CHFP Scholars Shine at the 2023 Annual Gamma Sigma Delta Student Research Competition

Published on February 2, 2024

Tuskegee, Alabama – [Date] – In an outstanding display of academic prowess and research excellence, three students from the Carver Integrative Sustainability Center (CISC) at Tuskegee University and the Inter-Institutional Network for Food, Agriculture, and Sustainability (INFAS) HBCU Fellowship Program (CHFP) made a clean sweep at the prestigious 2023 Annual Gamma Sigma Delta Student Research Competition, hosted by the Tuskegee University Chapter during the 81st Professional Agricultural Workers Conference.

News Photo

(L: William Gaspard Southern University, M: Kelvin Ofori Delaware State University, R: Ebony Thornton North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University) 

William Gaspard, a law student from Southern University, clinched first place in the graduate oral presentation category. His innovative research, “Plowing Beyond Prejudice: A Critical Examination of The Constitution and Its Application to Race-Conscious Government Action for Black Farmer Relief in Faust V. Vilsack” and articulate presentation skills set a high benchmark in the competition.

In the graduate poster presentation segment, Kelvin Ofori from Delaware State University secured the second place with his insightful and well-structured research poster, titled “Exploring the Microbial Safety of Oysters and Seawater from Sally Cove in Rehoboth Bay, Delaware” demonstrating the depth and breadth of his academic inquiry.

The first place in this category was awarded to Ebony Thornton from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University whose poster, “Fatty Acid Profiles in Human Breast Milk: A Comparison Of Analytical Techniques” not only showcased her in-depth research but also her ability to communicate complex ideas effectively.

These victories are not just personal achievements but also a testament to the success of the CISC-INFAS HBCU Fellowship Program. CHFP been instrumental in preparing Black scholars for impactful careers in the agricultural sector. The program provides comprehensive support, including financial aid, rigorous mentorship, and professional development opportunities, enabling participants to conduct meaningful research and contribute significantly to their fields.

The recent accomplishments of these scholars underscore the program’s commitment to cultivating future leaders capable of tackling the challenges in sustainable agriculture and food systems. The program's focus on academic excellence and professional development has not only led to remarkable scholarly outputs, such as the publication of a book chapter by a fellow but also improved student retention and graduation rates.

As these scholars continue their academic journeys, CHFP stands as a beacon for transformative educational programs. It amplifies the impact of Black professionals in agriculture, contributing to a more diverse and inclusive academic landscape.

For more information about the CISC-INFAS HBCU Fellowship Program and its contributions to the agricultural sector, please contact

About CISC-INFAS: The Carver Integrative Sustainability Center, in partnership with the Inter-Institutional Network for Food, Agriculture, and Sustainability, is dedicated to preparing the next generation of Black scholars in agriculture. Through comprehensive support and mentorship, the fellowship program enables students to excel academically and professionally, making significant contributions to sustainable agriculture and food systems.