Six ABAC Faculty Members Receive Gail Dillard Enrichment Funding

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TIFTON—Six faculty members at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will receive funding for special research projects this year from the 2018-2019 Gail Dillard Faculty Enrichment Fund, provided by the ABAC Foundation.
Dr. Heather Cathcart, Dr. Kennon Deal, Dr. Kingsley Dunkley, Dr. Andrew McIntosh, Dr. Alex McLemore, and Dr. Leslie Pryor-McIntosh will receive funding for the projects which involve students in their classrooms and run the spectrum of research activities.
According to Dr. Jordan Cofer, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Learning Resources, the applications were the most competitive in the fund’s history.
“We received more applications than in previous years, and every single project was great,” Cofer said.  “The committee had to make some difficult decisions.  I wish we could have funded every project.”
Cathcart will receive $5,700 for “Maze Runners: Determining the Effects of Antioxidants on Memory in a Caenorhabditis Elegans,” and Deal will receive $9,000 for “Utilizing Microfluidics for the Investigation of Herbicide, Pesticide, and Soil Nutrient Content of South Georgia Area Agricultural Environments.”
Deal’s project will involve a collaboration with faculty at Auburn University where ABAC students will be able to use a Level 10 Clean Room while working with microfluids.  
Dunkley will receive $5,000 for “Predicting Volatile Fatty Acids, Lactic Acid and other Metabolites Profile of Shigella Flexnari Propagated in LB Broth,” and McIntosh will receive $5,600 for “Functional Morphology and Evolution of the Rodent Post-Cranial Skeleton.”
“Dr. McIntosh’s students will be working with the faculty and staff of the University of Florida,” Cofer said.  “It will have some crossover with some of our faculty in the Department of Forest Resources.”
McLemore will receive $2,000 for “Real-time NDVI Sensor for Instant Assessment of Crop Health” to build cutting-edge sensor technology. Students will get hands-on experience working with a precision agriculture project that could be a major recruitment tool for ABAC.
Pryor-McIntosh will receive $2,700 for “You Are What You Eat: The Effects of Chewing on Bone Health in the Temporomandibular Joint.”
Cathcart, Dunkley, and Pryor-McIntosh are previous recipients of the Gail Dillard Faculty Enrichment Fund.  Dillard is the former Vice President for Academic Affairs at ABAC, who retired in 2017.

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