School of Ag Associate Dean Wins Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Antoine J. Alston, associate dean in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences has received the George Washington Carver Distinguished Service Award by Iowa State University.

The award, which is presented to alumni and friends of Iowa State, recognizes Alston’s outstanding achievements in scholarship, instruction and leadership in agricultural education. Alston received his Ph.D. in agricultural and life sciences education from Iowa State in 2000, and joined the faculty at N.C. A&T that same year as an assistant professor and coordinator of the Agricultural Education Program.

He became a full professor in 2009, and was promoted to his current position this year. Alston received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural education from N.C. A&T.

During his tenure at A&T, Alston has grown into a nationally recognized leader in the field of agricultural education, a field that prepares students for positions in education, Cooperative Extension and agribusiness. Alston revolutionized the agricultural education program at A&T.

He moved the master’s program online, earning it a place in the top 100 online education programs by U.S. News & World Report. Under his leadership, the university developed a successful online studies program, “2+2,” which allows individuals from community colleges to transfer and complete A&T’s undergraduate agricultural education program.

Alston’s dedication to student success has earned him many honors. He is the recipient of an honorary FFA American Degree, the National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Contribution to Agricultural Education Award, and the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teacher Fellow Award. He was the first African American to receive a U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Agriculture Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award.

Alston has accepted invitations to speak on diversity and inclusivity in the agricultural industry from a variety of organizations across the country. He is also involved with the National FFA Alumni Association, the North Carolina FFA Board of Directors, the North Carolina FFA Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

In addition to its programs in agricultural education, the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences also offers degrees in agricultural economics, animal sciences, biological engineering, family sciences, child development, fashion merchandising and design, food and nutritional sciences, land management, environmental sciences, landscape architecture and urban horticulture. The School also administers active Cooperative Extension and agricultural research programs, which emphasize the School’s focus on sustainable agricultural innovations for small-scale rural and urban farmers and growers.