TRI-AGNEWS May 2018
Women in Agriculture The Foundation for a Brighter Future
No one can “ make you feel inferior without your consent.
IN THIS ISSUE Tribute to Dr. Elizabeth Noel PVAMU Dietetics Campus Hunger and Homelessness Land Grant Week PVAMU Students Making HERstory
Student Research Spotlight
VOICES of the Tripartite ALI FARES Interim Dean and Director of Land-Grant Programs; Associate Director for Research In honor of women in agriculture, this issue could not have been more timely and appropriate as the university makes history. Joining PVAMU on July 1, 2017, after a very outstanding career in leadership of several Ivy League universities, Ruth J. Simmons was inaugurated as the eighth leader and first woman president on Friday, April 20, 2018, during an outstanding celebration attended by national and international figures. The CAHS will participate in this celebration by showcasing some of its best research demonstrations, state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms, and extension programs. Also, we begin preparing to host newly admitted and prospective students as part of several summer programs including the Summer Jumpstart, Research Extension Apprentice Program (REAP), AgDiscovery, and the Youth Leadership Laboratory. Researchers, extension personnel and faculty secured over $1 million in extramural interdisciplinary funded projects, and are currently working on other grant proposals. We are proud of our long legacy of accomplished women in agriculture and will continue to strive to serve all students and clientele across the state of Texas. Watch for more to come in the impact stories through Tri-Ag, Monday Minutes, the CAHS website, and social media. We are always eager to hear from you, and we appreciate your engagement that contributes to our shared success.
CAROLYN J. WILLIAMS Associate Administrator of Extension In celebration of Women in Agriculture, I could not think of a better time to provide a message regarding the agricultural landscape from a leadership perspective of women. Inspired at an early age by my familyâ€™s backyard garden, I developed a passion for food, agriculture and food preparation. I was no stranger to agriculture as my mother, the late Mrs. Myrtie Jamerson, organized the Shamrock 4-H Club in Anderson County, Palestine, TX in 1968. My motherâ€™s vision emphasized the increasing value of having women in leadership roles which made my achievements satisfying. However, the root of my extension career began with the county extension agent, who has since passed away, Mrs. Rubye Ragsdale, inviting me to participate in programs that proved an excellent fit for my family. Becoming the associate administrator for extension, I found personal success in leading a viable, visible and triumphant Cooperative Extension Program (CEP). CEP has a proven track record of addressing emerging needs of youth, empowering families, enhancing knowledge and skills of farmers as well as producers, and facilitating positive community and economic development. The success of an organization depends on the employees, and I am grateful to work with the best Extension agents, specialists, program leaders, Administrative Associates, and other support units. I cannot thank them enough for their contribution to advancing the mission of the Extension outreach component. We will continue to leave a legacy of programming excellence while demonstrating social and economic impact for Texans.
KWAKU ADDO Associate Director for Academic Programs and Department Head As we celebrate women in agriculture, the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences acknowledges our current female students, faculty, and staff. The College also recognizes the accomplishments of our alumnae who have matriculated from traditional agriculture disciplines such as Plant and Soil Sciences, Agribusiness, Animal Science along with specialties in Human Nutrition, and Family and Community Service. Our female students continue to excel academically, and several continue to seek research, internships, and study abroad opportunities to enhance their academic experience at Prairie View A&M University. Several of our alumnae are currently pursuing professional and graduate programs at institutions such as Purdue University, Tuskegee University, Texas A&M University and Ross School of Veterinary Medicine. Others have obtained professional certifications and licensures such as Registered Dietitians, Licensed Professional Counselors, and as National Park Service Rangers. We are proud of all of our past and more recent graduates, who continue to contribute to the agriculture, food and nutrition sectors of the US and global economies.
RUTH J. SIMMONS President JAMES M. PALMER Interim Provost
IN THIS ISSUE
ALI FARES Interim Dean and Director of Land-Grant Programs; Associate Director for Research KWAKU ADDO Associate Director for Academic Programs and Department Head CAROLYN J. WILLIAMS Associate Administrator of Extension LARACHELLE SMITH Director of Marketing, Communications & iT
AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION & HUMAN ECOLOGY
Tribute to a Trailblazer
One is Good but Two is Better
Aligning Your Leadership Actions
is the official impact news magazine for the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences at Prairie View A&M University.
