“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.