Gregory Goins, Ph.D., will serve as interim associate dean of research for the college, while Valerie Jarvis McMillan, Ph.D, will serve as interim chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

The College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences faculty will serve the college and the university in several interim roles, including interim senior vice provost, interim associate dean of research and interim chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.  

Family and Consumer Sciences Chair Valerie Giddings will serve as interim senior vice provost for the university. 

Valerie L. Giddings, Ph.D.

Giddings, who joined A&T in 2008, has twice served as associate professor and chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, most recently beginning in 2018. She also spent three years as the college’s interim associate dean for research and has received more than $4 million in research funding for numerous projects with colleagues at A&T. 

“I have held a variety of positions, faculty and administrative, at the department, college and university levels at private, state and land-grant institutions as well as in state and national organizations,” said Giddings. “These experiences have given me valuable insight into the operation of higher education and the importance of our relationships with internal and external constituents.” 

Giddings’ experience includes serving as associate professor of art, interim Diggs Gallery director and associate vice chancellor for lifelong learning at Winston-Salem State University; associate dean for outreach and external relations, associate professor of clothing and textiles, and assistant professor, lecturer and Extension specialist/continuing education program coordinator at Virginia Tech; and clothing and textiles instructor at North Carolina Central University and Hampton University. A 2018 graduate of the NCAT Executive Leadership Development Program, she holds a B.S. in home economics from Bennett College and an M.S. and Ph.D., both in clothing and textiles from Virginia Tech. 

Gregory Goins, Ph.D., will serve as interim associate dean of research for the college, while Valerie Jarvis McMillan, Ph.D, will serve as interim chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. 

“Drs. Goins and McMillan have been instrumental leaders for their departments, and we are  excited for their well-deserved interim appointments,” said Mohamed Ahmedna, dean of the college. “Dr. Goins is leading the way for our expansion into agricultural technology as well as making us a leader on pivotal issues such as heirs property. Dr. McMillan will help continue the department’s tradition of research and scholarship, while maintaining high-quality performance in instruction, advising and mentorship. We look forward to their contributions in these roles.” 

In his role, Goins will oversee the college’s $34 million research portfolio, working with researchers in four academic departments and Cooperative Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and numerous other partners. 

“Agricultural research discoveries must be accomplished while we protect the planet and reduce social barriers,” said Goins. “Our college’s research advances the agricultural technologies that address real issues in the world today, including food security and climate change mitigation.” 

Goins earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in interdisciplinary crop science from North Carolina State University. He was also a USDA-ARS Postdoctoral Research Associate by the University of Minnesota. 

A faculty member at N.C. A&T since 2004, he was named chair of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design in 2019. Goins has received numerous academic and public honors and awards, including the NASA Space Flight Awareness Award in 2001, and was in 2015 named a White House Champions of Change for HBCUs, one of just 11 people recognized as such nationwide.   

Goins will continue to serve as departmental chair while in the interim role. 

Valerie McMillan is an associate professor of child development, early education and family studies in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. She is also program coordinator of the Child Development, Early Education and Family Studies in the department. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Early Childhood Education and an M.Ed. in elementary counseling at South Carolina State University before completing her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from Iowa State University. 

McMillan’s research focuses on culturally responsive practices and assessments, family involvement, parent education, and teacher beliefs and classroom practices.  

In 2021, Blue Cross and Blue Shield awarded a $200,000 grant to McMillan and her eight-person team from A&T and other institutions to search for promising models to reduce the dramatically high rate of suspensions, expulsions and exclusions of young children of color in early education settings. 

In 2019, McMillan received the UNC Board of Governor’s Teaching Excellence Award for her work at N.C. A&T. She has also been a faculty fellow in the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and a BRIDGES Fellow in the Women’s Leadership Academy at UNC – Chapel Hill. She previously served as interim departmental chair from 2007-08. 

“I will strive to collaboratively uphold the FCS’s mission, vision, values, and unique contributions to the diverse communities in which we educate, serve, and support,” McMillan said.