The James C. Barker Endowments to Fund Scholarships and Faculty/Staff Development
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — University of Tennessee alumnus James C. Barker has been honored with two endowments named in his memory. The Dr. James C. Barker Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Scholarship Endowment and the Dr. James C. Barker Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Faculty and Staff Development Endowment have been established to honor the memory of the three-time UT graduate by his brother, Roger Barker.
“My brother was renowned not only in North Carolina but in the places around the world where he traveled,” says Roger Barker. “Back then there were not many people in his field. There were not many people looking at pollution control, waste management and using waste as a fertilizer.”
Barker spent his career at North Carolina State University where he worked in agricultural and biological waste management solutions. He developed techniques and criteria which are still used in the state and have been further studied and implemented in the Midwest. He traveled to China, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan later in his career to work with the infrastructures there.
The endowments set up at his alma mater will provide funds for both faculty and staff improvements in the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science but also provide scholarship money for students pursuing a degree in the department.
“Every year, I come across heartbreaking stories of high-achieving students who cannot complete their education because of financial difficulties,” says Julie Carrier, head of the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science. “The Dr. James C. Barker Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Scholarship Endowment will enable me to help these deserving students. Conversely, the Dr. James C. Barker Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Faculty and Staff Development Endowment will enable me to help young and deserving faculty and staff receive additional training. These funds could not come at a better time.”
Barker’s work has been recognized regionally at North Carolina State and nationally by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. In 2012 he was inducted into the North Carolina Pork Council Hall of Fame for his significant contributions to the state’s pork industry.
“He worked so hard for those degrees and liked Tennessee so much. It would be good for people to recognize that and to have the opportunity to help people who are just like him to achieve their degrees,” said Roger Barker.
His career at North Carolina State University began as an extension specialist and assistant professor in 1974. In 1979 he became an associate professor and later full professor where he remained until his retirement in 2001. Barker spent his entire career at North Carolina State, save one year spent at the University of Georgia early in his career. Barker passed away in September of 2021.
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