CAFLS eNews 2012 Spring #2

Three CAFLS alumni are recipients of the Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award

The Alumni Association's highest honor is the Distinguished Service Award. This year three out of six awardees are CAFLS alumni. Our congratulations to:  

Theodore WestmorelandTheodore G. "Ted" Westmoreland of Shelby, N.C., Class of 1956, a veterinarian who has been a leader in his profession, in his state and community, as well as a strong supporter of both academics and athletics at Clemson. 

Watch a video bio of Ted Westmoreland >>>

Gosnold Graham "Goz" Segars, Jr., of Hartsville, Class of 1966Gosnold   a developer and business owner whose dedication and investment in Clemson is matched by his involvement in local education, economic development and community service.    

Watch a video bio of Goz Segars, Jr. >>>

Palmer Palmer E. "Satch" Krantz, of Columbia, Class of 1972, executive director of Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia and internationally recognized leader in his profession as well as a leader in his community and in Clemson’s Alumni Association and Board of Visitors.

Watch a video bio of Satch Krantz >>>

Read profiles of all 2012 Alumni Distinguished Service Award recipients >>>

CAFLS sponsors reception for International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science

Angela Sutton and Tamara McNealy, PhDOn March 22, CAFLS Office of the Dean and the Department of Biological Sciences sponsored a reception for the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Biomedical Science (IFBLS) at the Bleckley Inn in Anderson. Vincent Gallicchio, profesor in the Department of Biological Sciences, is president of the organization.

“Biotechnology and biomedical sciences are academic emphasis areas for the university,” said Thomas Scott, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry & Life Sciences. “We are pleased to support the work of IFBLS to help grow rewarding careers and create job opportunities that support these emphasis areas. In 2011, Clemson introduced a joint program with Tri-County Technical College to prepare students for careers in biomedical laboratory science. (Photo: Angela Sutton, left, the first student to transfer to Clemson through the joint program with Tri-County; Tamara McNealy, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and program coordinator.)

Read more >>>

South Carolina Business Hall of Fame honors Bill Amick—Life Member Clemson University Board of Trustees & CAFLS Alum

photo of Bill AmickThe South Carolina Business Hall of Fame has chosen Bill Amick as one of three inductees for 2012. He will be honored with the others at a banquet in Columbia on May 24th. Bill Amick is one of Clemson's greatest advocates and has always supported CAFLS research programs, students, faculty; and worked closely with Extension agents. His leadership and service as former Chairman and CEO of Amick Farms made a significant contribution to the growth of South Carolina's poultry industry. He was a founder and first president of the South Carolina Poultry Federation, which helped to give the industry a common voice and to improve standards and quality. He is now CEO of the Amick Co., a real estate development company.

Research Highlights

Jim Morris, PhD, awarded NIH grant to continue study of deadly tropical disease

Jim Morris with senior Katie GrayJim Morris, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, has received a $360,079 competitive renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue his study of Trypansoma burcei, the single-celled parasite that causes African sleeping sickess—a deadlly disease affecting 60 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. Photo: Jim Morris with Katie Gray, a senior in the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry.

Read more >>>



Microbiology student helps Clemson team win second place in national Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Championship

Clemson Ethics Bowl TeamYancey Appling, a junior microbiology major, is a member of the Clemson University Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team that took second place in the national Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Championship. Clemson’s team continued its winning tradition at the March 1 competition in Cincinnati by defeating opposing teams to advance to the final round. The score for the championship round was unprecedented, with opponent Whitworth University winning by a single point. (Photo: Ethics Bowl team members (front row from left—Kyle Sporrer, Yancey Appling, Eric Reeves; (second row from left—Charles Starkey, coach, Courtney Dixon, Anna Little.)

Read more >>>

Elspeth Murday awarded for Outstanding Presentation in 2012 Graduate Student Oral Competition

Elspeth Murday, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences (Plant and Environmental Science) received an award from the American Society of Plant Biologists (Southern Section) for "The Outstanding Presentation in the 2012 Graduate Student Oral Competition."
Elspeth presented research on “de novo Assembly of a Velvetbean Transcriptome” which will help in the  discovery of gene function in soybeans. The conference was held in Myrtle Beach, March 5-6, 2012.

Grace Cook and Mackenzie Lussier receive "Future Leaders in Packaging" scholarship

Grace Cook, Mackenzie Lussier with Dennis Love, President and CEO of Printpack, Inc.Grace Cook and Mackenzie Lussier, Clemson University students in packaging science, are co-recipients of the 2012 Future Leaders in Packaging Scholarship, sponsored by Packaging World magazine and packaging converter Printpack, Inc. The $2500 educational scholarship, which will be split between the two winners, recognizes a promising undergraduate packaging science student from Clemson. (Photo: Grace Cook, left, and Mackenzie Lussier, right, with Dennis Love, President and CEO of Printpack, Inc.)

