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Professor Shirley Hymon-Parker, a distinguished and experienced leader in the field of agriculture, has returned from retirement to lead the largest college of agriculture at a historically Black college or university. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna, outgoing dean of the N.C. A&T College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences)

Hymon-Parker is dedicated to advancing the field of agriculture and empowering the next generation of leaders in this critical industry.

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North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has appointed Professor Emerita Shirley Hymon-Parker as interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

The college is set to expand its infrastructure in November by breaking ground on the 15,000-square-foot Urban and Community Food Complex at the University Farm, which just held an open house for its Automated Milking System in the University Dairy, the only system of its kind in the state.

Hymon-Parker will lead the largest college of agriculture at a historically Black college or university (HBCU) in the United States, and one of two land-grant cooperative extension programs in the state.

In 2023, the college reached nearly $40 million in sponsored research funding milestones, accounting for over one-quarter of the university’s overall $147 million portfolio.

Moreover, enrollment in the college has exceeded 1,100 students, primarily due to the popularity of its animal science programs, which graduate the second-most HBCU pre-veterinary students in the nation.

Hymon-Parker has previously served as interim dean of the college from 2015 to 2018. During this time, she supervised academic, research, and cooperative extension programs, established a strategic plan called “Destination Excellence,” enhanced the efforts of cooperative extension, and led the establishment of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with universities in Africa and China.

She also expanded and improved the efforts of cooperative extension to serve North Carolina communities, farmers, youth, and other individuals, particularly the underserved, through innovative programming. She initiated the establishment of the college’s first doctoral program, which was completed in 2021.

During her tenure as associate dean of the agricultural research program, she oversaw more than $30 million a year in sponsored research from 2018-2022, established the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, refined and strengthened the Research Apprenticeship Program, and served on the APLU Policy Board of Directors. She also served as chair and director of the 1890 Association of Research Directors.


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