CABLE Career Fair

The Consortium for Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Education is hosting its first virtual career fair on Thursday, February 4, 2021 from 10am-3pm (CST). The career fair will be attended by students from over 20 different universities across the nation.  A comprehensive range of industry, government, and university employers in the bioeconomy sector will be represented.

Students click here to register for the career fair.

Employers click here to receive more information.

Please contact biotechvcf@gmail.com with any questions.

Student Delegate Spotlight: Kyle Lang

“This year holds a potential for focused professional development which I’ve not yet encountered and I’m excitedly pursuing.”

Kyle Lang is the CABLE Delegate from the University of Missouri, studying Chemical Engineering. In our interview, Kyle talks about his serendipitous approach to the CABLE program and his experience attending BIO World Congress, this past July.

Q: What university are you attending and what are you studying?
Kyle: I attend the University of Missouri, Columbia -endearingly known as Mizzou- where I am working towards my bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. I independently combined our materials science and biochemical emphasis curricula to mirror my interests in this space.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Trail running has stayed with me my whole life but recently climbing became a huge focus that takes me on road trips across the country over breaks. Otherwise I’m reading, watching cooking videos, or planning other events with friends.

What attracted you to CABLE and what do you hope to gain from your experience?
Openly talking about my passion for innovations in sustainable materials and circular economics with my professors rather serendipitously brought me to my mentor, Dr.Wan’s, lab and subsequently to CABLE. This year holds a potential for focused professional development which I’ve not yet encountered and I’m excitedly pursuing. Almost more importantly though, I never had an example of where my aspirations or passions within chemical engineering and beyond could take me in my career. In meeting professors and industry professionals who make their livings working directly with progressive science such as that CABLE hopes to broadcast I’ve already gained confidence to continue on my track.

What are your career aspirations?
For me, scope and scale were always the goal posts in finding an exciting job related to the bioeconomy. I believe a lot of good can currently be done by influencing the way  we decide to package and formulate the products we use on a daily basis so I’m actively exploring CPG R&D positions. As the bioeconomy progresses however, there may be a massive increase in the production of commodity chemicals from biomass so I’m   not ruling out associated process design opportunities. Either way I’d like to eventually find a role driving these market forces from within companies and helping bridge the academic-industrial technology gap.

How do you think CABLE can help you in achieving your professional goals?
The executive management team developed a very direct, personalized, and well-rounded curriculum in professional development and already from the first conference the delegates learned so much to be applied to our job searches and work life. At the same conference I relished the unbelievable and personal exposure to industry leaders we enjoyed. More so, a diverse professional network is indispensable and by the way the delegates connected I know I will enthusiastically follow everyone’s lives. Together these aspects paint a promising future for everyone involved.

Student Delegate Spotlight: Millicent Yeboah-Awudzi

“The CABLE program is already equipping and shaping my leadership skills which is really essential in professional career.”

Millicent Yeboah-Awudzi is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences at Louisiana State University. Originally introduced to CABLE by the Cohort 2 Delegate, Chelsea Tyus, Millicent is already benefitting from the program and her experiences.

Q: What university are you attending and what are you studying?
Millicent: I’m currently pursuing a PhD degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My area of concentration is clinical and molecular nutrition with my research focused on bioactive compounds found in dietary fiber and its effect on inflammatory biomarkers in Type 2 Diabetes.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
In my free time, which I barely have nowadays, I love learning to cooking new dishes, hosting friends, watching action movies, enjoying music and dancing. I usually try and catch glimpse on soccer matches when I get the chance, but jogging and running around the lake is something I enjoy doing every Saturday morning.

What attracted you to CABLE and what do you hope to gain from your experience?
I was attracted to CABLE due to the substantial influence by Chelsea Tyus, a friend and a Cohort 2 delegate. After Chelsea’s few months with CABLE, she kept saying how good the program was and how much she was learning. I saw a change in Chelsea’s professional life especially how she handled herself and the leadership role as the then chair  of the IFT south central region. This is how I got to know of CABLE and developed interest. I couldn’t resist it when the opportunity presented itself, so I quickly jumped at it.

I had little knowledge of what Bioeconomy was although Chelsea had tried a few times to explain what it was. I felt I had to do more in order to contribute and represent my school well in this team. From the start of this program, my perspective about the program has changed and I can’t help but join Chelsea to say this is “really good”. I hope by the end of the program, I would be able to share and talk confidently about Bioeconomy and its importance.  Additionally, the Individualized Growth Plan (IGP), has been a great guide for personal and professional growth and I hope to yearly develop an IGP.

