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image-grad student in plant pathology at Tropical Research and Education Center

Philanthropy on Gator Nation Giving Day helps South Florida’s UF graduate students

HOMESTEAD, Fla. –.College graduates need jobs, and they can get them in agriculture and the natural sciences.

Increasing demand for expertise in the sciences, particularly in occupations involved in agriculture research, energy management, atmospheric science, conservation and environmental protection, is projected to result in employment growth.

How many more scientists do we need? Employment in life, physical, and social science occupations is projected to grow by up to 5% through 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. That’s equivalent to more than 60,000 new jobs.

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Exterior view of graduate student dormitory model at UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education

Faculty, scientists and graduate students at the University of Florida’s Tropical Research and Education Center hope South Florida residents and Gator alumni will take stock of that demand and support the future housing needs of graduate students at the Homestead research center.

Ultimately, they hope UF alumni, students, faculty, staff, families and friends will come together between now and February 18 to support the TREC Dormitory Building Fund during Stand Up and Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day.

The 24-hour fundraising event serves as a call to action for philanthropic support of any size to the college, unit, research area or program of interest. After two record-breaking years, this year’s goal is to reach 20,000 gifts across the university’s philanthropic options. Stand Up and Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day launches February 18 at 12 a.m. EST and concludes at 11:59 p.m. PST.

“Graduate education serves a crucial role in society’s progress and is an investment in solutions for the stable future of our communities as a whole,” said Edward Evans, director of the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC), part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

The TREC Dormitory Building Fund will provide much-needed housing for a growing number of graduate students in training alongside world-class scientists at UF’s leading land-grant and research centers.

“We are called upon to serve a greater role in ensuring the sustainability of our agriculture and natural resources in the face of major challenges stemming from increased urbanization, pests and diseases, red tide, sea-level rise, saltwater intrusion and climate change, to name a few,” said Evans.   “We are training the next generation of scientists, many of whom will conduct their research within our communities, and who will contribute directly to solving some of the pressing problems we face on a daily basis.”

Among those 20,000 gifts, Evans is hoping TREC is on the minds of local contributors enough to bring attention to its current campaign. An anonymous donor will be matching all Giving Day gifts to the TREC dormitory project up to $20,000, bringing the project closer to the $600,000 needed to build an onsite dormitory. Initiated in 2019 during TREC’s 90th year, the dormitory has reached approximately one-third of its goal.

Don’t want to wait for Gator Nation Giving Day? You can give to the fund ahead of time at https://tinyurl.com/SUAHtrec or by calling 1-877-351-2377. Visit https://givingday.ufl.edu/ to learn more and mark your calendar for February 18. For more information about how you can make an impact through UF’s Giving Day, contact Caylin Hilton at cnewbern@ufl.edu .

“On-site housing will enhance our ability to recruit qualified graduate students who are crucial to advancing research.  Please consider making a gift to enhance the future of student life on our campus in Homestead,” added Evans.

For more insight from Evans, please click on this video: https://youtu.be/NMALiElqcqQ?cc_load_policy=1

 

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By: Lourdes Rodriguez, 954-577-6363 office, 954-242-8439 mobile, rodriguezl@ufl.edu

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media..

 

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