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FAMU is noticed for its research
It ranks second in growth of scientific publishing, according to a recent study.
By SHANNON COLAVECCHIO-VAN SICKLER, Times Staff Writer
Published August 23, 2007
[Times photo: Daniel Wallace]
An eternal flame commemorates Florida A&M University's 1997 honor of TIME Magazine - Princeton Review "College of the Year," atop a stone monument in front of Lee Hall. The historically black state college ranked second among 200 top U.S. universities in growth of scientific publishing, according to a recently released study from the National Science Foundation.
Florida A&M University is still known primarily as an undergraduate institution, but its research profile is growing.
The historically black state college ranked second among 200 top U.S. universities in growth of scientific publishing, according to a recently released study from the National Science Foundation.
Others on the list, featured in the Aug. 3 issue of Science magazine, included the University of Montana and Georgia State University.
The NSF study looked at growth over more than a decade, and found that while the overall number of publications by U.S. scientists remained flat, FAMU was one of eight universities that saw growth.
Its scientific publishing grew by 116 percent since the late 1990s, according to the study. FAMU, the state's only historically black public institution, brings in more than $54-million annually in research dollars.
"FAMU is fulfilling the goal of becoming a research-intensive institution," said Keith Jackson, Ph.D., a physics professor and vice president for research, in a press release issued this week. "We are recruiting more research faculty and establishing more graduate programs. An increase in scholarly and scientific publications is a natural consequence of this activity."
FAMU officials did not return phone calls this week seeking more details on research projects. But according to the Division of Research's Web site, researchers are working with the Army on the detection of radioactive nuclear materials and the development of ground and aerial combat vehicles, thanks to $5-million in federal grants awarded last year.
FAMU also got $5-million last year from the NSF for a new research center in science and technology that includes undergraduate and graduate academic programs in astrophysics and astrochemistry.
FAMU is also the lead institution for an environmental science grant totaling $62.5-million from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Eight FAMU pharmacy students just returned from Ghana, where they took part in a $5-million study of infectious diseases and the use of traditional healers and generic drugs within African communities.
The research strides are a welcome turnaround for FAMU, which was investigated by the NSF in 2005 after FAMU officials in 2005 could not prove how the university spent $1.5-million in grants. The NSF temporarily froze FAMU's research grants, a major blow.
But under then-interim president Castell Bryant, FAMU changed its accounting procedures to properly track spending.