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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Undergrad researcher at N.C. A&T lab recognized for work on cancer prevention and wheat bran

N.C. Research Campus logoAn undergraduate research technician at N.C. A&T’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies has been named a finalist in the Undergraduate Student Research Symposium sponsored by the American Chemical Society.

The center is located at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. It is operated by the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Nicholas Stone, a senior biology major at Davidson College, is one of six finalists chosen from an international pool of applicants. He will present his research on “Alkylresorcinols: Purification from wheat bran and quantification in whole grain wheat breads” at the 249th ACS National Meeting in Denver, March 22 to 26.

The symposium is conducted by the Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division of the ACS. It is open to all undergraduates conducting research in agricultural food chemistry.

Stone, who is originally from Winston-Salem, works in the lab of Dr. Shengmin Sang, associate professor and lead scientist for functional foods. Originally a summer intern, Stone quickly progressed from helping with small tasks like washing dishes to becoming a full-fledged member of the research team focusing on the study of alkylresorcinols (AR), a bioactive compound in whole grain wheat and rye.

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Energy & Environmental Systems weekly seminars

This spring, the Department of Energy and Environmental Systems will hold weekly seminars conducted by its doctoral students. All seminars will be held on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon. The location will vary between Fort IRC Room 410 and Gibbs 307.

The first seminar is this Thursday, Jan. 29, in Gibbs 307.

The seminars will cover a broad range of disciplines and topics, including carbon sequestration modeling, smart grid systems, sustainability in higher education, natural products’ immunotherapy effects on cancer, and topics relating to the NSF CREST Bioenergy Center and NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials.

Dates and topics for the entire series follow the jump.

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N.C. A&T awarded $1.6 million to increase cybersecurity research and education

U.S. Department of Energy logoAs cyber attacks become more powerful and frequent, North Carolina A&T State University is again expanding its graduate-level cybersecurity program.

A national initiative announced Thursday will provide funding for the Department of Computer Science to expand enrollment in its master’s and doctoral programs. The growth comes just a year after the department admitted its first students at the Ph.D. level.

N.C. A&T will work with 12 other historically black colleges and universities and two national laboratories to dramatically grow the workforce of professionals, researchers and academics prepared to lead the nation’s defense against cyber attacks.

The project will be funded by the federal Cybersecurity Workforce Pipeline Consortium, a program to spark interest in cybersecurity in students from elementary school to graduate school.  The $25 million, five-year program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration.

A&T will be involved at the master’s and doctorate levels. Graduates from the other colleges and universities will study and conduct research at A&T.

Research will focus on cyber-identity protection and privacy in addition to cybersecurity in general.

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John Deere again offers lean training to students

Deere logoStudents in agriculture, business, engineering, and technology can apply now for the seventh annual John Deere/N.C. A&T Lean Academy. The 40-hour course will be held January 5-9 in Price Hall. It includes three days of instruction and project-based activities and a two-day visit to John Deere’s facility at N.C. State University.

The Lean Academy program teaches participants how to add value with lean processes and apply them throughout their careers. For a look at how one John Deere unit applies lean manufacturing and continuous improvement, click here.

More than 200 A&T students have graduated from the academy in the last six years. It is hosted by the Department of Applied Engineering  Technology in the School of Technology. Click here for the brochure and application.

N.C. A&T named 1890 University of the Year, honored for innovation and overall excellence

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has been named the 1890 University of the Year.

N.C. A&T shared the award with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The honor was presented by the Council of 1890 Universities of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The council presents the 1890 Teaching, Research and Innovation Awards to honor achievements at the 18 land-grant universities created by the federal Morrill Act of 1890.  All are historically black universities.

A&T also received the Innovation Award for the largest increase in transferring intellectual property into new products, processes, or services from 2012-2013 through 2013-2014. A&T shared this honor with the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff.

Among the innovations that A&T researchers have introduced recently are the world’s first hypoallergenic peanuts and a process to replace some of the petroleum content of asphalt with a substance derived from hog manure.

“It’s a tremendous honor for the extraordinary work being done on our campus by administrators, educators, researchers and our students,” Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. said.

“As we continue the journey to fulfill our strategic plan, A&T Preeminence 2020, it is imperative that we continue to make strides in the areas highlighted by this Council and beyond.”

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