SAES made several news splashes in the summer of 2015
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- An article in the June 29 Transylvania Times began with the questions, “Many young people will play a round of mini-golf during summer vacation, but how many will learn to program a robot to take to the course?” The answers were that robotics instruction was “Thanks to A&T State University’s 4-H STEM Academy,” held at one of the county’s churches a few weeks earlier and “the leadership of graduate students Rafael Patrick and Shykeria Collier from A&T State University.” A Transylvania County 4-H Extension agent, Mary Arnaudin, has been involved with a number of A&T Extension programs and projects, and her most recent Greensboro connection was the 2015 4-H STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) summer internship program that brought Patrick and Collier to the Transylvania County Extension Center in June and July. Other county Extension centers hosting 4-H STEM interns this past summer were Bertie, Columbus, Cumberland, Gaston, Lee, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, New Hanover, Northampton and Onslow.
- The mid-July feature story on the USDA blog got the headline “An Agricultural Legacy: Agriculture Strides through the Generations” and the focus was on Dr. Antoine Alston, the SAES’s associate dean for Academic Studies. Alston was selected as emblematic of ways in which “1890 land-grant universities (LGU) have had a major impact on the lives of students” since “their inception 125 years ago with passage of the Second Morrill Act.” Among the reasons he was singled out for profiling in the USDA blog is: “DNA; he’s a third generation 1890 LGU agricultural scholar, who received a baccalaureate and master’s degree in agricultural education from [A&T] and his doctorate in agricultural education from Iowa State University. His grandfather earned a degree in dairy science in the first graduating class from Delaware State University and his father received a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural education from N.C. A&T.”
- SAES research scientist Dr. Jianmei Yu’s contributions that led to a patented procedure “that is significantly reducing or virtually eliminating two key allergens from peanuts without affecting the flavor” are detailed in the current issue of Food Quality & Safety magazine, a publication that is one of the foremost international clearinghouses for research developments affecting food manufacturing and food service industries.
The Food Quality & Safety article quotes Dr. David Peden, a UNC pediatric allergy specialist who co-authored a paper on this first human research with A&T’s hypoallergenic peanuts, on the commercial potential for enzyme-treated peanuts. It is Peden’s opinion that “A&T’s technology holds great promise from a public health and family risk assessment perspective.”
Yu is serving as chief scientist for Alrgn Bio, a company established by a Canadian firm that has licensed the process for commercial development of hypoallergenic peanut products.
- UNC TV’s nightly news program “North Carolina Now” has been running a weekly series covering the history and contributions of Cooperative Extension in North Carolina, and the July 30 installment – almost 10 minutes in length – had several informed opinions on the future of Extension. Among the stars of the show is Dr. Fletcher Barber Jr., associate administrator for The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T. Barber joined former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt, Stokes County Extension agent Randy Fulk and Sheri Schwab, the associate director of county operations for the Cooperative Extension Service at N.C. State, in commenting on future directions for Cooperative Extension that are taking shape in their well-versed crystal balls.