What are your career aspirations?
After my Ph.D. degree I would like to take up another challenge by acquiring some industrial experience in the short term  with either a food or nutraceutical industry. Due to my passion for international development, I would love to work with government and federal agencies on international food and health projects and consultancies. I have great passion for entrepreneurship, and in the long term I would love to establish a food incubator that can provide both technical and infrastructural support for the youth.

How do you think CABLE can help you in achieving your professional goals?
The CABLE program is already equipping and shaping my leadership skills which is really essential in professional career. My career aspiration of working with government agencies will definitely involve policies and CABLE is providing me with the opportunity to learn about policies and the importance of it. Also, I hope this platform will help expand my network and connect me to the right group of people who will be of help in achieving my professional goals. One thing I look forward to in completing my CABLE program is to have an internship opportunity. I believe with all this, my experience with CABLE will make great impact in achieving my professional goals.

Student Delegate Spotlight: Lily Lofton

“The CABLE program will help me achieve all of my professional goals by giving me a platform to grow my leadership, networking, and technical skills.”

Lily Lofton is the Delegate from Delaware State University where she is studying Plant Science and hopes to go on to pursue a doctoral degree in Plant Pathology. Read about what Lily likes to do in her free time and how she came to be interested in CABLE.

Q: What university are you attending and what are you studying?
Lily: I attend Delaware State University, located in Dover, DE. I am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree while studying plant science (agronomy concentration) and performing research in plant and fungal molecular genetics and epigenomics.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
In my free time, I appreciate spending time with nature: gardening, walking and running through parks, fields, and alongside rivers, hiking through gorges, kayaking, and relaxing on beaches or lakes. In addition, I love listening to live music and hunting for new and interesting restaurants and smoothie places to experience! When I have a longer span of free time available, I occasionally take road trips across the country, all the while experiencing and appreciating the diverse countryside, new destinations, and the time spent with loved ones.

What attracted you to CABLE and what do you hope to gain from your experience?
A cherished mentor of mine introduced and recommended me into the CABLE program. After slight research, I quickly realized the many benefits of the program. I recognized it as an opportunity to learn about myself and grow into my full potential, while also building valuable networking, leadership, and other soft skills. The program seemed to provide a platform for its delegates to stand on, where they would gain support, knowledge, experiences, and be welcomed into a network of amazing and diverse people. From my experiences with CABLE, I hope to gain all of these benefits that the program offers. I expect my soft skills, confidence, worldly understanding, network, and connections to skyrocket. In addition, the valuable experiences and teaching provided by the program with massively increase my tool belt and resources for use in all of my future endeavors.

What are your career aspirations?
After I complete my undergraduate degree, I would like to pursue a doctoral degree in plant pathology. Following this, I would be interested in government or industry research aimed at further understanding plant molecular mechanisms in response to abiotic and biotic stresses, with an ultimate goal at crop improvement and food/feed/fiber security. In addition, I am also very passionate about forest ecology and pathology, as well as soil health. It would be amazing to have the opportunity to travel to African countries, such as Ethiopia, and work with farmers and agricultural communities to improve soil and water management, use, and health, while ultimately allowing for enhanced crop production and ecosystem services.

How do you think CABLE can help you in achieving your professional goals?
The CABLE program will help me achieve all of my professional goals by giving me a platform to grow my leadership, networking, and technical skills. I will utilize these valuable skills while conducting research, understanding the bioeconomy, relationship building, and becoming an effective leader and worker within my future career.

Student Delegate Spotlight: Alvina Aui

“CABLE has given me the opportunity to not only learn about the bioeconomy and leadership, but it has also allowed me to learn more about myself.”

Alvina Aui is the Student Delegate from Iowa State University, pursuing her PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Between her studies and learning a new language, Alvina reflects on her time with CABLE and what she feels she was able to take away from the program.

Q: What university are you attending and what are you studying?
Alvina: I am currently pursuing my PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Statistics at Iowa State University. My area of research focuses on the Techno-economic and Life Cycle Analysis of different conversion processes of biorenewable resources into value-added products. Fun fact – I also did my undergraduate at ISU through a twinning program at a local college, which then allowed me to do my last 2 years of my undergraduate in the U.S.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My love for food has led me to explore new restaurants and cafes wherever I go. Recently, I am also trying to learn a new language!

