3 min read
Image one, a glass globe filled with perscription pills rests on a mossy forest floor. Image 2: 2015 Participants wade into a creek to collect samples

SerPIE-ASEMP: Synergistic Efforts to Reduce Pharmaceuticals in the Environment – Agricultural Science Extension Mentorship Program for Undergraduates

Program Navigation Links


All applications must be received by April 20, 2019. Take a look at the 2015 SerPIE-ASEMP Testimonials page for a video slideshow of the previous event.

At a Glance: SerPIE-ASEMP

  • Program Date: June 3–July 15, 2019
  • Program Locations: Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL (5 weeks) and Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN (1 week)
  • Application Deadline: April 20, 2019
  • Online Application:  Apply Here
  • Stipend: $1500 for six weeks (travel, meals, and lodging will be provided)
  • Support: USDA-NIFA grant #2017-38821-26426.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), Alabama A&M University (AAMU), and Tennessee State University (TSU) are pleased to announce the second Agricultural Science Extension Mentorship Program (ASEMP). This summer undergraduate mentorship program is a six-week program that offers students a unique opportunity to explore science and Cooperative Extension-related professions that focus on concepts like pharmaceutical impacts on the environment (PIE). Participants will be placed with mentors from diverse backgrounds to participate in experiential learning activities that enhance their understanding of the impacts that pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) have on animal, human, and environmental health and the best management practices necessary to minimize the risk posed by these hazardous bioactive chemicals.

About SerPIE-ASEMP 2019

Program Goals

The program will educate a new generation of young people on the danger of PIE and the role they have in safeguarding the environment for themselves and future generations. It will also broaden undergraduate student experiences and enhance their transferable skills.


SerPIE-ASEMP participants will learn firsthand the responsibilities of research faculty and Extension agents and specialists in serving the community-at-large and the importance of combating issues like PIE. Students will participate in classroom and laboratory exercises, field and site visits, workshops, service learning projects, and engage in SerPIE initiatives. They will also visit local pharmaceutical companies and water treatment facilities as well as participate in the development of SerPIE educational materials. The students will provide input in shaping the resources needed to arouse peer interest in PIE. They will also serve as catalysts for behavioral changes needed to diminish the threat PIE poses to animals, families, and communities.

The program will culminate with formal presentations of the science-based and extension activities performed by each student and a final written report summarizing his or her summer experience. Mentees will be equipped to deliver their work at local and national conferences and symposia and to permeate their new skills in their communities.

Study Areas

  • Soil and Water Quality
  • Environmental Science
  • Biology and Biological Systems
  • Human, Animal and Environmental Health
  • Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Extension and Faculty Mentors for SerPIE-ASEMP 2019

Alabama A&M University Faculty/Extension Mentors:

  • Dr. Karnita Garner (Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences)
  • Dr. Paul Okweye (Environmental Chemistry)
  • Dr. Sampson Hopkinson (Biology)
  • Dr. Tamara Warren (Human Nutrition, Diet and Health)
  • Dr. Wubishet Tadesse (Remote Sensing/GIS)

Tennessee State University Faculty/Extension Mentors:

  • Dr. Sam Dennis (Soil and Water Quality)
  • Dr. Richard Browning (Animal Science)

External Mentors

  • University of Arizona — Dr. Bryan Carter (Africana Studies)
  • Dr. Maria Leite-Browning (Animal Science and Forages)
  • Extension Agent Mentors
  • Roosevelt Robinson (Montgomery, Al)
  • Allyson Shabel (Decatur, AL)
  • Phillip Carter (Dothan, AL)
  • Jack LeCroy (Mobile, AL)
  • Marcus Garner (Madison, AL)

Student Mentor

  • Ravneet Kaur


Illustration of three people having a conversation


If you have questions
concerning the program please contact:

Dr. Karnita Garner
(kfg0003@aces.edu) or (256) 372-8331

Dr. Paul Okweye
(Paul.okweye@aamu.edu) or (25) 372-4931

Dr. Sam Dennis
(sdennis@tnstate.edu) or (615) 963-5822.




The Agricultural Science Extension Mentorship Program is supported by USDA-NIFA grant #2017-38821-26426. (United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture)

Did you find this helpful?