Category Archives: News Media

N.C. A&T post-harvest technologies research center to expand lab space at N.C. Research Campus

Building at N.C. Research Campus in KannapolisThe Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies has outgrown its lab, so it will lease additional space at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Its staff has grown to 40 researchers and support personnel, and its original 5,800 square foot facility is no longer adequate to provide space for all of its research.

From the Triad Business Journal:

“N.C. A&T State University is expanding its presence at the N.C. Research Campus, the Kannapolis park that’s home to researchers from a multitude of the state’s colleges and universities.

“The park is home to N.C. A&T’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, which studies ways to process fruits and vegetables after they are harvested. The goal is to find ways to make food safer, extend shelf life and preserve health-promoting nutrients. …

“‘We tie all of this research together and how it impacts our nutrition from every angle, from looking at how a diet rich in phytochemicals impacts our metabolism and our gut microflora, and how it impacts specific genes related to chronic disease,'” said Leonard Williams, director of the N.C. A&T center. “‘Our new lab will allow us to be able to do that research better.'”

Journalism’s Alumni Town Hall Summit to explore issues arising from coverage of Ferguson, Ray Rice

JOMC Town Hall detailsFrom the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, news of an event this Friday, October 24, at 10 a.m.:

Reaction to the Aug. 9, shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo. policeman continues to drive news cycles throughout the country. News coverage of the tragedy, largely driven by social media, resulted in the arrest and tear gassing of numerous journalists, who said such acts violated their first amendment rights. Critics argue that the journalists’ mistreatment should never have been part of the story’s narrative.

A few weeks after the Michael Brown shooting, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens dominated the news when video footage showed the running back punching his soon-to-be wife in an Atlantic City elevator. Public outrage was swift and has yet to subside. Still, many observers say the punch, which knocked Janay Rice unconscious, is nobody’s business but the Rices.

What do crisis communicators say?

Those questions and more will be deliberated on Friday Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 12: 45 p.m. when the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication presents its 2014 Town Hall Summit, “Hands Up! Who’s Shooting!” and “Players’ Brawl: When Athletes and Celebs Need Crisis Communications.” The summit, which falls during A&T homecoming weekend, will enable alumni, students, faculty and others to explore the tenuous role of news media and public relations practitioners when tragedy and trauma unfold. The event will be held in the Crosby Hall TV Studio.

Invited special guests for Part I of the summit, “Hands Up! Who’s Shooting!.” include Wesley Lowery, a Washington Post reporter who was ordered to leave a McDonald’s while covering the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson. Lowery, recently named Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists, is also a frequent guest and contributor on MSNBC. Other panelists include Yasmine Regester, a reporter for the Carolina Peacemaker; Linda Florence Callahan, PhD, an A&T journalism professor; and A&T police chief, Glenn C. Newell.

Part II of the summit, “Players’ Brawl: When Athletes and Celebs Need Crisis Communications,” will welcome back Garry Howard, a seasoned sports and business journalist based in Charlotte, N.C. Other panelists include Brooke Waller, an employee communications representative for Northrop Grumman Corp.; Dawn Nail Davis, a communications officer for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at A&T; Kymberlee Norsworthy, a former Sony Music executive; and Bryan Holloway, associate athletics director/communications at A&T.

N.C. A&T’s Dr. Muganda to appear on UNC-TV report to speak on triple-negative breast cancer research

Dr. Perpetua Muganda, professor in A&T’s Department of Biology, will be featured in a segment on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Now this evening (October 15).  Muganda and a team of researchers from A&T and UNC-CH are investigating the role of viral factors in the aggressive nature of triple-negative breast cancer. Their work will be included in a special October report on breast cancer.

The program will air on UNC-TV at 7:30 p.m. EDT and on UNC-MX at 11 p.m.

Dr. Muganda’s study is funded by a grant from the NC TraCS Institute at UNC-CH and money from both universities.  A&T and RTI International are partners with UNC-CH on its current Clinical and Translational Sciences Award from the National Institutes of Health.

N.C. A&T’s Eco-Core: Part of the solution to coal ash

Screenshot from UNC-TV website

Dr. Kunigal Shivakumar explains Eco-Core to UNC-TV from his lab in the Fort IRC

In five fast-paced minutes, UNC-TV tells you just about everything you need to know about Eco-Core, the material N.C. A&T engineers have created from fly ash, part of the coal ash produced by coal-powered power plants. Its tremendous fire resistance, strength, water resistance and very light weight make it a miracle material and part of the solution to the coal ash problem.

Click here to see the report from “North Carolina Now.”

Latest trend seen in comments from NSF reviewers: Give more specifics on how mentoring is assessed

NSF logoPrincipal investigators, take note: Your next NSF proposal may need considerably more detail on mentoring than you’ve provided before.

Blogger Female Science Professor spotted the trend in proposals recently rejected by NSF. From Inside Higher Ed:

“Female Science Professor wrote that it’s no longer ‘enough to have a record of success advising grad students, undergrads, and postdocs in research — you have to understand and explain your advising techniques and you have to have a plan for assessing and improving.’

“She said that even data related to student degrees, publications, conference publications and employment upon graduation weren’t ‘sufficient’ for some reviewers.

“ ‘They want something different,’ she said. ‘Apparently, unless you change something, you are not improving and therefore are not being transformative, or something.’”

Consider yourself warned. The whole piece is here. The original item from the very interesting Female Science Professor blog is here.

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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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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Research integrity and ‘The Art of War’

Cover of an edition of The Art of WarIf anyone needs a reminder of the damage that can be caused when research integrity is called into question — rightly or wrongly — take a look at the news coverage of N.C. State and UNC-Chapel Hill lately.

It’s hard to argue against the idea that any time the news media’s attention is drawn to research integrity questions, everyone involved loses.  Accusations tend to stick in the public consciousness regardless of the outcome, especially in complex, drawn-out situations. Even when the process of correcting scientific errors plays out as it should — as may well be case now at State — it is at best a slow, painstaking process that doesn’t lend itself well to the appetite of  the news media and the public for quick, clear resolutions.

The Art of War offers a lesson that applies especially to well to these situations: The highest virtue is not to win a battle, but rather to win without a battle. Avoiding a fight — in this case by conducting research in an unquestionably rigorous way and taking any questions about the results seriously rather than defensively– is even better than winning.  That doesn’t mean you can necessarily avoid being dragged into the mud by someone with an agenda, but it’s your best defense.

The researchers in the N.C. State case had a chance to avoid going to war over their results but chose a stonewalling strategy that invited trouble even if they’re right. In Chapel Hill … what a mess. The researcher herself may or may not have produced valid results, but when she went to CNN, her own administration chose to go to the mattresses, questioning results they found problematic in a way that, so far, at least, has generated more heat than light.

Details and links follow the jump.

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