1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
This agreement is based on a USDA-NIFA “1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Program" grant award. The grant aims to strengthen the existing food science graduate curriculum at Alabama A&M University. The specific objectives are: 1) to prepare students for a career in food safety through integration of molecular food safety research, education, and outreach; 2) to train and mentor underrepresented Food Science students in molecular food safety and emerging technologies; 3) to disseminate tangible knowledge generated by up to date food safety research by developing an innovative curriculum (3-credit hour courses) to address different aspects of contemporary molecular food safety education; 4) to develop project-based learning activities including internships at federal food safety research labs at the USDA-ARS and in industry (in processing or diagnostic companies), and to expand collaborative linkages and partnerships with other universities; and 5) to develop summer laboratory and experimental learning activities for high school students and teachers.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
USDA-ARS will host a graduate student(s) in the CBG program for summer internship(s) at the Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) to work on a project focusing on molecular methods for detection and characterization of food-borne pathogens.
3. Progress Report:
The objectives of this collaboration with Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College was to strengthen the food science curriculum at the college and prepare minority students for a career in food safety and emerging technologies by providing opportunities for training in molecular food safety research and through education. Students from the University in the program did summer internships with researchers at the ARS laboratory in Wyndmoor, PA and learn technologies for characterizing and detecting foodborne pathogens.