N.C. A&T On Point Newsletter

VOL. 1 / NO. 1 / DECEMBER 2017

Chancellor's Message
Chancellor's Message

The Long View: Navigating to A&T’s Destiny
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Chancellor MartinLarge organizations are often referred to metaphorically as big ships: They don’t change course quickly, and steering them in the right direction demands careful planning and a keen understanding of the waters in which you’re traveling.

The success that North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is enjoying in the 2017-18 academic year is more easily understood in that context. We trace it back to the strategic plan we put in place in 2011 – A&T Preeminence 2020: Embracing Our Past, Creating Our Future. It charted a new direction for our university, and our disciplined, campus-wide implementation of the plan has fundamentally transformed the way we do business.

To hold ourselves accountable, we have publicly reported our progress on the plan’s goals every year since implementation. With the culmination of Preeminence 2020 now three years away, we’re surpassing some goals in key areas, such as undergraduate enrollment, new freshmen grade point average, graduation of students in STEM disciplines and athletic championships, and closing in on others. We also recognize the distance that remains to be covered before the journey is complete.

As a land-grant, doctoral, higher-research activity university, we also see goals that speak to progress in scientific inquiry as critical to our success. Our record year of $62.5 million in sponsored research in FY2017 was representative of an enterprise for which external funding has tripled over the past 16 years, the strong majority of it coming from federal sources. That funding and the discovery it makes possible reflects a status we have held for more than a decade as one of our state’s top three public research campuses. It also positioned us to further diversify our research efforts and make even greater contributions in patent activity, tech transfer and business creation.

We began work in November on a refresh of Preeminence 2020, not only to gauge our momentum and refine our course within the highly competitive, dynamic higher education industry, but to incorporate goals and metrics from the new University of North Carolina System strategic plan for 2017-2022, Higher Expectations. The refresh process underscores for me an important, abiding truth about this work: It truly is never complete, but must always be in an ongoing cycle of activity, measurement, assessment and further planning.

Why is all of this so important? Our aspirations are too valuable to our many constituents in the Piedmont Triad region, the State of North Carolina, and the nation to allow our pursuit of them to be guided by happenstance. Preeminence 2020 is a map drawn of our collective intentions. Together, we are now sailing more swiftly on that course than ever before.

And there is still much work to be done.

- Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr.

+ Learn more about Preeminence 2020. To learn more about North Carolina A&T, please visit iTunes and subscribe to the On Point with Chancellor Harold L. Martin podcast.
Lab Report
Lab Report

The Patented Power of Ginger and Aspirin
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Dr. Shengmin SangIf more patients could tolerate aspirin therapy without having to deal with the digestion issues the medicine sometimes causes, more might benefit from the therapy’s cancer and heart-disease fighting properties. Shengmin Sang, Ph.D., is leading a vein of research in that area that has now yielded multiple patents and a commercial license that could help turn the above proposition into reality.

An award-winning lead scientist for functional foods at A&T’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, Sang focuses on aspirin and ginger. His latest patent is for aspirin and ginger compounds shown to be more effective than their individual components in killing colon cancer cells in lab tests.

The compounds are known as “prodrugs,” meaning they become pharmacologically active when metabolized.

Sang is an associate professor in the Family and Consumer Sciences department of A&T’s nationally recognized College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He works primarily at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Earier this year, he won the coveted grand prize of the SoBran/NCBiotech Innovation for Impact Contest.

gray image line + Read more about Dr. Sang's lastest work here.

Meeting Growing National STEM Needs

Graduates of the STEM Early College at N.C. A&T“The future of the economy is in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics]. That’s where the jobs of tomorrow will be,” said James Brown, head of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C., in a 2014 federal report.

Few institutions are positioned as well as N.C. A&T to prepare students to compete top jobs within those fields. Named America’s top historically black university in STEM education earlier this year. N.C. A&T graduated 650 students from STEM disciplines in 2016-17, significantly exceeding the goal of 500 by 2020 set in 2011, when the university’s current strategic plan went into effect.

The STEM Early College at N.C. A&T promises to help further expand those number: Eight of its graduates enrolled this fall at A&T after graduating last year. The partnership between Guilford County Schools and A&T challenges students with a rigorous curriculum that prepares them to excel academically, with students beginning to take full-credit college coursework in their 11th grade year.

On the occasion of the STEM Early College at N.C. A&Ts fifth birthday, the [Greensboro] News & Record recently looked at how the school and its older counterpart, the Early College at Guilford, are helping to meet the need for more science and math-oriented programs.

+ Read the full News & Record report here.


Serving the Piedmont Triad’s Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing logoWhen more than 150 senior leaders from regional manufacturing concerns came together for “The Business of Manufacturing” in the Triad last month at North Carolina A&T, some were in for a surprise.

For many of those present for the industry panel discussion and reception, it was the first time they had either been on campus or had a chance to learn about A&T’s research strengths and education impact or its role as an economic catalyst.

Panelist Geoff Foster, CEO of Core Technology, gave perhaps the most compelling account of the university’s value. His international company is relocating in 2018 to Gateway University Research Park, just minutes from A&T, and the university factors large in his plans for a business that already boasts such clients as BMW, Merck, Rubbermaid, Altria, Volvo/Mack, Husqvarna and Kontrol Freek for gaming accessories for Sony PlayStation 4, XBox 1 and Nintendo.

“Being close to A&T means our company will have a great pool of highly educated, well prepared students close by to serve as interns, grow into employee roles and be prepared for leadership,” said Foster. “That’s a great asset.”

More than 150 senior leaders from regional manufacturing concerns came together for “The Business of Manufacturing”

Produced by the Triad Business Journal and sponsored by A&T, the event stretched well into the evening, with attendees lingering in conversation with Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., A&T Vice President for Research and Economic Development Barry Burks, Publisher Ollie Chandhok, Editor Rebecca Troyer and more.

“It’s so important that A&T host events such as this,” said North Carolina Department of Commerce Legislative Affairs Director John White, who also spoke at the event. “It’s makes a difference for this community and for the manufacturing sector.”
Data Points
Data Points

$1B - North Carolina A&T State University spending on research, operations and construction adds up to a big number in added, annual state income - the equivalent of more than 16,000 new jobs around North Carolina. 

$62.5M - Faculty at N.C. A&T underscored the university's "doctoral, higher research status" in FY2017 with a record year in research contracts and grants, bringing in 259 awards across campus, most from federal funders. 

240% - N.C. A&T's research funding has mushroomed over the past 16 years, from $18.4 million to its current total ($62.5 million), which explains why it is one of the University of North Carolina system's top three research campuses.

30% - That's about how much of each federal grant is spent on local vendors for goods and services, according to a 2014 study published in Science magazine.

Dr. Harold L. Martin Sr.

Nicole Pride

Todd Hurst Simmons


Sandra M. Brown
Yvonne L. Halley

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is a land-grant university that is ranked by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity.

N.C. A&T does not discriminate against any person on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator@ncat.edu.

N.C. A&T is an AA/EEO employer, and it is an ADA compliant institution; thus, facilities are designed to provide accessibility to individuals with physical disabilities.