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TRI-AGNEWS November/December 2018

2018 A Year in Review IN THIS ISSUE Message from the Dean 2018 Highlights Sorrel Homecoming World Food Day


Message from the Dean and Director of Land Grant Programs

effectiveness as a land-grant institution. Here are just a few of the innovative initiatives for which I have advocated. First, allocate one wing of the Phase Nine development for CAHS

Gerard D’Souza

students. The strategic location of this dorm overlooking the Daniel

Ag is back, and the CAHS is continuing to work

Farm offers tremendous potential to showcase connections to the

hard making it better‌making it matter. In this

land, water, and other resources to sustain a healthy planet and

final issue of the TriAg in 2018, I want to thank

population. Given the competitive advantage of operating the only

the University administration and CAHS faculty,

Agricultural College and experimental farm operation in the greater

staff, alumni and friends for their unwavering

Houston area, these efforts will promote Chancellor Sharp's Healthy

support and commitment to a bright future for

Texas initiative, and perhaps more P3-based capital to a greater

the land-grant mission at PVAMU. Growth is on

extent when combined with the proximity to Hwy 290. Next, give a small portion of the ICCE project to CAHS to create

the horizon, and the most recognizable progress is taking shape on the Bill and Vara Daniel University Farm in the form of the new Phase

our own Agro-Innovation Center.

This center would be a hi-tech

Nine, the Innovation Village, and the Meat Processing Laboratory. It

hub; a futuristic approach to problem-solving that has a global

is very heartening to witness the expansion of the University and our

impact that strategically positions the University to offer something

facilities. We, as a college, are indeed supportive of those initiatives.

no other institution can. When combined with the live-learn-earn

The capability to manage effectively the stewardship of our land-

farm-based dorm experience, and the nascent partnership with

grant privilege is a direct result of a community of collaboration and

youth development at nearby Jones Elementary (a pipeline of

creative problem-solving. As we move into the future for the Daniel

talent to PVAMU), this could be a prototype for a futuristic land-grant

Farm, I wish to take this opportunity to share my ideas that work

university, cultivating the leaders of tomorrow who are more adept at

towards win-win solutions.

seeing the big picture, working collaboratively, and solving problems of hunger, poverty, and mental health.

It is my understanding that the University (through its P3 Partners and campus master planning) will continue to work closely with

Unmistakably, there is a lot of hard work ahead in the new year.

the CAHS leadership team to apprise us of development plans that

We have a newly installed set of CAHS Ambassadors, and are

impact the farm's research space. Just as it is a P3 Partnership that

thrilled to have students partnering with us on many new initiatives,

will guide the planned Phase Nine and Innovation Village concepts,

including farm planning, on-going CAHS task forces. As we continue

it is in this spirit of collaboration that CAHS leadership will continue

to collaborate on new ideas and move toward improvements on

to work with the University to help advance any new initiatives

the University farm, we have not lost sight of other goals to enhance

that grow the institution. As an accountability partner for the land-

academic programs, increase student enrollment, and promote the

grant programs at PVAMU, I am committed firmly to preserving the

economic well-being of disadvantaged Texans as you will see in the

University's ability to create a unique student learning experience

impact stories featured this month. I hope you enjoy this issue of the

and conduct the types of research and extension programming that

TRI-AG New Magazine.

assist citizens in counties across the state of Texas to demonstrate our

With Panther Pride. ď Ž



In this Issue

JAMES M. PALMER Interim Provost GERARD D’SOUZA Dean and Director of Land-Grant Programs ALFRED L. PARKS Interim Associate Director for Research KWAKU ADDO Associate Dean CAROLYN J. WILLIAMS Executive Associate Director of Extension LARACHELLE SMITH Director of Marketing, Communications & iT


CAHS Celebrates the Future at Homecoming Ready to Rodeo


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is the official impact news magazine for the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences at Prairie View A&M University.



This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Evans-Allen 1890 Research Formula Program and the 1890 Extension Formula Program project under Section 1444 and Section 1445. The contents are solely the responsibility of the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA or NIFA.

