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Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences receive $500,000 grant

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 8:37 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences a $500,000 grant.

The grant will go toward the university’s new Science Influencer Program. University officials say the goal of the program is to equip students with the skills necessary to effectively communicate with the public across multimedia platforms.

Holli Leggette, Ph. D and associate professor with the university, says the program is particularly focused on correcting misconceptions as it relates to life and agriculture in rural America.

“It’s $500,000 with the expectation that students will participate in internships. Students will participate in research and extension type of activities that will build their portfolios so that they can go on to research-intensive positions and to graduate school programs throughout the United States or the world,” said Leggette.

University professors Gary Wingenbach and Barbara Gastel, MD, are spearheading the new influencer program along with Leggette.

Texas A&M University professors. Holli Leggette, Ph.D,  Gary Wingenbach, Ph.D & Barbara Gastel,...
Texas A&M University professors. Holli Leggette, Ph.D, Gary Wingenbach, Ph.D & Barbara Gastel, MD, MPH(KBTX)

“A couple of years ago when we were developing this program, we were seeing mainstream media wholly misinterpret and miscommunicate food and agricultural crises in the media,” Wingenbach said. “It bothered us that the vast majority of Americans were getting their ‘science’ education and information from the media, and depending on the channel, it could be very skewed, not necessarily factual information.”

AgriLife Today

For more information on the Science Influencers Program, click here.

“This work is supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates program area, grant no. 2021-68018-34633/project accession no. 1026051, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture”

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