Commemorations and celebrations of Second Morrill Act’s 125th scheduled for A&T

info iconA&T’s celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Second Morrill Act is now underway. All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to bookmark the special website that’s now available and check it often to register for, and support the many events the University has in store, and to learn more about the histories of the 1890s.

The website has an online form for nominations for special awards that will go to individuals who have been instrumental in the founding, development and progress of A&T, from 1890 until today. The nomination deadline is Feb. 23, and those selected will be recognized at the March 19 Second Morrill Act Celebration Luncheon.

Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, the SAES’s associate dean for special programs and facilities, will kick off A&T’s quasquicentennial celebration with a lecture discussing "125 Years! The 1890 Universities Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" on Feb. 24, from 6 to 7 p.m. in Room 101 of the Academic Classroom Building. (The kickoff lecture was originally scheduled for Feb. 17 but inclement weather forced postponement.) The Congressional legislation passed in 1890 that is known as the Second Morrill Act established land-grant universities to serve African Americans in the then-segregated southern and border states, and McKinnie’s lecture outlines many of the subsequent achievements at A&T and the other 18 historically black land-grant institutions.

The next bold-type date for A&T’s celebration of the Second Morrill Act’s 125th is Feb. 27— the deadline for entries in an essay contest open to all A&T graduate and undergraduate students with insights into “What it Means to be a Student at an 1890 University." Scholarships of $750 each will be awarded to both the graduate and undergraduate authors whose essays are selected as top entry.

Other spring semester activities celebrating or commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act are set for:

• March 19 – Second Morrill Act Celebration Luncheon (ticketed event)
• March 19 – Observances of anniversary celebration during Founder’s Day Convocation, A&T Campus
• March 25 – Small Farmers’ Appreciation Day (during Small Farms Week, March 22-28), featuring 125th observances
• April 23 – 1890 Day, with Wellness Walk/Run & Community Health Fair, noon to 3 p.m., Aggie Stadium and Corbett Sports Center
• May 9 – Spring 2015 Commencement, incorporating Second Morrill Act Anniversary

July 15 will be 1890s on the Hill, including 1890 exhibits and presentations before House and Senate Committees on Agriculture; July 16 is the 1890s Convocation at the Library of Congress; and Aug. 30 is scheduled to be a National Day of Prayer, commemorating the signing of the Second Morrill Act.

Endocrinology journal accepting submissions for special issue until March 1

Dr. Lynda BrownThe International Journal of Endocrinology is inviting submissions for a special issue of the publication that will be devoted to "Sex/Gender Differences in Metabolism and Behavior: Influence of Sex Chromosomes and Hormones." Dr. Lynda Brown of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences is serving as one of the guest editors for the issue, which will focus on male and female variations in the progressions of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, eating disorders and other metabolic diseases, and some gastrointestinal and reproductive disorders and cancers.

Original research articles as well as review articles of basic and translational preclinical studies are invited. Papers submitted should contribute to better understandings of the genetic, behavioral, physiological, cellular, and molecular mechanisms underlying sex-based differences and effects of sex hormones in behavior and metabolism under physiological and pathological conditions. Among the potential topics guest editors have listed in the call for papers are the impact of hormonal changes at different life stages, central and peripheral actions of sex hormones in regulating multiple metabolic systems and behaviors, pathways used by sex hormones and their receptors on the structure and function of organ systems and behaviors, and new technologies for evaluation and measuring sex-based differences in the basic and translational preclinical research. The deadline for manuscript submissions is March 1, and the publication date for the special issue is Aug. 1. An attentive review of the journal’s guidelines for authors in advance of manuscript preparation is recommended to contributors.

The lead guest editor for next August’s special edition of the International Journal of Endocrinology is Dr. Haifei Shi, an associate professor at Miami University. Joining the SAES’s Brown as guest editor is Dr. Roshanak Rahimianof the University of the Pacific’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.

Major opportunity in late February for career-ready SAES students

info iconA&T’s Office of Career Services is expecting that more than 130 corporate and government-agency recruiters will be coming to interview students at the University’s Spring Career Fair Thursday, Feb. 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Corbett Sports Center. Among the recruiters coming to campus will be representatives from Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill, the Farm Credit Administration, Frito Lay, Guilford Child Development, the Kroger Co., Land O’Lakes, Mountaire Farms, Pilgrim’s Pride, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Plant Health Inspection Service

CEFS accepting applications for 2015 summer internships until first Monday in March

tractor iconThe Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) has a March 2 application deadline for eight-week internships for undergraduate students next summer. The internships program will be from June 9 to July 31 at the CEFS research and Extension facilities near Goldsboro. Interns will get experience working with farm production practices that promote local food system networks, livestock and crop production systems that efficiently use energy and water, nutrient cycling production systems, complementary production systems and season extension techniques, community gardens, and organic crop and livestock production.

Among the CEFS research units is one devoted to small-farm enterprises and another directed to research into organic production. Individuals selected for the summer internships will work with CEFS faculty mentors who will guide them through hands-on explorations of various aspects of sustainable agriculture. The SAES, N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services operate the CEFS jointly.

Take it for granted

N.C. State is hosting a two-day workshop Feb. 26 and 27 that will provide a comprehensive overview of effective grant development from finding funding sources that are good fits for the institution and program to incorporating sustainability into proposals. University faculty and staff registering for the workshop will also be eligible for ongoing consulting services with the Institute for Strategic Funding Development (ISFD) faculty.

