Speedway ready for roadwork

shovel iconA slideshow is now available of the SAES website with photos from the Dec. 11 ribbon cutting and inaugural run of the "Speedway to Healthy" that has added 1,200-square feet of interactive learning to The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T’s resources for combating childhood obesity. And Elaina O’Connell of Time Warner Cable’s News 14 Carolina spent almost half a day at A&T on Dec. 11 collecting footage for a feature that stars the Extension specialists who developed "Speedway to Healthy," Drs. Claudette Smith and Carinthia Cherry, and children from the Hampton Elementary University Partnership Magnet.

The walk-through learning environment, for children from kindergarten through fifth grade, is replete with 11 pit stops where children get age-appropriate information from the mouth to the small intestine and points in between. At the premiere of "Speedway to Healthy" on Dec. 11, members of The Cooperative Extension Program’s 4-H and youth development field staff led information sessions at the pit stops that will be led by volunteers once  "Speedway to Healthy" hits the road for extended stays at schools and other venues across North Carolina.

Schools and other organizations with youth education objectives can book the Speedway to Healthy by contacting the 4-H Youth Development or Family and Consumer Sciences agent at their local North Carolina Cooperative Extension Center. The exhibits and interactive learning features comprising "Speedway to Healthy" are designed for indoor use only.

Created with flickr slideshow.

FCS one of 47 programs in U.S. with AAFCS accreditation

academics iconThe SAES’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) was recently informed that the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) approved accreditation of its undergraduate programs for another 10 years. The next full review won’t be needed until 2024. The department is the largest of the SAES’s four academic units and has been a unit within the School since its inception in 1932-33. The department was first accredited by the AAFCS in 1984 and has successfully maintained its accreditation for 30 years. The department is among 47 programs nationwide with AAFCS accreditation. It is currently one of three AAFCS-accredited programs in the North Carolina and the only one at an HBCU in the state.

The SAES’s FCS offers degrees in four program areas:
Child Development and Family Studies
Family and Consumer Sciences
Fashion Merchandising and Design
Food and Nutritional Sciences

AAFCS accreditation standards reflect evaluations of the range of faculty expertise, and research and program effectiveness in preparing students for furthering their educations and professional advancement. The AAFCS Council for Accreditation criteria for program assessment now extends to community service learning, undergraduate research opportunities and other contemporary standards for globalizing family and consumer sciences courses and programs.

Researchers must pop into progress-report portal by third Monday of 2015

documents iconThe due date for annual progress/termination report notices (formerly Form AD 421) for principal investigators and project directors with funding from Evans-Allen and some other USDA-funded grants is Jan. 19.  REEport, the NIFA reporting portal for submitting progress, termination and financial reports has replaced the old CRIS AD-419 Financial Report as well as Form AD 421. The SAES’s Agricultural Research Program offered a concise training program for researchers and NIFA grant recipients with Cooperative Extension in late November. Those who attended and would like some refresher tips as well as those unable to attend will find starting points at:
• The NIFA reporting portal
• The National Center for Educational Statistics’ Classification of Instructional Programs
• The REEport portal itself

First EQIP application deadline for 2015 is Jan. 16

calendar iconAn organic initiative that is a key component of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) that provides funding to farmers has a Jan. 16 application deadline for the first of three annual application windows in 2015. To qualify, farm operations must have produced at least $1,000 in agricultural products in two of the past five years.

The funding program is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and is open to farmers just starting a transition to organic production as well as to those who have already made a strong commitment to organic production. EQIP will absorb 50-to-75 percent of the expenses for approved conservation practices, and farmers from minority populations that have been underserved by USDA programs in the past may be eligible for advance payments for as much as 50 percent of overall project costs. The EQIP website has a detailed listing of the livestock, soil quality and other common concerns that proposals should address, and the environmentally beneficial approaches to remediation that have proven most successful.

