Category Archives: STEM

A&T biology professor honored by White House

Dr. Gregory Goins

Dr. Gregory Goins

Dr. Gregory Goins, associate professor of biology at North Carolina A&T State University, has been named a White House Champion of Change.

He is one of 11 faculty and staff members from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) who will be honored in Washington today for effectively promoting college completion and student success at HBCUs.

Goins organized the Integrative Biomathematical Learning and Empowerment Network for Diversity (iBLEND) program at N.C. A&T. iBLEND represents a partnership between faculty mentors from various science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines working together to retain undergraduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

In addition, iBLEND mentors help students prepare for future post-graduate opportunities and careers primarily at the interface between biology and mathematics. Since 2010, over 100 undergraduates from North Carolina A&T State University have completed research internships collaborating with iBLEND.

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N.C. A&T researchers go airborne to study the unexplored complexities of winter air pollution

N.C. A&T researchers on the wintertime pollution study

N.C. A&T researchers on the wintertime pollution study, left to right: Dr. Marc Fiddler, Steven G. Blanco Garcia, and Jaime Green

Members of the N.C. A&T Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Group are working with researchers from 14 other institutions this winter to investigate the little-known dynamics of wintertime air pollution.

The project is the Wintertime INvestigation of Transport, Emissions, and Reactivity (WINTER) campaign in the Mid-Atlantic Region. It will provide detailed, aircraft-based measurements to explore how chemical processes in the atmosphere vary by season.

Pollution occurs throughout the year, but the chemistry that determines the impact of pollution in the winter has been largely unexplored. Most research has focused on warmer seasons.

In winter, for example, short-lived pollutants like sulfur dioxide dissipate more slowly, so they affect wider areas downwind from the source of the pollution. Sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory problems and can turn into acid rain.

“Levels of oxidant pollution, such as ozone, are smaller in the winter due to decreased sunlight and emissions from plants,” said Dr. Marc Fiddler, an A&T research chemist working on the project.  “These conditions produce a different and much more uncertain picture of what happens to sulfur dioxide in the winter.”

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Seminar: Medical radioisotopes via reversible gels

Headshot of Dr. Bridges

Dr. Novella Bridges

The Chemistry Department invites you to attend a seminar Thursday, October 9, 11 a.m. in the New Science Building, Room 200. The guest speaker is Dr. Novella Bridges of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


“Radiogels: Reversible Gels for Delivery of Medical Radioisotopes: Using our RadioGel™ technology, it will be possible to successfully deliver a self-contained high-dose of radiation into a cancerous tumor. This technology will enable the maximum dose of radiation to be absorbed and allow a concise and uniform delivery into the targeted cancer tissue. This delivery system will minimize the radiation dose to the patient and other closely associated healthy tissue that might garner side effects.

“A vital component of the radiogel is a new polymer-based material. This material is biodegradable, water-based and thermally reversible stimulus-sensitive gelling copolymer. This copolymer is combined (in solution) with a high-energy, beta-particle-emitting radioisotope (Yttrium-90) in the form of a colloid. It is the colloid that is trapped within the solidified matrix of the gel that produces the high-dose of radiation.

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Thought for the day

Quote from Carl Sagan

McNair Commemorative Symposium 2014

McNair 2014 flyerThe Annual Ronald E. McNair Commemorative Celebration commemorates the life and accomplishments of the late Dr. Ronald E. McNair, N.C. A&T class of 1971.  The Symposium provides undergraduate and faculty scholars the opportunity to present research findings; hear and view cutting edge research findings; and network with other scholars and grad school representatives.

This year’s speakers:

  • Dr. Calvin Mackie, managing partner, Channel ZerO Group, LLC
  • Dr. Julian Earls, executive in residence, Cleveland State University, and Director,  NASA Glenn Research Center
  • Dr. Robin N. Coger, Dean of the College of Engineering, and
  • Dr. Barry Burks, Vice Chancellor, Division of Research and Economic Development.

Click here for more information.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency highlights Bikdash project and HBCUs’ research skills

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency: A straightforward name attached to a complex mission with more dimensions than you probably want to think about. Much of the agency’s research is conducted by universities, including N.C. A&T.

Dr. Marwan Bikdash, director of computational science and engineering at N.C. A&T, has conducted multiple research projects for the agency.  His latest concerns the survivability of critical infrastructure, such as the highway system, power grid, water supply, and data networks.

“All of these are large networks that form our infrastructure, and they are designed and optimized essentially independent of each other,” Dr. Bikdash says. “However, in a severe situation, they interact in rather unpredictable ways that we don’t fully understand because we typically don’t design them together.”