CAHS Alumni Take on the World CAHS Students Achieving Greatness

Opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, PVAMU or the Tri-Ag editor.

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Send news, story ideas and comments to: 250 E.M. Norris St. | P.O. Box 519, MS 2001 | Prairie View, TX 77446 TRI-AG NEWS is available electronically

Easy Donation Options


2018 Highlights

MAIL A CHECK Carden-Waller Cooperative Extension Building 250 E.M. Norris Street | P.O. Box 519; MS 2001 Attn: Fiscal Department Prairie View, TX 77446


VISIT US ONLINE Click on ‘Opportunities’ & go to ‘Ways to Give’



World Food Day Event Growing Sorrel in Texas

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By Taelor Smith nergy and excitement spread across the City of Prairie View from the time the sun came up to well into the night, as students, alumni, fans, and friends came out in droves to enjoy a great day of excitement out on “The Hill” at Prairie View A&M University’s 2018 Homecoming. People caught up with former classmates, reminisced about their time as students at PVAMU during an entire week of events that led up to the big game against Alcorn State University on October 27th.


current success. Also during the event, alumnus Dr. Zelia Z. Wiley shared her passion for helping PV students and expressed how her time at the university led her to a successful career as the Assistant Dean for Diversity at Kansas State University. Mr. E.W. Wesley, Agriculture Alumni Chapter President, presented the Dean with a $4,000 donation on behalf of the PV Ag Alumni for scholarships, training and research equipment, and community programs. The event was an excellent opportunity for everyone to see all of the work CAHS has put in the classroom, on the farm, and in the community. In the days leading up to the big homecoming parade, a committee of students and faculty worked diligently on designing and bringing to life a Black Panther themed float that was a big hit with the crowd. Riding along on the float were the king and queen court for Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club and Livestock Team. The students waved to fans along the route while our very own Black Panther and warriors interacted with the crowd. "The project has brought me closer to my co-workers and classmates. I've never felt more welcome. It's a once in a lifetime experience to ride on the float as King, and I will always keep those memories," said Chris Jennings, Mr. Livestock King. For the College Agriculture and Human Sciences, the day started at the Lindsey Weatherspoon Agriculture Breakfast. CAHS supporters, students and faculty along with extension agents and farmers came together to help raise money for the college inside the Agriculture-Business Multipurpose Building. In a program moderated by Dr. Wash Jones, attendees honored alumni and recognized prominent college supporters who remain committed to putting agriculture back at the forefront of PVAMU.

Although we didn’t see victory on the field, PVAMU Homecoming 2018 was one to remember for everyone connected to CAHS. Homecoming allowed the college’s new

CAHS Dean and Director of Land Grant Programs, Dr. Gerard D'Souza,

dean to be introduced

introduced himself as the college's new leader. “This is a new beginning

formally to alumni and

for the College of Ag and Human Sciences. I’m pleased to be leading this

encouraged optimism

college in such an important juncture in our future,”he said. He went on to

for all of the changes that are sure to come. Students were

share plans to bring back many functions of the university farm including the

able to interact with alumni and researchers were able to

creamery and chicken coop which he hopes will play a significant part in his

connect with farmers, all to show progress in agriculture at

initiative to make PVAMU the leader in fighting global food

the university.

insecurity. The college was recently awarded a grant to create new graduate programs in numerous areas of study including sustainable food systems.



Attendees took time to honor CAHS pioneers and acknowledge how their vision has led to the college's




"It's exciting. It's historical. There are generations of people who rode with the trail ride. We've had people come from Ohio, Washington,

Do you know Thewhere week ofyour trail riding begins Sunday in Prairie View, and the group food travels every day until they reach the HLSR Parade staging area in Houston'soriginated? Memorial Park the following Friday. Before heading out, the

and California to come ride in Prairie View trail ride for that week," said Adams.