Pair of Feeding Tomorrow scholarship programs have Jan. 30 application deadlines

calendar iconFeeding Tomorrow, a foundation that partners with General Mills and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), is now accepting applications for the 2015-16 academic year for two programs. There is a Jan. 30 application deadline for IFT scholarships for both graduate students and undergraduates pursuing degrees in food sciences. Applicants should be full-time students with 3.0 QPAs who are IFT members.

Day before Groundhog Day is 1890 Scholars Program application deadline in 2015

calendar iconThe application deadline for the USDA 1890 Scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year is Sunday, Feb. 1. If you know of high-achieving high school seniors who might be interested, encourage them to check out the program promptly. Students who have already matriculated at an 1890 land-grant who have been distinguishing themselves in the classroom are also eligible to apply. For students selected as 1890 Scholars, USDA pays full tuition and fees for them to attend one of the 1890 institutions, and provides summer employment with a USDA agency during each of their four years working toward a bachelor’s degree.

Among the criteria for current college students applying for the USDA 1890 Scholarships are two letters of recommendation from a department head, dean, university vice president or a faculty member who taught the applicant in a class. College students applying must also submit an essay of 500 to 800 words describing their interest in USDA, how the scholarship will impact their future as a public servant, and cite experience in agricultural, food and natural-resource sciences.

Completed applications from high school and SAES students for the USDA 1890 Scholars Program at A&T should be submitted to A&T’s USDA Liaison Officer, Larry Hartsfield, whose mailing address is: 107 B.C. Webb Hall, N.C. A&T State University,1601 E. Market Street. Greensboro, NC 27411.

American Chemical Society accepting scholarship applications

research iconThe American Chemical Society Scholars Program awards renewable scholarships annually of as much as $5,000 to minority students with plans to pursue careers in fields related to chemistry, and the 2015-16 application window closes the first day of March in 2015. The "acceptable major" list includes food science, nutrition and veterinary medicine. High school seniors, and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. Individual awards depend on the availability of funding and applicants’ financial needs, but typical scholarship awards are $2,500 to freshmen; $3,000 to sophomores; and $5,000 to juniors and seniors.

To be eligible for a scholarship from the ACS Scholars Program, applicants must be full-time students and African American, Latino or American Indian; have a GPA of 3.0 or better; and meet standards for financial need established in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) and the Student Aid Report (SAR) form. Career objectives, financial need, leadership ability, participation in school activities and community service also factor into the Scholars Program selection process.

Please pass along some publicity

tractor iconA brochure is now available with details on sponsorship opportunities for 2015 Small Farms Week activities. The trifold brochure — available as a PDF at the SAES website— breaks down funding levels and commensurate marketing and branding opportunities. County Extension personnel are more than welcome to print copies of the Small Farms Week sponsorship brochure and pass them along to remind SAES partners of the opportunities Small Farms Week sponsorships represent for:
• Community relations and public image enhancement among supporters of localized food supplies and urban agriculture
• Product and service awareness in the wide-ranging and rapidly expanding market for the needs of small-scale agriculture
• Company or agency awareness among SAES students pursuing academic degrees in high demand among employers
• Public image impact for firms and agencies involved in wholesale and retail distribution of organic and locally produced foods and farm commodities

Scholarship possibility for students committed to sustainable agriculture

Annie’s Homegrown, an organic snack and meal company that was purchased by General Mills for $820 Million in September, has a Jan. 5 deadline for  $100,000 in scholarships for students studying sustainable or organic agriculture. Undergraduate and graduate students studying at accredited colleges and universities in the United States are eligible to apply. An official transcript and two letters of recommendation must accompany applications.

Chapters invited for volume devoted to youth and technology

lightbulb iconThere is a Dec. 31 manuscript submission deadline for a forthcoming volume in a series of anthologies coalescing "Sociological Studies of Children and Youth" that will focus on "Technology and Youth: Growing up in a Digital World." Editorial ambitions for the volume include chapters on cyberbullying, video games and aggressive behavior, online gaming and social skill development, sexting, virtual communities for children, and social networking’s roles in peer relations.