KELLEY A. REDMON Tri-Ag Editor-in-Chief Contributing Writers DAWN BURTON DANIELLE HAIRSTON-GREEN ALEXA JACKSON SHAYE LEWIS SHARON MCWHINNEY NATHAN K. MITCHELL KELLEY A. REDMON KAMRY SCOTT CAYLA STEEMER HANNAH N. WILLIAMS
with What Matters Most COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
Food Insecurity and Homelessness at an HBCU
Extension Collaboration: It Took a Woman
CAHS First Land-Grant Week
Girl, You Totally Got This
Extension Leader…Shaping the Future
Proofreaders/Editors HAIMANOTE BAYABIL RICHARD W. GRIFFIN WASH JONES KELLEY A. REDMON Cover Photo PVAMU SPECIAL COLLECTIONS/ ARCHIVES DEPARTMENT
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. Opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, PVAMU or the Tri-Ag editor.
Send news, story ideas and comments to: 250 E.M. Norris St. | P.O. Box 519, MS 2001 Prairie View, TX 77446 firstname.lastname@example.org
TRI-AG NEWS is available electronically pvamu.edu/cahs/e-publications
Strength is Beautiful
Student Research Spotlight
Determinants of a Woman’s Work
You Can Always Tell an Ambitious Woman
A Time for Reflection
Easy Donation Options 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 www.pvamu.edu/cahs Click on ‘Opportunities’ & go to ‘Ways to Give’
ACCESS US DIRECTLY Using this QR Code
AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION & HUMAN ECOLOGY
TRIBUTE TO A TRAILBLAZER
In Women’s Hands Dr. Elizabeth N. Noel, Ph.D., former Associate Vice President for Research and Professor, Human Sciences (Family and Child Studies/Family Economics) began her tenure with Prairie View A&M University as an Educational Counselor/Advisor and Recruiter in Home Economics. She served the University in multiple positions in the food and agricultural sciences through teaching, research and service. She culminated these roles as Dean, College of Agriculture and Human Sciences. In 2004, Dr. Noel provided guidance and support for faculty, staff and graduate students in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of research and sponsored program activities in her new position as Research Administration in the Office for Research. She considered strategic planning, assessment, and evaluation of program effectiveness her major strengths. She served in a variety of institutional-wide roles including: Member, PVAMU QEP iREAD (Increasing Reading and Engagement for Academic Development) Implementation Team; Training Coordinator for the iREAD Academic Coaches; Co-Chair, Institutional Strategic Planning; Member, Institutional Effectiveness Council; Member, University Graduate Faculty and Graduate Council; and Activity Coordinator, Title III Projects Research Infrastructure Development and Enhancement and Advancing Research and Graduate Studies. Dr. Noel conducted numerous seminars, workshops and presentations at national and international conferences. Most recently, she focused on Research Compliance, Research Integrity, and Responsible Conduct in Research. She retired from the University on August 31, 2015 and her legacy carries on throughout the campus as she was a charter member of Zeta Gamma chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated in 1975. (Reprint of Past Publication)
One is Good but Two is Better By Kelley Redmon, Kamry Scott and Cayla Steemer During the 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Cayla Steemer and Kamry Scott made strides being the first African-Americans and women from Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) to serve as student interns for the Dairy and Boer Goat show. Surely, we know gender and diversity are not new issues, but to tackle both at one time when PVAMU did not have representation is momentous. Land-grants are the universities of access, and it is important we take a leadership role in subjugating stereotypes. “As a Black woman, this fed my energy because I felt as though we finally mattered,” uttered Scott. Similar views were echoed by Steemer, “We were the first ones to finally be accepted into the internship program after many years of no PV student representation, and we set the example for those after us.” Being the first did not intimidate them at all because they are mindful of all the stereotypes women face, especially in agriculture, but they were not going to let this opportunity slip through their fingers. Instead, they let the opportunity empower them to boldly break more stereotypes as they both aspire to become veterinarians. The awareness of these two ladies shows investing in diversity in the 21st-century agricultural science workforce will increase representation of women and minorities in this country’s agricultural sector. As a land-grant, administrators must integrate research and education to increase female participation, prepare the next generation of agricultural leaders in Texas, and bring public attention to the critical role of females in the industry. The two ended with this quote, “A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for others. ~Anonymous Author” These ideals are worth preserving and we should do everything possible to improve the stigma.
