Latest News

April 18, 2017

Deanna Behring, assistant dean and director of international programs for the College of Agricultural Sciences, is the 2017 recipient of the Commission for Women's Achieving Women Award in the administrator category.

Oil from croton nuts can be used in diesel generator, water pumps and tractor engines. Photograph: Eco Fuel Kenya
March 13, 2017

The Croton biofuels project highlighted in this Guardian article is funded by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Dr. Mike Jacobson carried out a survey of 200 households to assess willingness to grow and collect Croton trees, its contribution to livelihoods and to develop a business case for Croton production and processing. Other Kenya projects Dr. Jacobson is currently involved in include market based approaches for the diffusion of clean cooking solutions, sustaining wood supply to tea industries, and developing wood pellet markets.

March 12, 2017

As you may have seen, a revised executive Order was issued Monday (March 6) by President Donald Trump. The new executive order, which will go into effect on March 16, 2017, removes Iraq from the list of seven countries impacted by the previous Order, and implements a 90-day suspension on issuance of new visas, including student visas, to citizens from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen who wish to travel to the United States (U.S.). An important distinction is that the new Order exempts current visa holders and those who held visas at the time the original Order was implemented. International students and scholars with valid F, M or J visas are not affected at this time. It also provides for a “case-by-case” waiver process for individuals from these six countries who fit certain criteria.

Nicole Brunozzi (top center), a community, environment, and development major with an INTAG minor, traveled to western Kenya to work on building projects at the Nyeri Children and Youth Empowerment Center. Image: Penn State
March 12, 2017

With global, interdisciplinary coursework and a robust study-abroad program, the international agriculture minor is attracting students from a wide range of majors. The international agriculture minor, commonly referred to as INTAG, is an 18 credit minor offered by the College of Agricultural Sciences to help students cultivate an understanding of international development and the agricultural systems of various cultures throughout the world. The program features courses in a broad range of academic fields, including socioeconomic and communication systems and nutritional sciences, and can be paired with any Penn State major.

Penn State graduate and Peace Corps volunteer Mark Goldy-Brown at Laguna Parón, in the Peruvian Andes mountains. Image: photo provided
March 9, 2017

Penn State has once again been recognized among the nation's top producers of Peace Corps volunteers. With 50 undergraduate alumni serving overseas and working in fields such as agriculture, education, environment, health, community economic development and youth development, the University is No. 8 on the Peace Corps' 2017 rankings of colleges and universities in the large school category.

March 6, 2017

Penn State is firmly committed to ensuring that every student, faculty and staff member feels safe in our community. Nurturing a welcoming environment where education and research can flourish is one of our top priorities. As part of our obligation and commitment as a university, we also are dedicated to the right of members of our community to express their opinions on matters of concern, but we will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or violence. This site offers up-to-date statements and resources that may be helpful for those looking for accurate information on Penn State’s position on immigration, changes in federal policy and key issues impacting our community.

Agricultural research, like that conducted at PSU’s Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center (shown) is facing daunting challenges as scientists attempt to increase food production in a sustainable way and protect the environment. Image:Randy Kilmer
March 6, 2017

"Food production must double by 2050 to feed the world's growing population." This truism has been repeated so often in recent years that it has become widely accepted among academics, policymakers and farmers, but now researchers are challenging this assertion and suggesting a new vision for the future of agriculture.

Michael Jacobson surveyed subsistence farmers in five counties and dozens of villages in Kenya about their willingness to grow croton trees. Image: Penn State
February 20, 2017

Africa and agroforestry — defined as agriculture that incorporates the cultivation and conservation of trees — are in Penn State professor Michael Jacobson's blood, and the combination has helped shape his career. In turn, the forest economist has played an important role in launching a tree-based biofuel initiative that has major implications for the continent and its millions of subsistence farmers.

February 20, 2017

The issues facing international students and scholars in the United States at a time of potential changes in immigration and visa regulations, along with the University’s strong commitment to supporting its students, were the topics of a Penn State town hall meeting on the University Park campus Thursday (Feb. 16) evening.

