CAHNR in the news

newsprintA Horticulture Research article, coauthored by Professor Yi Li and his lab, was nominated by the editors-in-chief of Springer Nature as a “groundbreaking article” that “could help change the world.” Li, who is part of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, also wrote about his CRISPR-modified crop research and genome editing technology for phys.org and The Conversation. Other authors of the Horticulture Research paper listed with UConn affiliations are Professor and Department Head Richard J. McAvoy, Longzheng Chen, Wei Li, Lorenzo Katin-Grazzini, Xianbin Gu, Yanjun Li, Ren Wang and Xinchun Lin.

UConn Today described the project PSLA graduate student Tao Wu and some undergraduate researchers are doing to address social justice problems with landscape architecture . The resulting poster recently won the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Fellows Award of Excellence. The article also quoted Associate Professor Kristin Schwab from plant science and landscape architecture (PSLA). See also phys.org.

The Bulletin reported on the meeting where landscape architecture students presented three ideas to transform the former Baltic Mill site in Sprague. Each design included a restaurant, brewery, housing and commercial space. For further developments, see The Bulletin , 4-25-18.

By Patsy Evans

Meet graduate student Jude Ssenyonjo

Jude Ssenyonjo
Jude Ssenyonjo

For nearly two decades, Jude Ssenyonjo has been engaged in public health efforts and community relations. He spent much of this time in his native Uganda, working to reduce sexually transmitted and HIV infections in the country through educational and outreach programs. Ssenyonjo is currently a Ph.D. student in allied health sciences studying health promotion sciences, aiming to continue working on HIV prevention and contribute to better health outcomes through research. Here is what he said in an interview.

Where did you study as an undergraduate?

I studied at Makerere University in Uganda and graduated in 1999.

What was your major?

I majored in sociology and geography.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

I graduated at a time when Uganda was facing major public health problems. The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, was so high that I was inspired to do something about it. I knew I could make a difference through active engagement in community sensitization and behavioral change communication interventions. I joined an organization that worked under the country’s Ministry of Health STI/AIDS Control Program, which gave me an opportunity to learn on the job. I led coordination of nationwide STI and HIV prevention programs, including condom use promotion. Because my undergraduate major was not in the health field, I felt it was very important for me to get formal skills in health promotion programming. In 2007, I enrolled in a Master of Public Health program at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

After graduating, I returned to Uganda and joined a USAID [United States Agency for International Development] funded health communication program managed under Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. I had been involved in various public health programs until last year, when I got the desire to broaden my knowledge and contribute to the body of science that leads to achieving better health outcomes and sustainable development goals. I came to UConn and enrolled in the doctoral program in health promotion sciences. Continue reading

The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment: an overview

Professor Jack Clausen (facing the camera) teaches an undergraduate course on wetlands biology and conservation.
Professor Jack Clausen (facing the camera) teaches an undergraduate course on wetlands biology and conservation.

As evidenced by the name, faculty in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) focus on management and conservation of our planet’s limited natural resources, including earth’s water and climate system, air quality, forests, fisheries and wildlife resources.

“Our departmental research mission statement is to contribute to the solution of environmental problems, to increase understanding of natural resources systems and to enhance the wise and sustainable management of these resources,” says Jason Vokoun, associate professor and interim department head.

In addition to offering undergraduate and graduate science degrees in natural resources, the department participates in the multidisciplinary, multi-departmental environmental science and environmental studies degrees. “Our department is heavily invested in these majors, and our course offerings feature prominently,” Vokoun notes. He also serves as the current director for the environmental science major.

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