n this summer issue of Perspectives, we describe endeavors of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with an eye toward the impacts those efforts promise — and with a focus on the people behind the efforts.
Among the activities that positively enhance the teaching, research and extension mission of the College are those of its retirees. Over the years, in previous issues, we’ve reported the ongoing service to the College, university and community of many of them. I am appreciative of the leadership being provided by several retired faculty, and in this issue we offer as example seven for whom the word “retirement” really meant “opportunity to serve.”
The work of the College’s partners and its alumni can have important impacts, as well. The contributions of Glenn Petty, N.C. Horse Council president and Animal Science Department advisory board member, are featured here. You’ll also learn about George Upton, a 1956 animal science graduate and Sampson County director of Cooperative Extension, and the impacts of his 48 years of service in that county. Also there’s news about cotton grower and consultant Danny Pierce, a 1976 pest-management graduate. Pierce, of Princeton, was named Cotton Farming magazine’s 2003 Cotton Consultant of the Year, in recognition of his work helping growers manage 10,000 acres of cotton, 12,500 acres of soil sampling and 2,000 acres of soybeans.
Research impacts are illustrated as we go into the botany lab of Dr. Niki Robertson and Dr. Wendy Boss who, with their team of scientists, have genetically engineered plants to contain more calcium than normal and be more stress-tolerant. And as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury, we recognize the impact of its years of research in forage, corn, small grains, dairy and poultry and in numerous other crop studies.
We also proudly bring news that the College’s Dr. Kerry Smith was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences — one of the highest honors that can be given to a U.S. scientist. Smith, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, is one of 72 scientists elected to the prestigious academy this year. The impact of his research is illustrated by his studies of the effects of air pollution in Southern California — an effort that has assembled one of the largest databases linking air quality to the sales prices of residential properties.
I began this note with our retirees, and I conclude with our students. We celebrate the achievements — and the potential impact — of several here, including four who have won prestigious Gates Cambridge, Goldwater and Udall scholarships and one who has re-landscaped Kilgore Hall.
Come meet the people who make the impacts.
Interim Dean, College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences