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July 7, 2005

In This Issue:

Louisiana lightning
Biotech prep work gets certificate option
Fitting findings at Carver Hall
Staff update


Louisiana lightning

At the landmark conference where research scientists and Extension specialists from the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions met together for the first time, nearly a third of the 40 research projects and Cooperative Extension outreaches selected for premiers were from the SAES. The project and program presentations were divided into six categories, by discipline areas, and of the six first-place winners, four were the work of SAES faculty and staff. The PowerPoint presentations covering the four SAES programs and projects that won first-place in their discipline areas are “Discover Agriculture” (Dr. Keith Baldwin and Travella Free); “Parenting Matters” (Dr. Jean Baldwin) ; “Conversion of Cheese Whey into Value-Added Products” (Drs. Shahbazi and Li) ; and “Nitrogen Cycling in Constructed Wetlands as Related to Swine Wastewater” (Drs. Reddy and Phillips).

Although there was no formal award for putting the best feet forward at the state-by-state roll call that kicked off the conference, the SAES stole the show. A video clip of Aggie Pride at its best is here.

Biotech prep work gets certificate option

Dr. Milli Worku of the Department of Animal Sciences is leading a faculty team which was recently notified that it has received funding from USDA's Cooperative States Research, Education and Extension Service for a new program to prepare SAES graduate students for careers in biotechnology and genomics.

The new biotechnology and genomics program can enroll up to four graduate students at a time, and students accepted into the program will receive financial assistance. The program requires 15 hours of course work in biotechnology and genomics, but many students accepted into the program will be able to concurrently satisfy a majority of the 15-hour requirement with courses which also satisfy requirements for their master's concentrations. Those students in the biotechnology and genomics program working towards an M.S. that includes thesis credit will be required to choose a topic relevant to agricultural biotechnology or genomics. Students in the biotechnology and genomics program also will have to complete at least 25 hours of outreach activities in collaboration with The Cooperative Extension Program.

Drs. Benjamin Gray, Donald McDowell and C. W. Seo will be working with Dr. Worku as a faculty steering committee for the new biotechnology and genomics program. Faculty from all four SAES departments will be working as mentors for students accepted into the program. The broad-based faculty involvement in combination with the high-profile interest in biotechnology and genomics should quickly lead to new entrees for student research work, and internships with government agencies and biotech firms in the private sector.

Fitting findings at Carver Hall

Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna's
research into peanut allergies and value-added peanut products is going to be in local and international spotlights next week. WGHP, the Triad's Fox affiliate, was at Carver Hall last week for an interview with Dr. Ahmedna that is scheduled to air at 10 p.m. on July 19. But Dr. Ahmedna is going to have to set a VCR or DVD to record the program if he wants to see it, because the week of July 16-20 he will be in New Orleans: one of the moderators of a symposium at the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) annual meeting.

Ahmedna's symposium will focus on the "Status and prospects of value-added nutraceuticals from underutilized food industry byproducts," and he will also be presenting some of his own research - in collaboration with Drs. Goktepe and Yu - into underutilized peanut skin by-products at the session. A complete overview of the symposium is at

The IFT is the world's leading professional association of food scientists, and its annual meeting attracts about 20,000 participants from higher education, government agencies and private industry. The organization's Web site is an interesting source for breaking news in the food industry and nutritional issues. Point your browser to, and then point your eyes at the "Daily News" section on the left.

One of Dr. Ahmedna's students, Djaafar Rehrah, is one of the five national finalists for graduate student papers on product development. Rehrah will be presenting "Optimization of extrusion parameters and consumer acceptability of a peanut-based meat analog" at the IFT conference.

Staff update

Dr. Celvia Stovall has been named associate administrator for The Cooperative Extension Program at North Carolina A&T. Stovall comes to the SAES from North Carolina State University, where she was associate professor of family resources management. Stovall received her B.S. from Central Michigan University, her M.S. from Louisiana State University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She has also been a faculty member at the University of Tennessee. The book Financial Facts for Females is among the financial education materials in Stovall's publication portfolio.

Sheilda B. Sutton has been named executive assistant to the administrator for The Cooperative Extension Program at North Carolina A&T. During the past year, she served as interim associate administrator. Sutton had previously served as one of the regional coordinators for The Cooperative Extension Program, and as 4-H/Youth Development specialist.

Sutton will continue to provide leadership for change management and marketing, and she will be working with Extension's innovative grants program, advisory networks, and internal policies and procedures.

Communications corner


The Ag Communications & Technology (ACT) Checkup Form for SAES faculty with projects and special events is now online. The online checkup is the starting place for publications, videos, Web design and all Ag. Communications assistance other than computer and information technology support. (An online checkup for those services will be up and running later this summer.) The online form is set up with some required fields (which reflect the basic information required to get a request to first base) and faculty and staff using the form need to fill in ALL these fields to ensure their requests are routed to ACT.


The Campus Computer Center sent out a notice last week concerning security enhancements for the campus wireless network which will require new configurations for all wireless users. The memo indicated that instructions for reconfiguring computer for wireless connectivity are available on the ITT Web site. These directions do not apply to many SAES laptops; hardware as well as software modifications will be needed to restore wireless connectivity to many SAES computers. Ag. Communications & Technology's computer support team is going to set up a schedule for upgrading all SAES computers for wireless connections on campus. In the meantime, it is very important that the technical specifications for all new laptop are reviewed to ensure they will be compatible with the campus wireless network. If you are planning to order a laptop or already have a request pending, please contact ACT's computer team leader, Mike Bratcher, at

Published by Agricultural Communications and Technology at NC A&T State University