CEO of HLSR comes out to speak to riders with PVTRA and for the past few years, has donated $100,000 to the organization. Sunday night's Kick-off Dance is PVTRA's signature fund-raiser which supports scholarships for

By Taelor Smith

Springtime in Texas means blue skies

PVAMU students. Throughout the week, trail riders visit local public schools and elderly centers along the way to help educate the young and more

and blooming flowers, and it's also a time that brings

matured about animal care and the trail ride tradition. The week of

excitement for the new rodeo season. Students in the

events also includes the Hog Roast and Annual Chili Cook-Off. This year,

College of Agriculture and Human Sciences know

university president Ruth Simmons came out to enjoy the festivities and

springtime is when they're able to show off their hard work

met one of PVTRA's founders, James Francis. PVTRA is on schedule for another great year of tradition and animal

on the farm at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and maintain a rural tradition in the modern world. Prairie View Trail Riders Association celebrated its 60th year in 2018, and longtime member and PVAMU Veterinary Assistant Chandra Adams said after all of these years, this event remains relevant to many people.

education going into the new season. According to the organization's Treasurer, Lenice Brown, meetings and workshops before the week of riding, like wagon inspection, helps promote safety on the trail. "We always do a wagon inspection to make sure the wagons are safe, and we then do a safety workshop that teaches you about equine care, and toxic plants that you may encounter during the trail," said Brown. The 2018 Trail Ride had more than 250 horses participate, and anticipation for next year has already set in because they're expecting even more next year. PVAMU's Livestock Show Team also saw a great deal of success at the 2018 HLSR. Under the direction of Research Specialist Scott Horner, the team of students showcased some of the milking Alpine goats that are raised and trained at the International Goat Research Center on the university farm. The university's team has participated with HLSR since 1994 and has always done well with showing and caring for their animals. "We'll take a group between 12 and 24 goats, and we'll take between 6 and 12 students every year. The goats are going to place wherever they place; it's their competition, but the students have always done a really good job of getting them ready to be shown and making sure they look good," said Horner. The team experienced a special honor this year as two students were selected to be HLSR Interns for the Dairy and Boer Goat show for the first time in PVAMU history. In years before, this opportunity had been limited to mostly Texas A&M students only, but Kamry Scott and Kayla Steemer were able to represent PVAMU and served as student employees for the show's entirety. In preparation for HLSR 2019, the team already has started training and practicing with their animals. "The animals have to get used to being groomed and guided as they walk. There's a fair amount of training involved getting them ready to go," said Horner. Students train the goats to be shown by teaching the animals to walk, proper posing, and how to stop on command. The goats have to get used to their feet being handled to ensure proper posing. About a month before show, students will begin grooming their animals on a regular basis to make sure they're comfortable with being presentable. For the upcoming rodeo season, PVAMU plans to keep the tradition alive in all aspects of rodeo. Trail riders have already undergone wagon inspection in preparation for the weeklong ride, and the Show Team are working their animals every day to ensure optimal performance for their upcoming debut. The university is doing its part to keep the tradition of the Black cowboy and farmer alive by educating students.ď Ž

Trenton Burkhalter jr. (left) and Justin R. Burkhalter (right)




Dr. Myers as the person who came up with a solution to food insecurity. That is my challenge to him. Three years from now, we've got to be able to go out into our communities and surrounding counties and solve some of these problems we face," said D'Souza.

By Taelor Smith

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines food security as a situation that exists when all people, at all times

Have you eaten today?

have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. During his presentation, Dr. Myers explained that food insecurity is a much

Do you know where your food originated?

bigger issue than many could imagine. "About 11 percent of the United States, the richest nation on the planet, is food insecure. Texas is in the red [meaning] it is above the U.S. average for food insecurity. In Texas it's over 14 percent," said Myers. The IFSRC will be a source of information and an outstanding

Do you know what you'll eat tomorrow?

resource to discover new ways to provide access food and teach sustainably for the estimated future population. Grant funds will be used to upgrade research facilities, hire researchers, and staff for the new center. Myers hopes to make key collaborations other universities, federal agencies, and any groups that have a shared mission to further the efforts of the

These are questions some of us have the privilege of being able to

IFSRC. Other main focuses will center on undergraduate

answer with confidence, but a significant number of the globe's

research, and creating learning opportunities. Dr. Myers

population are unable to answer these questions. Fortunately, the

plans to continue the university's impact in the community

College of Agriculture & Human Sciences is taking charge in the

with the help of the Cooperative Extension Program and

challenge to make food available for all the earth's people.

student organizations which will focus on undergraduate

After an intense application process led by

project; some have expressed interest in starting farmer

A&M University was awarded a $5.3 million grant

markets and food pantries for the community.

by the Texas A&M Chancellor's Research Initiative.

