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September 26, 2014

Summary of various seminars/ happening on campus this semester. All events listed have some participation from the College of Agricultural Sciences.

September 8, 2014

A unique method for delivering compounds that could positively impact the global battle against HIV and AIDS may be possible, thanks to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Yufan Zhang sprays a glycerol treatment on the leaves of a Theobroma cacao tree as Siela Maximova and Mark Guiltinan watch. The Penn State scientists are aiming to find a safer way to combat diseases threatening the world's cocoa crop. Image: Seth Palmer
August 28, 2014

Cocoa farmers this year will lose an estimated 30 to 40 percent of their crop to pests and disease, and with chocolate prices having risen globally by roughly two-thirds in the past decade, concern is growing about sustainability in cocoa production. Of particular concern are the environmental impact and human health risks of toxic agrichemicals – organochloride insecticides and heavy-metal-based fungicides – used in cocoa production to fight pests and disease.

After killing its host, the so-called zombie ant fungus grows from the cadaver and produces spores, which rain down on the forest floor to infect new hosts. Image: Penn State
August 28, 2014

A parasitic fungus that must kill its ant hosts outside their nest to reproduce and transmit its infection, manipulates its victims to die in the vicinity of the colony, ensuring a constant supply of potential new hosts, according to researchers at Penn State and colleagues at Brazil's Federal University of Vicosa.

Penn State agroecology major Nancy Kammerer (right) talks with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Maxine Levin, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Image: Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture
August 27, 2014

The study of agricultural sciences can lead to incredible opportunities. Penn State student Nancy Kammerer discovered this firsthand during her recent trip to Jeju, South Korea, for the first International Soil Judging Contest.

August 27, 2014

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, August 14, 2014 – From August 11-14, the U.S. Embassy’s Foreign Agriculture Service held a four-day Borlaug Fellowship workshop linking female agribusiness entrepreneurs from the Ethiopian coffee, dairy and feed sectors with former Borlaug fellows from the local agricultural research community as well as with scientists from Penn State University.

August 6, 2014

The Office of International Programs, together with the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Office of the Associate Dean for Research, in the College of Agricultural Sciences is excited to announce sponsorship to the 2014 Borlaug Dialogue at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa.

Deanna Behring, director of international programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Image: Penn State
June 20, 2014

Deanna Behring, director of international programs in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has begun a one-year term as president of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development. She received the gavel from outgoing President Mike McGirr at the group's 50th annual meeting held recently in Washington, D.C.

June 17, 2014

The USDA Cochran Fellowship Program sponsored this group of dairy professionals who traveled to Penn State from the Republic of Georgia and Turkmenistan. Under the leadership of Dr. Alex Hristov, the group spent two weeks learning about dairy herd management methods and techniques related to breeding, nutrition, and animal health.

As part of her doctoral research, Kristal Jones, center, worked with scientists in West Africa to study crop seed systems. Image: Penn State
June 17, 2014

Two Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences graduate students -- each from different backgrounds and primary areas of study -- graduated Spring 2014 with something in common. Both gained valuable international experience and earned dual degrees that make them stand out as they embark on their professional careers. Jonathan Dumas and Kristal Jones were enrolled in the International Agriculture and Development dual-title degree program, known as INTAD, which provides students with international perspectives and expertise to strengthen their primary graduate degree.

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.  Image: Penn State
June 17, 2014

Most college students originally enrolled in their studies following high school graduation, but Penn State senior and food science major Steve Bookbinder took a different path. Bookbinder spent two years at the Culinary Institute of America, and another two years working in the food industry, before deciding to take his experience to the next level. He enrolled in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences to better understand the food industry, specifically the meat industry.

June 13, 2014

When Mark Brennan became the UNESCO chair in rural community, leadership and youth development at Penn State in 2013, he articulated a call to action for groundbreaking research, teaching and applied programs for the betterment of young people and communities worldwide. Today, Brennan and two of his fellow UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) chairs from Ireland announced a major event to further that agenda. The UNESCO Symposium on Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership through Sport and Recreation will be held Aug. 28 at Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, in conjunction with the American football game between Penn State and the University of Central Florida, scheduled for Aug. 30 at the stadium.

May 27, 2014

Junior Carolyn McDonald wants to teach students in Haiti’s orphanages how to create jobs for themselves and become entrepreneurs. McDonald, a community, environment and development major, is the mastermind behind the Haitian Youth Team initiative, a non-profit enterprise to educate children in agriculture and business. The project’s goal is that children leave the orphanage ready and able to create and sustain their own food-related businesses.

Chuck Cascio with children in the village of Kalechelo, Zambia. Image: Penn State
May 27, 2014

The Peace Corps recently hired Penn State alumnus and returned Peace Corps volunteer Charles Cascio at the Peace Corps for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office in Washington, D.C. Cascio, 27, will serve as a recruiter in Virginia, promoting awareness of Peace Corps programs and serving as a liaison for volunteer applications.

May 27, 2014

Penn State programs that foster collaboration between the College of Agricultural Sciences and agricultural universities in Ukraine will get a boost as the result of a gift from a local family. George and Nina Woskob, of State College, have pledged $100,000 to support the Woskob Ukraine New Century Fund, an endowment established by George Woskob's parents, real estate developers Helen and Alex Woskob.

May 23, 2014

Samuel Duo, like many Liberians in the 1990s, was forced to flee his home country and seek refuge in Ghana to escape the terrors of the First Liberian Civil War. The civil war displaced over a million Liberians like Duo into refugee camps in neighboring countries. Entire villages were emptied as people fled. The war destroyed a once-viable economic infrastructure, and spread to Liberia’s neighbors, destabilizing a region that already was one of the world’s most marginal. To make matters worse, the war severely damaged the nation’s agricultural sector. Productivity plummeted, especially as people fled their homes, and agricultural value chains were left under-developed.

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. Image: Penn State
May 23, 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. In May 2013, she graduated with dual degrees in environmental resource management and in community, environment and development. She also minored in international agriculture, and in watersheds and water resources.

 Kelly Doyle helps build a bio-digester on a farm in Costa Rica. Credit Kelly Doyle
May 15, 2014

WPSU’s occasional series “Beyond the Classroom” takes a look at learning beyond university walls. Today Kelly Doyle is a junior double majoring in “Community, Environment and Development” and “Environmental Resource Management” with a minor in “International Agriculture.” She tells us about how those studies came to life on her recent trip to Central America.

Kate Ortbal graduated with an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Philosophy degree, enabling her to bring together academic programs in the Colleges of Ag. Sciences and Engineering to focus on her interest in social entrepreneurship. Image: Penn State
May 14, 2014

When it comes to social change, Kate Ortbal doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty, whether that’s in the dry clay of a rural village in Honduras or in the depths of computer databases at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. The Schreyer Honors College senior has brought that same dig-in-and-get-it-done approach to her academic pursuits. Ortbal chose not to study in an established program in just one of Penn State’s academic colleges but instead brought together areas in two colleges -- Engineering and Agricultural Sciences -- to focus on social entrepreneurship.

Rob Ritson posed before a pride of lions in Tanzania. Image: Penn State
May 14, 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. Field research is what drew Ritson to Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Growing up in a family of hunters, he became fascinated by game management. "I knew that this program would allow me to do exactly what I want to do -- work outside with and study animals," he said