event 30 Nov 2020

Nexus Blog // PVAMU’s newest endowed chair to make international wave in water security, water-food-energy nexus research

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas (November 4, 2020) – It is projected that nine billion people will live, and eat, on earth by 2050. To meet the challenges of feeding and providing clean water for the future population, the water, energy, and food security nexus is among the most critical areas of research today; that is, water security, energy security, and food security. Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) has just appointed Ali Fares, Ph.D., as its first endowed chair of Water Security/Water-Food-Energy Nexus to help address these issues.

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Ali Fares, Ph.D.

“Working in critical areas of water, food, and energy is a blessing and a huge responsibility,” said Fares, who previously served as a professor of water security in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences (CAHS) at PVAMU. “It offers me an opportunity to pursue my passion for helping others and make an impact on people’s life. Training our students and junior faculty to assume future leadership in this area is a great opportunity for me.”

Fares brings with him decades of international industry experience, including working with the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture and a South Australian soil moisture sensing company. He worked with the Universities of Florida and Hawaii before arriving at PVAMU in 2013.

“Dr. Fares has an extensive and distinguished history of contributions and leadership in these areas, including, most recently, being named as a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy,” said CAHS Dean Gerard D’Souza, Ph.D. “His appointment as endowed chair signals the profound importance of how water, food, and energy security, individually and in combination, advance our holistic understanding and improve our quality of life, particularly for underserved communities. By being at the forefront of his profession and attracting global recognition for his scholarly contributions in these areas, Dr. Fares will help elevate the visibility of PVAMU and CAHS and shed the spotlight on how their policy interplay can guide the way toward more sustainable outcomes for Texans and beyond.”

Throughout his career, Fares has been an active member of national working groups and committees focused on topics ranging from forest health and water quantity and quality to expanding diversity leadership in land-grant Institutions. At PVAMU, he founded the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences’ Research Seminar Series in 2013. It is held each semester to explore emerging topics in the field.

Endowed faculty professorships go beyond a change in title. Universities offer endowed positions to recruit, recognize, and retain high-quality faculty members, and encourage additional funding for research, create new student worker opportunities and opportunities to collaborate with other research institutions.

“Building a deep bench of faculty talent enhances the academic environment, which attracts the brightest students,” Fares said.

One of his top priorities in the new role is to help build PVAMU’s international reputation in the areas of water and water-food-energy nexus research. This will include student mentorship and research opportunities, inviting international guest speakers to the university, and continuing to lead collaborative research projects in the field.

“I am excited about this opportunity to serve PVAMU in this new capacity. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues across campus, the state, nationally, and internationally,” said Fares.

Blog originally posted by Jocelyn Kerr on 4 November 2020

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