By Sharon McWhinney and Kelley A. Redmon
The phrase “You are what you eat!” indicates the importance of eating to be healthy and fit. A dietetics education leads students to take an active role as food and nutrition leaders and to provide clarity to a misinformed public about who a dietitian is or what a dietitian does.
INTERN'S PERSPECTIVE EZGI OZTURK from Ankara, Turkey chose PVAMU’s dietetic program because of the food service management focus. “I love being part of food service management. I am learning a lot of good information through my rotations, and I will never forget my intern times with PVAMU!”
Prairie View A&M University offers a nutrition program to advance the health and wellness of individuals through research, dissemination of knowledge, and educational professionalism. Sharon McWhinney, Ph.D., RDN, LDN, identified a need to strengthen the community by providing a path to internships for nutrition graduates. McWhinney is the driving force behind the dietetic internship program which has been funded by a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1890 Capacity Building Grant. Beginning with a 1998 cohort, the program offered seven internship positions and acquired full accreditation in 2000 from the American Dietetic Association presently known as The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The program was reaccredited in 2010 for another 10 years and granted an increase in the number of internship positions to ten. Since the program’s inception and accreditation, the internship has maintained a completion rate of 100%. The average two-year pass rate on the Registration Examination is 89%. McWhinney’s work fully exemplifies the land-grant mission of the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences. She serves as Professor of Nutrition & Dietetics in the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Human Ecology. Her sustained efforts are the reason that this university is 1 of 6 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with a dietetic internship program.
KEMIA CARTER a 2017 Texas Tech Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics graduate chose the internship program for the HBCU experience. “PVAMU, colleagues, and internship rotation site prepared me for academic excellence and I have a joy in my heart.”
BREANNA DAVIS received her undergraduate degree from PVAMU in Nutrition and Dietetics and found it an honor to be chosen for the challenging program. “Being accepted into the program allowed me to stay close to my family and receive emotional as well as financial support during my journey to becoming an RD.”
AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION & HUMAN ECOLOGY
Aligning Your Leadership Actions with What Matters Most
CAMPUS HUNGER ON THE NATIONAL STAGE By Kelley A. Redmon After the 2014 NCAA Men’s Championship game, Shabazz Napier, point guard for the University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies, lit the national stage regarding campus hunger. Although Napier’s critique centered on student-athlete compensation, his comment raised eyebrows to campus hunger, and the relationship between students and the universities they attend to implement programs to help food-insecure students responsibly. Napier’s story and others like his is not a recent development among college students, which lead college campuses to organize food pantries to address college hunger.
“…there’s hungry nights and I’m not able to eat and I still got to play up to my capabilities.”
It is hard for some to fathom this issue; after all, college is a tool for socioeconomic mobility. However, there is a bit of irony for students. If they are hungry, they will stress, they will miss class, grades will drop or become unstable resulting in their financial aid being cut, thus indicating a need for advocates supporting them through this hardship and earning their degrees. As the hunger paradigm shifts, state lawmakers need to look at ways to allocate state dollars to help with food costs and university administrators advocating for automatic qualification for all need-based students to federal SNAP spending.