Dr. Myers said he's extremely grateful for this opportunity

On October 16, CAHS took time to acknowledge

being made possible with the support of TAMU System.

World Food Day with a presentation from the

He looks forward to making a mark in solving this global

college's very own Dr. Myers. He will lead the way

problem. "They are investing in us to set up a system where

for the new Integrated Food Security Research Center made possible

we can start to address this whole issue of food insecurity,"

by this grant.

said Myers.

Myers presented plans for the all-new IFSRC to CAHS students,

By sharing his vision for the new IFSRC, Dr. Myers is

faculty, and staff on World Food Day. CAHS Dean and Director of Land

inspiring change which will set a new standard for the

Grant Programs, Dr. Gerard D'Souza shared his desire to make PVAMU

university. "Hopefully, this World Food Day is a kickoff for us

the leading authority for solving the world's issue of food insecurity while

as a college and hopefully as a university to start to look at

introducing Dr. Myers. "In about three years, I would like to introduce

this issue comprehensively," he added. ď Ž



research. Currently, many students are excited about the

endowed professor Dr. Deland Myers, Prairie View


Horace Hodge

By Taelor Smith

GRADUATED 1978 MAJOR Agriculture Education

Kashara Bell

OCCUPATION USDA/1890 Program Liaison for PVAMU


Something that always stayed with me about [Prairie View agriculture] was not only the interest that professors had for students academically, but also the personal connection that professors made with their students.

MAJOR Criminal Justice – Interned with the Cooperative Extension Program OCCUPATION PVAMU Cooperative Agriculture Program Extension Agent for Wharton County

I bleed purple and gold! Prairie View A&M University has been an absolute blessing to my life. My job, family, and growth all came from God and this land-grant institution! I'm so proud to be a panther!

Jeremy Peaches

GRADUATED 2014 MAJOR Agriculture with a concentration in Animal Science OCCUPATION PVAMU Cooperative Agriculture Program Extension Agent for Harris County

Chad Reese GRADUATED 2007 MAJOR Agriculture Economics OCCUPATION Agricultural Science Teacher, Aldine ISD

My time at CAHS taught me how to be professional. I learned how to make connections and gather and use resources to give my students the best educational experience I can provide. I also learned the content of what I teach.

When I attended Prairie View I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge. I was able to express my passion through the opportunities that the CAHS, CEP, and CARC offered.

Demond Spiller

Neal Baines



MAJOR Agricultural Science

MAJOR Agriculture Economics

OCCUPATION Veterinary Science Teacher, Irving ISD

OCCUPATION Cooperative Extension Program Administrative Officer at PVAMU

An important piece I took from PVAMU that's irreplaceable is the relationship building. You were able to talk to your professors, and they displayed interest in you and that you know it was important. Now I'm able to show that to my students.

Every position that I’ve held since I’ve worked here,

I did not ask for it. It was something that the hiring authority saw in

me that they felt I had the capabilities and skillset to execute those duties.

Dexter Arkadie

Andra Collins

GRADUATED 1978 MAJOR Agriculture Education


OCCUPATION Agriculture Teacher, Aldine ISD

MAJOR Agriculture with a concentration in Animal Science, Minor in Soils and Crops

OCCUPATION Agriculture/FFA Teacher,

A lot of students come in and they want to major in Animal Science. I challenge them to say where will they work after getting their degree. Getting a teaching certificate is what I try to instill in my students.

Aldine ISD I truly and dearly love Prairie View! It saved my life.


