FAMU, FSU researchers put talent on display

Oghenekome U. Onokpise an participant at Discover on Parade 
Photo credit: Alexandria Bush

Wall-to-wall exhibits showcased unique and exciting discoveries from researchers and creative professionals.

Florida A&M University Division of Research, Florida State University Office of Research and Tallahassee Community College hosted Discovery on Parade Thursday at the Turnbull center. The celebratory occasion focused on recognizing the innovators who developed vital ideas and projects that economically and culturally improve the community.

The event featured an arrangement of live technical demonstrations, festive performances, and

Information on new and existing research companies. Guest speaker Valerie Browning of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, introduced revolutionary technology and efficient materials for society by the government.

Telisa Jones, coordinator of innovative technology for FAMU Student Affairs, presented one of many practical exhibits for everyday problems.

AirHead is a patented device that can be used to dry-wash wigs, weaves, toupees or hats using different temperatures. Air is generated from a motor controlled base, and can blow cold or hot air throughout the head of the apparatus in a circular motion for refreshing.

Jones’ inspiration came from the constant struggle to properly remove odor from her wigs.

“I would take my wig off after walking and working out and say, ’Oh Lord, It’s time to get a new wig.’ That was my inspiration, me.

“I want to sell the license to a company and distribute it to the public. I’m excited and it’s very needed and I'm ready to get it out there so I can have one,” Jones said.

A staple exposition was the Grape Mycoherbicide for Controlling Cogongrass.

Bipolaris imperatae is a fungus found in Florida, which possesses herbicidal effects on grassy weeds.

Cogongrass is the seventh most invasive species in Florida, affecting local agricultural areas.

James Muchovej and Oghenekome Onokpise have discovered a natural way to control cogongrass without toxic herbicides damaging native plants.

Onokpise, professor and distinguished researcher for FAMU’s College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, added, “This project started off as a USAID project in Ghana, where it’s a big problem for farmers because it destroys their root crops.

“USAID requires that all of the work we do have a domestic content, that means knowledge that can be applied to U.S. farms or natural ecosystems,” he added. “We decided to do a survey of this plant species and found that it’s a problem in Florida. So that’s why this study is being conducted now every 15 years, to come up with a solution.”

Tallahassee's higher educational institutions aspire to continue groundbreaking techniques that pique the curiosity of the community and display resolutions that can change the world.