Read more >>>

Charles Alex Pellett receives prestigious Alumni Graduate Fellowship

Charles Alex PellettThe University Graduate Fellowships and Awards Committee has awarded a $7,000 Alumni Graduate Fellowship for the 2012-13 academic year to Charles Alex Pellett, a first-year PhD graduate student in the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences. He will be studying plant and environmental science, an interdisciplinary degree program that also involves courses in the departments of Biological Sciences, Genetics and Biochemistry and others. Pellett has been in the Peace Corps in Ecuador for the past two years and will be coming to Clemson in May. His graduate advisor will be Geoff Zehnder, PhD.

Alex Musarra, food science major, wins Outstanding Dietetics Student Award

Photo of Alex MusarraAlex Musarra, a senior food science major, specializing in nutrition and dietetics, has been selected to receive the 2012 South Carolina Outstanding Dietetics Education Student Award. She will be honored at the upcoming SC Dietetics Association Annual Meeting being held in Charleston, SC, April 13-14.

Alex’s career plans following graduation include obtaining a dietetics internship and then passing the Registered Dietitian exam. Other goals include furthering her education in a postgraduate degree program in either nutrition or public health, and then going into private practice where she can specialize in nutrition counseling and education.

 Read more >>>

Sujay Guha receives poster award at SC Aging Research Day

Sujay GuhaSujay Guha, a PhD student in  Microbiology, received the only poster award given at the 8th annual SC Aging Research Day held at the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center on March 9, 2012. The winning poster is on display outside the lab at 226 Jordan Hall. Sujay is studying anti-aging and anti-microbial effects of natural compounds in the nematode model C. elegans under the guidance of Yuqing Dong, PhD and Min Cao, PhD.

PhD students present talks at Southern Section American Society of Plant Biologists meeting

Tessema Kassaw and Ashley Crook, Ph.D. students in the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry in the laboratory of Dr. Julia Frugoli, presented talks on their research at this year's Southern Section American Society of Plant Biologists meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC, March 3-5.

Amanda Say receives travel award and wins outstanding poster presentation award

Amanda SayAmanda Say, a PhD candidate working with Michael Sehorn, PhD, in the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, received a $200 travel award from the National Science Foundation to attend the Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting held February 24-26 in Atlanta, GA. While in attendance, she presented a poster entitled “The budding yeast Mei5-Sae3 complex interacts with Rad51 and preferentially binds a DNA fork structure” which won an award for outstanding presentation for graduate poster presentations.

Faculty & Staff News

Drs. Min Cao and Yuqing Dong Receive Grant from Yamada Research Fund of Japan

Min Cao, PhD, right, and Yuging Dong, PhD, leftYuqing Dong, PhD,  and Min Cao, PhD, assistant professors in the Department of Biological Sciences, were recently awarded a 2,000,000 Yen grant from the Yamada Research Fund of Japan to study the anti-aging effects of royal jelly consumption in Caenorhabditis elegans. Numerous researchers have shown that royal jelly has significant health benefits on anti-oxidative stress, anti-inflammation, anti-bacterial, and anti-ulcer, etc. In addition, a few reports demonstrated the health benefits of royal jelly on aging. However, little is known about the mechanisms of royal jelly on lifespan regulation and pathogen resistance. The research teams will use C. elegans, the genetic model organism, to investigate the relevant molecular mechanisms. Dong and Cao are also members of the Clemson Institute for Engaged Aging.

Jeremy Greene, PhD, quoted in New York Times article about increase of an invasive pest due to warm weather

Jeremy Greene, PhD, photoIt's official: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the month of March, 2012 has set a new record as the warmest March ever for the contiguous United States. Across the nation, 15,000 local warm temperature records were broken. In a recent article about the effects of the unusually warm weather, Jeremy Greene, PhD, told the New York Times that, "The early warmth is adding to the rapidly growing population of a rare, invasive insect pest in the South that we call "the kudzu bug." The bugs eat the invasive kudzu plant— a good thing in the South — but the bugs can also devastate soy crops. The insects first showed up in 2009 in Georgia. Now they have spread to South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and even Virginia. The weather will only enhance their march across the South. I’m already getting a dozen phone calls and e-mails every day about the kudzu bug.”  Greene is an associate professor of entomology in the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences.

