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Arkansas Professor Wins National Award for Cultural Competency Research, Programs


A U of A System Division of Agriculture professor has been recognized by a national organization for her research to measure advancement in intercultural relations and her work to improve opportunities for those who have been historically excluded.


Jacquelyn Mosley, professor of human development and family sciences in the School of Human Environmental Sciences, was presented the 2023 National Experiment Station Section Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award on Sept. 26 at agInnovation's fall meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


DIVERSITY IN AGRICULTURE

Formerly known as the Experiment Station Section of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities, agInnovation represents agricultural experiment stations at land-grant universities across the United States. A land-grant university is an institution designated by its state legislature to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862, 1890 and 1994. As a land-grant institution in the U of A System, the mission of the Division of Agriculture is "to strengthen agriculture, communities and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices."


"At their core, the land-grant mission and diversity, equity and inclusion are helping all citizens, careers and communities thrive," Mosley said. "What makes the field of agriculture so wonderful is how diverse it really is, and my goal is to continue celebrating the diversity in agriculture and creating better relationships with, and for, our communities."


Mosley is assistant dean of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the U of A. She has a research appointment with the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the Division of Agriculture, and teaches classes on multicultural families and cultural competence for Bumpers College. She performs outreach through the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.


"I often get confused looks when I say I work for the Division of Agriculture and teach in an agricultural college, since I study families and communities, but I believe the very heart and core of agriculture are families and communities," Mosley said. "I am from Iowa and come from a seventh-generation farm. I like to say I come from a land-grant family. Almost my entire family majored in some type of agriculture field or attended a land-grant institution. And that is what diversity, equity and inclusion is to me — fulfilling the land-grant mission."


Mosley said the interconnected values for diversity, equity and inclusion, and land-grant institutions include "providing individuals the ability to shape their own destiny and the destiny of their communities and states."


CULTURAL COMPETENCY AT WORK

Her cultural competency research program, AR CommUniversity, connects multiple university and community partners, including the experiment station, Bumpers College, Discovery Farms and organizations such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Tyson Foods. The program provides the framework and assessment of the Intercultural Development Inventory to assess diversity, equality and inclusion initiatives.


AR CommUniversity also creates agricultural STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — curriculum and outreach programs such as the Arkansas Lighthouse Summer Enrichment Academy to increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing agricultural degrees and entering the agricultural workforce in Arkansas. Mosley's research indicated that after attending the three-day Arkansas Lighthouse summer program, 94% of the students left knowing a "great deal or a lot" about Bumpers College, and more than half of the students indicated they were interested in a career in agricultural sciences.


Mosley serves as the faculty adviser for the U of A Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences, also known as MANRRS. And through AR CommUniversity, she partnered with Arkansas Lighthouse Charter Schools to create the first Junior MANRRS chapter in Arkansas. It is one of 35 Junior MANRRS chapters in the nation and has Wendell Scales Jr., director of innovation for the Arkansas Lighthouse Charter Schools, as its adviser. The Junior MANRRS program aims to provide an opportunity to increase historically underrepresented students' exposure to a land-grant university and agricultural sciences.


This year, Mosley is co-leading efforts with the Division of Agriculture in cultural competency assessment and training for all 1,100 employees of the experiment station and cooperative extension service. Arkansas is the first state to implement statewide Intercultural Development Inventory trainings across its entire land-grant agriculture division, to help elevate cultural competency, Mosley said. For this project, she works with Ron Rainey, assistant vice president of the Division of Agriculture. The trainings are based on Mosley's research, using empirical assessments of the Intercultural Development Inventory and other similar assessments. She said the program indicates "the positive impact of growing cultural competence skills in the workplace."


WELL-EARNED RECOGNITION

"Dr. Mosley's programs embrace the historical land-grant mission of supporting people in all walks of life, including serving youth, families and communities," said Jean-François Meullenet, director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and senior associate vice president for agriculture-research. "Her research has become a valuable tool for us to measure our successes, and her work helps position Arkansas in a leading role for cultural competency efforts. We congratulate Dr. Mosley for this national recognition from agInnovation."


Gary Thompson, executive director of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors, said AR CommUniversity positively impacts underrepresented students getting degrees in agriculture through the Division of Agriculture. The Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors represents Southern region experiment station for agInnovation.

"This national award is a significant recognition of her valuable work in supporting underserved communities within the state and serves as a model for others throughout the Southern region and across the nation," Thompson said.


Last year, Mosley was the Association of Public Land-Grant University's recipient of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences. It was a first for Bumpers College and the state of Arkansas. Her previous awards include a national Cognella Innovation Teaching Award in Family Science in 2019, the U of A Teaching Academy New Fellow in 2020 and the Jack G. Justus Award in the Bumpers College in 2021.

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