Reichert named president-elect of CAST

Nancy Reichert

A faculty member of Mississippi State’s biological sciences department is the 2016-2017 president-elect for the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology.

MSU Professor Nancy Reichert will serve as the 45th president of the national organization. CAST, which was established in 1972, consists of committed scientists whose goal is to “bring science-based information to policymaking and the public.”

“Integral to the success and impact of CAST is the development of a plan to achieve a stronger financial base; a primary goal of the president-elect should be to help formulate a sound strategy to achieve this,” Reichert said.

Reichert’s vision statement carries on that goal as she plans to expand CAST’s role in order to reach a broader audience. Her goals involve broadening the distribution of credible science-based information, thereby contributing to CAST’s vision by better engaging educators and educational organizations--such as the extension service--and by making CAST resources more accessible and searchable.

Reichert received her Bachelor of Science degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She attended graduate school at New Mexico State University where she worked in the new Plant Genetic Engineering Lab and received a Ph.D. in molecular biology.

Shortly thereafter, she joined MSU where she has worked for the past 26 years--first in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and then serving as head of the Department of Biological Sciences for eight years.

During that time, she oversaw a $12 million building renovation, helped to secure more than $1.6 million in external donations/pledges to the department and stewarded the addition of 200 students in the department. In 2015, Reichert continued with her research in the lab and began teaching courses that cover both animal and plant biotechnology.

“The College of Arts and Sciences is proud of Dr. Reichert and congratulates her on being named president-elect,” said Rick Travis, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Dr. Reichert is highly skilled at explaining complex issues for the lay person and policymakers. Her skills should line up well with this position.”

Reichert plays an active role in the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) and has served in various elected positions since 2002. She currently serves on the board of directors and chairs the public policy committee, a position she has held for the past four years. She also was named an SIVB Fellow in 2006 and has received two SIVB Distinguished Service awards. Reichert also is an active member of the 2016-2020 CAST strategic plan committee.

MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,000 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 24 academic majors offered in 14 departments. It also is home to the most diverse units for research and scholarly activities, including natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities.

Natural and physical science research projects have been supported over the decades by the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. Scholarly output in the humanities have helped place MSU in the National Science Foundation’s top 50. The NSF also ranked MSU among the top 25 for research expenditures in the social sciences. For more on MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, visit To learn more about CAST, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Karyn Brown | College of Arts and Sciences

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