CAHS Alumni Take on the World 88

Achieving Greatness

USDA/1890 National Scholars Three outstanding CAHS students were selected as 2018 USDA/1890 National Scholars by the Foreign Agriculture Service. Though their varied experiences led these students to pursue this opportunity, they all hope to gain more extensive knowledge of agriculture, Kyla Peer and nutrition, and the USDA while in this Dora Gonzales-Marin program. The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program offers scholarships to U.S. citizens who are seeking a bachelor’s degree at one of the nineteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions in any field of study related to agriculture, including food, natural resource sciences, or other related disciplines.  Kristina Edwards, Freshman Human Nutrition major  Dora Gonzales-Marin, Sophomore Plant and Soil Science major

TAMUS Pathways Symposium On November 1st and 2nd, CAHS sent a team of student researchers to present their work at the Texas A&M University System Pathways Student Research Symposium. Though the entire event covered all subjects of study, agriculture students excelled by taking home the top positions in their category. These students presented research that covered a variety of topics, which included detailed results of their findings.

UNDERGRADUATE AGRICULTURE AWARD WINNERS  1st place – Asja Jackson  2nd place – Victoria Parker  3rd place – Ellen-Ashley Williams


Frederick Douglass Fellowship Program Prairie View A&M University’s Agriculture and Human Science major, Morgan Green is the University’s lone applicant to Morgan Green apply for a prestigious fellowship. The Frederick Douglass Institute of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education offers the Fredrick Douglass Global Fellowship to make study abroad accessible to students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSI). Fellowship recipient’s program fees and travel costs are fully covered for an intensive 4-week summer study abroad program designed to enhance their leadership and intercultural skills. Green’s goal is to become a veterinarian, and hopes this opportunity will prepare her for a future that involves caring and providing for the health of animals globally. She also wants to inspire other HBCU students to utilize more resources to achieve their dreams.

 Kyla Peer, Freshman Agriculture major with a concentration in Agribusiness

Dr. Alfred Parks, University Screening Committee Chairman, Kristina Edwards, Horace Hodge, USDA/1890 National Scholar Liaison

CAHS Ambassadors The fall semester welcomed a group of new College of Agriculture and Human Sciences Ambassadors to be the voice of students. The CAHS Ambassadors program gives students the opportunity to be representatives of the college and serve their peers. Ambassadors are selected to establish relationships with prospective students Russell Thomas and current underclassmen as means of mentorship, encourage college retention and graduation, and to develop strategies to improve the college experience. With this program making a big comeback for the college, students are looking forward to growing better relations with the university.  Juanita Young  Russell Thomas  Praise Benson

 Briana Reid  Cayla Steemer

 Jordan Jones  Camryn Davis

Kappa Omicron Nu Inductees A scholarship is a fantastic part of a student's higher learning experience, and when CAHS students strive for academic excellence, it is great to witness. Kappa Omicron Nu Human Sciences Honor Society introduced new scholars to the elite group. The honor society promotes empowered leaders who use an integrative approach to enhance the quality of living through excellence in scholarship, leadership, and research. Jacklyn Sanders and Dr. Sharon McWhinney serve as advisors for the Beta Epsilon Chapter at PVAMU.         

Aaliyah Gilder Destinee Williams Paige Culpepper Sydney Brown Alajhonte Thomas Kierra Morris Lauryn Powell Zulfa Eisa Christopher Myres



CAHS Students

Investigating the potential of

Growing Sorrel in Texas

P By Tucker Wilson

rairie View A&M University's farm is in its second year of producing a plant that's known all over the world for its many benefits. The plant with a white to pale yellow colored flower is admired for its beauty and revered for its medicinal powers, could also become a profitable crop for Texas area farmers. "I thought our specific clientele are limited resources, they want to make a profit, but without

too much initial capital investment," said Ag and Natural Resources


Extension Specialist, Dr. Kesha Henry.

