PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Dr. Joseph Onyilagha, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has received a NASA award to conduct research into the origin of the genetic code. Dr. Onyilagha explains that the genetic code is the interface between two fundamental biochemical molecules namely, nucleotides and amino acids. The evolution of genetic coding, which is the synthesis of proteins according to genetic instructions, connected the information storage and transmission potential of polymerized nucleotide sequences to the structural and catalytic properties of polymerized amino acid sequences.
His focus is on the idea that the standard amino acid alphabet comprises a mixture of “early” versus “late” members – that is, some amino acids were available prebiotically and were therefore present from the start of genetic coding; others evolved later, as “inventions” of early metabolism.
Dr. Onyilagha will investigate whether a contemporary view of metabolic diversity supports the assertion that pathways of amino acid biosynthesis contain molecular fossils that connect “early” and “late” amino acids. The research is grounded on the proposition that genetic coding began with fewer than 20 amino acids. This “early” alphabet (comprising prebiotically plausible amino acids) was then augmented as metabolism evolved new possibilities, and incorporated them into genetic coding.
For more information about Dr. Onyilagha’s research, call (870)575-8843.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Art Professor Danny Campbell was selected as one of six artists that will have their work selected as part of The Sculpture Project at Bernice Garden. According to Bernice Garden founder Anita Davis, the selections were made from a field of 22 entries. Davis couldn’t be more pleased to have such a great group from which to choose.
“We had artists from all over the state, but we only selected six,” said Davis.
Danny Campbell’s artwork titled, “The Garden Series” will be one of the six sculptures placed in the sculptural park in downtown Little Rock.
“I am very excited and pleased to know my work was selected for such a beautiful green space,” said Campbell. “I look forward to sharing my vision and gift with all Arkansans. The work will be a reflection of nature, history and the spirit of Arkansas.”
The other artists selected are David Carpenter, Stephen Driver, Mia Hall/David Clemons, Kerrick and John Van Horn/Erika Drake. Visitors will have a chance to meet Danny and the other artists at the 5th Annual Sculpture Party and Fall Fest Thursday, September 19th.
Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
PINE BLUFF, Ark. – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Agriculture Field Day will be Thursday, June 27, at the UAPB Agriculture Research Station on Oliver Road, off University Drive.
The field day begins at 7:30 a.m. with registration and welcoming remarks at 8:30 a.m. Tractor tours will take participants to educational stops. The first tour leaves at 9 a.m. and the last one at 10:30 a.m. Research scientists and Extension specialists will be at each stop to explain their research, give updates and answer questions.
Demonstration stop topics include sweet potatoes, rice disease, Southern peas, ornamentals and livestock. Some of the specific topics at the stops will be “effectiveness of herb plants as pest barriers for vegetables,” “evaluation of woody ornamentals (trees and shrubs) in southeast Arkansas conditions,” “using cover crops for weed control and nutrient cycling in sweetpotatoes” and “the influence of organic and inorganic fertilizers on the yield and nutritional quality of sweetpotato varieties.”
Tours of the sweetpotato foundation seed/biotechnology greenhouses, the swine complex, goat and cattle buildings and the value-added products center will also be a part of field day as will an antique tractor show.
Lunch will be provided by Tyson Foods, Inc. but only with a ticket included with registration materials.
Registration is free, but pre-registration is requested to aid in planning. To pre-register, contact Margaret Taylor at (870) 575-7144 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On-site registration ends at 10:30 a.m. on June 27.
WASHINGTON, DC. – Travis Jones, a Spring 2013 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) and Roy Blount, a graduate student in the Masters of Science degree in Computer Science & Technology (CS&T) program at UAPB recently attended the 2013 Department of Homeland Security Career Pathways Conference for Future Homeland Security S&T Professionals. Dr. Sederick C. Rice, an assistant professor of biology and recent graduate of the 14th Annual Little Rock Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens’ Academy also attended.
Participants received an overview of the structure, culture, and research enterprises of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Undergraduate and graduate students received internship and career path guidance for DHS programs through networking for career success sessions, career fair information exchange events, and on-site interviews. Students also received insight into marketing their transferable skills, developing homeland security experiences while in school, service requirement fulfillment and achieving security clearances, and potential employment opportunities in Research and Development (R&D) workforces in areas of homeland security and domestic preparedness. The trip was sponsored and funded by Dr. Jessie J. Walker, Coordinator of the Computer Science Department at UAPB, through one of his grants entitled Arkansas Cyber Security Community of Practice (ACS-CP), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Award.
