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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Dr. Maria Pereira accepted into UNCP’s Administrative Fellows program for 2007-08

Dr. Maria Pereira, a faculty member in the Biology Department at UNC Pembroke, will serve as an Administrative Fellow in the Office for Academic Affairs for 2007-08.

Maria PereiraOver the course of the year, Dr. Pereira will work in general academic administration and then focus on a specific area.

The Administrative Fellowship at UNCP is two-part. Phase one requires 25 hours of consultative work with University and UNC administration, and phase two explores the administrative process and will focus on a specific issue.

In the spring semester, Dr. Pereira will be released from half her teaching duties to pursue the fellowship.

It is the second year for the program. Dr. Pereira reports to Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Dr. Pereira during the coming academic year,” Dr. Harrington said. “Her proven leadership in the classroom, service to the institution, commitment to professional development and interest in academic administration were keys to her selection for this fellowship.”

Dr. Pereira said higher education administration is a long-time interest for her.

“I am pleased to be accepted into the program, and I look forward to learning more about the entire University,” she said. “I am a scientist by training, so I am the type of person who wants to know why things work the way they do. This will give me the opportunity to answer many questions.”

The first semester may take Dr. Pereira to different departments, including financial aid, admissions, retention and development as well as to other universities and to UNC General Administration, which oversees the 16 public universities in North Carolina.

“After completing phase one, I will feel naturally inclined to one specific area,” she said.

This summer, Dr. Pereira and a search team of three other faculty members and 12 students conducted several studies on the processing of waste vegetable oil into biodiesel on campus.

“Providing opportunities for student research is very important at a teaching university like UNCP,” she said. “Research is such a timely area as biofuels is very exciting and challenging.”

Dr. Pereira has also been active in the University’s biotechnology program. She is program director of the biotechnology program and was instrumental in planning for the new major course of study.

She is widely published in science journals for articles on genetic studies of wheat, rye, sesame and corn.

An agronomist by training, Dr. Pereira earned a Master of Science and Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy from Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique.

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