CFAES Monthly : May 2020

  1. Dickerson joins CFAES as assistant dean and director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Photo of Patrice Dickerson

    CFAES has announced the appointment of Patrice Dickerson as assistant dean and director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). She begins on July 1, 2020.

    In her new role, Dickerson will lead change as she oversees and manages DEI efforts that support CFAES’ strategic goals. She will be responsible for evaluating the college’s climate for faculty, staff, and students and for developing strategies to ensure that all CFAES faculty, staff, and students feel valued for their individual talents and unique cultural perspectives. She will also connect with CFAES faculty, staff, and students who do work in DEI to create synergies and garner guidance regarding CFAES’ DEI efforts and direction as a college.

    “Dr. Dickerson brings a rich background of work and accomplishments in DEI,” said Tracy Kitchel, CFAES associate dean for faculty and staff affairs and Dickerson’s supervisor. “More immediately, her leadership will be important in keeping in mind the needs of our faculty, staff, and students during the COVID-19 pandemic as such situations can exacerbate issues of inclusion and access.’’

    Following the tragic, unjust death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the expressions of sadness, confusion, pain, and rage—not only here in Ohio but across the nation—as well as the civic unrest that has sadly accompanied the protests, the college will turn to Dickerson to help our community move forward, together, to elevate current standards and practices to be more equitable and inclusive, college leadership has said.

    Dickerson joins CFAES from Virginia Tech University, where she is currently the inaugural director of faculty diversity in the Office for Inclusion and Diversity.

    She has worked at Ohio State previously, having served as the assistant executive dean for strategic recruitment and diversity initiatives and the administrative director for the Office of Recruitment and Diversity Service in the College of Arts and Sciences before leaving for Virginia Tech.

    Earlier in her career, Dickerson was an assistant professor in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan.

    Dickerson has been a member of the Association of Black Sociologists, the American Sociological Association, the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, and the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

  2. ‘The most important thing in an outbreak is detection’

    Many people infected with the novel coronavirus show few or no symptoms, so researchers at Ohio State, including with CFAES, are developing a blood test that could detect the pandemic’s true extent.

    The researchers have also helped physicians at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center create a treatment for severe cases of COVID-19, a treatment that uses blood plasma from people who have had the disease and beat it.

    Both the blood test and plasma treatment could be critical in understanding and controlling the pandemic. 

    “The most important thing in a virus outbreak is detection,” said Scott Kenney, a researcher with CFAES’ Food Animal Health Research Program. “The way screening is working now, it’s underrepresenting the number of people who have the virus.”

    Read more.

  3. Safer apart: OSU Extension to continue to telework

    CFAES’ OSU Extension outreach arm will continue operating via its teleworking plan for all employees and will keep physical OSU Extension offices closed to the public until further notice. This remains in accordance with Ohio State’s decision that all university employees, with the exception of essential facilities workers, are to continue to telework, remain off campus, practice physical distancing, and take all other precautions to stay safe.

    Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton recently extended Ohio’s Stay Safe Ohio order through May 29. While some businesses and organizations in the state are starting to reopen as of early May, the guidelines for reopening offices via the governor’s office require personnel to work from home when possible.

    Read more.

  4. Two CFAES projects receive COVID-19 funding

    Two projects led by CFAES researchers were awarded funding in the second round of Ohio State’s COVID-19 Seed Funding, announced on April 23:

    Yongyang Cai, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, will forecast the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food and agricultural sectors of Ohio, and also on households during the post-outbreak recovery period through 2050.

    Scott Kenney, Food Animal Health Research Program, will test nanoparticle vaccines for their ability to produce protective immune responses using swine as vaccine test candidates.

    A total of seven projects from across the university received $204,000 in the second round of the funding program.

    Ohio State’s Office of Research launched the program in April, aiming to rapidly address critical health and community problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The office has also announced the awardees in the first and third rounds of funding.

  5. Two new CFAES certificate programs set

    Two new Ohio State certificate programs, aimed at farm labor management and animal health and handling, are moving forward after a successful CFAES grant competition. 

    The initiative was awarded $12,525 from the inaugural Spring 2020 Faculty Advisory Council and the Dean of CFAES Grant. The monies will fund the new project from May 1, 2020, to March 31, 2022.

    “Three of our agricultural and Extension educators identified a knowledge gap on dairy farms that related to management training and animal handling,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. “This gap limits the ability of farm managers to retain employees and potentially leads to animal welfare and human safety concerns.” 

    The new noncredit certificate programs will be designed and implemented by Maurice Eastridge, Department of Animal SciencesShaun Wellert, Ohio State ATI; and Chris Zoller, OSU Extension, Tuscarawas County.

    Read more.

  6. Awards and recognitions

    Ohio State ATI ranked high

    Ohio State ATI, part of the CFAES Wooster campus, ranked as the No. 1 best community college in Ohio (out of 26) and the No. 8 best community college in the United States (out of 871) in the 2020 Best Colleges rankings by Niche.com. Graduates of Ohio State ATI, its Niche.com report card said, earn a starting salary of nearly $38,000. 

    See the Niche.com report card.

    CFAES Fulbright recipients

    In an April 3 letter to Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES, Fernando Unzueta and Joanna Kukielka-Blaser of Ohio State’s Office of International Affairs acknowledged the Fulbright recipients who visited CFAES, or who visited other countries from CFAES, during the past two academic years.

    “Thank you for continuing to place a high value on supporting global opportunities for our students and faculty,” Unzueta and Kukielka-Blaser wrote in the letter.

    We congratulate those recipients:

    • Visiting Fulbright Scholars, 2019–2020: Jiraporn Inthasan, Thailand, School of Environment and Natural Resources; Vladimir Ivezic, Croatia, Carbon Management and Sequestration Center; Kevin McDonnell, Ireland, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Karabi Pathak, India, Carbon Management and Sequestration Center; Mark Graeme Trotter, Australia, Department of Animal Sciences.
    • Visiting Fulbright Scholars, 2018–2019: Nita Andreea, Romania, School of Environment and Natural Resources; Boua Celestin Atse, Ivory Coast, School of Environment and Natural Resources; Opeyemi Ayinde, Nigeria, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics; Salifou Traore, Burkina Faso, School of Environment and Natural Resources.
    • Visiting Fulbright Fellows, 2019–2020: Ashly Dyck, Canada, School of Environment and Natural Resources; Alejandro Pittaluga, Uruguay, Department of Animal Sciences; Martina Vásquez Miranda, Argentina, School of Environment and Natural Resources; Fides Angeli Zaulda, Philippines, Department of Plant Pathology.
    • Ohio State Faculty Fulbright Scholars, 2018–2019: Joseph Bonnell, School of Environment and Natural Resources, award to Dominican Republic; Henry Klaiber, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, award to Austria.
    • Ohio State Fulbright Students, 2019–2020: Maria Fredericks, School of Environment and Natural Resources, award to Colombia.

    The annual March reception honoring Ohio State’s Fulbright recipients was cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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