Penn State food scientist Catherine Cutter conducts a demonstration during a food safety training session for students in Armenia. Image: International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education
February 20, 2017

A program developed by Penn State food scientists is training students in Armenia on food safety practices and procedures, with an eye toward improving the safety of the country's food supply chain — from crop production and processing to packaging, handling, marketing and consumption. Catherine Cutter, professor of food science in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Siroj Pokharel, postdoctoral researcher in food science, partnered with Virginia Tech to bring the Food Safety Systems Management Professional Certificate Program to the Agribusiness Teaching Center at the International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education in Yerevan, Armenia.

A team led by plant scientist Jonathan Lynch will combine technologies such as root modeling, robotics, 3-D imaging, X-ray fluorescence and gene discovery, to assist in the breeding of corn varieties with more efficient root systems. Image: Penn State
February 20, 2017

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, to design a low-cost, integrated system that can identify and screen for high-yielding, deeper-rooted crops. The interdisciplinary team, led by Jonathan Lynch, distinguished professor of plant nutrition, will combine a suite of technologies designed to identify phenotypes and genes related to desirable root traits, with the goal of enhancing the breeding of crop varieties better adapted for nitrogen and water acquisition and carbon sequestration.

February 2, 2017

On January 27, 2017, the President of the United States signed an Executive Order (EO) on immigration. Several aspects of the EO will impact members of our Penn State international community. Global Programs is committed to serving our Penn State international students, faculty and scholars. This website summarizes the latest information pertaining to this Executive Order. As more information becomes available this information will be updated.

The researchers found that, in an area of India that has a high burden of malaria, most of the mosquitoes that are known to transmit malaria rest in cattle sheds and feed on both cows and humans. Image: Jessica Waite/Penn State
January 23, 2017

The goal of eliminating malaria in countries like India could be more achievable if mosquito-control efforts take into account the relationship between mosquitoes and cattle, according to an international team of researchers. "In many parts of the world, the mosquitoes responsible for transmitting malaria are specialist feeders on humans and often rest within human houses," said Matthew Thomas, professor of entomology, Penn State. "We found that in an area of India that has a high burden of malaria, most of the mosquitoes that are known to transmit malaria rest in cattle sheds and feed on both cows and humans."

Testing assumptions about plant roots growth is particularly important in the Arctic, according to Laura Radville, where more than 70 percent of plant biomass can be belowground and warming is happening faster than in other ecosystems.  Image: Penn State
January 9, 2017

It's a long way between central Pennsylvania and Greenland — at least 2,000 miles — but Laura Radville came to Penn State so she could study climate change in the "Iceberg capital of the world." However, the research conducted in Greenland by the Boston native did not deal with ice at all, but rather plants — arctic shrubs to be specific. Her work focused on how rising air temperatures are affecting the growth of leaves and stems much more than the growth of roots, perhaps "uncoupling" aboveground and belowground plant development, or phenology.

Cacao seed pods in Costa Rica display symptoms of fungal black pod disease. A National Science Foundation grant will enable researchers to study the genetic basis of disease resistance in cacao. Image: Christopher J. Saunders,
January 9, 2017

A $3.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation will support a new research project aimed at pinpointing the genes that confer disease resistance in cacao. The ultimate goal of the four-year study is to develop a new approach that plant scientists and breeders can use to identify the genetic basis for disease resistance in a variety of perennial crops, according to lead researcher Mark Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Chris Valdez built and installed floating bamboo mats for plant control in the constructed wetlands at the University of Costa Rica's Fabio Baudrit Agricultural Experimental Station in Alajuela, Costa Rica, August 2016. Image: Chris Valdez
November 29, 2016

“Improving environmental health has grown to be one of my biggest passions. It’s concerning to me that many people are so unconcerned about taking care of the world they live in,” said Chris Valdez, a biological engineering senior at Penn State. Valdez’s research focus is to take care of soil and water and preserve it for future use. He hopes to be a part of solutions that ensure mankind doesn’t abuse Earth’s natural resources, since humans depend on them so heavily.

Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, left, traveled to Ukraine with Yurij Bihun, program adviser, and members of the Woskob family to meet with U.S. Embassy officials and key partners. Image: Penn State
October 25, 2016

A series of lectures and performances, hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State, will commemorate the 25th anniversary of both Ukrainian independence and the University's partnership with Ukraine in 2016 and 2017.

October 23, 2016

The World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue is an annual event held in Des Moines, Iowa, in mid-October to celebrate World Food Day. This year the College of Agricultural Sciences sponsored two Penn State students to attend.