Skip to main content

Student Support Opportunities

CALS offers innovative programs aimed at helping current students from underrepresented groups succeed while at NC State. These initiatives include a freshman course, a scholarship program for students of migrant agricultural workers, student organizations, and workshops for preparing for and thriving in graduate school.

Courses and Workshops

USC 110 Freshman Advancement Seminar

USC 110 is a first-year transition course for our diverse student population that explores research-based strategies for academic success, including studying, test-taking, time management, and goal setting. This course challenges sources of conventional thought and stereotypes by providing information on minorities’ contributions in agriculture, life sciences, and related fields and offering students access to role models.

Keys to Success in Graduate School

Every academic year, CALS graduate students are invited to attend the Keys to Success in Graduate School workshop. “Keys to Success” addresses issues important to minority graduate students but are open to all graduate students. Topics include securing funding to support graduate studies; maintaining mentoring relationships with professors; and preparing competitive applications for prestigious scholarships. Recipients of the Dean’s Graduate Research Assistantship plan and conduct the session. For more information, visit “Keys to Success in Graduate School.”

Beyond the B.S. – 5 Steps to Graduate School

Only a small number of minority students who complete baccalaureate degrees continue on into graduate degree programs. These workshops encourage undergraduate minority students in CALS to pursue graduate degrees by demystifying the graduate school application process and helping students find ways to pay for graduate education.

Clubs and Organizations

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS)

MANNRS is a national society formed to meet the academic and professional development needs of ethnic minority students majoring in agriculture, environmental sciences, natural resources and related disciplines. The MANRRS chapter at NC State provides members with a variety of opportunities, including:

  • Development of leadership and communication skills
  • Networking for internships and employment with major companies
  • Academic assistance and peer mentoring
  • Participating in national and regional meetings and career fairs
  • Competing for prizes at the MANRRS annual national training conference, campus workshops and events
  • Organizing community service and service-learning projects, and conducting industry tours

Membership is open to any NC State graduate or undergraduate student interested in promoting diversity in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences. To learn more, contact Chapter President Ms. Sabriya Dobbins or Faculty Advisor Dr. Alex Graves.

Strategies in Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS)

The SEEDS chapter at NC State is part of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) national SEEDS organization. SEEDS promotes the diversity and retention of students interested in ecology, biology, environmental sciences, agricultural and animal sciences, and related fields.

Benefits include:

  • A peer-to-peer community where students can exchange experiences
  • Networking and career opportunities from students, faculty and staff, and the national SEEDS and ESA networks
  • Educational field trips that expose students to nature
  • Connecting students with research experiences, including hands-on data collection and interactions with animals, plants and ecology

SEEDS is primarily for undergraduate students. Mentoring roles are available for graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff members. If you are interested in joining SEEDS, contact Sakshi Handa.

Recruitment Programs for Graduate Students

Under the leadership of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the CALS Diversity Council, CALS offers several programs aimed at helping recruit and prepare underrepresented groups for opportunities available in agriculture and the life sciences.

Dean’s Graduate Research Assistantship

The Dean’s Graduate Research Assistantship recruits highly competitive graduate students from underrepresented groups completing doctoral and master’s degrees in the agricultural and life sciences. View eligibility requirements, application process and selection criteria.

Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellows Initiative seeks to build on the progress made by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to increase opportunities for underrepresented postdoctoral fellows at the college.

Dr. Maria Melina Florez-Cuadros is the CALS 2017-19 Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow. Under the mentorship of Dr. Max Scott in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Dr. Florez-Cuadros is conducting independent research on the project “Development of male-only transgenic strains of the New World screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax.”

Contact Us

For more information on these programs, contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

LaTosha Bradley, JD

Student and professor pose in lab