Jackson State University Aims to Get Blacks Involved in Food Safety and Water Security

Historically Black Jackson State University in Mississippi recently hosted a national workshop aimed at getting academic professionals from minority-serving institutions involved in research on food safety and water security. The project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The event was coordinated by the university’s Division of Research and Federal Relations and hosted by associate provost Dr. Joseph A. Whittaker. The other participating groups included the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Hispanic Association of College and Universities, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.

Dr. Whittaker stressed that minority-serving institutions have a lot to contribute to food safety and water security. “We’re trying to demonstrate that we have individuals with the talent, capabilities and skills set to perform at the national level. We’re attempting to solve real-world issues – not just the community we serve but also the entire nation. Our involvement addresses the unspoken generalized perception that minority-serving institutions are not up to par and aren’t up to the level to engage at the top levels of science,” he said.

Dr. Whittaker holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Morgan State University in Baltimore and a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

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