Category Archives: News Media

Lots of love for JSNN and Kannapolis these days

Flag of Ecuador from http://www.boowakwala.comTwo recent items from the news media  worth noting:

President Rafael Correa of Ecuador visited the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis this week, and he liked what he saw, big time.  From The Charlotte Observer:

Correa is studying the research, scientific instrumentation and collaborative environment of the research campus as a model for the development of Yachay, a planned city of science and technology being built in Ecuador’s northern province of Imbabura.

“Amazing! Outstanding!” said Correa. “A learning experience for us. We are building, in our country, a planned city of knowledge, (and) we want to learn from your experience.”

Trade magazine Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals dropped in at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering recently, and they called it “exciting”:

… JSNN has a number of research projects in emerging areas including nanoenergy technologies, self-assembly methods and computational nanotechnology, Dr. Ryan said. “Each of the research thrusts have great potential, but I believe that JSNN’s research strength is in the highly interdisciplinary areas requiring contributions from both science and engineering to get a ‘game-changing’ result,” he explained.

JSNN has also established a bridge to industry partners by working with the Gateway University Research Park. One such group is the Nanomanufacturing Innovation Consortium. “Consortium members are able to observe research that is underway in the facility, provide input to research programs and have access to the JSNN equipment,” Dr. Ryan explained.

Dean Coger on engaging women in STEM fields

Dean Robin Coger

Dean Robin Coger

In the November 2 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education, several scholars and experts are asked why more women aren’t entering STEM disciplines, especially engineering and computer science. Heading up the list: Dr. Robin Coger, dean of the N.C. A&T College of Engineering:

“I have observed that the decision to pursue a STEM major is based on two factors: (1) personal capabilities and preparedness to succeed; and (2) desire to pursue that discipline. I believe that success in attracting more women (or individuals from underrepresented demographic groups) into the STEM fields depends on how well our institutions address both those components.”

For Dean Coger’s full comments, click the link above. To read about N.C. A&T’s success in attracting female students to engineering, see the Fall 2011 edition of Evolution magazine.

Aggie researcher in the news: Dr. Ellie Fini

If you’re a reporter in North Carolina, a good story about hog waste is always a  winner. Our state has a lot of hogs, and, once you get near a bunch of them, you don’t necessarily need your sense of sight to find them.

We’ve already seen some news coverage of Dr. Ellie Fini and her technology to use hog manure as a source for the binder used in asphalt.  In addition to usefully disposing of the hog waste, it would also reduce the amount of more expensive petroleum-derived binder needed in asphalt production.  Now News 14, the local Time Warner Cable news channel, checks in with this video report on Fini’s research.

It’s N.C. A&T Week in The Business Journal

Front page of The Business Journal, October 12, 2012Readers of The Business Journal of the Triad are getting up-to-date on Aggie research this week.

Page 1 of the weekly newspaper features an article on Dr. Ellie Fini and her research on developing an environmentally sustainable binder for asphalt from hog waste.  She’s on her way to creating a company to commercialize the technology.  The paper also highlighted  the article in its daily email to readers this morning.

Page 3 contains a lengthy interview with Dr. Barry Burks, vice chancellor for research and economic development.  Burks discusses the university’s efforts to grow A&T’s research enterprise, the possibility of mandatory federal spending cuts, and A&T’s economic development opportunities.

The Business Journal is available online and in print by subscription.


Aggie researcher in the news: Gerry Dozier

Signal magazine introduces its military and defense-industry readers to N.C. A&T’s Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Science:

“Imagine a world where you wake up in the morning, and your coffee maker recognizes you and makes your coffee just the way you like it. Then, you’re going to head off to work, and as you walk up to your car, it recognizes who you are and not only opens the door but also adjusts the seat and the mirrors and even [matches] the radio station to you,” suggests Gerry Dozier, chair of the Computer Science Department at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T), Greensboro, North Carolina. “You drive into work, and as you walk into the building, the door opens because the building recognizes you, and as you go into your office and sit down, your computer recognizes you and allows you access. When we look at the future of biometrics, all of these things are going to be possible.”

