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Fall/Winter 2014

Sometimes an organization needs to be nimble and respond to situations fast. The College of Agricultural Sciences finds itself in that position often and is familiar with what it means to be prepared for the unexpected. Responding to disease outbreaks, the sudden appearance of new pests, or the ravages of natural disasters are part of the reason a Land Grant institution exists.

Centinari is assistant professor of viticulture and has expertise in wine grape production, grapevine physiology, and cover crops. Her work helps Pennsylvania wine growers produce high-quality grapes.

Peter Tombros ’64 AGSCI, ’68g AG EC

Peter Tombros's business experience and insight is helping the college innovate for the future and reward young professors.

This year the Berkey Creamery will be celebrating 150 years of creamery operation at Penn State beginning in 1865. Over the years the creamery has been continually changing to meet demands of the University, students, industry, and of course, ice cream lovers everywhere.

John Kaminski, associate professor of turfgrass management, was selected as the first holder of the $500,000 Tombros Early Career Professorship in the College of Agricultural Sciences. The professorship was established by Peter Tombros ’64 AGSCI, ’68g AG EC.

Samar Al Maalout (left), animal sciences and Marion Le Gall (far left), entomology were among 22 post-doctoral researchers who participated.

Postdoctoral researchers are sometimes an unseen element on college campuses and they often miss out on the professional development opportunities available to students, faculty members, and staff members. Read what the college is doing to help.

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

Killer fungus leaves ants dead at the “doorstep” of the colony.

Xray image of female mouse

If you’re planning to become pregnant, you probably know you need to stock your body with folic acid. But it turns out zinc may also be needed before conception to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

It would be hard to find anyone with more enthusiasm for agriculture than Jean Lonie. The college's new director of student recruitment hopes that zeal rubs off when she talks about the opportunities available in agriculture and related industries.

Photo of forest

Oil and gas development in northern Pennsylvania and the current build-out of shale-gas infrastructure may be accelerating changes in songbird communities.

Courtney Marie Norjen ’14 VBS was presented with the Outstanding Senior Award at the college’s commencement ceremony in recognition of her outstanding academics, extracurricular activities, work experience, and communication skills.

Yuran Zhang, plant biology graduate student, sprays a glycerol treatment on the leaves of a Theobroma cacao tree as Siela Maximova, professor of horticulture and Mark Guiltinan look on

A safe, biodegradable alternative may help combat Phytophthora pot rot.

Val Richard Beasley, professor emeritus of comparative biosciences in the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named head of the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. He succeeds Mary Kennett, who served as interim department head since November 2011.

The Hamer Foundation has committed $500,000 over five years to support the Center for Private Forests. The center, housed in the College of Agricultural Sciences, uses applied research and outreach to address opportunities associated with owning and managing privately held forests.

Stock image of smallmouth bass

Tracking smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna.

Lisa (Rankin) Kirby '10 AG BM, the Ag Alumni Society's first student intern, is a newly elected alumni society board member.

close up image of mosquito

In some parts of the world, being a mosquito magnet could mean you have malaria. Researchers have discovered that malaria parasites alter the chemical odor signal of their hosts to attract mosquitos and better spread their offspring.

Recent Wildlife and Fisheries Science alumna Mollie McGinnis works to return Thailand’s tourist camp elephants back to their natural habitats.

Each year the college recognizes faculty members and staff with the Excellence in Academic Advising Award.

Photo of fresh water stream

Penn State Extension is offering an innovative new mobile device app—called H2OSolutions—to help private water system owners and professionals evaluate wells, springs, and cisterns. 

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.

This pest has put a nearly $10.3 billion dent in Pennsylvania agriculture. Help PDA stop it in its tracks.

The Armsby Honor Society gains three new members.

Theodore Alter, professor of agricultural, environmental, and regional economics, recently became an inaugural member of the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES). Alter was selected because of excellence in collaboration with communities and the University in addressing critical issues of mutual benefit.

Penn State researchers and extension educators aim to help farmers avoid accidents by focusing on safety. And for good reason -- agriculture is the most hazardous industry in the United States, with the work death rate at seven to eight times more than the all-industry average.

Photo from Alumni awards event

Four alumni recently received Outstanding Alumni awards.

The professorship is the first of its kind in the college. Funds from the endowment will provide the holder of the professorship with resources to expand research, teaching, or outreach efforts and best safety practices.

Photo by Steve Williams

Rick Roush, new dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, has a big job ahead of him as he guides the college in the coming weeks, months and years. "Searching for the Answers" will give you an idea of the experience Roush brings to Penn State and a glimpse of how he thinks.

Alyssa Maxwell, a junior majoring in Animal Science, shares some of the experiences that led her to Penn State’s College of Ag Sciences and the alumni society.

It’s easy to think that Ag Sciences graduates walk out of the college with degrees in hand and dive right into the worlds of equine or dairy science, animal husbandry, and agribusiness, or land roles with the government in agricultural regulation, but you might be surprised at the other kinds of careers in which some graduates find themselves.

900 students plus 140 potential employers equals opportunity.

The College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society has created a Trustee Scholarship to maximize the impact of private giving and direct funds to students as quickly as possible.

Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences alumnus and current Iowa State University president is honored by the Penn State Alumni Association.