The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cyber security analyst to chemical facility inspector. Their ultimate goal and duty is to keep America safe.
The Computer Science program at UAPB has undertaken several ongoing projects to modernize its curriculum and faculty to ensure undergraduates students enrolled in the program are exposed to the many facets of Computer Science. The ACS-CP project represents such efforts; it allows an undergraduate in any STEM major to obtain a minor in cyber security. It is one of only two such cyber security minors at an HBCU within the United States. The ACS-CP project also provides students with unique research-oriented internship opportunities at DHS Centers of Excellence (
For more information about the Computer Science program at UAPB, call (870)575-7089.
PINE BLUFF, Ark. – The Let’s Dance Summer Workshop is back for its seventh year to offer the youth of Pine Bluff an exciting, creative learning experience full of fun. The workshop has been moved to July 22-26 at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) in the Kenneth L. Johnson HPER Complex.
Coordinated and taught by Nia Lancelin, owner of Let’s Dance with Nia, several styles of dance will be offered for boys and girls 4-18 years of age via classes held each day from 1-6 pm. Adult classes will also be offered from 6-7 pm. A new component, Best Foot Forward, has been added to the workshop that will consist of a shoe drive that will allow Let’s Dance to give back to the Pine Bluff community.
A Pine Bluff native with more than 20 years of dance experience, Nia was first introduced to the dance at the Belmont School of Dance where she studied ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical, acrobatics, and later added modern, contemporary, hip hop, and African to her repertoire. Her dance teacher asked her to become a part of the competition team at 10 years old and this is truly when her passion for dance began. Her passion for teaching began not long after when she became a teacher’s assistant at the age of 14. After her high school graduation she joined the National Dance Alliance as an instructor where she was able to travel the country teaching young dancers. She was promoted to the head instructor position after 3 years of working with the company. To this date Nia continues to teach at numerous schools and studios in the Atlanta Area.
Nia attended UAPB where she danced as a Golden Girl for 2 years and held the head captain position her sophomore year. Going into her junior year of school Nia transferred to Spelman College. Presently in her professional career, Nia has performed on the BET Hip Hop Awards, AIDA with the Atlanta Opera, nationally televised Georgia Lottery Flashmob, CiCi Kelley”s Phazes of Love, the world premiere musical I Dream directed by Jasmine Guy in which she was a principal dancer and international tour Drumline Live as a soloist dancer and singer. She has also performed as a ballet pointe soloist with the internationally acclaimed Universoul Circus.
Registration for the workshop is $50/person and can be obtained by contacting Bonita Corbin at (870)575-8317 or email@example.com. You can also visit www.letsdancewithnia.com for more information about the company and to register early.
Bobbie Handcock | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
Pine Bluff, AR – Dr. Luke Roy has joined the Aquaculture/Fisheries Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff as an Extension aquaculture specialist.
Dr. Roy graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and geographical information systems. He received a Master of Science degree in soil and water science from the University of California, Riverside and received a doctorate in fisheries and aquaculture from Auburn University. Before coming to UAPB, Dr. Roy worked as an Auburn University research fellow where he was stationed at the Alabama Fish Farming Center in Greensboro, Ala. His responsibilities included coordination of research demonstration trials and the catfish yield verification program in west Alabama.
“Dr. Roy brings more than six years of warmwater aquaculture Extension experience to the UAPB Aquaculture/Fisheries Center,” said Dr. Carole Engle, director/chair of the Center. ”His experience in catfish research verification and with the culture of a number of other species in inland warmwater ponds will be valuable to the Arkansas aquaculture industry.”
PINE BLUFF, Ark. – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) has begun the process of developing a new Baccalaureate Nursing Program and has committed resources within the Office of Academic Affairs to guide the one-year process.
“We are committed to offer much needed baccalaureate nursing education here in the Arkansas Delta,” said UAPB Interim Chancellor Dr. Calvin Johnson.
Major steps will include a feasibility study, an on-site survey by a representative of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing followed by review and approval from the organization. Final approval is given by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
For more information or to submit comments regarding the need for the program, please contact the Office of the Chancellor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff at (870)575-8471 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is an 1890 Land-Grant HBCU with a diverse student population, competitive degree offerings and stellar faculty.
For more than 138 years, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has worked to create an environment that inculcates learning, growth and productivity while affording a basic need to its students – a chance to advance. Learn more about UAPB at www.uapb.edu.