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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.
Alyssa Davidge, who graduated from Penn State in 2014, holding a California condor soon to be released into the wild.
December 1, 2015

With a 10-foot wingspan, a mass of 26-pounds and a 60-year lifespan, the California condor is a bird with some swagger. Recent Penn State graduate Alyssa Davidge feels privileged to keep an eye on them as a condor-monitoring technician in southern California.

Joshua Cassar with a toucan in Costa Rica.
November 16, 2015

Prior to his trip to Costa Rica, Josh Cassar had taken only two Spanish for Agriculture classes. After participating in the month-long immersion program during the summer of 2013, Cassar -- a junior majoring in Animal Science with an emphasis in Poultry Science -- felt fully prepared for his internship overseeing various departments at a poultry plant in Pennsylvania.

In her free time, Sara Getson cultivates shiitake mushrooms with her friends using homemade synthetic logs.
November 6, 2015

Years ago, young Sara Getson ventured into the woods with her father, hunting for the stout, honey-colored mushroom that is her family's favorite. They searched for the aptly named honey mushroom (Armillaria mellea) not just for fun, but to pick, can and sauté them with butter and onions for dinner. Now, that tradition has spawned her studies and career ambitions at Penn State.

Devon Carroll spent the summer working for the New York Yankees AAA farm team, the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Rail Riders. On the grounds crew, she spent time landscaping the front entrance, working on the field and repairing practice facilities.
October 22, 2015

As the only female turfgrass science major at Penn State’s University Park campus, junior Devon Carroll is enjoying being a woman in what is considered a man's career field.

Recent graduate Anh Tran secured her position with Giorgi Mushroom Company through a contact she made at last year's Ag Career Day.
October 13, 2015

The College of Agricultural Sciences’ Ag Career Day, set for Oct. 20 at the Bryce Jordan Center, is a great opportunity for students to interact and meet future employers. For recent graduate Anh Tran, attending last year’s event led to a full-time job with the largest single-location mushroom farm in the world — Giorgi Mushroom Company.

After Kyle Love graduates this spring, he will begin his career with Monsanto as a district sales manager.
October 2, 2015

Kyle Love doesn't have the stress other seniors do about searching for a job after graduation. Thanks to connections he made through Penn State's Ag Career Day, he's already been hired for a job in his chosen field, agronomy.

Luke Salter landed an internship at Wenger Feeds at Ag Career Day 2014.
September 25, 2015

For senior agricultural science major Luke Salter, the College of Agricultural Sciences' Ag Career Day last year was a window to the multiple job and internship opportunities the field has to offer. The result was an internship at Wenger Feeds.

Dutt (third from right) is shown at an Ojibwe event with the Penn State Community, Environment, and Development 401 class group.
September 15, 2015

In a combined course and cultural engagement experience, Alexandra Dutt explored indigenous peoples’ understanding of their environment -- and how it could inform her own.

Jess Linder at Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary.
September 4, 2015

Jess Linder, a Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences major from Cedar Grove, N.J., has always been inspired by health professionals. “When I was nine, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune eye disease called Uveitis. Since then, I have seen how my doctors not only care for my physical health, but also my emotional and mental health.”

For her untiring efforts, McDonald received the 2015 Rock Ethics Award, which honors Penn State undergraduate students who demonstrate leadership in supporting a cause they believe in.
July 9, 2015

In high school, Carolyn McDonald felt a connection to the country of Haiti and decided to focus her future on how she could help make it a better place.

During the summer of 2014, Paige Smoyer worked in Washington, D.C., with Food Directions LLC, a government relations consulting firm.
July 2, 2015

From attending interesting meetings to writing company newsletters to approving product sales, Paige Smoyer found that working as a food safety intern was a fast-paced and intriguing experience.

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.