Benelli Risser

Benelli Risser

  • Hometown: Hershey, PA
  • Major: Food Science
  • Minor(s): International Agriculture
  • Class of: 2025

Question #1: What inspired you to pursue the major you are in?

I knew from a young age that I wanted to help people. As I got older, I grew more interested in food insecurity and laws. This led me to pursue the Food Science major with the International Agriculture minor.

Question #2: What has been the best part of your time in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences?

The number of real-world experiences I have gotten to enjoy. To begin I had an externship with Bell & Evans, a poultry company that I met at a career fair. This opportunity allowed me to get a better understanding of what my career field is going to look like. It was inspiring to see what I was learning in school applied to industry. I also studied abroad in Thessaloniki, Greece where I was able to see their food systems and how they differ so vastly from the United States agricultural systems. In most Food Science courses, the professors use real world data for assignments; they hardly just make up numbers and give them to you. In INTAG 100 class (Everyone Eats: Hunger, Food Security & Global Agriculture), we worked on posters to summarize our research findings and present them to colleagues. In my INTAG 490 class (Senior Seminar in International Agriculture), we are working on a grant proposal for the Children and Youth Empowerment Center in Keyna. There are so many real-world experiences Penn State can offer you both inside and outside the classroom.
Question #3: What do you wish you would have known as a new student at Penn State?

Penn State has a variety of opportunities, including the career fair, research opportunities, study abroad programs, free tutoring systems, the career counseling center, and many others. I have personally used all those resources except for research opportunities. Each of these resources really helped me get to where I am today, and I would highly recommend them to every incoming student.