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Alabama A&M wins grant to boost minority bio-health careers

HUNTSVILLE — Alabama A&M University’s program in Animal Bio-Health Sciences has recently received the support it needs to retain and to graduate minority students through innovative hands-on techniques, in addition to remote learning opportunities.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded AAMU a three-year grant totaling $750,000 under its Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program, one of the largest grants received in more recent years in the Food and Animal Sciences Department. The grant will be facilitated at AAMU by Dr. Jorge Vizcarra, professor of food and animal sciences and the ABHS program coordinator.

ABHS began in 2014 and, while not a decade old, has steadily attracted more than 100 students a year. Following an enhancement of the program at the undergraduate level, Vizcarra and co-PIs Drs. Gamal Eden Abdelrahim, Josh Herring and Martha Verghese will explore the feasibility of establishing an animal bio-health sciences program at the master’s level.

If successful throughout the three-year period of grant support, AAMU will offer  underrepresented minorities, primarily African Americans, to the important field of animal bio-health sciences. This, ultimately, will impact animal science research, animal health and welfare, pre-harvest food and feed production.

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