UAPB receives APLU awards for innovation, alumni engagement

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has been awarded the Innovation Award and the Alumni Engagement Award. The awards were presented by the Council of 1890 Universities of the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities in Orlando, Florida.

The Council presents 1890 teaching, research and innovation awards to honor achievements at the 18 land-grant universities created by the federal Morrill Act of 1890. All are historically black universities.

Before the selection process, self-reported data from the 1890 Universities were submitted for retention rates, research revenue and expenditures and other measures of success. Each university then was evaluated among its peers with the winning institution demonstrating the most productivity in a given area.

The Innovation Award was given for the largest increases in successfully transferring intellectual property into new products, processes, applications, materials or services that have been successfully taken to market from 2012-2013 through 2013-2014. UAPB shared the honor with North Carolina A&T State University.

Among the innovations that UAPB researchers in the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences have introduced recently involves a provisional patent. The invention, according to Dr. Trace Peterson, assistant professor of Regulatory Science at UAPB, will “revolutionize how vaccines, drugs and nutraceuticals are delivered to food fish (those fish in the aquaculture industry).”

According to Dr. Peterson, the invention has the potential to “significantly reduce costs and waste associated with the current delivery methods, while improving efficacy.”

“We are concurrently working on vaccine candidates, as a part of the patent, which addresses previously untreatable diseases of food fish in the aquaculture industry,” Peterson said. “The successful implementation of commercialized products resulting from this patentable research represents a major advancement in worldwide food security, as farmed fish are a dietary protein source in an ever increasing number of countries.”

UAPB also received the Alumni Engagement Award for the largest increase in donations to the university by alumni from 2012-2013 through 2013-2014.

“UAPB is committed to excellence in every facet of its endeavors,” said James B. Tyson, CFRE, vice chancellor for advancement and development. “I think our alumni see that occurring and are excited about being an integral part of the future of their alma mater.”

UAPB experienced an increase of 33% in the number of alumni who donated and a 25% increase in the amount of alumni donations in the 2013-2014 Academic Year.

“UAPB has invested years of segmented cultivation that is coming to fruition,” Director of Development Dr. Margaret Martin-Hall said. “Greater engagement of young alumni, implementation of student philanthropy and a renewed commitment from older alumni are all strategies we’re using to increase giving.”

The Council of 1890 Universities is comprised of presidents and chancellors from the APLU’s historically black land-grant and public universities. It works to strengthen teaching, research and Extension programs, and it seeks to maintain, ensure and increase funding at these institutions. The awards are designed to bring exposure to these universities and add to the national dialogue regarding their significance.

“I’m happy to see that our efforts in innovation and alumni engagement have been recognized by APLU,” said UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander. “The awards speak clearly of the dedicated research faculty, diligent staff and committed alumni we have at this institution.”


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