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Research and Leadership Program in Animal Sciences

Research and Leadership Program in Animal Sciences

A diverse people group joining together

Join Us!

Come join our fellowship program! “Developing Science-Engaged, Culturally Competent, Research-Savvy Women Leaders in Animal Science Through Collaborative, Experiential Learning” is a partnership between Iowa State University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The overall project goal is to increase the number, the career preparation and persistence, and the long-term success of women as leaders in animal science-related fields. Our savvy fellows will develop essential professional skills in leadership, cultural competency and research. 

During two sequential summers, fellows will spend modules of time in assessment and training for enhanced cultural competencies, leadership, communication, responsible conduct of research, and professional behavior. They will become familiar with the varied types of agriculture prominent in each region through site visits. Team work between the two universities will enhance the learning experience. 

In summer 2021, fellows will virtually participate for four weeks from their home location. In summer 2022, the plan is that all fellows will spend two weeks learning together in the same locations, travelling to the partner institution and visiting important agricultural and cultural sites in Iowa and North Carolina. This will be followed by four weeks of activities based in their home locations. A special experience will be participation in a regional or national conference.  This program is led by an experienced team of four accomplished faculty women in animal sciences, and agricultural education and leadership. 


May 17 - June 11, 2021, and May 16 - June 24, 2022, with continued engagement during the intervening academic year.


Fellows will receive, upon satisfactory achievement of program milestones, stipends of $2,000 and $3,000 in the summers of 2021 and 2022, respectively. Financial support will also be provided to cover all costs of travel to the partner institutions in summer 2022. In total, fellows will be receiving about $8,000 in stipends and paid expenses during the two summers of participation. 


Per sponsor requirements, only U.S. citizens are eligible to receive funding.  To help build a diverse workforce, we highly encourage applications from early-year undergraduate students who identify as women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, first-generation college students, and veterans.

Online Application:

Click here to apply now

Additional Application Materials

In addition to the online application, students must submit, by mail, the following:

  • Official University Transcript
    • Due to Covid, this may be sent directly from your institution to the address below.
  • Two Letters of Recommendations
    • Due to Covid, recommenders may email or mail letters directly to the address below.

Send the above materials to:
Dr. Susan J. Lamont
806 Stange Road, 2255 Kildee Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011

ALL Application Materials Must Be Post-Marked By February 15, 2021

Meet the project team!

Dr. Susan J. Lamont 

Dr. Susan J. Lamont’s research program focuses on the molecular basis for important biological traits in poultry, with a special emphasis on host response to pathogens and to environmental stress. She has a one-third time appointment as the Equity Advisor for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She has extensive administrative experience, including serving as the head of the Department of Animal Science. She leads an active research laboratory, including undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs, funded by competitive federal grants. She also works closely with the poultry genetics industry in joint research projects.

Her research group has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal papers. She mentors multiple summer interns each year and has had several students from NCAT in her laboratory. She teaches three graduate courses (Livestock Immunogenetics, Applied Poultry and Swine Breeding, and Responsible Conduct of Research) with the latter course being university-wide and satisfying the NSF and NIH training requirements in RCR. She has served on many federal and international research grant panels and Scientific Organizing committees of international conferences. She is an elected Fellow of the Poultry Science Association and the International Society of Animal Genetics.

Dr. Millie Worku

Mulumebet “Millie” Worku is a professor of animal sciences and director of the office of undergraduate research. She is the institutional coordinator with the Leadership Alliance and representative on the Council for Undergraduate Research. She is the advisor for the interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate in biotechnology and served as Graduate Coordinator for the Integrated Animal Health Systems Masters.

She was named 2007 Teacher of the Year in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Science, the University Senior Researcher of the Year in 2011 and is also a recipient of the USDA ARS Merit Award. Dr. Worku came to North Carolina A&T in 1999 as a visiting professor and instructor in microbiology. She previously served as a researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. She was an International Atomic Energy Agency research fellow at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She has had national and international experience in research and education, including 25 years in teaching.

Dr. Worku holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree, both in animal sciences, from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alemaya in Ethiopia, also in animal sciences. Dr. Millie Worku’s research program focuses on the molecular basis for important biological traits, emphasizing host response to pathogens causing inflammation in ruminants. This effort contributes to global food security and the provision of a diverse, well-prepared workforce. Her research “Molecular signatures and regulatory checkpoints for animal health” is funded through the USDA.

Currently, funded training efforts include preparation of STEM women and multicultural scholars and online curriculum development. Dr. Worku has published journal papers, review articles, and book chapters in inflammation in animal health. She has served on many advisory boards, federal and international research grant panels, and scientific organizing committees of international conferences.

She teaches courses including Agricultural Genetics (ANSC 214) Techniques in Biotechnology (ANSC 665), Global livestock systems (ANSC 713) Bioinformatics and Genome Analysis’s (ANSC 771) and has co-taught AGRI 800 Sustainable and local food systems. She leads an active research laboratory, including undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs, research associates and mentors high school research apprenticeships students.

She oversees the Bioinformatics learning facility and is director of the laboratory for Animal Genomic Diversity and biotechnology. She participates in STEM outreach to schools and stakeholders.

Dr. Theressa Cooper

Dr. Theressa Cooper currently serves as the assistant dean for diversity for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences – this is the first person to hold an dean’s level administrative position dedicated to solely dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the university’s history.  Dr. Cooper also  jointly holds an adjunct assistant professor position in the department of agricultural education and studies.  She has life-long experiences of working informally within the agricultural system and  over 15 years of administrative leadership within a university system. In Dr. Cooper’s role as assistant dean, she is responsible for the coordination, management, and implementation of the college's diversity and inclusion programs. Her research areas focus on increasing the pipeline of underrepresented groups in agriculture and life sciences, multicultural education, and youth development. It is Dr. Cooper’s passion for agriculture and social justice that enables her to work across the teaching, research, and extension (outreach) missions of the university to build cultural competency within the community based on a shared love and passion for agriculture.

Dr. Chastity Warren English

Dr. Chastity Warren English has more than 14 years’ experience in agricultural and distance education and she is also the author of 19 scientific-publications that focus on diversity, employability skills, and leadership development in agricultural education. She is currently an Associate Professor of Agriscience Education and the Program Coordinator at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she is responsible for coordinating the undergraduate and graduate agricultural education programs, teaching and developing distance learning courses, advising and mentoring students, conducting research, and participating in community service endeavors.


Supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Higher Education Challenge Grants Program (award number 2020-70003-30929)