New Graduate Courses in ALEC
Graduate Course on Management of Externally-Funded Projects
ALEC 645 - Initiating, Managing, and Monitoring Projects of International Agricultural Development. [Credit 3] Spring Semester – Wednesday, 12:40-3:40, AGLS 117 Origin of projects in agricultural development involving host governments; procedures in developing contracts with sponsors; duties and responsibilities of contract administrators, project leaders, and the home institution; reporting systems, project reviews, and evaluation procedures; procedures effective in managing projects.
Note: This is a project management course. Students will be prepared to interact and make meaning from visits with experts in the administration of externally-funded projects, i.e., what to do after receiving approval for funding. Phases covered include the pre-award phase, conducting the project, and closing out the project. Examples of topics that are covered in this course include: overview of grant writing, contract negotiation, timely and accurate reporting, roles of departmental-level business officers, monitoring and evaluation, insight to Maestro, risk and compliance, licensing and commercialization, lessons learned by project managers in developing nations and in the U.S., perspectives of successfully managed projects from the points of view of U.S. federal agency program leaders, and importance of closing out project.
This course is taught by Dr. Manuel Piña, Jr., a former Program Director with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and principal, co-principal investigator, or evaluator of numerous U.S. federal agency-sponsored projects, e.g., USDA, NSF, and EPA. In teaching this course, historically, he has received enormous support and participation of very experienced staff from the Texas A&M University’s Sponsored Research Services and other offices that provide key support in managing projects, e.g., Texas A&M Technology Commercialization and Texas AgriLife Research Administrative Services and Corporate Relations.
Graduate Course on U.S. International Development Institutions
ALEC 646 - Institutions Serving Agriculture in Developing Nations. (Credit 3) Spring Semester – Monday, 1:50-4:00, AGLS 117 Comparisons among programs and functions, strengths and weaknesses, organization, and relationships of institutions and agencies in public sectors serving agriculture in developing nations; includes those responsible for agricultural extension, agricultural research, agrarian reform, price stabilization, agricultural credit and agricultural cooperatives.
Note: This course is intended to expose students to the wide array of organizations that could offer internships and/or employment in international development. Students conduct research to identify organizations in Washington, D.C. that are consistent with their particular interests. Then they make arrangements to meet with them during a one-week field trip to Washington, D.C. where they conduct meetings to learn about the chosen institutions’ mission, programs, challenges, future directions, and what they look for in the people they employ. The field trip coincides with the “DC Aggies” muster where students have opportunities to network with Aggies in the D.C. area. Previous students have met with as many 25 organizations during this week. The course has a $2,000 fee, but in the past we have been able to get funding support for it through the High Impact Experience program which has reduced the cost to the students significantly.
This course is taught by Dr. Manuel Piña, Jr., a former Director of Training and Communications with the International Potato Center, Lima, Peru for 11 years and who has had externally-funded international development efforts by USAID, USDA, and he W.K Kellogg Foundation in Mexico and Peru. Currently, he is Co-PI on a USDA project in Haiti and is developing a new initiative Toto be sponsored by the Just Like My Child Foundation in Uganda.