Ag Journeys

“The internship and career opportunities aren’t just good—they’re overwhelming.”

Kyle Roach

Hometown: Toms River, NJ

Major: Turfgrass Science

Good at: Keeping my nose to the grindstone, being a team player and motivator, having the best lawn on the block, making people laugh, growing a good beard, bringing a vision to life.

“What’s my hobby? Hard work.”

“When I was a kid I got a snowblower for Christmas. It snowed the next day and I cleared the entire neighborhood. Best Christmas of my life!”

“When you run a top-flight golf course, you’re the general of an invisible army.”

“My goal is to be the superintendent of a deluxe golf course. I love sports fields, but right this second it’s all about golf. Hundreds of acres of greens, tees, fairways, roughs, waterways, trees, facilities, wildlife, hazards, hills, personnel, and on and on. Balancing efficiency, playability, beauty, sustainability—it’s challenging yet rewarding. And the industry of golf—from equipment, to clothing, to professional players, to instruction—there is just so much there, and I’m just scratching the surface.”

“That stuff they say about Penn State alumni connections? It’s real.”

“I was at Baltusrol Golf Club, one of the world’s top tracks, as a spectator during the 2016 PGA Championship. I got introduced to the big boss, Mark Kuhns—a turf legend. I was wearing a Penn State shirt. Before I could even shake his hand he pointed at my shirt, cracked a big smile, and says, ‘We Are!’”

“The real players in the pro turf world—the movers and shakers—they’re Penn Staters.”

“Dianne is like another mother to everyone in the program.”

Dianne Petrunak is the undergraduate adviser for Turfgrass Science.

“She’s the heart and soul of the program. She takes care of us like we’re her own kids—from basic stuff like telling us to dress warmly in the winter to making sure we’re taking the right courses to graduate on time.”

“My dad is a big golfer, and golf is a big connection for us.”

“I stood on Baltusrol with my dad at the exact spot where Jack Nicklaus had taken a career one-iron shot during the 1980 U.S. Open. Taking in the history and nostalgia of this beautiful sport—try doing that in another spot. In golf, there’s no separation between spectators and pros. We’re all struggling through this same impossible sport.”

“Our feet weren’t touching the ground.”

“I was with my little brother at the 2016 White-Out win over Ohio State. We rushed the field. Funny, the first time I had a chance to bring my brother to stand on the turf at Beaver Stadium, it was so full of people you couldn’t see it, and so full of energy we were floating a foot over it.”

“We’re going to be in each other’s weddings.”

“I pledged Phi Kappa Psi. Between my fraternity and turf community I have something special. Yes, we have a great time, but I fully expect that people in my life here will be in my life forever.”

“Manasquan bumped it up a level.”

“This summer I worked closely with Manasquan River Golf Club Superintendent Matt Morrow and his staff. It was a first-person view of the behind-the-scenes decision-making that is required to provide top-notch conditions for our members. Combined with my other internships—being president of the turf club, my Penn State class work, everything—I’m ready to roll out.”