Known as sorrel in Jamaica, the fruits of this plant is widely consumed in the form of teas and festive holiday drinks. In Belize, Central America it is also used in spirits and for a variety of medicinal purposes. Sorrel known scientifically as Hibiscus sabdariffa is a member of the Malvaceae family. The genus Hibiscus has more than 300 species including, but not limited to okra and cotton, and we are just beginning to unlock some of the endless possibilities this plant holds.

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"We need to figure out how to market it, within our international community," said Dr. Henry, but she's convinced this is a ripe market for Sorrel because the Houston area is diverse, there's no doubt the Carribean and African store owners will stock and sell this product. Ongoing research indicates sorrel's medicinal values include reducing high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, improving liver function, and it can serve as a tonic to reduce body weakness. As if that's not enough, it can serve as a laxative and if taken daily, can aid in weight loss. Through their collaboration here at Prairie View A&M University, Researcher Dr. Peter Ampim and Dr. Henry have discovered that Texas' climate and soil are ideal for growing this crop. According to Dr. Peter Ampim, "Sorrel is a crop that doesn't require a lot of management, and would be ideal for Texas farmers." The plant needs a four to eight-month growing period, with five to ten inches of rainfall per month for the first few months of growth to avoid premature flowering. Here in Texas, the months of May or June are ideal for planting, which means the plant will bloom from September through October with harvest expected between November and December. One sorrel plant can produce about three pounds of fruit. Here in the United States, we are just unveiling some of the potentials this plant holds. Dr. Ampim said, "In Ghana, they eat the leaves fresh or dried, and drying is done to increase the shelf life of the leaves." Dr. Henry added that the plant could also be used for cosmetics including soaps and lotions. While no one can say for sure exactly where this tropical plant originated, everyone agrees that Sorrel's potential healing powers can be beneficial to people all over the world. Soon through this collaboration Texans too will be exposed to some of this beautiful plant's medicinal possibilities. ď Ž


Photo credit Crystal Talley Thompson

FOR MORE INFORMATION about Sorrel Production in Texas, contact: Dr. Kesha A. Henry Program Specialist Cooperative Extension Program Agriculture and Natural Resources Prairie View A&M University (936) 261-5030 | Dr. Peter Ampin Research Scientist Prairire View A&M University (936) 261-5096 |



Hurricane Response in Liberty County By Jimmy Henry, Program Leader, Community and Economic Development Ten days after Hurricane Harvey Liberty County, Community & Economic Development extension agents took the lead in organizing and responding to the hurricane victims. The agents provided thousands of residents with blankets, toiletries, water, gift cards, shoes, clothes, cleaning supplies, food, gift cards, temporary housing and other supplies. Local churches, community organizations, and businesses reinvested over $330,000 in the community as a result of established partnerships. Partners included: Langetree Duckfarm and Eco Center-leader, Walmart, St. Vincent De Paul Church, Cajun Navy, Cajun Army, United Way, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the Beaumont Parish Recovery Assistance Center. As a result, approximately 2,080 individuals received assistance and church organizations from other States have taken notice of the monumental accomplishments and are planning to travel to Texas in the coming weeks to provide clean-up, remediation, and repair of 25 homes in the liberty county area. Because of extensions involvement, our Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program 4-H Unit arranged for a 4-H group out of Louisiana to donate additional school supplies to Liberty County kids. Governor Abbot states that the recovery will estimate up to $180 billion and years to recover fully. It’s even more critical that rural communities assemble the leadership necessary to solicit and pool together resources that can assist the often overlooked rural communities.





By Shaye Lewis Jessica R. Watts is an undergraduate student majoring in biology and agriculture at Prairie View A&M University. For two years, she worked in the laboratory of Shaye Lewis in the Cooperative Agricultural Research Center and is not a stranger to highlevel research competitions. She presented posters at the 50th Annual Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR), on July 13-16 in Washington, DC, and the 17th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), in Phoenix, AZ, on

 Development of testes functions in juvenile male goat  Whole-transcriptome and whole-microRNAome profiles of testes during juvenile development  Serum testosterone has an

November 1-4. During the 23rd Annual Texas Forum for Reproductive

inverse relationship with genes

Sciences (TFRS) in Houston, TX, Ms. Watts gave an oral presentation

functioning in important

of her research.

