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Seven ABAC Faculty Members Receive ABAC Foundation Enrichment Funds

October 26, 2017

Seven faculty members at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will receive funding for projects and activities in 2017-18 through the ABAC Foundation’s Gail Dillard Faculty Enrichment Fund.  This fund provides dollars for faculty research projects and other creative activities which support the Destination ABAC strategic plan and Student Engagement Programs.

Covering two schools of study and five different departments, the recipients include Dr. Janet Koposko, assistant professor of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Ben Gahagen, assistant professor of biology in the School of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Vanessa Lane, assistant professor of wildlife ecology and management in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Dr. Christopher Beals, assistant professor of biology in the School of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Rachel Price, assistant professor of English in the School of Arts and Sciences; Dr.  James McCrimmon, professor of environmental horticulture in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources; and Dr. Lucia Ona, assistant professor of agribusiness in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“This year’s application pool was extremely competitive, and there were a variety of outstanding proposals,” said Dr. Jordan Cofer, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Learning Resources.

Gahagen’s project will investigate the potential genetic and morphological differences between populations of a widespread, yet disjunct mustard species, Leavenworthia uniflora. The grant will support the purchase of necessary reagents for DNA extraction, amplification, and sequencing costs.

Price will use the funds she receives to start a press on the ABAC campus.  The goals of the press will be to showcase the work of South Georgia writers and scholars as well as offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the publishing industry while still in college.

Koposko will run a focus-group research workshop designed to help students practice thinking about the long-term future.  The goal is to increase future-oriented thinking, and in turn, good planning.

Beals will use the funds to purchase a field fluorometer, provide a part-time salary for a research student, and utilize funds for the research assistants to travel to a professional conference and speak on the results. Beals is the first ever multi-year award winner, winning a faculty enrichment fund in 2015-2016.

McCrimmon will purchase four instruments to assess and measure the chlorophyll content and color of several warm season turfgrass species and cultivars.  His project will allow student workers the opportunity to get involved in mentored research.

Lane’s project will utilize funds to purchase equipment for multiple research projects, including studying Loggerhead Shrikes on campus. Her project will also offer equipment and support for senior capstone projects in the natural resource management program.

Ona will use the funds to launch the first study abroad opportunity specifically designed for the agribusiness program in Argentina. Ona will accompany faculty from the University of Kentucky, complete a site visit and organize a future trip for ABAC agribusiness students.
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