What attracted you to CABLE and what do you hope to gain from your experience?
The opportunity to have formal education on leadership and the exposure on the bioeconomy industry were some of the main reason as to why CABLE was such an enticing program. Through this experience, I was able to learn so much more about the bioeconomy, the different areas in the bioeconomy and how they all relate to one another.

What are your career aspirations?
Although I am not quite sure what I’d like to do after my graduate program, I feel that having a career in the bioeconomy is rewarding; knowing that I’ll be able to make a positive impact in society! As of now, I’d like to take it one day at a time and do my best in graduate school!

How do you think CABLE can help you in achieving your professional goals?
CABLE has given me the opportunity to not only learn about the bioeconomy and leadership, but it has also allowed me to learn more about myself. Being able to have professional mentorship through our assignments and working groups is one of the most rewarding aspect of the program. I am walking out of this program feeling a lot more confident than I am when I first started, and I cannot be more grateful for this opportunity!

Faculty Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Mark Mba Wright

“The CABLE program brings together a unique diversity of faculty, students, and staff with a wide range of perspectives around leadership, mentorship, research, teaching, and service. It is inspiring to see such a large group come together and work productively towards supporting the next generation of Bioeconomy leaders.”

Q: What university are you the Faculty Mentor for and what is your area of expertise?
Dr. Wright: I am the Faculty Mentor for Iowa State University. My background is in lifecycle economic and environmental analysis of energy systems. My previous work focused on reducing the costs of biofuels and biochemicals using thermochemical systems like pyrolysis and gasification. I am currently interested in carbon negative energy systems for reducing atmospheric CO2 levels and mitigating impacts of climate change.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Road trips, international travel, and basketball are my favorite hobbies. I am very curious about different cultures and hope to visit every continent at least once. So far, I have been to 4. I played basketball almost every day through graduate school and now I keep up as much as I can.

What attracted you to becoming a mentor for the CABLE program and what do you hope to gain from your experience?
The CABLE program brings together a unique diversity of faculty, students, and staff with a wide range of perspectives around leadership, mentorship, research, teaching, and service. It is inspiring to see such a large group come together and work productively towards supporting the next generation of Bioeconomy leaders. I hope to learn as much as possible from the program how to best mentor students and work collaboratively with leaders across the country.

How do you think being a mentor for CABLE Student Delegates will impact their leadership development?
My hope is to help expand the career horizon for CABLE Student Delegates. Few students get an opportunity to appreciate their potential for moving the Bioeconomy forward. As CABLE Student Delegates, they gain a broader view of their opportunities, professional network, and societal challenges. As a mentor, I try to facilitate their search for a purpose or best-fit in the Bioeconomy.

If you could pass on any wisdom to CABLE Student Delegates, what would you share?
Find a passion that fits in with your values and develop the strengths that will contribute to the career and lifestyle that you envision. As my favorite author, Paulo Coelho, would say: the universe will conspire to make your dreams come through.

What is the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how is it valuable?
Leadership is both a skill and a habit. Walk, talk, and think like a leader, and the world will follow.

Student Delegate Spotlight: Joshua Condra

“CABLE taught me many things, but the ones that were most beneficial were teaching people to fail, like during the first attempt at networking in San Francisco, how to overcome failure with grace, and how to communicate effectively in any one of the multitude of settings that occur in this program.”

Q: What university are you attending and what are you studying?
Joshua: California State University, Fresno or, as normal people say, Fresno State. I am pursuing a Bachelor’s in Plant Science, Crop Production Management Option with a minor in Criminology. It’s essentially learning how to farm, run a business, and cop stuff all at the same time.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I do not believe in “free time”. Time is never free and is, or should be, spent learning, working, and growing. My “free time” is spent learning and doing just about anything I can. Right now, I spend a lot of time reading and building things.

What attracted you to CABLE and what do you hope to gain from your experience?
I was attracted to CABLE because of the challenge. A wise man once told me something his mentor told him. He said “let the situation choose you; don’t choose the situation.” Because of these wise words and the challenge of the program, CABLE has given me the opportunity to grow, make mistakes, and rise from the failures in the relative safety of my friends and peers and under the guidance of some of the most brilliant people I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

What are your career aspirations?
After graduation, I am planning on heading out of state and entering the law enforcement profession. Location and branch are to be determined. There is always going to be some sort of farming in my life and sustainability will play a major role in that area of my life.

