Category Archives: CAES

Minor lauded in a major way


Dr. Radiah Minor, associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences was recently named one of just 17 teaching excellence specialists for 2018 by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.  An immunologist who studies immune  regulation in mammals and teaches animal science, Minor was chosen earlier this month for the prestigious annual award along with faculty representing each of the other 16 campuses in the UNC system. She is a Ph. D. graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., who joined the CAES in 2008. Each of the winners were recognized for innovative and creative teaching methods that inspire students.

“Dr. Minor makes sure students get practical experience, as well as professional development and training,” says Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, CAES interim dean.

In an essay on her teaching philosophy submitted as part of her nomination for the Excellence in Teaching Award, Minor discussed her lifelong passion for learning and the many ways she seeks to inspire and engage students, to instill the same excitement in them.

“Through all the teaching tools I use, I encourage students to step further out of their comfort zones, challenging them to push themselves to grow personally and intellectually,” Minor said. “But I also drive home the point that there are few excuses for not trying or not doing your absolute best to achieve a goal. If you want it, you must do what it takes to get it.”  Continue reading Minor lauded in a major way

To the CAES goes the trophy

The CAES is the winner of the A&T Campus Walk Challenge for February, in competition with the Student Health Center. With more than 60 registered participants in the College, walkers logged 9.6 million steps for the four-week challenge.

In addition to bragging rights, the CAES was gifted with a trophy and a banner, on display in the dean’s office at Webb Hall, and a feather banner located at the building entrance.

Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, interim dean of the CAES, congratulated participants on the victory during a post pep-rally last month to accept the prizes from Student Health Center organizers. She notes that the true victory, though, is in developing and maintaining a healthy life and work environment, which is the goal of the campus health initiative.

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CAES leadership participates in Brazilian agriculture study mission

Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker was among the top agricultural leaders in the state who recently accompanied N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler on a trade mission to Brazil, studying the South American country’s farms, factories and other agriculture-related industries.

Brazil is a leading exporter of some of the same commodities for which North Carolina is known --   poultry, tobacco, cotton, soybeans—and Hymon-Parker, interim dean of the CAES, came away from the tour with impressions on how agriculture in Brazil and North Carolina can be mutually beneficial. The trip also included discussion on Brazil’s role in addressing global food security.

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CAES student writes his own ticket to USDA diversity program

Jabril Wright, who is majoring in agricultural and environmental systems with a concentration in environmental studies, is headed to Washington, D.C., thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Student Diversity Program.

Dr. Antoine Alston, professor and associate dean for academics, and Larry Hartsfield, the CAES’s liaison for the USDA 1890 Program, helped Wright apply to the program. The session provides participants a weeklong trip to Washington capped by their attendance at the Agricultural Outlook Forum, the USDA’s largest annual meeting, Feb. 22-23 in Arlington, Va. Now in its 11th year, the program gives undergraduate and graduate students real-world learning opportunities in contemporary agribusiness, scientific research and agricultural policy.

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Board of Governors to see CAES students’ research, tour farm

When the University of North Carolina Board of Governors meets at N.C. A&T on Jan. 30, the CAES will be in the spotlight.

A&T undergraduate researchers, including two CAES students, will share their poster presentations with the board. CAES students La’Neesa Holmes-Cobb and Courtney Richard won first and second place, respectively, for their poster presentations at the university’s Undergraduate Research Symposium in October. Continue reading Board of Governors to see CAES students’ research, tour farm

Merry Monday

Monday is being made merry this season, as CAES Interim Dean Shirley Hymon-Parker hosts her annual holiday reception. The fete is scheduled from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, in the student lounge area of Webb Hall.

Refreshments will be served. Music will be played. Spirits are expected to be festive. All CAES faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the floating reception to celebrate the successes of the semester and fellowship with one another.

Dr. Antoine J. Alston completes prestigious program

Dr. Antoine J. Alston, associate dean of academic studies

Dr. Antoine J. Alston, CAES associate dean for Academic Studies,  graduated from the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) in November. The program offers leadership development to upper-level leaders in higher education, government and industry. Alston has taught, advised and mentored countless students in his teaching and administrative career. Through the FSLI, he proved that he also is a life-long learner.

The program provides fellows with strategies to handle leadership challenges and opportunities for the future. Alston was a member of the FSLI’s cohort 11 and participated in the program from 2015-2017. He was presented with a special acknowledgement at the annual meeting of the Association for Public and Land-Grant Universities held in Washington.

DeShawn Blanding thrills National FFA Convention

Biological Engineering major DeShawn Blanding concluded his yearlong term as Southern region vice president of the National FFA with an electrifying speech.

The South Carolina native delivered his retiring address at the 90th annual National FFA Convention and Expo, an event held Oct. 25-28 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Among the messages he shared with the audience was the importance of hope Continue reading DeShawn Blanding thrills National FFA Convention

CAES students shine at Undergraduate Research Symposium

CAES students La’Neesa Holmes-Cobb and Courtney Richard won first and second place, respectively, for their poster presentations at the university’s Undergraduate Research Symposium on Oct. 19.

Holmes-Cobb, a senior majoring in Laboratory Animal Science, presented “Comparison of Immunoglobulin M and Degranulated Neutrophil Levels in the Serum and Lung Lavage of Indoor and Outdoor Reared Pigs.” Dr. Jenora Waterman, associate professor in the Department of Animal Science, mentored Holmes-Cobb. Continue reading CAES students shine at Undergraduate Research Symposium

CAES food pantry opens to students in need

What started out as a conversation about hunger among graduate students and faculty has turned into the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences food pantry, open to any student in need.  For some graduate and out-of-state students, the expense of tuition and housing leave little money left for food.

“We found out that some CAES students were having to make the choice between paying for books or buying food,” says Dr. Jane Walker, interim chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

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Smith named Cooperative Extension associate administrator

Dr. Claudette Smith, who has more than 35 years of experience in program planning, development and implementation, has been appointed associate administrator of Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, effective Oct. 1.

As the Cooperative Extension associate administrator, Smith’s responsibilities include providing leadership to county operations and state programs. She will guide the development and maintenance of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, issue-based programming agenda that addresses the complexity of issues faced by North Carolina’s small, limited-resource farmers, communities, youth, families and individuals.

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Kudos for Carver’s new look

Carver Hall, one of N.C. A&T’s oldest buildings, is poised to show off its new makeover—one that increases its face value and provides a more functional environment for students and faculty. The improvements will be formally celebrated by the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4. Carver is located at the intersection of Sullivan and Lindsay streets, and is one of the gateways into campus.

Renovations at Carver during the past several months include a new patio plaza with seating, at the front of the building, and a first-floor classroom that was transformed into a student lounge with new furniture. The new amenities are accessible to physically disabled people, and round out a series of improvement projects performed on Carver Hall over the last few years that include upgrading a class for smart-classroom technology.

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CAES Celebrates Alumni with Homecoming Cookout and Food Drive

The Greatest Homecoming on Earth is approaching, and as always the CAES will host the greatest welcome-back-alumni cookout on Earth during its annual CAES Homecoming Celebration.

This year, the celebration is 1-3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, on the lawn of B.C. Webb Hall. In store are fun games; door prizes; great food by Abrams Inc. of Tarboro; entertainment by DJ Courtney Lawrence (Class of 2009); and, as always, the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, faculty and students. The CAES also will have a table for donations to the college and/or the department or program of your choice.

All campus faculty and staff are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations to support a CAES Food Pantry being established for students. Donation boxes will be onsite for each of the four academic departments.

Please pre-register online through your CAES alumni web page. Alumni can show up without reserving in advance — but those who do so online will be privileged with a first-class “boarding pass” for seating, and for the buffet line.

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Extension employees recognized for excellence

Cooperative Extension campus-based and field staff have received numerous awards and recognitions in recent months, including ones for:

  • Michelle Eley, community and economic development specialist at N.C. A&T, served as a member of a rapid response team on Civil Disclosure on Race Relations within N.C. Cooperative Extension, which received the Excellence in Teamwork Award at the National Association of Community Development Extension Professional Conference in June.
  • Misty Blue-Terry, 4-H STEM specialist at A&T, has received the 1890 Excellence in Extension Award for 4-H Youth Development from the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. She provides statewide direction with special emphasis on educational strategies for increasing technical and soft skills needed to succeed in STEM careers for limited-resource and socially disadvantaged audiences.

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Not on vacation: how CAES students spent their summers

More than 90 CAES students are expected to present an enormous array of their summer academic experiences during the annual Showcase of Excellence, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 6 in B.C. Webb Hall. The student experiences will span the gamut of agricultural fields, including corporate and Cooperative Extension internships, study abroad, and independent research projects at N.C. A&T and other universities or government agencies.

Students will present research posters on their experiences and will discuss their work with audiences who stop by the individual student stations. Participants will also receive a certificates and awards. CAES faculty and staff are encouraged to attend to support the experiences.

Alston Speaks at Urban-Ag Academy

Dr. Antoine J. Alston, associate dean of academic studies

Dr. Antoine J. Alston, associate dean of academic studies in the College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, delivered the keynote address – The United States’ Cooperative Extension Service: Historical Perspectives, Current Programming, and its Potential Impact for Urban Agriculture – at the sixth-annual Urban-Ag Academy at Iowa State University on July 12.

The Urban-Ag Academy provides an opportunity for urban and minority legislators to learn more about agricultural and rural issues. The national conference brings urban, minority and rural policymakers together with experts in agriculture, rural development and other relevant areas.

Alston received his baccalaureate and master’s degrees in agricultural education from North Carolina A&T State University and his doctorate in agricultural education from Iowa State. He joined the N.C. A&T faculty in 2000 and progressed through the ranks to become a full professor. In 2012 he was appointed the associate dean for academic studies on an interim basis; in 2014 the appointment became permanent.