"Sociological Studies of Children and Youth" serves as a clearinghouse for social scientists’ research, and contributions from all methodological and theoretical orientations are welcome. The series also has a commitment to globalizing scholarly activities by including contributors from around the world.

Manuscripts submitted should be no more than 40 double-spaced pages, follow APA Publication Manual guidelines, and begin with abstracts of 150-200 words.

Winter wind-up

info iconThe break for winter holidays at A&T begins at the end of the business day on Tuesday, Dec. 23. The University will be closed Dec. 24 and 25, and the week of Dec. 29 – Jan. 2. A&T will reopen for regular business hours on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. SAES personnel eligible for paid holidays will have Dec. 26, 27 and 28 covered by the three days earmarked for Christmas, in addition to Dec. 24 and 25. Monthly leave reports for December should indicate vacation, comp-time or bonus leave for Dec. 30 and 31. The New Year’s Day is Thursday, Jan. 1 so another day of vacation, comp-time or bonus leave will need to be utilized for Friday, Jan. 2, when filling out monthly leave reports for January.

And SAES faculty, staff and students who are intent on passing along seasoned greetings despite financial constraints should take a look at the December video on North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Expanded Foods and Nutrition Program (EFNEP) website. The star of a video with guidance for inexpensive gifts composed of soup, chili and coco kits is Shanae Lewis, an SAES graduate student working toward a master’s in foods and nutrition.

T’is the season

With the end of the calendar year only a few days away, it’s a time of year when reports and other documents have to be compiled and written quickly. Among the most common (and embarrassing) grammar gaffs and keystroking mishaps that can be overlooked by hurried proofreaders harried by holiday chores are:
•           Misspelled proper names
•           Reversed numbers in addresses and phone numbers
•           Incorrect dates
•           Incorrect or inconsistent capitalization
•           Words or phrases that are repeated
•           Omissions of words or parts of words
•           Incorrect punctuation
•           Noun and verb disagreement

One style manual, The New York Public Library Writer’s Guide to Style and Usage, also offers proofreaders a list of where to look for mistakes. Among the places to double-check:
 •          Title pages
•           Headings and sub-headings
•           Places where the typeface changes
•           The first paragraph after a heading or sub-heading
•           Strings of small words (“if it is in the best interest…”)
•           Pages that have only a small amount of type

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary has a list of the Top 10 Commonly Confused Wordsthat includes:
• Flaunt/Flout ("Flaunting authority" is treating a convention or individual with disdain, while "flauting" is playing the flute or whistling.)
• Affect/Effect (Merriam-Webster’s mnemonic is that "affect is almost always a verb, and effect is usually a noun.")
• Desert/Dessert (The word with double-s covers cakes and cookies while the single s has sand and cactus.)
• Stationary/Stationery (The word with the e is paper for writing; the word with a second a is something not moving.)
• Flak/Flack  (Merriam-Webster says "Flak was originally a German acronym for Fliegerabwehrkanonen (‘flyer’) + Abwehr (‘defense’) + Kanonen (‘cannons’), which basically means "antiaircraft gun." The word for unfriendly criticism has the c.)
• It’s/Its (The word with the apostrophe is a contraction for "it is" or "it has"; while the word without an apostrophe is a possessive pronoun.)
• Pore/Pour (While all SAES students pore over notes when exams are imminent, only those in labs involving liquids are likely to pour for a better grade.)
• Fewer/Less (Although there are exceptions, fewer is usually applied to items that can be counted, while less is usually applied to quantities that can’t be counted. For example: fewer chocolates over the holidays will lead to less concern for what the scales are going to read in January.)
• Flounder/Founder (Merriam-Webster says that "When something founders, it loses its foundation; to flounder is to struggle to move or get one’s footing, or to proceed or act clumsily or ineffectually." Ships and buildings founder; students distracted buy social life may find themselves floundering in academia.)
• Council/Counsel (A council is a group that advises; counsel is the verb for offering advice.)