Read the New York Times article >>> 

Greg Yarrow, PhD, Rickie Davis, PhD, and Knight Cox coordinate research and demonstration project with Sustainable Forestry Initiative at Clemson Experimental Forest

Greg Yarrow, PhDGreg Yarrow, Rickie Davis, and Knight Cox in the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences are coordinating a project with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) to study the impact of timber management on wildlife habitat and biodiversity. With a $90,000 multi-year grant from SFI, Yarrow and team have established 25 research demonstration areas on Clemson’s 17,500-acre Experimental Forest to determine forest management practices that benefit wildlife. Most of South Carolina forest land is held by private landowners who are interested in natural resource conservation and other uses of their land, as well as making a profit.

In addition to Clemson University, partners include Upstate Forever, Nemours Wildlife Foundation, Quality Deer Management Program and the National Wild Turkey Federation. SFI Inc. is a fully independent, charitable organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management that works with conservation groups, local communities, resource professionals, landowners, and countless other organizations and individuals who share a passion for responsible forest management.

Click here to read more and watch Dr. Yarrow discuss the project on YouTube >>> 

Marge Condrasky, PhD, awarded a project completion grant from University Research Grant Committee

Photo of Marge CondraskyMarge Condrasky, PhD, and professor in the Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences was recently awarded $3,000 from the Clemson University Research Grant Committee to complete a phase of her research to help to better understand how teens make decisions about what they eat.

“Teens make food choices based on what they have learned, rational behavior, and how they are influenced by peer pressure, non-rational behavior,” said Condrasky.

Understanding this decision-making process will help to determine what is needed to help teens make healthier food choices. She has developed a new survey to collect data and will use assessment tools to evaluate the information.

“When teens make healthy choices about the food they eat, they reduce the risk of obesity,” she said.

Desmond Layne, PhD, serves up peach courses in the Republic of Georgia

Desmond Layne giving pruning demonstration in the Republic of GeorgiaLast February Desmond Layne, PhD, Associate Professor of Pomology and State Fruit Specialist, traveled to The Republic of Georgia to share his expertise with peach growers there as part of a “Farmer to Farmer” program sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

 “It is a beautiful country,” said Layne, “both in its natural beauty and in its cultural diversity.”

Layne’s primary student was a novice peach grower with a PhD in physics who had 200 hectares for peach orchards in Telavi, not far from the capital of Tibilsi. Layne provided training in Telavi and gave lectures at the Agricultural University of Georgia in Tbilisi. He put professors there in touch with his European contacts to extend the network of support for the Georgian peach industry.

Read more at the website Everything About Peaches  > > >

Follow Dr. Layne on Facebook > > >

Paul Dawson, PhD, video on "double dipping" featured in the Wall Street Journal

Paul Dawson, PhDThe Super Bowl has been over for months, but snacking is as popular as ever. And with summer's barbeque season approaching, salsa, quacamole and other favorites will be dipping delights. Is double-dipping really a health risk? Dawson revisits the issue on video for the Wall Street Journal.

Watch the video >>>

Alumni News

Wes Porter named to The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers class of 2012 “New Faces of ASABE”

Wes Porter photo

Improving the efficiency of agricultural practices, from planting to harvesting and processing, is the goal of Extension Associate Engineer Wesley Porter. Wesley is working on many different precision agriculture and machinery projects, and his current research focuses on maintaining field level cotton fiber quality on stripper harvesters. His work at Clemson University also aimed to improve farming operations. His master's thesis, Sensor Based Nitrogen Management for Cotton Production in Coastal Plains Soils, produced a nitrogen algorithm for use with the GreenSeeker® optical sensor to predict midseason nitrogen fertilizer needs for cotton. The results proved that use of the algorithm in cotton production reduced nitrogen needs by at least 40% without significantly reducing yield. Wes also worked with a team of students in 2007 to develop a yield monitor for small peanut plot work. That monitor is the only one of its kind and is currently being used at the Clemson University's Edisto Research and Education Center.

Wesley holds a bachelor of science in agricultural mechanization and a master of science in agricultural engineering from Clemson University. He is currently working on his PhD at Oklahoma State University. He joined ASABE in 2011.

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CAFLS Town Hall Meeting

April 18th at 7:00 PM

Lehotsky Auditorium, G22


Down on the Farm Party

Cheese and Quackers!

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April 19th at 5:00 PM

McGinty Mall



Biology Merit Exam

April 20

Student at Biology Merit Exam event

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Moonlight & Magnolias  

Saturday, May 19th

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A Garden Gala in the South Carolina Botanical Garden

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Contact Amy Sanders, Bookhart Student Services Center

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life sciences center under construction

View construction of the new Life Sciences Center


With so much spring activity, watch for the next CAFLS eNews coming soon!