Food Insecurity and Homelessness at an HBCU By Danielle Hairston-Green and Nathan K. Mitchell Few people can imagine food insecurity or homelessness on a college campus. Over the past five years, these issues, on campuses throughout the United States, were given more national attention. The 2014 Feeding America Report revealed that “one in 10 adults seeking emergency food assistance is a student, and two million of those students are full time” (as cited in Hoyt, 2015, p. 3).Organizations such as the National Student Campaign Against Hunger believe such issues are “undermining the educational success” of hundreds of thousands of students at all universities across the country (National Student Campaign, 2016, p. 1). Two national studies published between 2015-2017 revealed food and housing insecurity became an issue on many campuses throughout the country and, most surprisingly, this number included several Ivy League institutions (Dubick, Mathews, & Cady, 2016; Goldrick-Rab, Richardson, & Hernandez 2017).
Photograph courtesy of PVAMU Special Collections/Archives Department
References Dubeck, Mathews & Cady (2016, October). Hunger on Campus. Retrieved from studentsagainsthunger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Hunger_On_Campus.pdf Goldrick-Rab, S. (2018, January 14). It’s hard to study when you are hungry. The New York Times. Retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2018/01/14/opinion/hunger-college-food-insecurity.html Goldrick-Rab,S., Richardson,J. & Hernandez, A. (2017 March). Hungry and Homeless in College: Results from a national study of basic needs insecurity in higher education. Wisconsin Hope Lab. Retreived from www.wihopelab.com/publications/Hungry-and-Homeless-in-College-Report.pdf Goldrick-Rab, S. & Broton, K.M. (2015, December 4). Hungry, Homeless and in College. The New York Times. Retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2015/12/04/opinion/hungry-homeless-and-incollege.html Hoyt, E. (2015, November 17). Food insecurity is the new hunger & it’s prevalent on U.S. College Campuses. Fastweb. Retrieved from www.fastweb.com/student- life/articles/food-insecurityprevalent-on-college-campuses National Student Campaign Against Hunger (n.d.). Executive Summary. Retrieved from studentsagainsthunger.org/hunger-on-campus/ U.S. News and World Report 2016-2017. Prairie View A&M University. Retrieved from www.usnews.com/best-colleges/prairie-view-am-3630
EXTENSION COLLABORATION: IT TOOK A WOMAN By Hannah N. Williams Dawn E. Burton is a proud alumnus of Prairie View A&M University and in 2011 began working in the Cooperative Extension Program (CEP) as a health coordinator. Her experience has indisputably influenced the lives of women which improves everyone’s lives. Burton declares, “What I love about working for CEP is the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people who believe in improving the lives of the citizens of Texas. And I get to contribute directly to the assistance of increasing the knowledge of health and wellness to Texans.” The Affordable Care Act affectionately called Obama Care transformed health care in America and bridged the availability and affordability of healthcare to all. Burton uses her role and the support of 22 Family and Consumer Science (FCS) county agents to work across program areas and leverage their needs to enhance outreach and program efforts. As Burton works diligently for the underrepresented Texas population, she partners with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension on numerous grants. For example, she worked on the 1.25 million dollar Marketplace Exchanges of the Affordable Care Act (MEACA) which ended in 2014. Currently, she is collaborating with the Georgia extension on a cancer prevention grant, Cooking for a Lifetime of Cancer Prevention Cooking School (C4L), to improve the quality of life and increase awareness and prevention of cancer in rural America. Under the grant, Burton is ensuring that participants from Maverick, Wharton, and Washington counties are making strides in cancer prevention, screening intervention, and early detection in an array of innovative approaches. Reaching out to the community with grants and partnerships is a beneficial role in allowing ongoing engagement, and it orchestrates a greater voice in decisions and a high-level of trust for residents voices around the table. Burton has a new collaboration with Texas AgriLife Extension Service with the Growing U project and Healthy Living Practices with 4-H. The empowerment these grants offers is significant in connecting audiences.
