Dr. Sederick Rice, assistant professor of Biology at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) has been appointed by Governor Hutchinson to the Arkansas Minority Health Commission (AMHC). The mission of the commission is to ensure all minority Arkansans have access to health care that is equal to the care provided to other citizens of the state, seek ways to provide education, address issues and prevent diseases and conditions that are prevalent among minority populations. The AMHC supports several initiatives including CampiRock, Southern Ain’t Fried Sundays, H.O.P.E. Club, Million Hearts, and Let’s Move to help solve some of the educational and healthcare gaps that exist in Arkansas.
“I was surprised and extremely excited to get a call from Governor Hutchinson’s office,” said Rice. “I am blessed and honored to have this opportunity and look forward to sharing important information I learn with citizens of the City of Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, and Southeast Arkansas. My goal is to be an active and engaged member of AMHC and represent the best my community and region of the state has to offer.”
A 1994 UAPB graduate, Dr. Rice also earned a Master’s Degree in Biology from Delaware State University in 1996, and a Ph.D. in Cell/Molecular Biology from the University of Vermont, College of Medicine in 2003. Following his doctoral studies, he worked for the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) in Washington, D.C., as part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and then became a K9-12 science teacher at Bowie High School in Bowie, Maryland from 2006-2010. He returned to Arkansas in 2010 to work at UAPB and is now a tenured assistant professor of biology that conducts research in student learning styles, 3-D spatial visualization training techniques, and 3-D printing and additive manufacturing. Dr. Rice was awarded a $176,000 grant from the Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (Arkansas INBRE) for a project entitled Generating Enhanced Teaching through Science Education and Technology (GET-SET) to purchase a low-cost turn-key 3-D visualization system and 3-D printer. Since that time, Dr. Rice has collaborated with the UAPB Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Scholars Academy and the Arts and Science Center of Southeast Arkansas to develop programs in 3-D spatial visualization with applications in spatial orientation, data interpretation, abstract reasoning and spatial visualization. His work has led to increased interest in the development of innovative engineering designs and fabrication models, with applications in biotechnology and nanosciences by Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) faculty and professionals, graduate, undergraduate, and K-16 students. Dr. Rice’s keys to success are a strong relationship with God, good mentor-relationships, and family support.