL student events, participate in outreach events and hang out with friends. Now, I stay home for most of the time to help with social distancing. I am thankful to all who maintains social distancing and use masks, they all are contributing to a safe and healthy world.
Sajjan is also a recipient of the following scholarships: the Shear-Miles Graduate Fellowship, the Warren and Edith Day Graduate Student Travel Award, the Outstanding Graduate Student Award by Gamma Sigma Delta-Honor Society of Agriculture: Nebraska Chapter, the Graduate Student Research Mini-grant Award, the Larrick/Whitmore Graduate Student Travel Grant, the Myron H. Swenk Travel Grant, the Widaman Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, the Fred Clute Memorial Fellowship, the Dean’s Fellowship, the Milton E. Mohr Biotechnology Award, the Wirth/McGowen Memorial Fellowship, first place in Datapalooza 2019 Big Data Analysis Competition, the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America Graduate Student Scholarship, the NCB-ESA Travel Award and the Hardin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship.