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University of Florida

UF/IFAS names Irani family, youth and community sciences chairwoman

Topic(s): Announcements, Departments, Families and Consumers, IFAS

Tracy Irani

UF/IFAS Professor Tracy Irani has been named as the new chairwoman of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A 15-year UF/IFAS faculty member and administrator has been named chairwoman of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Tracy Irani’s appointment is effective April 11, said Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at UF. Irani has been running the department on an interim basis since Oct. 1.

Before this appointment, Irani worked simultaneously as a professor in the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication and director of the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education (PIE). She will leave her PIE center appointment to work full-time as the leader of family, youth and community sciences, Payne said.

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UF/IFAS names Kevin Folta as horticultural sciences chairman

Topic(s): Announcements, Departments, IFAS, Uncategorized


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kevin Folta, the interim chair of the University of Florida’s horticultural sciences department, has accepted the permanent job, Jack Payne, UF’s senior vice president for agricultural and natural resources, announced Friday.

Folta is an associate professor with internationally-recognized programs in strawberry genomics and light regulation of plant traits. Recently he has gained national visibility in relating science to public audiences, particularly in the area of genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs.

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Dukes to lead Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology

Topic(s): Departments, IFAS


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Michael Dukes, a University of Florida agricultural and biological engineering professor and Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member, has been named director of the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology, where he’d been interim director since November 2011.

Dukes specializes in irrigation engineering and water conservation issues.

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Everglades REC director to chair UF/IFAS Agronomy Department

Topic(s): Announcements, Departments, Honors and Appointments


Rob Gilbert, director of the University of Florida’s Everglades Research and Education Center, will be the agronomy department’s next chairman, UF/IFAS’ top official announced this week.

Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, said Gilbert will begin his new position Jan. 15, allowing him time to wrap up his responsibilities at the center in Belle Glade.

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Food, sustainability and climate change experts to speak in Gainesville April 2-3

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Departments, Environment, Green Living, IFAS, Research, Weather

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida will host a climate symposium April 2-3 that will feature leading authorities on food, sustainability and climate change.

Registration has closed for the event, but members of the media are welcome to attend. It is being held at the Reitz Student Union on campus. The last two sessions on April 3, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., are open to anyone, regardless of registration. For more information, please see agenda here: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/landgrant/agenda.pdf.

Called Sustaining Economics and Natural Resources in a Changing World: Key Role of Land-Grant Universities, the symposium will address the impact land-grant institutions and their research have had on food security and agricultural production; infrastructure and transportation; energy; sustainable development and resource policies.

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UF agricultural economics professor wins lifetime achievement award

Topic(s): Announcements, Departments, Honors and Appointments, IFAS


Click here for high resolution version. Caption at bottom.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Charles Moss, a professor in the University of Florida’s food and resource economics department, recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

The award was presented at the association’s annual meeting in Orlando earlier this month.

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UF/IFAS students awarded at recent agronomy, soil science meeting

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, CALS, Departments, IFAS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Five University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences students received awards during a recent agronomy and soil science conference held last month in Cincinnati.

The conference, joint meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America, was attended by more than 4,000 people and included participants from land-grant universities across the U.S.

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UF student elected to president of national Future Farmers of America organization

Topic(s): Announcements, Departments


Click here for high resolution version. Caption at bottom.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Florida student Clay Sapp has been elected president of the national FFA organization, also known as Future Farmers of America.

Sapp, a junior in UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ agricultural education and communication department, received the honor during the organization’s national meeting last month in Indianapolis.

“It’s been a long journey, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and my leadership skills and abilities,” Sapp said. “I am really glad to have the opportunity to serve the members over the next year across the country.”

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UF-led team wins $1.7 million grant to help minority students earn microbiology degrees

Topic(s): Announcements, Departments, IFAS

Cutline at bottom. Click here for high-resolution image.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A team of University of Florida and Miami Dade College faculty members has won a five-year, $1.7 million federal grant to expand a distance-education program enabling MDC students to earn a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from UF.

The grant was announced in August by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education. The grant is part of an NSF effort to increase the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates, known as the STEM Talent Expansion Program.

“We believe this program will allow students to become science graduates who otherwise would be unable to do so for financial or cultural reasons,” said Eric Triplett, principal investigator for the grant and chairman of UF’s microbiology and cell science department, part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “This is one of the very few science degrees available by distance education anywhere in the U.S. from a top research university.”

Launched last fall, the program is aimed at students from minority groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM disciplines. It’s based at MDC’s North Campus, where 90 percent of students are Hispanic or African-American.

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