DTRA features Dr. Bikdash and HBCUs in general in the podcast above, posted last week. DTRA produced the podcast; DORED added the images.

A good day to recognize A&T women in STEM fields

Dr. Svetlana Fialkova

Dr. Svitlana Fialkova, post-doctoral researcher, at work in the nano-indentation lab of the Engineering Research Center at N.C. A&T

October 15 is Ada Lovelace Day, an international occasion to recognize women in the STEM disciplines.  At North Carolina A&T, that actually could take an entire day. There’s no shortage of female engineers, scientists, and role models here. Consider:

  • Three of our deans in STEM disciplines are women: Dr. Goldie Byrd, a biologist, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Robin Coger, Dean of Engineering; and Dr. Inez Tuck, Dean of Nursing.
  • STEM academic department heads include Dr. Margaret Kanipes in Chemistry, Dr. Mary Smith in Biology, and Dr. Tonya Smith-Jackson in Industrial and Systems Engineering.
  • Dr. Stephanie Luster-Teasley, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, is this year’s recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.
  • Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker is the Associate Dean for Research in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (SAES).
  • Women on the  SAES faculty have received four N.C. A&T Research Excellence Awards. Among them: Dr. Paula Faulkner and Dr. Millie Worku.
  • Six women on the College of Engineering faculty also have won Research Excellence Awards: Dr. Lauren Davis, Dr. Ellie Fini, Dr. Shanthi Iyer, Dr. Luster-Teasley, Dr. Shelly Qu, and Dr. Anna Yu.
  • Dr. Fini  also is generating media attention for her spin-off company based on the sustainable pavement technology she developed (using processed swine manure to replace some of the petroleum content of asphalt).

There you go — 15 women at A&T who are leaders in STEM fields. And their colleagues and students include many other female faculty members, post-docs, grad students, and undergraduates in STEM disciplines.

If you know any young women who want to go to college and study science, technology, engineering, or math, let them know there’s no reason they can’t be successful in their chosen field. And tell them North Carolina A&T is a great place for them to do it.

UNC Board of Governors members tour labs

Dr. Jagannathan Sankar speaks to members of the Board of Governors in the atrium of the Fort IRC.Dr. Jagannathan Sankar speaks to members of the Board of Governors in the atrium of the Fort IRC.
Dr. Jagannathan Sankar speaks to members of the Board of Governors in the atrium of the Fort IRC.Dr. Jagannathan Sankar, director of the Engineering Research Center, speaks to members of the UNC Board of Governors in the atrium of the Fort Interdisciplinary Research Center. Members of the board visited the ERC’s labs on a tour of the A&T campus today. Next stop: The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

Webinar on NSF CAREER grants Thursday April 18

NSF logoThe Office of Research Services and Project Management will host a webinar, “How to Write a Competitive NSF CAREER Proposal,” for assistant professors in the STEM disciplines.  The webinar will be held in the Fort IRC, Room 410,  from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday April 18. Registration is not required.

The webinar will cover:

  • How to decide when and if to apply for a CAREER grant
  • How to position yourself and your research to be competitive for a CAREER
  • How to structure your proposal
  • How to develop an educational plan
  • Keys to success and common mistakes to avoid
  • A step-by-step discussion of each section of the proposal and what it needs to tell the reviewers
  • How to analyze reviews and decide whether to revise and resubmit
  • Questions and Answers

Additional materials, including example proposal sections, proposal outlines and helpful resources, will be included.

The speaker will be Lucy Deckard, president of Academic Research Funding Strategies, a  research-funding consulting firm.

Click here for information on  the NSF CAREER program.

N.C. A&T STEM Early College students recognized; proposed street extension through farm draws fire

Lab coat for the STEM Early College at N.C. A&T

Photo from WFMY News2,

Two items from the local news media worth noting:

“Some early college students whose experiment will be sent into space got a surprise bonus for their work.

“Six STEM Early College at N.C. A&T students were chosen to send a science experiment to the International Space Station (ISS). As an added bonus on Monday, Guilford County Schools Superintendent Mo Green and NC A&T’s Chancellor, Dr. Harold Martin, presented the students with their own lab coats.”

WFMY News2, via

“Students, professors, alumni and neighbors of N.C. A&T had a word Monday evening for the proposed Florida Street project across part of the school’s 492-acre farm.


“No way should the road be extended from East Lee Street through the new Gateway University Research Center and across part of the A&T farm, an audience of several hundred turned out to say emphatically.”

News & Record