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2015

Researchers receive $10.2 million to study new malaria-prevention method
December 14, 2015
In collaboration with partners in Europe and Africa, researchers at Penn State have received a five-year, $10.2-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate a new method for preventing the transmission of malaria. The method involves limiting mosquito access to houses by blocking openings and installing "eave tubes" that contain a unique type of insecticide-laced mosquito netting developed by Dutch partner In2Care that kills the insects as they attempt to enter.
Project aims to improve food security by enhancing gender aspects of ag research
November 24, 2015
Recognizing the need to improve food security and enhance the well-being of rural populations in developing countries, a new Penn State project will provide intensive training for researchers that will help them to integrate gender-related dimensions into international agricultural research.
Student Stories: Costa Rica stay readies Animal Science major for poultry plant
November 23, 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.
Penn State to host pollinator biology and health conference
November 23, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research will host the third International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy, July 18-20, 2016. The conference will be held at Penn State's University Park campus.
Cell phones could be a lifeline for honey bees and beekeepers in Africa
October 26, 2015
A new Penn State project aimed at improving the food system in East Africa by enhancing pollination services and promoting bee-derived products has received a Food Systems Innovation Grant from the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation, based at Michigan State University.
InnovATE-Armenia Developing Food Safety Systems Management Certificate
October 9, 2015
With InnovATE-Armenia, Dr. Joseph Marcy, Head of the Food Science and Technology Department of Virginia Tech and Dr. Cathy Cutter, Professor of Food Science from Penn State University, are designing a Food Safety Systems Management Certificate curriculum for the Agribusiness Teaching Center (ATC) of the International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education in Yerevan, Armenia.
Penn State Graduates Benefit from International Experience
September 9, 2015
Where are they now? Three recent Penn State INTAD graduate students are pursuing successful careers. The students were enrolled in the College of Agricultural Sciences’ International Agriculture and Development (INTAD) dual-title degree program. According to Deanna Behring, director of international programs, the program provides students with international perspectives and expertise to strengthen their primary graduate degree.
Student Stories: Vetward bound -- Honors student preparing for future
September 8, 2015
Jess Linder, a veterinary and biomedical sciences major from Cedar Grove, N.J., has always been inspired by health professionals. “When I was 9, 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.” The experiences left a deep impression on Linder, influencing her to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. “The empathy they have shown me has inspired me to incorporate the same characteristics into my passion, caring for animals,” she said.
Alter awarded for outstanding research
August 24, 2015
Ted Alter, professor of agricultural, environmental, and regional economics, has been awarded the Community Development Society’s (CDS) 2015 Ted K. Bradshaw Outstanding Research Award. This award is presented to a CDS member in recognition of a significant stream of superior research that exemplifies and positively impacts community development practice and represents a lasting contribution to the field.
Feed supplement greatly reduces dairy cow methane emissions
August 5, 2015
A supplement added to the feed of high-producing dairy cows reduced methane emissions by 30 percent and could have ramifications for global climate change, according to an international team of researchers. In addition, over the course of the 12-week study conducted at Penn State's dairy barns, cows that consumed a feed regimen supplemented by the novel methane inhibitor 3-nitrooxypropanol -- or 3NOP -- gained 80 percent more body weight than cows in a control group. Significantly, feed intake, fiber digestibility and milk production by cows that consumed the supplement did not decrease.
Some vaccines support evolution of more-virulent viruses
July 31, 2015
Scientific experiments with the herpesvirus that causes Marek's disease in poultry have confirmed, for the first time, the highly controversial theory that some vaccines could allow more virulent versions of a virus to survive, putting unvaccinated individuals at greater risk of severe illness. The research has important implications for food-chain security and food-chain economics, as well as for other diseases that affect humans and agricultural animals.
Penn State partnering to help orphaned children worldwide stay with families
July 7, 2015
An estimated 8 million children worldwide live in orphanages and similar institutions, children of whom an estimated 80 percent have living parents or families who could look after them with the right assistance. A newly announced research partnership between British author J.K. Rowling's nonprofit children's organization Lumos and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at National University of Ireland Galway -- and including Penn State's UNESCO Chair in Community, Leadership and Youth Development program -- aims to change that by transforming the lives of children living in orphanages.
Student Stories: Horticulture major studies cacao beans in 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. Rutkowski, a recent graduate in horticulture, in the College of Agricultural Sciences, learned about the course when one of its professors visited his introductory horticulture class. He explained that the course focuses on the similarities and differences between the food and agricultural systems of the United States and France.
International Agriculture students receive grants for research in Latin America
June 8, 2015
Two Agricultural & Extension Education undergraduate students enrolled in the International Agriculture minor receive grant funding for research in Costa Rica and Belize.
Agricultural Sciences faculty participate in exploratory mission focused on agricultural development
June 4, 2015
Mark Guiltinan and Siela Maximova participate in U.S. delegation of land grant universities to Columbia.