signaling pathways in the testes

Recently, the PURSUE undergraduate research journal accepted her paper titled “Postnatal Testis Development in the Male Goat: Characterization of Endocrine and Molecular Changes before Puberty.” Her interests lie in conservation biology and the genetics/genomics of wild non-model species. Entering the


university, Ms. Watts wanted to be a veterinarian but working in the laboratory changed her focus to the pursuance of a Ph.D. in molecular biology and genetics. As a scientist and mentor

 Identification of exosomes in seminal plasma  16S rRNA profiling of the male juvenile reproductive tract  Identification of protein

engaged with a young but gifted scientist, I strive to maintain a laboratory environment of

digestion and absorption

honest, bi-directional communication of research successes, failures, and ideas relating to

pathway in the male

science. Additionally, as I have mentored her over the years, I have been an advocate for her

reproductive tract that may

professional development even when it is evident that her career will have a different direction

have a link to commensal

than my own. My role has been to first listen to her ideas and career goals, then help her refine

bacteria identified by 16SrRNA

them without taking away her voice. The success she experienced is the result of her boldly

profiling during juvenile

vocalizing her scientific and professional visions for the lab and her career respectively.


Student Researcher of CARC: Jessica Watts 12


By Tucker Wilson After a prolonged and noticeable absence from the Waller County Watermelon Festival, Prairie View A&M University made its inaugural appearance with something so unique that it stole the show. “Not only did PV burst onto the scene with an educational program, but they also debuted the “Gold and Gold,” said Extension Program Specialist, Rafash Brew. “This was the first year this melon seed had been sold to framers for production,” he added. The Gold and Gold is a show-stopper, the fruit’s outer color is yellow with golden stripes, and its inner flesh is shades of orange and gold. Its crisp texture, combined with a high sugar content sets it apart. Described as high yielding, and improved disease-resistant melon with a firm rind that resists cracking or bursting, it was an immediate festival favorite. Since the Interior Quality Competition was the most educational part of the festival, the melon ranked well. Brew’s volunteers won at the university’s first, but not its last, appearance at the Waller County Watermelon Festival. The Cooperative Extension Program will continue to work with the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce, the festival’s organizer, to make the interior quality contest a mainstay of the festival. And, undoubtedly, the Gold and Gold also will become a festival centerpiece.

Watermelon Fest 13

By Kelley A. Redmon Technology has changed society in ways that once seemed inconceivable, with self-driving cars, people planning trips to Mars, and having conversations with robots while sitting at their dinner tables. So, it should come as no surprise that, the farmland is now a new haven for "techies." Through Precision Agriculture, technology is being used to explore optimal amounts of inputs when and where it's needed to produce high crop yields efficiently. The Cooperative Agricultural Research Center (CARC) at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) is a ripe breeding ground for this new type of agriculture. In many instances, the practice uses less, to grow more. For the industry that was slowed by a lack of market power, this type of innovation couldn't have come at a better time.



By Kelley Redmon Prairie View A&M University’s (PVAMU) College of Agriculture

and Universities (HBCU) through scientific research and extension

and Human Sciences (CAHS) hosted its first Land Grant Week. The

programs. The week started with a panel discussion on the

event was ideal in showcasing past accomplishments, explaining

importance of land grant programs to the campus and community.

the future plans of fulfilling the land grant mission and focusing on

The week’s success was attributed to faculty and staff that shared

career options to encourage students, alumni, faculty, research

the enthusiasm of the occasion and the influence that the land

scientists, extension personnel, and supporting staff to be involved in

grant mission had on their personal and professional lives.

making a difference in people’s lives across the state of Texas. The

PVAMU’s CAHS Land Grant Week honored a legacy founded on

leadership of CAHS harnessed the power of ingenuity, working side

the investment of resources in people and communities to provide

by side with five colleges to lay the foundation of human progress

excellent opportunities for generations to come continually. Those

with sixty-two undergraduate and graduate students participating

who attended the week-long event gained increased awareness

in oral and poster presentations that demonstrated the value of

about the network of HBCUs dedicated to enhancing the resilience

research and outreach.