Dozier also is the director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Science (CASIS). CASIS is a consortium of three universities—NC A&T, Clemson and the University of North Carolina Wilmington. CASIS is an Office of the Director of National Intelligence Science and Technology Center of Academic Excellence. It was funded in 2008 with a nearly $9 million grant from the Army Research Laboratory. Its mission is to conduct cutting-edge science and technology research while educating students and expanding the pool of talent in areas important to the United States and its security.

Signal is the magazine of AFCEA International, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

Aggie researcher in the news: Maura Nsonwu

“These mothers literally have nothing to give to their children — just their love and affection. And affection in their culture is considered soft.”

– Dr. Maura Nsonwu, assistant professor of social work, on the challenges faced by Liberian refugees in Greensboro, quoted in the News & Record, Sunday August 12, 2012

Aggie researcher in the news: Joseph Graves


“Evolution has shaped body types and in part athletic possibilities. Don’t expect an Eskimo to show up on an NBA court or a Watusi to win the world weightlifting championship. Differences don’t necessarily correlate with skin color, but rather with geography and climate. Endurance runners are more likely to come from East Africa and sprinters from West Africa. That’s a fact. Genes play a major role in this.”

Dr. Joseph  Graves, evolutionary biologist, N.C. A&T faculty member and associate dean, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, quoted in “What makes a great Olympian? Sometimes, it’s genetics” The Daily Beast, August 11, 2012

Multicultural/pop culture note: ‘Doc McStuffins’ wins praise for its little STEM-focused role model

Collage of female African American physicians

Collage of female African American physicians and future doctor ‘Doc McStuffins’ from the parenting blog Coily Embrace.

If the class of 2028 includes a higher number of African American women interested in med school, don’t be surprised.  The reason might be a new Disney cartoon that is generating considerable praise. The New York Times reports today:

“Aimed at preschoolers, ‘Doc McStuffins’ centers on its title character, a 6-year-old African-American girl. Her mother is a doctor (Dad stays home and tends the garden), and the girl emulates her by opening a clinic for dolls and stuffed animals. …

“The series, which made its debut in March on the Disney Channel and a new cable network called Disney Junior, is a ratings hit, attracting an average of 918,000 children age 2 to 5, according to Nielsen data. But ‘Doc McStuffins’ also seems to have struck a cultural nerve, generating loud applause on parent blogs, Facebook and even in academia for its positive vocational message for African-American girls.”

One of the parenting bloggers who is enthusiastic about the show created the image above: “What started out as a simple collage of a few African American women physicians expressing thanks to Disney and Brown Bag Films has now taken on a life of its own.  When we first started the collage we never thought we would get anywhere close to the current number of physicians who have agreed to lend their image to this project.” That number is 131.  Add that little cartoon character, and you have a nicely composed collection of 132 positive, STEM-focused role models for African American youngsters who’ll be graduating from college in 16 years or so.

Lab safety: UCLA researcher’s case continues

Chemical & Engineering News logoFrom Chemical and Engineering News, dated Friday July 27:

“The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office today dropped felony charges against the University of California Regents as part of an agreement involving labor code violations relating to the 2008 death of a chemistry staff research assistant.

“Similar charges against UC Los Angeles chemistry professor Patrick Harran were not dropped. The case against Harran has been postponed until Sept. 5 while the judge reviews a motion filed by his attorney challenging the credibility of a state investigator.”

Advances on biofuels, shelf life of produce featured in video on N.C. A&T research

Two top Aggie researchers are featured in a video produced by North Carolina Farm Bureau Magazine. Dr. Ipek Goktepe of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences talks about her research to extend the shelf life of fresh produce, particularly lettuce and spinach, and Dr. Abolghasem Shahbazi of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design discusses his work using agricultural waste to produce biofuel.