How do you think CABLE can help you in achieving your professional goals?
CABLE taught me many things, but the ones that were most beneficial were teaching people to fail, like during the first attempt at networking in San Francisco, how to overcome failure with grace, and how to communicate effectively in any one of the multitude of settings that occur in this program.

Spring Conference 2019 Photos

Student Delegate Spotlight: Maggie Elliot

“CABLE has elevated my confidence in my leadership abilities, helping to portray how these principles exist outside of my own wheelhouse of agricultural communications.”

Q: What university are you attending and what are you studying?
Maggie: I am currently at Texas Tech University completing a masters degree in agricultural communications.

And yes, while I’m the delegate representing Texas, to be perfectly honest, I’m still getting used to the lone star state! I was raised in Washington and moved to Texas in August after completing my undergraduate degree in Idaho. So yes, I rather miss trees, hills, and a general sense of “green” outside.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy exploring the great outdoors! I’m always up for adventures to state or national parks.

I’ve also inherited a fascination with artisan breadmaking from my grandmother. I have a quietly fermenting jar of sourdough starter in my fridge which is derived from a culture which was carried across the west from my family’s pioneering days.

My summer jobs in high school were working in vineyards, and now I actually find training a vineyard (pruning and directing shoots on a trellis) to be incredibly relaxing.

What attracted you to CABLE and what do you hope to gain from your experience?
At heart, I’m a science communicator. I enjoy the challenge of translating scientific principles and concepts to public audiences, finding novel ways to tell stories and shed insight on the progress being made by professionals. The bioeconomy is a vast and rich field of promise. It’s exciting to watch the industry grow and mature, and to feel like you have a seat at the table in its development.

What are your career aspirations?
I’m chasing this crazy idea of integrating social science research to better understand consumer desires out of the food system- and to ultimately connect producers with consumers. My career aspirations are still rather abstract, as I want to help strengthen the agricultural industries of the pacific northwest with communications research. To me, the bioeconomy and agriculture are intrinsically linked, and I am confident both industries can work together to create economic opportunities for rural communities.

How do you think CABLE can help you in achieving your professional goals?
Something that I didn’t expect out of the CABLE program that it has granted me is a sense of community. Coming to graduate school I was plunked down in a foreign world without knowing another soul in the area. But I was a CABLE delegate from the start, afforded with a team of mentors and thought-provoking discussions which challenged me to dig in and take full advantage of my new environment.

CABLE has elevated my confidence in my leadership abilities, helping to portray how these principles exist outside of my own wheelhouse of agricultural communications. It’s easy to be swept up in the worlds of our own professions, and operate in relative isolation from other disciplines. CABLE has opened my eyes to the universal aspects of leadership, how they transcend beyond state allegiances and fields of study.

Student Delegate Spotlight: Kaitlin Bratt

“CABLE has already helped me add to my professional network. In addition, CABLE has given me a wealth of knowledge on the bio-economy.”

Kaitlin Bratt is the Student Delegate from North Carolina State University. Studying Sustainable Materials and Technology, Kaitlin came to CABLE wanting to learn more about the emerging bioeconomy and develop her professional networking skills. Read our interview with to find out the secret to green tea that Kaitlin swears will change your life.

Q: What university are you attending and what are you studying?
Kaitlin: I am a fourth year at NC State studying Sustainable Materials and Technology, with minors in Business Administration and Environmental Science.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy drinking tea (green tea with half a lemon will change your LIFE), watching Netflix with friends, and traveling!

What attracted you to CABLE and what do you hope to gain from your experience?
What really piqued my interest was the opportunity to learn more about the bioeconomy on a broader scale, as my background is in wood science. I have already gained connections with multiple industry leaders within the bioeconomy, and I am excited to learn more at the upcoming CABLE Conference hosted at NC State!

What are your career aspirations?
Although I don’t quite know what I want to do once I graduate, I do know that I want to bring more sustainability into wood science. Currently, there is some research on using bio-based and non-toxic resins. I would be interested in adding to this research (or other sustainability-related research) in graduate school.

How do you think CABLE can help you in achieving your professional goals?
CABLE has already helped me add to my professional network. In addition, CABLE has given me a wealth of knowledge on the bio-economy. This has been of huge help, as my career aspirations aren’t fully set in stone. I have been incredibly lucky to be a part of this program, and I look forward to the rest of my time with CABLE.