of families, individuals, and communities. It promoted the mission of

With a series of events and activities, Land Grant Week ensured

upward social and economic mobility by overcoming the problems

a diverse and well-educated public regarding the establishment

faced in impoverished areas. We continue to salute one of the most

of the nineteen 1890 land-grant universities, which gave equal

influential pieces of educational legislation, The Morrill Act of 1890.

learning opportunities for students at Historically Black Colleges

Land Grant Week


The use of new technology and innovative approaches are

It estimates an effective water requirement to the soil for ideal crop

a "win-win" for all involved. The farmer's crop production is

growing over the course of a growing season, using thermal infrared

both improved and increased, and the consumer benefits from

images, convolutional neural networks, and drones. The study offers

lower prices. Innovation on the farm is born out of another

farmers a near-real-time data assessment that is less expensive but has

beneficial relationship, that of student and professional. A

an expansive range of tools.

Professional engineer, and CARC Research Scientist, Dr. Ram

Ray and Sobayo monitored soil moisture conditions in three different

Ray, whose expertise is in hydrology, water resources, and

plots (pasture, orchard and container garden planted with strawberry)

remote sensing, can help guide some of the brightest minds.

of the university farm and discovered the soil moisture changes were

Under his supervision and that of PVAMU Department of

evident in the three different areas due to new algorithms, moisture

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor, Dr. Lijun Qian,

sensors, growing vegetation and characteristics of the soil. Adopting

Electrical engineer student, Remilekun Sobayo's master degree

this model into farming will help discover even more ways to conserve

thesis developed a new computing technology.

water, efficient use of nutrients, and help identify diseased plants.


Precision Agriculture-Technology Shaping the future of farming

Taelor Smith Family and Community Health Program Leader Dr. Jacquelyn White put the Cooperative Extension program in the By Marvin Young

spotlight during a recent appearance

Forty-five young ladies at Thomas Haley Elementary School's the Ladies club in Irving; Texas participated in a program titled, Welcome to the Real World. The Ladies, led by 3rd-grade Lead Teacher, Ms. Charteka Webb, were also assisted by a cadre of enthusiastic teachers from Thomas Haley and the PVAMU/CEP advisory committee members. Those members volunteered as bankers, insurance agents, car salespersons, and other merchants vying for an opportunity to persuade the students to make purchases that take prudent decision-making skills according to their monthly budget.

on a local TV talk show. Dr. White was




a guest on KPRC Channel 2’s Houston Newsmakers hosted by Khambrel Marshall. She spoke about the topic of Food Insecurity and provided valuable information about the importance of access to healthy foods as well as tips on how to get the most out of your trip to the grocery store. These topics are in line with Dean Gerard D’Souza’s blueprint to make

Marvin Young jumps at the opportunity to connect with young people by providing the type of life experiences that are only achieved through realworld experiences. "The program gives students hands-on experience and allows them to see what it's like to handle personal finances," said Young. The in-depth program provides students with hands-on experience of what it's like to have a career, make financial decisions, and work in a diverse world just as adults do in everyday life — the program offered by PVAMU's Cooperative Extension Program in Dallas County and took place on the last two Tuesdays in the month of October. For more information, please contact Marvin Young at 214.904.3050 or

The Real World 15

Prairie View A&M University a leader in tackling this global problem.

Food Insecurity


Prairie View A&M University's Extension Agent for the Dallas area,


Elliott Walker,

Junior Digital Media Arts Major Photo credit Ebony Ohen

PO Box 519, MS 2001 | Prairie View, TX 77446

CONTACT US or @pvamucahs


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The Triag, 2018 Year End  

Prairie View A&M University College of Agriculture and Human Sciences Triag Magazine showcases the tripartite of the college through its Res...

The Triag, 2018 Year End  

Prairie View A&M University College of Agriculture and Human Sciences Triag Magazine showcases the tripartite of the college through its Res...

Profile for pvamucahs