Dubick, Mathews, and Cady (2016) surveyed nearly 4,000 students enrolled at eight community colleges and 26 four-year predominantly white institutions (PWI) in 12 states. Their findings revealed that more than 40% of the respondents reported experiencing food insecurity within the previous 30 days. The study further revealed that the issue was more prevalent with students of color (57% African American students). The report concluded that “more than half of all first-generation students (56%) were food insecure, compared to 45% of students who had at least one parent who attended a college” (p. 7). According to Goldrick-Rab (2018), in Atlanta, Georgia, students attending Spelman and Morehouse Colleges organized a hunger strike protest to force their schools to allow students to donate unused meal plan vouchers to registered students in need. Although those campuses did not conduct a formal study, the students recognized a critical issue concerning food insecurity at their nationally recognized premier HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). For this reason, more studies should focus primarily on the impact of this phenomenon at HBCUs. To gather a collective understanding of campus food insecurity and homelessness at HBCUs, Dr. Danielle Hairston-Green, Program Specialist in the Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, conducted collaborative research on food insecurity and homelessness with Dr. Nathan Mitchell, Associate Professor at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU). The study, introduced as a class assignment for students in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences graduate program and undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences, yielded a sample that included 576 undergraduate and graduate students. The findings of the PVAMU study revealed 67% of students experiencing food insecurity was due to lack of adequate nutrition. Conversely, the 39% of food insecure students in the study revealed hunger affected their educational efforts. The study revealed a severe challenge for college students in today’s society as 57% of the students indicated that they knew other students with the same issue at the university. More than 39% of those surveyed stated homelessness contributed to academic pitfalls as well. In an open-ended question, a female undergraduate student shared, “[at times] I have to choose between using my last ten (dollars) to either get food or put that money in my gas tank for school.” This study proved valuable as Hairston-Green and Mitchell used the data to establish PVAMU’s on-campus food pantry and provided recommendations to the Leadership PVAMU Cohort 2 members as well as several institutional leaders. Hairston-Green posits that “Hunger policies and education policies should be aligned. We make a mistake in believing students who receive free or reduced lunch while attending K-12 somehow no longer need this assistance once they enter systems of higher education.” Both researchers agree that every public institution should consider establishing a student food bank for their students in need. The researchers would like to extend this study to other 1890 land-grant universities and are currently identifying funding sources. To support the Panther Food Center initiative, please visit Panthers Market Place at secure.touchnet.com/C20166_ustores/web/index.jsp .
FEMALE AGRICULTURAL FACTS • 1.6 billion women rely on farming for their livelihood • More than 50% of the world’s food is produced by women • Women prepare up to 90% of meals in households around the world • Only 20% of women globally are landowners • Women represent 70% of the world’s poor • Women comprise 43% of world’s agricultural labor force • Rural women should be viewed as experts who possess knowledge which complement experts’ formal knowledge • Women still face significant inequality on our world’s farms, especially in developing countries • In most countries, women with small farms and access to credit is 5 to 10 percentage points lower than men • More women in agriculture could increase yields in developing countries by up to 4%; thus, reducing the number of undernourished people by 15% (130 million) *Sources: globalagriculture.org, USDA.gov, fao.org
CAHS Hosts First-Ever
Land Grant By Kelley A. Redmon
rairie View A&M University’s (PVAMU) College of Agriculture and Human Sciences (CAHS) hosted its first Land Grant Week. The event was ideal in showcasing past accomplishments, explaining the future plans of fulfilling the land grant mission and focusing on career options to encourage students, alumni, faculty, research scientists, extension personnel, and supporting staff to be involved in making a difference in people’s lives across the state of Texas. The leadership of CAHS harnessed the power of ingenuity, working side by side with five colleges to lay the foundation of human progress with sixty-two undergraduate and graduate students participating in oral and poster presentations that demonstrated the value of research and outreach.
With a series of events and activities, Land Grant Week ensured a diverse and well-educated public regarding the establishment of the
nineteen 1890 land-grant universities, which gave equal learning opportunities for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) through scientific research and extension programs. The week started with a panel discussion on the importance of land grant programs to the campus and community. The week’s success was attributed to faculty and staff that shared the enthusiasm of the
Photograph courtesy of PVAMU Special Collections/Archives Department
By Alexa Jackson Today’s agriculturalist is not just men with dirt on their knees or callouses on their hands. They are women, young and old. We see them farming as a career and as a hobby. You may not recognize them when you see them. Kesha Henry grew up in Jamaica on several acres of farmland established by her grandparents. Henry’s passion for agriculture begin with 4-H and science. Through her education, she earned a BS in environmental science and a PhD in agricultural and extension education. Currently, she is a program specialist and feels very confident working in the agricultural sector due to her childhood. She states, “My multifaceted educational background gives me a varied perception of agriculture locally and internationally. This provides me to be well rounded and achieve success in any environment.” She admires Michelle Obama because she sets the example of a great education and the notion that nothing is out of reach when you work hard. Henry is a woman of action for the Cooperative Extension Program headquarters as she coordinated small ruminants and high tunnel workshops.