March 1 deadline for American Chemical Society Scholars Awards

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. 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, leadership ability, participation in school activities and community service are also considerations for the Scholars Program awards.

Apprentices-to-be must have applications in by Feb. 27

two people iconThe application deadline for the 2015 Research Apprentice Program is Friday, Feb. 27. High school students from other states as well as North Carolina with strong academic records and an interest in working on a research project with an SAES research scientist next summer, from June 21 to July 17, are invited to apply. In addition to four weeks living in a dorm on the A&T campus and work with members of the Agricultural Research Program faculty on research projects, RAP students also receive weekly stipends. Feel free to pass along a PDF of the card along to any high school junior or senior you know who might be interested in the 2015 RAP.

Grad student sustainable ag research funding opportunity

The Southern Region of USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
(SARE) program is inviting proposals  for graduate student research projects. Proposals should be built around a topic that will contribute to a better understanding of sustainable agriculture. The ceiling for graduate-student research grants is $11,000, and the time limit for funded projects is three years. The 2015 pre-proposal deadline is midnight on May 4.

Project funds may be applied to equipment that will become university property after project completion. Project funding may not be applied to travel to scholarly meetings, thesis preparation or permanent capital improvements.

Researchers to make presentations on March 17

documents iconThree members of the Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education faculty will kick off the Agricultural Research Program’s spring semester seminar series on Tuesday, March 17, with a pair of presentations that will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude at noon in Room A-16 of the C. H. Moore Agricultural Research Station. Dr. Terrence Thomas will discuss "A Multidimensional Perspective on the Attitudes of Food Desert Residents Toward Healthy Eating Habits." For the next presentation, Drs. Kenrett Jefferson-Moore and Richard Robbins will team up to discuss their research investigation into the potential for organic vegetable production in North Carolina.

All SAES faculty, staff and students are welcome to stop by Moore for the researchers’ presentations on March 17.

Staff update

Dr. Lonnette MarshLonnette Marsh has been appointed interim Regional program coordinator for The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T’s Central Region. Marsh is providing leadership to the Cooperative Extension field staff in the middle third of the state’s counties. She oversees program development, staffing and staff development, marketing and other administrative responsibilities. Marsh also will work extensively with N.C. State Cooperative Extension district directors and county Extension directors in coordinating efforts. She will continue to provide leadership to the A&T Cooperative Extension’s student internship program. Marsh was a district director with Virginia Cooperative Extension for seven years prior to coming to A&T, and her contributions as a district director led to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors conferring the title “district director emerita” on her in 2010 when she wrapped up a career that began in 1988.

Dr. Noah RanellsDr. Noah Ranells, A&T Cooperative Extension’s small farm agribusiness management and marketing specialist and Small Farm Unit Coordinator for the Center for Environmental farming Systems (CEFS), is coordinating the Small Farm Collaborative that is unifying resources and expertise from across the SAES and non-university agencies for a fused focus that unifies the surge in public demand for locally grown foods with A&T’s well established expertise in restoring profitability to small-scale agriculture. Prior to joining the SAES two years ago, Ranells was the agricultural economic development coordinator for Orange County for almost a decade. His accomplishments there included business incubators for farms and value-added foods. From 1997 to 2004, Ranells worked in the Department of Crop Science at N.C. State, and among his responsibilities were the CEFS Small Farm Unit.

URLs to pass along to potential Aggies

With the annual cost of college tuition now ranging from $13,000 to as much as $35,000, the parents of many high school students are strongly urging their aspiring collegians to start serious investigations of colleges and universities in their junior, sophomore and freshman years of high school. Those investigations often translate to email inquiries to members of the SAES faculty and staff who have credentials that lead high school students to believe they’ve found a starting point for a degree program or career that matches academic aptitude and intellectual interests. Some URLs to bookmark or keep handy in a text file for unexpected inquiries are:

• a recent USA Today article that included agriculture and natural resources in a listing of the five highest paying degree programs open to college undergraduates in 2015with a "projected average starting salary: $51,220" and "Average lifetime earnings: $2.6 million."

• a Feb. 13 Detroit News feature headlined "Historically black colleges see rise in enrollment" which goes on to offer theories behind the spike that include: "the 105 institutions matter more than ever to some students who speak of mentorship, high expectations and a celebration of black culture that can’t be found elsewhere."

• the US News & World Report website article with the inviting headline that "Agriculture Students Will Find Abundance of Scholarships"; (The article’s groundwork is that "ag careers include agricultural engineering, agronomy, crop and soil sciences, entomology, food sciences, horticulture and plant pathology." It also provides links to "several different USDA scholarship programs [that] offer anywhere from $5,000 to full tuition, along with paid internships and employment following graduation in plant pathology, ecology, or entomology. The article also has links to online guidance "for students more interested in animals," and connections for "students who are interested in sustainable agriculture and the health of our planet.")

• a USA Today article on the publication’s website alerting the readership that agricultural industries are scrambling to "address an alarming shortage of workers," and that a study prepared at Purdue University estimates that there will be an annual addition of 54,400 agricultural, food and renewable natural resources jobs through 2015.