Letters: International Fellow Thanks ASM

    International Fellow Thanks ASM

    As a Fellow for the 1999 International Fellowship for Latin America, I would like to take this opportunity to thank ASM for their support of this program. I am very proud to have received the award that allowed me to carry out interesting research activities in the United States with Professor Joan B. Rose at the Water Pollution Microbiology Laboratory located at Knight Oceanographic Research Center in the Department of Marine Science at the University of South Florida, Saint Petersburg Campus.

    The research work was focused on the study of the occurrence of pathogenic protozoa and indicator organisms in water samples (groundwater, lake, rivers, seawater, and reclaimed water). The objective of the work was to assess the microbial quality of different water samples in terms of bacterial indicators, coliphages, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia and the associated level of possible public health consequences.

    The funding obtained out of this Fellowship allowed me to begin my research before a Fulbright Scholarship became active. Currently, I am a full-time student pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Microbiology at the same University under the sponsorship of Fulbright-Fundayacucho/LASPAU with tuition covered by means of a scholarship from the Department of Marine Science. Upon completion of my degree, I am planning to return to Venezuela to teach at the University and continue my research in Environmental Microbiology.

    I encourage other students in Latin America to pursue this possibility to increase their knowledge in this as well as other fields of microbiology and at the same time increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries.

    Walter Quintero Betancourt
    University of South Florida, Saint Petersburg