Category Archives: Faculty

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.

A&T researcher’s work on COPD among ag workers wins support from NC TraCS program for scholars

Dr. Jenora Waterman has made one key discovery toward improving the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among agricultural workers, and now she’s been accepted into a prestigious career development program to advance her research.

Headshot of Dr. Waterman

Dr. Jenora Waterman

Dr. Waterman is an assistant professor of functional genomics in the Department of Animal Sciences at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. COPD is a major cause of death in the United States, most typically found among smokers. A less studied aspect of the disease is the 7% of its U.S. victims who are agricultural workers. They can develop COPD as a result of long-term exposure to animal production facilities containing dust that contributes to respiratory diseases.

High-density swine production houses are one example of such facilities.

Dr. Waterman’s first key finding came from comparing pigs raised indoors with those raised outdoors. Pigs aren’t as severely affected by the dust as humans are, but her work demonstrated that their respiratory systems are uniquely adapted to their housing type.

“My lab recently showed for the first time that pigs reared indoors and those raised outdoors exhibit structural and cellular differences in their respiratory systems,” Dr. Waterman says.

“The next step will be studying those differences to identify potential biomarkers that could serve as diagnostic or prognostic markers of agriculture-related COPD in humans.”

Dr. Waterman will take that step as an NC TraCS K-Scholar, a professional development honor for junior faculty members funded through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program of the National Institutes of Health.

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A&T and UNC-CH researchers launch investigation into triple-negative breast cancer’s link to viral RNA

Researchers at N.C. A&T and UNC-Chapel Hill have been awarded a grant to investigate a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. The team will work to determine the role of viral factors in the virulent nature of triple-negative breast cancer.

Triple-negative breast cancer represents 15% to 20% of breast carcinomas. It is prevalent in younger women, African American women, and in women with BRCA1 gene mutations. This type of cancer is very aggressive, has a poor prognosis, fails to respond to conventional therapy, and appears in many forms. The causes and molecular basis of this cancer are currently unknown, though multiple factors, including viruses, may be involved.

Specifically, this pilot study will investigate the prevalence of three particular types of viral genetic material in triple negative breast tumors and determine what role these passenger virus genetic materials play in the cancer’s malignant properties and survival.

The study will be led by Dr. Perpetua Muganda, professor of biology at N.C. A&T. The team will include Dr. Scott Harrison, assistant professor of biology at A&T; Dr. Dukka KC, assistant professor of computational science and engineering at A&T; and Dr. Jan Prins, professor of computer science at UNC-CH.

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Work on space ‘ice,’ inter-satellite communication wins Space Grant honors for two A&T researchers

Two new North Carolina A&T engineering professors have been honored by the North Carolina Space Grant program. Dr. Trisha Sain has been awarded the 2014-15 North Carolina Space Grant Award, and Dr. Fatemeh Afghah has received the N.C. Space Grant New Investigator Award.

headshot of Dr. Sain

Dr. Trisha Sain

Dr. Sain is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Her award will fund a research project titled, “Numerical modeling of constitutive behavior of ice at high strain rates.”  The study will focus on the development of a constitutive model for capturing high-rate response of “ice,” potential harmful debris that can damage aircraft and space structures.

Her research focuses on integrated computational materials engineering, including characterization of novel nanocomposite hydrogels, constitutive modeling of polymer nano-composite, computational modeling of curing kinetics and curing induced damage in thermosets under large deformation, mesoscale simulations of TiN thin film growth and 3D TiN nanostructures, and biomimetic material design.

She joined A&T last September. She had been a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, Department of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering.

head shot of Dr. Afghah

Dr. Fatemeh Afghah

Dr. Afghah is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering,  She won the new investigator award for her research in inter-satellite communications in autonomous small satellite networks.

She is the director of Wireless Networking (WiNet) Laboratory in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Her research focuses on wireless communications, dynamic spectrum sharing, game theory optimization, and biomedical data analysis.

Dr. Afghah also came to A&T last fall. she received her Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Maine in 2013.

The New Investigators Program is designed to strengthen North Carolina’s aerospace-related research infrastructure by providing start-up funding to early-career faculty conducting research aligned with NASA’s strategic research.

Clean-energy developer Adewuyi, other faculty honored with 2014 Research Excellence Awards

A nationally recognized pioneer in clean-energy development has been named Senior Researcher of the Year at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Over a career of more than 25 years, Dr. Yusuf “Debo” Adewuyi has skillfully fused chemical engineering and environmental science to explore new dimensions of energy production, including the use of nanoscale materials and sound-wave technology for pollution control.

Dr. Adewuyi is one of five individual researchers and one research team selected this year for N.C. A&T’s highest research honor, the Research Excellence Awards. In addition to Dr. Adewuyi, the honorees are:

  • Dr. Justin Zhan, Department of Computer Science, Outstanding Junior Researcher;
  • Dr. Stephanie Kelly, Department of Business Education, and Dr. Lifeng Zhang, Department of Nanoengineering at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, co-winners of the Rookie of the Year award;
  • Dr. Salil Desai, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Intellectual Property Award; and
  • The NSF CREST Bioenergy Center, Interdisciplinary Team Award.

They were chosen from a field consisting of faculty members selected as researchers of the year by their colleges and schools. The winners and nominees will be honored Friday April 11 at the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence.

Details on the winners follow the jump.

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Academic units name 14 top researchers for 2014, first stage in Research Excellence Awards process

Fourteen top faculty members have been named researchers of the year by their colleges and schools at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. All are automatically nominated for the university’s top research honors, the annual Research Excellence Awards.

The honorees are a diverse group, representing 13 academic disciplines in seven colleges and schools, including the Department of Nanoengineering of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. The one department with multiple nominees this year is the Department of Computer Science.

In addition, one interdisciplinary project was nominated for the Research Team Award.

The Research Excellence Awards will be presented at a dinner on Friday April 11 in the Alumni-Foundation Event Center on campus.

This year’s nominees:

Senior Researcher of the Year

  • College of Arts & Sciences: Dr. Yuh-Lang Lin, Department of Physics
  • College of Engineering: Dr. Yusuf Adewuyi, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences: Dr. Lijun Wang, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design
  • School of Business and Economics: Dr. Lemuria Carter, Department of Accounting
  • School of Education: Dr. Phoebe Butler-Ajibade, Department of Human Performance and Leisure Studies

Outstanding Junior Researcher Award

  • College of Engineering: Dr. Justin Zhan, Department of Computer Science
  • School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences: Dr. Jenora Waterman, Department of Animal Sciences
  • School of Education: Dr. Nichole Smith, Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Rookie of the Year Award

  • College of Engineering: Dr. Kaushik Roy, Department of Computer Science
  • Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering: Dr. Lifeng Zhang, Department of Nanoengineering
  • School of Business and Economics: Dr. Stephanie Kelly, Department of Business Education
  • School of Technology: Dr. Mahour Mellat-Parast, Department of Applied Engineering Technology

Intellectual Property Award

  • College of Engineering: Dr. Salil Desai, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences: Dr. Shengmin Sang, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies

Research Team Award

  • Nominated by the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Business and Economics: NSF CREST Bioenergy Center

Two next-generation N.C. A&T stars honored

Mr. Judge and Dr. Graham, two outstanding young professionals

Louis Judge III (left) and Anthony Graham, N.C. A&T’s two winners of the 2014 40 Leaders Under 40 Award

An advocate for young black men and an advocate for entrepreneurs are two young professionals at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University who have been recognized among the 2014 “40 Leaders Under 40” in the Piedmont Triad by The Business Journal.

Dr. Anthony Graham, chairman of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Mr. Louis Judge III, the university’s director of technology transfer, received their awards February 20.

Details on both follow the jump.

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