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Experience Ag Sciences

Student stories from the College of Ag Sciences at Penn State highlighting experiences such as internships, club activities, studying abroad, and careers.
Brian Rutkowski, a recent graduate in horticulture, poses by the River Seine in Paris, where he studied the similarities and differences between the food and agricultural systems of the United States and France.
June 22, 2015

Two weeks in Paris might sound like a dream vacation, but for Brian Rutkowski, the trip was just one component of his ag business management class.

Taylor Marino paused in front of a coral propagation tank at the Pittsburgh Zoo's Saltwater Aquarium.
June 10, 2015

Back in high school, Taylor Marino volunteered at the Pittsburgh Zoo with the hope that one day she would score a dream internship at the zoo's aquarium. In spring 2015, the Wildlife and Fisheries Science major made that dream a reality when she was offered a Saltwater Aquarium internship at the zoo.

During her internship, Montoursville, Pennsylvania, native Delainey Loedding collected information about snakes to see if the center's habitat-restoration efforts were making a difference in wildlife populations.
June 4, 2015

Delainey Loedding found herself in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last summer with her hands full -- of snakes. She interned with the Urban Ecology Center, a small nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting community members to nature through habitat restoration, environmental education and citizen science.

Julian Subick, far right, and other Penn State students participate in weekly meetings to assist with the student farm planning process.
May 20, 2015

The idea of a student-centered farm at Penn State already has inspired dozens of students to become involved in its planning, even though many will graduate before the farm is realized. Julian Subick and Briana Yablonski, two seniors graduating from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, have devoted much of their last year at Penn State to the rigorous farm-planning process, and they don’t regret a single moment.

Seeing is Belizing ... While in the Caribbean, Emily Spadaro studied large-animal and tropical veterinary practices as well as wildlife conservation and ecology.
May 5, 2015

Emily Spadaro spent her summer caring for jaguars at a zoo, castrating pigs and a horse, and swimming in a waterfall.

Darryl Blakey pauses outside a Congressional meeting room during a USDA forum he attended. Graduating on May 10, he intends to embark on a career involved with agricultural policy.
May 4, 2015

Darryl Blakey didn't have the usual doubts freshmen have about choosing a major. For him, agriculture was his first choice -- a dream he has had since high school.

Katie Spiecher took the course because she grew up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and is interested in water-quality issues. She also hoped to gain real-world experience for a possible career in an environmental field.
April 8, 2015

Katie Speicher recently found herself spending a sunny weekend on the Chesapeake Bay -- but it wasn’t for a vacation. Instead, the trip was just one of the many highlights she experienced while taking an environmental resources management class.

Rachel Robbins, a junior community, environment and development major, posed with presidential pooch Bo during her recent White House internship.
March 20, 2015

Rachel Robbins, a junior in the College of Agricultural Sciences, parlayed her interests in government, history and photography into a rare experience at the White House last semester.

Amanda Dezamits making a clay pot in Pomaire, a small Chilean town known for its clay work.
February 23, 2015

After missing her bus back to Santiago -- Chile's capital city -- Amanda Dezamits spent her most recent birthday sleeping under the stars with one blanket between two friends. This proved to be just one of the highlights of her recent five-month trip to the South American country.

Eric Ranck and Jennie Diehl agreed the most important part of the trip was the experience of seeing firsthand how the farmers lived.
February 13, 2015

A group of 12 Penn State students traveled to Thailand and Cambodia last winter to witness recent agricultural developments that could play a role in alleviating poverty and ending world hunger

One of students' main projects was to build an anaerobic digester -- or biodigester -- for a local dairy farmer. Drew Paul (left), had never heard of a biodigester before this trip.
February 4, 2015

In recent years, searching for renewable energy resources has become something of a treasure hunt. A group of Penn State students spent their spring break in Costa Rica learning about one of those “treasures” -- cow manure.

Nicole O'Block graduated from Penn State in 2012 with a degree in agricultural science and minors in international agriculture and leadership development.
January 20, 2015

Rewind to the year 2008: Only a college freshman, Nicole O'Block sits nervously in anticipation of her first Ag LEAP meeting, in which she enrolled on a whim.

Since she was 10 years old, Arianna De Reus has been volunteering in developing countries, where she has seen how poverty affects national security.
December 18, 2014

Arianna De Reus, a senior in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is moving ever closer toward her dream of working in national security. The Hollidaysburg native's next step in realizing that goal is a spring semester internship with the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

Kaitlyn Benson landed an internship last summer with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, working in the Clean Water Program. 
December 13, 2014

Junior Environmental Resource Management major Kaitlyn Benson traveled to Costa Rica in high school around the time of the BP oil spill, and was motivated to make a difference.

Jonathan Frankman views his trip as one of the most fulfilling experiences of his life.
December 5, 2014

Jonathan Frankman made the most of his recent trip to Southeast Asia. While studying abroad in Singapore, he earned credit for taking classes in immunology, genetics and pathology. He also found time to visit seven other countries over the span of just seven weeks.

Leah Giralico feeding an auodad goat kid.
November 18, 2014

Undergraduate students could take a page out of Leah Giralico’s book when it comes to figuring out a focus for their studies. Although the veterinary and biomedical sciences major in the College of Agricultural Sciences has always had a passion for animals, she came to Penn State unsure of what type of practice she wanted to pursue.

From May 2013 to January 2014, Eddie Harbaugh helped maintain the three full-sized fields that host Eagles, Temple Owls and Army-Navy games
November 11, 2014

Many people dream of setting foot on the same field as the Philadelphia Eagles, but only for a few is the lure of greatness marked by painted numbers, lines, borders, hash marks and logos. Senior Eddie Harbaugh is a turfgrass science major with such ambitions -- one who realized his goals as a grounds crew intern at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

November 4, 2014

Where in the world can you network with professional leaders in the food industry, visit the headquarters of numerous food-manufacturing plants and learn how to make a McDonald's Big Mac? That place would be the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Food Institute in Chicago.

October 23, 2014

Penn State offers a wide variety of summer internship opportunities to its students. For senior Dylan Kubina, one of the most important guidelines for her research is a simple one -- don’t forget the bug spray.

October 17, 2014

The College of Agricultural Sciences' Ag Career Day is an event designed to bring students and the companies that need them together. For recent graduate Laura Elberth, last year's event led to a full-time job with one of Pennsylvania's oldest employers -- the Henry F. Michell Co.