Perspectives Online

The academic environment

In one of the College's more scenic academic environments, Dean Johnny Wynne (right) and Dr. Steven Leath, new associate dean and director of the Agricultural Research Service, attend the 2005 Gala in the Garden at JC Raulston Arboretum.
Photo by Becky Kirkland

In each Perspectives, we bring you news of efforts in fulfillment of our land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension. The components of those three are interwoven in the academic environment we provide for our students. Whatever a student's major among the 22 departments of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, he or she is part of the whole that is the College and can benefit directly or indirectly from the community of knowledge here and across N.C. State University.

One student of the College who recognized this wonderful opportunity and took part in it to fullest is Anna Edens. Anna served as student speaker at the May commencement, when she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and three minors in genetics, English and journalism. Whether her time was spent working in Dr. Patricia Estes' genetics lab, serving as student government chief justice, writing editorials for Technician or participating in many volunteer service activities, Anna, a Park Scholar and member of multiple honor societies, made a point of participating in much that the university has to offer. Read here about this student, her undergraduate work and post-graduate aspirations.

Teaching has been the life's work of Dr. Carm Parkhurst, featured in our College Profile. As he enters a phased retirement, Parkhurst looks back over his career as Alumni Undergraduate Distinguished Professor and research scientist in the Department of Poultry Science. He has served for many years as adviser to student organizations, including the Poultry Science Club, Alpha Zeta, Ceres and FarmHouse, and as a director of the N.C. State Fair, where he works with youth poultry-showing activities that encouraged many of the youngsters to study poultry science at N.C. State. A member of the university's Academy of Outstanding Teachers, he sees the success of his students as his greatest achievement. Such dedicated teachers are the heart of our mission to provide our students "what they pay for," as Parkhurst puts it.

In Academic Programs news, the College recently has had three graduate certification programs approved by the Graduate School. Learn here about the opportunities now available for graduate students in molecular biotechnology, horticultural science and watershed assessment and restoration.

Teaching in the College includes outreach efforts to bring research-based knowledge to the state's citizens. In the spring, Dr. Blake Brown, a tobacco policy expert in our Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, organized informational events to help North Carolinians receiving tobacco buyout checks. While providing information to all 75,000 buyout recipients seemed an impossible task, Brown says it was possible to reach the people who are likely to advise recipients. The workshops and training sessions were presented on campus and at locations across the state to Extension agents with tobacco responsibilities, as well as tax preparers and other financial consultants.

The administrative center of all these College activities is Patterson Hall, which this year turns 100 years old. A look at its history is here for you, along with the latest about some of the people and programs that this academic environment comprises.

Johnny Wynne
Dean, College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences