Off topic: Does football mean anything to students?

Screenshot of student surveyA student group distributed a survey over the weekend, seeking input on GHOE (homecoming, if you’re not from around here). It has come to this: They don’t even bother mentioning the football game in the context of favorite events. Or in the entire survey.

If other events are more popular with students, that’s understandable. Not everyone is a football fan or even a sports fan. But if football isn’t even in the conversation when students are talking about homecoming, it’s worth asking what football and intercollegiate athletics mean to students today.  Do they mean anything?

Considering the national conversation going on about the role of athletics in higher education … and the conversations at HBCUs about the role of athletics at historically black universities … it might be worth asking students how much or how little they care about sports.

And if the GHOE survey is any indication, the next question might be what the intercollegiate athletics program means to the university if it doesn’t engage the students.

Of course, at A&T one answer is obvious: Football provides a reason to have a band.  And with our band, that does matter.  But the day may be coming when someone needs to ask whether that’s all and whether that’s enough.

Hypoallergenic peanuts developed by N.C. A&T licensed for use in food products, immunotherapy

Hypoallergenic peanuts, peanut butter, and other peanut products are a step closer to grocery stores with the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement for the patented process that reduces allergens in peanuts by 98 percent.

Head shot of Dr. Yu

Dr. Jianmei Yu

N.C. A&T signed the agreement with Xemerge, a Toronto-based firm that commercializes emerging technologies in food, agriculture, and a variety of other fields. Xemerge has opened an office at the Gateway University Research Park south campus in Greensboro.

“This is one of the best technologies in the food and nutrition space we have seen,” said Johnny Rodrigues, Chief Commercialization Officer of Xemerge.

“It checks all the boxes: non-GMO, patented, human clinical data, does not change physical characteristics of the peanut along with maintaining the nutrition and functionality needed, ready for industry integration from processing and manufacturing to consumer products.”

The process was developed by Dr. Jianmei Yu, a food and nutrition researcher in A&T’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, and two former A&T faculty members, Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna and Dr. Ipek Goktepe, both of whom are now at Qatar University.

“Treated peanuts can be used as whole peanuts, in pieces or as flour to make foods containing peanuts safer for many people who are allergic,” Dr. Yu said.

“Treated peanuts also can be used in immunotherapy,” she said. “Under a doctor’s supervision, the hypoallergenic peanuts can build up a patient’s resistance to the allergens.”

Research funding was provided by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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NIH seeks input on racial disparities in R01 grants

National Institutes of Health logoFrom Dr. Richard Nakamura, director of the NIH Center for Scientific Review:

“We want you to know NIH is working on multiple fronts to get to the bottom of unexplained racial disparities in R01 grant funding and to maximize fairness in NIH peer review. Since the problems and the solutions are bigger than NIH, we have reached out to the scientific community and other concerned citizens for help. Now armed with a team of experts and a set of new initiatives, we’d like to tell you about our efforts to address this important issue –- particularly an exciting opportunity for you to submit your input.”

Click here to read Dr. Nakamura’s entire statement. And don’t overlook the comments, which range from insightful to shocked — “absolutely shocked” — that anyone would even suggest that bias exists in the peer review system.

Rhetoric note: There’s really nothing like using five exclamation points at the end of a sentence to underline the thoughtfulness of your argument.

N.C. A&T microbiologist gets down to the basics with advice on good grocery shopping habits

Screenshot of Dr. Leonard Williams on "America Now"

Click the picture to see the video of Dr. Leonard Williams on “America Now.”

N.C. A&T microbiologist Dr. Leonard Williams works in one of the most advanced labs at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. His work goes deep into the science of pathogens, contamination, and food-borne illness and disease.

Anything you need to know about the molecular, immunological and epidemiological aspects of how food can turn on you, he can tell you. But if all you want to know is what you can do to keep food healthy and safe, he has answers you don’t need a Ph.D. in microbiology to understand.

That’s why the nationally syndicated America Now TV show visited Dr. Williams at A&T’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies. They needed advice for a report on how consumers’ grocery shopping habits can impact the quality and safety of food.

Highlights of Dr. Williams’s advice:

  • Wash that produce!
  • Keep meat or fish from dripping possible contaminants on anything else.
  • Minimize the amount of time raw items sit in your unrefrigerated grocery cart.

Watch those microorganisms! And to see the full report, click the image above.

Sen. Hagan tours Engineering Research Center, promotes her bill to support innovation at HBCUs

Sen. Hagan speaking to reporters

Sen. Kay Hagan speaks to reporters at the Fort IRC.

Sen. Hagan and news media photographers in research lab

Sen. Hagan listens to Wayne Szafranski of A&T in the Engineering Research Center’s  Material Processing and Characterization Lab.

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is promoting innovation at historically black universities, and on Monday she brought the news media to N.C. A&T for a close-up look at what she’s talking about.

Accompanied by a group of national and local reporters and, photographers, and videographers, Sen. Hagan toured the NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials and then held a news conference to talk about her bill to create a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Innovation Fund.

The Engineering Research Center is developing an advanced magnesium alloy to make screws, plates, and other implantable devices that could hold broken or surgically repaired bones in place for healing and then dissolve and pass out of the body when they’re no longer needed.

The technology could eliminate the need in many cases for either surgical removal or for patients to carry metal parts in their bones for a lifetime.

Sen. Hagan was joined in her news conference by Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. and two A&T bioengineering grad students, Adrienne Daley and Roman Blount.

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A&T prof is NABJ Journalism Educator of the Year

Headshot of Dr. Callahan

Dr. Linda Florence Callahan

Dr. Linda Florence Callahan has been named Journalism Educator of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.  Dr. Callahan is a professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.

From the NABJ announcement:

WASHINGTON, DC (May 27, 2014) –The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is proud to announce the selection of Dr. Linda Florence Callahan, professor in the department of journalism and mass communication at North Carolina A&T State University as the association’s 2014 Journalism Educator of the Year. The award recognizes the service, commitment and academic guidance of an outstanding journalism teacher, professor or educator who has helped increase the number of black journalists in newsrooms.

“Professor Callahan has been preparing the next generation of journalists for three decades,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “Her dedication is evident with the number of her former students who now portray “Aggie Pride” every day in television, radio, print and online newsrooms.”

Callahan was the first educator to serve on NABJ’s Board of Directors in 1997, a position, she said, enabled her to “represent journalism educators, public relations practitioners, authors, and others who never had representation on the board before.”

Click here for the complete announcement.

Youth Mental Health First Aid: Tuesday June 3, Center for Behavioral Health & Wellness program

Flyer for June 3 youth mental health program

To register, click the image above or go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/63XYLXZ