Week occasion and the influence that the land grant mission had on their personal and professional lives. PVAMU’s CAHS Land Grant Week honored a legacy founded on the investment of resources in people and communities to provide excellent opportunities for generations to come continually. Those who attended the week-long event gained increased awareness about the network of HBCUs dedicated to enhancing the resilience of families, individuals, and communities. It promoted the mission of upward social and economic mobility by overcoming the problems faced in impoverished areas. We continue to salute one of the most influential pieces of educational legislation, The Morrill Act of 1890.
GIRL, YOU TOTALLY GOT THIS
EXTENSION LEADER Shaping the Future By Kelley A. Redmon Self-determination is a right, and everyone is entitled regardless of
Williams has a philanthropic heart; whereas, several students have
gender, income status, or circumstances. Carolyn J. Williams, the
benefitted from her generosity for study abroad trips to Mexico
Associate Administrator, is in a role that is powerful and stressful but
and most recently, Costa Rica.
one she seems to enjoy because of the purpose it holds. Williams
A young student, in particular, Jazmine Campbell stated, “I did
believes agriculture, research, and extension at Prairie View A&M
not know Dr. Williams, but she called me to her office, and she
University play an instrumental role in helping a new generation
gave me a personal check for me to be able to go on this trip. I
appreciate their talents and gain confidence in making their
am so grateful because otherwise, I would not have been able
to go.” This statement would seem that Campbell felt a sense of
Williams states, “The population our extension program serves
luck, but Williams knew that leadership development is living at
face difficult challenges, and as the leader of the unit, we
the intersection of preparation and opportunity. Study abroad
develop programs to help this population cope with a world
ensures that future leaders are well-prepared and creates the
that is volatile, uncertain and complex. We teach them to value
right opportunities to reinforce the development and readiness
themselves, their contributions and their abilities.” Providing these
for even more prominent and challenging roles; therefore, as a
tools add value that any forward-thinking person needs and gives
leader, Williams developed the future leaders to be ready and
way to collective leadership.
relevant for what is incoming.
During Williams' career, she hosted a morning television show
Every woman should be a role model for other women, and
in Brazos Valley, mentored student workers who are employed as
sometimes, it is the young person that will serve as a reminder
county agents for CEP and AgriLife, and supported staff members
of how important it is to stay true to what it is we want as
to further their education in masters and doctoral programs.
professionals in spite of gender.
By Danielle Hairston-Green peaking at the symposium, Johnson marveled, “I had an opportunity to overhear other students present, and I just kept thinking, “Wow, I remember all of this from class! It’s all connecting.” Gayland Johnson, a graduate student in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences pursuing a Master’s of Science degree reflects on her excitement towards research, “I just kept remembering [my professor] telling me that this is your opportunity to change the narrative! Research informs policies and laws, and you need to be at the table! TELL YOUR STORY”.
Strength is Beautiful
During the fall of 2017, a faculty mentor encouraged her to compete in the Texas A&M Systems State Pathways Research Symposium as a class representative. She won first place in the poster division. However, the symposium was the first time Johnson competed in an academic competition. Never competing caused nervousness and an ailing mother formed apprehension, but her mother’s wisdom and encouraging words forced her to go to the symposium which opened possibilities once unimaginable. Johnson developed a new passion for research, which is leading her to analyze gender differences in communication and behavior in organizations. Through the research problems/methods class, Johnson invested in her confidence and predisposed herself to progress changing her narrative. As she navigates to completing her degree, she knows the importance women play in being part of the science workforce and building respect as a researcher while contributing to the body of knowledge. Saddened by the loss of her mother a few weeks later, Johnson states, “I grieve that my mother is not here with me. But, her encouragement gave me the strength to present, I won, and I celebrated with her.” Johnson graduates with her Master’s in May 2018.
