SOUTHERN REGIONAL EDUCATION BOARD
Doctoral Scholars Program
The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) works with states to improve public education at every level, from early childhood through doctoral education by:
- helping policymakers make informed decisions by providing independent, accurate data and recommendations;
- helping educators strengthen student learning with professional development, proven practices and curricula; and
- help policymakers, institutions and educators share scarce resources to accomplish more together than they could alone.
SREB is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization headquartered in Atlanta serving 16 states; Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Their work is funded by member appropriations, as well as by contracts and grants from foundations and from local, state and federal agencies. The nation’s first regional interstate compact for education, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislators who recognized the link between education and economic vitality. The Doctoral Scholars Program provides multiple layers of support to students — not only in financial assistance and research funding, but also career counseling, job postings and a scholar directory for networking and recruiting. Mentoring and advocacy for scholars is crucial, and support continues into early careers as graduates become faculty members.
Deepshila Gautam, a doctoral student in the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences is enrolled in the SREB Doctoral Scholars Program and a current scholar at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Deepshila completed her master’s program in Biology at ETSU. Her research experience in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology has prepared her to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences. Her doctoral work is focused on understanding the mechanisms and evolution of stress tolerance in plants. Deepshila is not only skilled in analytical and molecular techniques, and complex data analysis but also in grant writing and research presentations. During her tenure at ETSU, Deepshila received a highly competitive Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid Research Award, ETSU Graduate School Research Award, and Slemp Memorial Research Award, Department of Biological Sciences, ETSU under the advisership of Dr. Aruna Kilaru, Department of Biological Sciences. Her research presentation at the Plant Biology 2021 Worldwide Summit was supported by the American Society of Plant Biologists Travel Award and was also a winner at the ETSU Appalachian Student Research Forum. Deepshila built her confidence from these well-rounded academic experiences and is inspired to realize her goal to become a successful researcher in biology and support and guide young researchers.
Her long-term goal is to contribute to the field of agriculture through the generation
of stress-tolerant crop plants via bioengineering. Deepshila is from Nepal, a developing
country with limited opportunities for research and graduate education. Thus, she
is also motivated to provide research opportunities and exposure to women in developing
countries and students from diverse ethnicity, and economic backgrounds.