International ag students chosen to attend forum for future leaders
June 1, 2015
Two graduate students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have been selected to attend the Future Leaders Forum, to be held as part of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development annual meeting, May 31-June 2 in Washington, D.C. Sarah Eissler, a master's degree candidate from West Chester, and Megan Wilkerson, a doctoral degree candidate and native of Savannah, Georgia, were among only 12 students selected to participate out of nearly 100 applicants from universities across the country. Both students are enrolled in the college's International Agriculture and Development, or INTAD, dual-title graduate degree program.
Faculty members’ UNESCO presentation focuses on refugees, communication
May 27, 2015
Two Penn State faculty members will travel to Paris to share research at a UNESCO forum titled “Youth and the Internet: Fighting Radicalization and Extremism” this summer. Mark A. Brennan, Penn State’s UNESCO chair and a professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Colleen Connolly-Ahern, an associate professor in the College of Communications, will participate in the conference, which runs June 16-17. Their research is focused on refugees and communication.
Andrew Read elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
May 11, 2015
The Royal Society is a self-governing fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists, whose self-stated purpose is to recognize, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.
Student Story: Vet Science major finds different perspectives in Belize
May 11, 2015
Emily Spadaro spent her summer caring for jaguars at a zoo, castrating pigs and a horse, and swimming in a waterfall. A senior majoring in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Spadaro completed a four-week study-abroad program in Belize that consisted of a course in large-animal and tropical veterinary practices for the first two weeks, and a wildlife conservation and ecology course for the last two weeks.
Undergraduates honored with Rock Ethics Institute 2015 Stand Up Award
April 27, 2015
See something that’s wrong in the world? Do something about it and help others — that’s the common motto for this year’s Rock Ethics Institute Stand Up honorees. Penn State students Melissa McCleery, Carolyn McDonald and Parker Werns are being honored respectively for their work in helping to prevent sexual violence; poverty; and discrimination against the LGBT community.
Winners of Ag Sciences startup competition will help African science students
April 17, 2015
A nonprofit venture to provide basic laboratory equipment to high school science students in West African countries won the $7,500 grand prize April 14 in the Ag Springboard student business pitch competition, sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Bridge the GapSci is the brainchild of five doctoral degree students, two of whom grew up in Ghana, who are aware of both the void of basic laboratory equipment for high school students in Africa – and the abundance of surplus and “gently used lab” equipment available in the United States.
Initiative to create center for agricultural research and education in Ukraine
March 27, 2015
The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences will collaborate with a nonprofit organization and college benefactors to create a center aimed at advancing agricultural science and technology in Ukraine. With $20,000 in seed funding from the Woskob New Century Fund, Penn State will work with CRDF Global to establish the Research and Education Center for Agricultural Technologies in Ukraine. CRDF Global, an independent nonprofit that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration, will lead the creation of the center, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
Students: Apply now for 2015 AIARD Future Leaders Program!
March 9, 2015
The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) administers a competitive fellowship program to nurture and to provide partial financial support to students attending both 1) the AIARD Annual Conference and 2) the annual Future Leaders Forum in Washington, D.C. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to students who have a sincere interest in international agriculture and rural development issues and their solutions. These fellowships are intended to enhance the students' understanding and appreciation of issues and opportunities in international agriculture and rural development. Applications are due April 19th.
Project looks to horticulture value chain to improve outlook for Honduran women
February 25, 2015
Impoverished families in western Honduras stand to benefit from a new project aimed at improving access to that country's markets for high-value horticultural crops. Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received a nearly $1.4 million grant to perform a gender-based analysis of the Honduran horticultural value chain, with an eye toward reducing barriers to participation for women and other marginalized groups, while enhancing family income and nutrition.
Student Stories: Students travel to Cambodia, Thailand to assist small farmers
February 16, 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 Through an embedded trip in a combined Horticulture and International Agriculture course in the College of Agricultural Sciences, students focused specifically on how operators of small farms in those countries balance the needs of producing food with the needs of their diverse environments.
Student Stories: Environmental major focuses on renewable energy in Costa Rica
February 9, 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.
Student Stories: Alumna thanks College of Ag Sciences for preparation
January 21, 2015
Rewind to the year 2008: Only a college freshman, Nicole O'Block sits nervously in anticipation of her first Ag LEAP (Learning Edge Academic Program) meeting, in which she enrolled on a whim. An associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences stood before the group and said, "Many people talk about college as being 'the best years of their life' -- I don't want that for you.'" O'Block's ears perked up, and she was immediately intrigued. He continued, "I want your time at Penn State to be the best years of your life so far -- and that each year after, it only will get better."
Penn State expands traveler insurance for faculty, staff
January 14, 2015
Faculty and staff traveling overseas on any University-related business are now covered under the travelers’ health and evacuation insurance plan Penn State has arranged. Beginning later this semester, University employees will be asked to register all University-related international travel in a Web-based system that the University Office of Global Programs hosts to provide safety support and accurate insurance enrollment verification. More information about this registration process will be announced this semester.