Against All Odds You Can Always Tell an Ambitious Woman By Kelley A. Redmon
As many around the globe developed a deep fondness for the fictional Wakanda and the woman spearheading its innovative technology, it was in 2010 that Dr. Richard W. Griffin revolutionized the Cooperative Agricultural Research Center (CARC). He gave CARC a real glimpse of “Black Girl Magic” in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field with the strength and leadership of an Ethiopian woman, Selamawit Woldesenbet (Sela), DVM, over the newly conceptualized CARC Core Laboratory. The established CARC Core Lab includes multi-million dollar state of the art equipment such as the Agilent Technologies 7890A GCMS Systems, Waters High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Thermo Scientific MaxQ 4450 shaker, and Spectramax plus spectrophotometer equipment to name just a few. The Core Lab has three sub-laboratories (molecular biology, microbiology, and analytical chemistry) that provide analytical capabilities for multiple experiments throughout the campus. Sela performs gene sequencing analyses in organisms in the molecular biology lab, food processing and shelf life studies through the microbiology lab, and soil-water-plant sample analyses within the analytical chemistry lab. In addition to overseeing the Core Lab, Sela
fostered an educational role in training students and researchers in the operation of various analytical methods and instruments. While there is no doubt about, the role stereotypes play, whether implicit to gender bias or leadership traits, Griffin set them aside and chose the best person to pioneer the lab. Although this new responsibility came with high visibility and pressure for Sela, she embraced this as a personal challenge to broaden female acceptance in the STEM fields and exploit The Core Lab to dismantle biases. The US Department of Commerce reported white (non-Latino) workers hold 7 out of 10 positions. As a scientist, who cares about inspiring all people especially minorities and women, Sela is significant in the scientific landscape to amplify cultural impact. Students from all disciplines and majors volunteer in the CARC Core Lab because they are looking to excel their training in becoming an independent scientist. Sela still mentors students who have gone to medical, veterinary and graduate schools, doctoral programs, and more. She also reminds them that the nature of science is fickle and to continue pressing forward because research will provide answers to important scientific questions. Her resolve in God allows her to preserve scientific integrity and encourage her trainees positively. Sela defies many conventions like graduating from high school in Ethiopia to directly entering veterinary school in Brno, Czechoslovakia. In the progression of science, she was methodical in building the lab and serving as the sole head under the framework of doing a job well should make no difference in gender or age. Her ambition and her foresight in developing her skills through her quest for self-improvement is indeed a woman who did it her way.
Jessica R. Watts
SPOTLIGHT Student Researcher of CARC By Shaye Lewis
RESEARCH DISCOVERIES Development of testes functions in juvenile male goat Whole-transcriptome and whole-microRNAome profiles of testes during juvenile development Serum testosterone has an inverse relationship with genes functioning in important signaling pathways in the testes Identification of exosomes in seminal plasma 16S rRNA profiling of the male juvenile reproductive tract Identification of protein digestion and absorption pathway in the male reproductive tract that may have a link to commensal bacteria identified by 16SrRNA profiling during juvenile development
Determinants of a Woman’s Work By Kelley A. Redmon A woman with a lovely smile and openness to change is infectious. Born in Iran, Mahta Moussavi’s mother motivated her to study food science. Currently, she is a residential post-doctoral researcher with the Cooperative Agricultural Research Center (CARC) and is investigating the effect different organic soil amendment types and rate of physicochemical characteristics of collard greens. The primary focus of her research centers around the post-harvest quality of fruits and vegetables. Moussavi’s interest in post- harvest research is critical in meeting the goals of food security, alleviating poverty and the sustainability of agriculture for countries. Since women play a decisive role in the household and national food security, the post-harvest research done in Moussavi’s lab is important in reducing food loss with drying techniques for food preservation and storage. Moussavi in 2012 received her doctoral degree in food science from the University of Newcastle in Australia. Before joining the CARC team, she held a post-doctoral position at UC-Davis. She published in six peer review journals, presented at 16 conferences and is drafting several manuscripts of her post- doctoral project findings. She is a knowledge-hungry woman and proves that a woman is just as equal in thought and deed.
