Alcorn honored by APLU for highest increase in agriculture degrees awarded

Alcorn honored by APLU for highest increase in agriculture degrees awarded

Alcorn State University proudly announces receiving the Agriculture Degree Completion Award from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) for a 123 percent increase in agriculture degrees awarded between 2012 and 2013. This award is presented to the university that has the highest increase in agriculture bachelor’s degrees from 2011-2012 through 2012-2013.

“It is a great honor to be recognized for the cumulative hard work that has gone in to receiving this award,” stated Dr. Barry Bequette, dean and director of Land-Grant Programs, School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences (AREAS). “We will continue our current efforts with public school visitations, career days and use of our Agricultural Ambassadors in the recruitment process.  We will also continue to develop student relationships through departmental advisement efforts and the creation of a familial atmosphere in the School through various events and academic clubs.  Plans are under way to employ a professional to assist in guidance of recruitment and retention. We will also increase our efforts at letting others know of the good things happening at Alcorn, and will strive toward meeting the requirements of other awards.”

Dr. Daniel Collins, chair, Department of Agriculture, said, “This coveted award is a testament of our faculty, staff, students, alumni and stakeholders working together to insure student recruitment, retention, and graduation. The Department is actively engaged with various stakeholders to assist us with student recruitment and retention such as PreK-12 schools, community colleges, community organizations, Alcorn ag alumni, USDA agencies, agribusiness companies and foundations. Specifically, we are planning a series of recruitment activities: Agriculture Experience Camp, Community College Sustainable Ag Short Course, Ag Camp for Middle School Students, Ag Day 2014, and workshops for PreK-12 teachers.”

He added, “We also have several initiatives underway to capture awards in other categories. We have increased our undergraduate students’ participation in research and study abroad, our faculty are conducting outstanding research leading to patents, new products and applications. In addition, we plan to host the Global Food Security and Plant Biosecurity Symposium that will enhance our standing as a world leader in research and outreach activities concerning plant pathogens and insect pests that are threats to our food security. We are also making plans to introduce new courses and initiatives in tropical agriculture and collaborations with universities and research institutions worldwide and especially with nations in the Caribbean.”

Alcorn was among 15 recipients of the inaugural 1890 Land-grant Universities Teaching, Research and Innovation Awards (1890 Awards). The recipients were honored during a ceremony at the 126th APLU Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Sponsored by the Kresge Foundation, the 1890 Awards recognizes advances in teaching, research and innovation on 1890 university campuses and encourages advancement and development in these areas of national importance.