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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.
Recent Penn State alumna Mollie McGinnis dedicated six months following graduation to a project in Huay Pakoot, Thailand, working to bring elephants from tourist camps back into their natural habitats within their owners' communities.
July 24, 2014

An elephant roaming free would be a strange sight here in the United States, but in other parts of the world, these gray giants are safer outside of enclosures.

Jena Moser, shown here straddling the Earth's imaginary dividing line, traveled to Kenya through a Community, Environment, and Development class that stayed for three weeks. But she stayed three months.
July 16, 2014

After spending three months in Africa, Jenna Moser was disturbed by the way Kenyans viewed agriculture, believing that it consists only of farming and that it is a "poor man's job."

Jamie Milletary looks back on her internship with a Denver landscaping company as one of the best experiences of her life.
July 8, 2014

Senior Landscape Contracting major Jamie Milletary packed a single suitcase and flew off to Denver seeking the freedom and independence she had always craved.

"You can't really expect animals to do what you want them to do," according to  Shahkila Daniels. "They are wild, so you have to learn how to adapt and stay calm for their safety and yours." Perhaps surprisingly, captaining the Penn State Majorettes has helped prepare her for her career.
July 1, 2014

Working with animals can be as unpredictable as being captain of the Penn State Majorettes, according to Shahkila Daniels.

Pittsburgh native Celine Colbert, a senior majoring in Forest Science (Management option), investigated what would happen in a ponderosa pine forest outside of Camp Navajo, Ariz., if it was thinned, control-burned or both.
June 19, 2014

Penn State student Celine Colbert spent last summer in the West assisting with research that may help to prevent severe wildfires.

Senior Steve Bookbinder's goal while at Penn State is to be exposed to all sorts of different product-development and operations environments in the meat industry. Last summer he found an opportunity at Animex, Poland's largest meat processing company.
June 13, 2014

Most college students originally enrolled in their studies following high school graduation, but Penn State food science major Steve Bookbinder took a different path.

Dana James traveled to Cambodia for a 10-day visit with College of Agricultural Sciences faculty to help improve that country's agricultural education and training programs.
May 16, 2014

Innovation is key when dealing with issues such as poverty, food security and conservation, according to Dana James, a recent graduate of the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Shelby Hahn had the highest written exam score in the nation in the dairy category.
May 7, 2014

For freshman Shelby Hahn, competing at the National FFA Convention in Milk Quality and Products was the culmination of a journey that has included everything from working as a milk hand to a being a veterinary assistant.

Abe DeHart will be graduating this weekend with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural systems management. After completing an MBA, DeHart plans on working with farmers in developing countries to improve agricultural systems and crop yields. 
May 5, 2014

Abe DeHart's experiences in India the past two summers may be put to good use in the future. DeHart graduates from Penn State with honors this weekend and will be enrolling in Penn State's MBA program. At some point, he hopes to apply what he's learned in working with farmers in a developing country.

Eleanor Polley stands outside the American Embassy in Rome, where her internship focused on economic issues and cooperation between the United States and Italy.
May 2, 2014

As an economic intern for the U.S. State Department at the American Embassy in Rome, Penn State senior Eleanor Polley attended conferences and conducted research.

Kate Ortbal, a senior in the Schreyer Honors College, will be graduating in May with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree. The interdisciplinary degree enabled Ortbal to bring together academic programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Engineering to focus on her interest in social entrepreneurship.
April 23, 2014

Kate Ortbal, a senior in Penn State's Schreyer Honors College, found a way to focus her studies and her honors thesis on social entrepreneurship.

Rob Ritson posed before a pride of lions in Tanzania.
April 21, 2014

To junior Rob Ritson, African wildlife was the stuff of books and documentaries, not college experience. But a semester in Tanzania turned the exotic ecosystem into a place where he could bring his education from the classroom to the field.

Elyse McMahon headed west to be part of a study to determine if a new type of bait containing a trial vaccine could help eliminate the sylvatic plague in endangered Utah prairie dogs. Students collected data that U.S. Geological Survey employees analyzed.
April 17, 2014

Getting up before dawn never appealed to Penn State senior Elyse McMahon, but last summer it was exactly what she wanted to be doing. From June to August, her days began early with trapping and handling endangered Utah prairie dogs for data collection.

Sara Mueller poses in a hole in a glacier in New Zealand.
April 10, 2014

Not many students get to go to Craigieburn Forest Park or Mount Cook, but as Penn State senior Sara Mueller learned, Lincoln University in New Zealand is one school that builds field trips such as these into each semester.

As part of her internship, Olivia Lindsey (center) helped organize community events to generate interest in local-foods projects. Also pictured are Chelsea Holmes, of Women for a Healthy Environment (left), and chef Bill Fuller of big Burrito Restaurant Group.
April 8, 2014

As a member of the Penn State Women's Rugby Team, Olivia Lindsey knows a thing or two about teamwork. So it should come as no surprise that when she went looking for an internship last year, she was drawn to the idea of joining a 50-member multi-institution research team.

Penn State student Monica Caparosa worked in research and development and quality-assurance at StarKist's Pittsburgh headquarters.
March 24, 2014

Putting her dislike of seafood aside, sophomore Monica Caparosa jumped at the chance to intern with one of the leading seafood companies in the country. From May through July 2013, her days were filled with various tasks -- including sampling the tuna.

Last summer, senior Kurt Smithgall interned at the Coweeta Long Term Ecological Research Laboratory in Otto, N.C.
March 20, 2014

As an avid whitewater kayaker who recently qualified for the 2014 U.S. Wildwater Canoe and Kayak Team, it's no surprise that Kurt Smithgall found an internship involving rivers and water

Penn State softball player Kasie Hatfield poses with one of the dogs she worked with during her internship. Turns out she's a hit both on the field -- where she plays catcher and third base  -- and training animals with the dog-rescue operation.
March 4, 2014

Penn State senior Kasie Hatfield has always loved animals, so she jumped at the opportunity to return to her home state of Florida last year and help rehabilitate sick, injured and aggressive dogs.

Morgan Porter posed with a kangaroo during her veterinary internship in Brisbane, Australia.
February 3, 2014

Many students have the chance to study abroad. Morgan Porter, a senior Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences major, took the concept to a new level last year.