Two related programs recently merged to form a new department within Fort Valley State University's College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology.
The veterinary technology program and public health program joined to form the FVSU Department of Veterinary Science and Public Health. The newly formed department will house the Bachelor of Science degree in veterinary technology and the master of public health graduate degree.
Dr. George McCommon, associate professor of veterinary science, will serve as interim head of the department.
McCommon said public health fits nicely with veterinary science. "Both programs are medically related and are approaching the same problems but from different angles," McCommon said.
In the future, the interim department head wants to offer new concentrations in the Master of Public Health graduate program— such as zoonosis, or the study of diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans (like avian influenza). McCommon said that offering concentrations like zoonosis could help increase enrollment at FVSU, while simultaneously fulfilling the needs of the workforce.
In addition to the new department, the Master of Science degree in biotechnology recently moved to the FVSU Department of Agricultural Sciences. Dr. Nirmal Joshee, associate professor of plant biotechnology, is the new program coordinator. Dr. Anand Yadav, who previously held the position, retired May 31.
Dr. Govind Kannan, dean of the FVSU College of Agriculture said, "I am confident the efficiencies of both programs will improve tremendously because of this association. We expect greater things to happen in the department under Dr. McCommon's leadership."