The Actors' Warehouse presentation of “MUD” by playwright María Irene Fornés under the direction of Carlos Asse was successful in sweeping the awards ceremony at the Theatre Conference Community Theatre Play Festival held in August in Winter Haven.

The festival winners:

• Best Community Play: “MUD”

• Best Director: Carlos Francisco Asse

• Best Actress: Lola Bond

• Best Actor: Justine Clement

• Best Actor: Adam Lishawa

• Best Set Design: Carlos Francisco Asse

• Best Lighting Design: Bob Robbins

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Francesco Cappai, a doctorate student in the plant molecular and cellular biology program at the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, is one of 17 inaugural recipients of the 2018 Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, or FFAR Fellow award.

 

The FFAR Fellows Program pairs students with academic and industry mentors to help them build professional skills. Cappai, who was named a professional development fellow, will use his award to participate in a three-year interdisciplinary education program. His research uses new breeding techniques to develop blueberries that are machine harvestable, which lowers the costs of production. His industry sponsor is Gourmet Blueberries.

As part of the program, graduate students from across the U.S. gathered at North Carolina State University for a week-long course designed to prepare them for successful careers in food and agriculture science.

The $2.7 million FFAR grant was matched by a consortium of industry leaders dedicated to preparing the agricultural workforce to optimize impact on the future of agriculture science. A team at North Carolina State University managed the application process.

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First-generation college student Sheldon Lawrence in August earned a Ph.D. in plant molecular and cellular biology from the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences from the University of Florida.

He also began a prestigious Seeding Postdoctoral Innovators in Research and Education, or SPIRE fellowship program, funded through the National Institutes of Health, to conduct research at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he will work in the chemistry department identifying plant proteins that are useful in the creation of novel medicines.

White conducting research, Lawrence plans to teach at a historically black college or university in North Carolina. His long-term career goal is to become a university professor in the field of biology, according to a news release from UF/IFAS.

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Savannah Maddox of Micanopy, who was named to the distinguished achievement list for the summer term at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia, completed six to 11 hours of academic work with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. The purpose of this list is to recognize excellence and scholastic achievement among part-time students.

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Alexander Wynn of Gainesville, recently attended Aviation Challenge Mach I at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, home of Space Camp, Space Camp Robotics, Aviation Challenge and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Official Visitor Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The week-long educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math, while training students and adults with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and problem solving.

The program is specifically designed for students who have an interest in military aviation and the mechanics of flight. Students learn principles of aviation and put their knowledge to the test in a variety of flight simulators. Taking the role of fighter pilots, Wynn and team ran control systems and scenario-based missions as well as trained in water and land survival. At the end of the week, Wynn and crew returned in time to graduate with honors.