Students Learn from Firsthand Research

Sharing his love of plants and honeybees comes naturally to Dr. Don Trisel, Professor of Biology. Over the past few years, more than a dozen students have had their first exposure to scientific research by studying the genetics and diseases of honeybees. “None of the work that I do is earth shaking. I’m not going to win a Nobel Prize or anything like that, but the students are getting an experience in taking a problem and trying to address it. It’s a valuable process for them to go through,” he says. Don knows his students on a first-name basis and takes a personal interest in their education and goals. He and his wife Kim invite students to their Farmington home to study their hives -- and then to stay for fellowship around the dinner table. Don believes in building connections. “Hopefully to my students I’m not just someone who comes in and talks at them for 50 minutes and sends them home,” he says. The state’s beekeepers also benefit from the work of Don and his students, who have made many presentations about their projects and findings. One of his students, Jaime Ford, was so inspired by Don’s passion for honeybees that she now has two hives at her own home and is conducting her own research. Jaime holds a degree in Animal and Veterinary Science from West Virginia University, but she came to FSU to enroll in the Science Education program. Here’s a comment she posted on Facebook: “I’m so very excited about beginning the second trial for my honeybee research. I can’t explain it but it is satisfying from a ‘this is what I was meant to do’ point of view.”