Dr. Nancy Reichert Elected CAST President-Elect for 2016-17

June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016...Ames, Iowa: In a recent election at the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), Dr. Nancy Reichert was chosen as the President-Elect for 2016-2017. She will officially assume her responsibilities at the conclusion of CAST's Fall Board Meeting in October. In 2017 she will become the 45th President of CAST, a singular honor and responsibility dating back to 1972, when Charles A. Black and Norman Borlaug, along with other committed scientists, spearheaded the movement to "bring science-based information to policymaking and the public."
 
Nancy Reichert received a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in bacteriology. She fell in love with plant tissue culture early in her career while working on generating transgenic plants. This led her to graduate school at New Mexico State University where she worked in the new Plant Genetic Engineering Lab and received a Ph.D. in molecular biology. Shortly thereafter, she started as a faculty member at Mississippi State University and has been there for the past 26 years--first in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and then serving as the head of the Department of Biological Sciences for eight years. During that time, she oversaw a $12 million building renovation, helped to secure greater than $1.6 million in external donations/pledges to the department, and stewarded the increase of undergraduate majors in the department by 200. In 2015, Nancy reconnected with her research in the lab and began teaching courses--like Biotechnology in Our Lives--that cover both animal and plant biotechnology.
 
Nancy plays an active role in the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) and has served in various elected positions since 2002; she currently serves on the Board of Directors and chairs the Public Policy Committee, a position she has held for the past four years. Nancy was named an SIVB Fellow in 2006 and has received two SIVB Distinguished Service Awards.
 
Nancy has represented SIVB on the CAST Board of Representatives since 2013, and as a member of the Food Science and Safety Work Group, she recently had an issue paper proposal approved that she is liaison and champion for. She is also an active member of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan Committee.
 
In her vision statement, Dr. Reichert stressed the importance of CAST's role to reach a broad audience beyond those ready to accept--and adequately interpret--the information conveyed. Her goals involve broadening the distribution of credible science-based information, thereby contributing to CAST's vision by better engaging educators and educational organizations--such as the Extension Service--and by making CAST resources more accessible and searchable. She also plans to adhere to goals delineated in the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. As she stated, "Integral to the success and impact of CAST is development of a plan to achieve a stronger financial base; a primary goal of the President-Elect should be to help formulate a sound strategy to achieve this."
 

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