Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Office of International Agriculture receives Grant from the U.S. Department of Education

Under a four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of International Agriculture (OIA) at Florida A&M University (FAMU) is leading the US-EU Excellence in Mobility Program, which expands the university’s international education linkages and academic programs. FAMU is working collaboratively with the BOKU the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna, LaSalle-Beauvais in France and the University of Georgia. The program, funded at $180,000 from 2010-2014, builds curricula in the food and agricultural sciences and provides a framework for 48 US-EU student exchanges and 16 U.S.-EU faculty exchanges over the life of the project.

The FAMU OIA began coordinating exchange visits for students and faculty early in January, 2011. Three undergraduate students enrolled in the FAMU College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA) were selected last fall to participate in the program. Earlier this month, Akie Smythe, Joshua Green (both majoring in international agriculture and business IAB), and Hannah Lovett, a food science major, departed for a semester of study at LaSalle in France. The students received $5,000 each for stipends to support their participation in the program this semester.

Under the faculty exchange component, the OIA is coordinating the first exchange faculty visit from BOKU. Rainer Haas, associate professor of Agricultural Economics in BOKU’s Institute of Marketing and Innovation, has begun his exchange visit with FAMU until Feb. 8.

The primary focus of the faculty exchange is to strengthen and internationalize curricula in key areas prioritized by the grant (i.e. food and agricultural sciences) with a long-term goal of creating more joint courses, integrated curricula, and expanded faculty collaborations to facilitate student internships and experiential learning. FAMU will also establish a new Certificate Program in International Agriculture as one of the deliverables.

“This program is all about improving student training and international opportunities,” says Harriett Paul, director of the FAMU Office of International Agriculture, and the project’s principal investigator.

The FAMU Agribusiness/IAB programs, under the leadership of Michael Thomas, professor and program leader, serve as the hosting academic units. This is the first faculty exchange with the Food Science program, which is headed by Neil James.

“The project’s theme, Meeting Consumer Needs for Safe High Quality Food Products, offers us a great opportunity to work collaboratively in an international context,” said Makola Abdullah, dean and director, Land-Grant Programs, CESTA. Co-PIs on the project are Oghenekome Onokpise, professor and associate dean, CESTA, and Violeta Colova, professor, Viticulture and Developmental Biology.

For more information, contact Harriett A. Paul, director, Office of International Agriculture, at or Betty Hudson at or (850) 599-8867.

No comments: