AGBIO 594 Syllabus

Research Topics

AGBIO 594 Research Topics (1-15). Supervised student activities on research projects identified on an individual or small-group basis.


Seogchan KangSeogchan Kang, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Plant Pathology
and Environmental Microbiology
311 Buckhout Lab
University Park PA 16802
Email: Use Canvas Inbox

Educational Background

  • B.S., Seoul National University Chemistry
  • M.S., Seoul National University Chemistry
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin Physiological Chemistry

Research Interests

Plant-fungal pathogen interactions; Fungal genomics and informatics; Plant pathogen databases

For more information, please visit Seogchan Kang's Lab.


Course Overview

In this course, you will utilize the information acquired from previous public health preparedness courses to identify and develop a research topic of interest. The research paper will utilize a quantitative or qualitative approach to data analysis in order to support or refute a pre-selected hypothesis. Your paper must be original and designed in such a way that it contributes new knowledge to the field of public health preparedness. Your course instructor and/or chosen mentor will guide you through a step-wise process that culminates in the completion of your project.


Course Objectives

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate the fundamental principles and terminology of basic research design
  • Perform advanced academic literature searches and data acquisition through the use of varied library resources, public domain repositories, and internet search engines
  • Critically evaluate the research methodology used in recently published articles
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative versus qualitative research analysis
  • Develop and organize complex ideas in a logical, orderly, and well-written fashion
  • Cultivate a professional appreciation for public health preparedness research


Recommended Textbook

  • Lester, J. & Lester, J. (2017). Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide, 16th Ed. Pearson Education Inc. ISBN 13: 978-0-13-451902-9


Online Students Use of the Library

As Penn State World Campus students, you have access to many of the materials that the library offers to students. The library website has a lot to offer, but can be overwhelming. A guide has been created to serve as your introduction to important library resources, services, and important pages within the library. The Online Student Library Guide is updated regularly by the online librarian and is intended to provide a level of comfort through introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.


Assignments and Grading

All graded assignments in the course except for the final paper are considered ongoing assignments and are worth 10 points per assignment. The final paper is worth 100 points. See the table below for final grade weighting of each item.

 Ongoing Activities  10%
 Final Paper  90%
Letter GradePercentage
A 100 - 93%
A- < 93 - 90%
B+ < 90 - 87%
B < 87 - 83%
B- < 83 - 80%
C+ < 80 - 77%
C < 77 - 73%
C- < 73 - 70%
D < 70 - 60%
F < 60 - 0%


PSU Policies

Log-In Policy

Students are expected to log-in regularly to keep up-to date with announcements, discussions, etc. The class will progress at a regular pace throughout the semester and there are specific due dates and times for assignments, etc.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, G-9 Procedures and the Code of Conduct).

Read the Academic Integrity Guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences

A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University’s Academic Integrity policy and the types of actions it prohibits and/or requires does not excuse one from complying with the policy. Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff and fellow students expect each student to uphold the University’s standards of academic integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

Copyright Notice

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor’s express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University’s Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University’s educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources Web site.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Penn State staff  works with thousands of students per year in group therapy, individual counseling, crisis intervention, and psychiatric services as well as providing prevention, outreach, and consultation services for the University community. Services at CAPS are designed to enhance students' ability to fully benefit from the University environment and academic experience.

Staff at CAPS can help students address concerns in a caring and supportive environment. CAPS can help students resolve personal concerns that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, and satisfaction at Penn State. Some of the more common concerns include anxiety, depression, difficulties in relationships (friends, roommates, or family); sexual identity; lack of motivation or difficulty relaxing, concentrating or studying; eating disorders; sexual assault and sexual abuse recovery; and uncertainties about personal values and beliefs. For more information, please visit the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) website.

Accommodations for Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Use of Trade Names

Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the World Campus, Outreach and Cooperative Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences, or The Pennsylvania State University is implied.

Subject to Change Statement

Please note that this Course Syllabus is subject to change. Students are responsible for abiding by such changes.