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 high-level 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 November 1-4. During the 23rd Annual Texas Forum for Reproductive Sciences (TFRS) in Houston, TX, Ms. Watts gave an oral presentation of her research. 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. The main focus of her research involves the identification of gene networks essential to establish spermatogenesis function during postnatal development of the caprine testes using high-throughput RNA and miRNA (micro RNA) sequencing. Because I believe in autonomy, Ms. Watts challenges herself and me and is more of a partner in the research. Her thoughtful analysis and interpretation of the data resulted in her synthesizing new thoughts and subsequently novel research directions in the laboratory. As a scientist and mentor engaged with a young but gifted scientist, I strive to maintain a laboratory environment of honest, bi-directional communication of research successes, failures, and ideas relating to science. Additionally, as I have mentored her over the years, I have been an advocate for her professional development even when it is evident that her career will have a different direction than my own. My role has been to first listen to her ideas and career goals, then help her refine them without taking away her voice. The success she experienced is the result of her boldly vocalizing her scientific and professional visions for the lab and her career respectively.
A Time for Reflection
Photographs courtesy of PVAMU Special Collections/Archives Department
CAHS NEWS REAP
Dr. Deland Myers, Mexico Study Abroad
Dr. Kwaku Addo, Ghana, West Africa Study Abroad
June 18-28 July 1
Dean’s start date, Dr. Gerard D’Souza
Dr. Beverly Copeland, Jamaica Study Abroad
July 9–Aug 6
Summer Bridge: Summer Session II
Youth Leadership Laboratory
CAHS Students and Alumni JONATHAN NICHOLS ’20 4-H Internship Counselor Brownwood, TX ZHANE BROWN ’17, FLOYD WILLIAMS ’18, & TEILOR RUFF ’18 Accepted to Purdue Veterinary School SHANOY ANDERSON ’10/’13 Received Ph.D. from Texas Tech in Environmental Toxicology BRYCE PETERSON ’17, WESLEY SLATER ’17, & KELLEY KENTER ’17 Accepted to TAMU Veterinary School CORWIN SPEARS ’17 Accepted to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine CONLEE FRY ’15 Graduated MS in Animal Science from Tuskegee University and accepted to Tuskegee University Veterinary School DEVONTE JONES ’17 & TREMAINE SAPP ’17 Employed by the U.S. National Park Service
GETTING TO KNOW CAHS AND CEP By Neal Baines and Phyllis Earles Lucille Smith was recruited in 1937 by PVAMU to initiate a domestic service training program for professors and instructors Elizabeth May Galloway came to PVAMU in 1923 with 12 students in the home economics department. She was instrumental in expanding the curriculum. May Hall was named in her honor in 1958 Mary E. V. Hunter was the first Black home economics demonstrator for TX as the state supervisor Carden Hoover first administrator of Extension Cooperative Extension Program began April 1, 1972 Cooperative Extension Program was implemented in 13 counties and have expanded to 34 counties Linda Williams-Willis was Dean of CAHS from ’04-’07 and CEP Administrator from ’96-’07 The College of Agriculture merged with the College of Home Economics in 1996 to form the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences Flossie M. Byrd was Dean of the College of Home Economics for 23 years and first female Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs
PO Box 519, MS 2001 Prairie View, TX 77446
CONTACT US pvamu.edu or @pvamucahs
“Life is not a crystal stair, but women have learned to climb them effortlessly.
CAHS brings you the world 16
PVAMU Agriculture BS ‘10 PVAMU Animal Science MS ‘12 TAMU Animal Science PhD ‘15
Prairie View A&M University College of Agriculture and Human Sciences Triag Magazine showcases the tripartite of the college through its Res...