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Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
Also known as IBD, inflammatory bowel diseases affect nearly 4 million people worldwide and have an economic impact of more than $19 billion annually in the United States alone.
April 26, 2017

A diet supplemented with soy protein may be an effective adjunct therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases, Penn State researchers reported after completing a study that included mice and cultured human colon cells.

April 24, 2017

Three Penn State graduate students -- Vasiliy Lakoba, Andrew Morris and Shanti Nachtergaele -- have been awarded the Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award. The award recognizes excellence in master’s-level thesis research in any of the disciplinary areas of fine arts and humanities; social sciences - applied and basic; physical and computational sciences - applied and basic; life and health sciences; and engineering.

April 24, 2017

Thirteen graduate students received the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award, Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medal, in recognition of their outstanding professional accomplishment and achievement in scholarly research in any of the disciplinary areas of fine arts and humanities; social sciences — applied and basic; physical and computational sciences — applied and basic; life and health sciences; and engineering. The graduate students were honored during the Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 18 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Graduates in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences waved to family and friends after receiving their diplomas at commencement ceremonies held at the Bryce Jordan Center on the morning of Dec. 17, 2016.
April 24, 2017

This spring Penn State expects to award 13,894 diplomas to students University-wide who are completing 226 associate, 11,435 baccalaureate, 1,590 master’s, 262 law, 244 doctoral and 137 medical degrees. Following is a compilation of commencement ceremonies and speaker information for Penn State’s 24 locations.

2017 Penn State Stand Up student awardees, from left to right, Hayly Hoch, Alexis Scott and Brian Davis.
April 24, 2017

The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State recently celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Stand Up Award by honoring students Brian Anthony Davis, Hayly Hoch and Alexis Scott. This award is presented to Penn State undergraduates who have demonstrated courage, fortitude and ethical leadership by taking a stand for a person, a cause or a belief.

Liwang Cui
April 24, 2017

Researchers at Penn State have received more than $1 million in first-year funding from the National Institutes of Health to investigate malaria transmission in Southeast Asia with a goal of working toward the disease's elimination in the region. They will receive up to approximately $9 million over seven years for this project.

Crews perform a prescribed burn at The Arboretum at Penn State in a previous year. The Arboretum will host a discussion on using fire for ecosystem health on April 26, in advance of a controlled burn this spring.
April 21, 2017

The Arboretum at Penn State will host a discussion of the role of fire in ecosystem health and how Penn State uses controlled burns to manage and restore natural landscapes. The April 26 presentation precedes a controlled burn on a 12-acre portion of Arboretum lands adjacent to campus planned for this spring as part of an ongoing re-creation of a prairie/meadow containing native grasses and wildflowers.

April 21, 2017

As part of recently announced changes to its organizational structure, product development and program delivery, Penn State Extension has appointed two individuals to statewide leadership posts. Tara Mondock is the new associate director for client relations, and Jeffrey Hyde was named associate director for programs.

Penn State researchers identified 832 genes that have low coverage across multiple whole-exome sequencing platforms. These genes are associated with leukemia, psoriasis, heart failure and other diseases, and may be missed by researchers using whole-exome sequencing to study these diseases.
April 20, 2017

Whole-exome DNA sequencing -- a technology that saves time and money by sequencing only protein-coding regions and not the entire genome -- may routinely miss detecting some genetic variations associated with disease, according to Penn State researchers who have developed new ways to identify such omissions.

Office for General Education Seed Grant Logo
April 20, 2017

The Integrative Studies Seed Grant Program, offered through the Penn State Office for General Education, will support 71 different course development projects this summer. In response to the large volume of highly qualified proposals, the budget was generously increased by more than 50 percent by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Undergraduate Education.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, left, and Mark Brennan, UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development at Penn State.
April 19, 2017

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has renewed for another five years its support for the UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development at Penn State. Mark Brennan, a faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences, will continue in his role as chair and provide leadership to the program.

Pipeline right of way in Lycoming County, Pa. breaks up the core forest.
April 19, 2017

Fragmentation of ecologically important core forests within the northern Appalachians — driven by pipeline and access road construction — is the major threat posed by shale-gas development, according to researchers, who recommend a change in infrastructure-siting policies to head off loss of this critical habitat.

April 19, 2017

Spring 2017 produced a record-breaking number of applications for Global Programs Travel Grants.

April 19, 2017

Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones presented 10 awards to more than 30 graduate students in recognition of outstanding achievement during the annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held April 18 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Aarushi Rana, an economics major with a minor in mushroom science and technology, prepares a log with spawn to produce shiitake mushrooms. Rana plans to take what she has learned home to Mumbai, India, where she will teach women about how to produce mushrooms.
April 17, 2017

Rana, an economics major, is minoring in mushroom science and technology, and plans to use what she has learned to improve living conditions for people in her home city of Mumbai, India.

Ag Springboard keynote speaker Todd Erdley, founder and CEO of Videon in State College, Pennsylvania, inspires student entrepreneurs to be comfortable with the risk-fail-pivot process common to entrepreneurship during the Ag Springboard Awards Banquet Thursday, April 13 at the Nittany Inn.
April 17, 2017

Risk. Fail. Pivot. Repeat. This is the advice of Todd Erdley, the co-founder and CEO of Videon, to student entrepreneurs.

Pasta 2050 first place:   Pasta 2050’s pitch for pasta made with cricket flour won first place and $7,500 April 13 in the Ag Springboard student business pitch contest. From left are Mark Gagnon, entrepreneurship coordinator, and Richard Roush, dean of the of Agricultural Sciences, with members of the Pasta 2050 team: Weslie Khoo, doctoral degree student in food science, Haoshu Zhang, doctoral degree student in food science and Lauriel Stewart, master's degree student in food science. 
April 17, 2017

A team of food science graduate students won the Ag Springboard student business pitch contest and $7,500 grand prize after pitching and serving judges pasta made with cricket flour.

Two male squash bees join a cucumber beetle in a pumpkin flower. Through the "Great Pumpkin Project," researchers are hoping to learn more about the interactions among cucurbit crops, insect pests, pollinators and microbes.
April 16, 2017

A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is reaching out to Master Gardeners, teachers, students and other interested parties to participate in a citizen-science project that ultimately could benefit growers, crops, pollinators and the environment. "The Great Pumpkin Project" is aimed at describing the geographic distribution of important crop plants and the insects and microbes with which they interact.

Cover crops growing among olive trees in Spain. Lessons learned from cover cropping in Europe and the United States show that the strategy may help agriculture deal with a warming world.
April 16, 2017

Cover crops long have been touted for their ability to reduce erosion, fix atmospheric nitrogen, reduce nitrogen leaching and improve soil health, but they also may play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change on agriculture, according to a Penn State researcher.

April 16, 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.