New Faculty Members

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AgBioResearch is pleased to welcome three new faculty members with AgBio appointments.

Brenda Alston-MillsBrenda Alston-Mills, former assistant dean of diversity and professor of animal science in the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, was named associate dean and director of the Office of Organization and Professional Development for Diversity and Pluralism within the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR). Her appointment began January 1.

Alston-Mills leads recruitment and retention efforts designed to achieve a more diverse graduate student body, as well as faculty and staff members within the CANR, MSU Extension and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station. She will promote multicultural values and practices through professional and unit-level organizational development and serve as a liaison between the CANR and the MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.

Alston-Mills was a member of the NC State Department of Animal Science faculty from 1990 to 2007 with a 1-year hiatus (2002-03), to server as visiting professor of pathology and laboratory science at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She previously held faculty posts in animal science at the University of Maryland, College Park, and in job training and career planning at Camden County College, Camden, N.J.

Alston-Mills received a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., and both a master’s degree and doctorate in zoology with an emphasis in endocrinology from Michigan State University. She is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Dairy Science Association, the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Sigma Xi scientific research society, the Gamma Sigma Delta agricultural fraternity and Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society. She has published and presented her work on animal endocrinology in a variety of publications and has received many awards for teaching excellence at the university level. Her accolades include the 2005 National Role Models Faculty Mentor Award from Minority Access, Inc., the 2006 North Carolina State Student Diversity Council Award and the 2007 Award of Honor from the Alumnae Association of the Philadelphia High School for Girls. In 2001, she was the Lycoming College convocation speaker and recipient of the college’s Outstanding Alumnae Achievement Award.

Dawn ReinholdDawn Reinhold was named assistant professor of biosystems engineering in January. Her research focuses on understanding removal processes in plant-based systems, particularly trace organic pollutants such as personal care products, pharmaceuticals and pesticides. Her research uses controlled laboratory-scale reactors to quantify and enhance the removal processes, as well as field applications to address water quality at MSU and the surrounding communities. Reinhold’s research also is looking at the long-term fate of organic pollutants taken up by plants and the implications to ecosystem and human health, as well as using tissue culture to develop plants with enhanced capabilities to treat environmental contamination.

Reinhold received her doctorate in civil and environmental engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007 and her bachelor’s degree in biological and agricultural engineering from Kansas State University in 2002.

Janice SiegfordJanice Siegford, assistant professor of animal science, became affiliated with the MAES in January. Her research examines the long-term effects of early environment and management practices on the behavior and welfare of domestic animals. She is particularly interested in how various weaning strategies affect cattle and swine behavior. She also is working to develop and validate automated, non-invasive ways to remotely assess the behavior and welfare of individual animals, particularly those typically housed in large groups, such as laying hens

Siegford came to MSU as a postdoctoral researcher in 2003 and then worked as a research assistant professor from 2005 to 2007. She received her doctorate in neuroscience from Washington State University in 2003, her master’s degree in zoology from the University of Idaho in 1999 and her bachelor’s degree in science communication from Cornell University in 1995.

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