Student Stories: Costa Rica is fertile ground for learning
December 18, 2012
Allison Hoover didn't quite know what she was getting herself into last spring when she traveled to Costa Rica with Penn State’s Spanish for Agricultural Sciences program. The Agricultural and Extension Education major went with 10 other Penn State students to the city of Turrialba to learn the Spanish language and explore the diverse agriculture of Costa Rica's central valley. With her minors in international agriculture and Spanish, this was the perfect environment for Hoover.
Penn State collaborates to improve ag education in developing world
December 11, 2012
Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is part of a $6.2 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) aimed at improving food security in the developing world. Virginia Tech will lead the project, which also includes Tuskegee University and the University of Florida. The goal is to strengthen the capacity of institutions responsible for educating the next generation of agricultural professionals.
Chocolate genome research good for farmers, environment, sweets lovers
November 12, 2012
With the help of information technology (IT), Penn State professor Mark Guiltinan makes the world a sweeter place. Guiltinan is a professor of plant molecular biology in the Department of Horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He currently runs the Guiltinan Lab, where he studies crop improvement and sustainable farming methods. Guiltinan was a key player in The International Cocoa Genome Sequencing Consortium, a worldwide effort to sequence and analyze the genome of the Criollo variety of the Theobromo cacao plant, the key ingredient in high-quality chocolate. Using genome sequencing programs and computer clusters at Penn State and abroad, Guiltinan and his colleagues have mapped the cacao genome and are working to breed better, more disease-resistant cacao plants.
Students get unique environmental research experience in Spain
November 6, 2012
"The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain." Whether that's a scientific fact or just a famous line from the popular Broadway musical and film "My Fair Lady," observing precipitation patterns across various landscape types wouldn't have been out of the question for several students from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences who recently studied the potential effects of global climate change in Spain.
Josh Walker, 2013 Student Teacher, selected as National Champion in Essay Contest
November 6, 2012
Indianapolis - Josh Walker, a 2013 student teacher at Mohawk HS, was recently selected as the National Champion in the National Alpha Tau Alpha Essay Contest with entry entitled, "Agricultural Development: Selfish gain or altruistic service?"
Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge announces call for proposals
October 15, 2012
Penn State graduate and undergraduate students are invited to submit proposals to conduct research between April 2013 and January 2014 on topics that focus on aspects of indigenous knowledge, with awards not to exceed $1,800. Awards will be funded through the M. G. Whiting Endowment forthe Advancement of Indigenous Knowledge. If your proposal is selected, you will be required to present your research findings and/or project results at the 2014 ICIK Retreat or an approved alternative. Applicants for the Indigenous Knowledge Research Grants must be current Penn State University students.
Penn State students spent month 'immersed' in Costa Rica last spring
October 3, 2012
There was no turning back for the 11 Penn State students who traveled to Turrialba, Costa Rica this spring. If they wanted to get as much as they could out of the four weeks they would spend there, they had to completely immerse themselves in their surroundings and try their best to unplug from life back in the United States.
Eva Pell to present keynote address at indigenous knowledge conference
September 29, 2012
Penn State Libraries will host an "Indigenous Knowledge Showcase" from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library at the University Park campus of Penn State. Eva Pell, undersecretary for science at the Smithsonian Institution and former Penn State senior vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School, will deliver the keynote address from 10 to 11 a.m. on "The Importance of Indigenous Knowledge to the Academy."
Roots lab student trains research team in Zambia
September 20, 2012
Jimmy Burridge (Plant Sciences) was in Zambia from September 5-14, 2012 working with the Zambian Agricultural Research Institute at the Misamfu Research Station.
Student Stories: CED grad helps African youth with finances
September 11, 2012
A month-long, study-abroad trip to Kenya last year turned into an extended stay for one College of Agricultural Sciences student so she could continue helping at-risk youth in that country. Caroline Gimmillaro originally went to the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre in Nyeri, Kenya, as part of a study-abroad program embedded into one of her classes. The center is a residential and educational program for street-dwelling children and other vulnerable youths.
Dramatic rise in College of Ag Sciences students studying abroad
September 11, 2012
In the past decade, the number of students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences studying abroad has grown exponentially. While less than 1 percent of students participated in study-abroad programs 10 years ago, the College of Agricultural Sciences' most recent senior exit survey indicated that nearly 25 percent of its most recent graduating class had participated in some kind of international experience during their four years at Penn State.
Program Announcement: Indigenous Knowledge Showcase: Indigenous Knowledge in the Academy
September 10, 2012
Sponsored by the Marjorie Grant Whiting Endowment for the Enhancement of Indigenous Knowledge at Penn State October 5, 2012 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library, Penn State University Park
International Programs Office offers new international agriculture speaker series for Fall 2012
August 23, 2012
The International Programs office in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is offering an International Ag Speakers Series, beginning Aug. 29. The series will kick off with, "Africa2Ag Symposium: Engaging Youth in African Agriculture," which will be held from 1-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29 in the Nittany Lion Inn Ballroom A/B. To register online, go to The other presentations, which will be offered at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Room 122 of the Agricultural Administration Building, are part of the college's Year of Food Security celebration. No registration is necessary.
Student Stories: Food Science major tastes international trade
August 23, 2012
You don't have to be in a study-abroad program to get traveling experience, Natalie Masters can tell you. The Penn State Food Science major made her way through Chile during the University's 2011 spring break as part of an embedded course trip. Through a horticulture class, the Pittsburgh native and 18 other students toured four Chilean cities to learn the processes, challenges and importance of international fruit trade.
Africa2Ag week: August 27-31 - registration open for 1) Wednesday Aug 29 symposium on youth and African agriculture, and 2) Africa Collaboration Colloquium (Aug 28-29)
July 26, 2012
This year's Africa2Ag week will be held at the University Park campus, August 27-31, 2012, during the first week of the Fall semester. The theme of the week will be "The next generation of African agriculture: youth, innovation, science and technology. All events are free of charge and open to all. Only the Africa Collaboration Colloquium event and the Wednesday afternoon symposium require registration.
College of Ag Sciences faculty help guide workshop in Iceland
July 16, 2012
An international initiative co-led by a professor in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences recently brought experts from around the world to Iceland to explore the potential for innovation in natural-resource governance.
Penn State Graduate Student Examines Bee Health in Brazil
June 28, 2012
Michael Freiberg recently graduated with a BSc and MSc from the Department of Entomology. He visited the University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil, in May and June of 2011, with support from the College of Agricultural Sciences International Office.
Student Stories: Immunology grad comes out of Africa a changed man
June 25, 2012
As part of the fieldwork component of his global health minor, Jason Bankert spent some of last year in South Africa -- an experience that changed his life. Bankert, who graduated from the College of Agricultural Sciences last May with a degree in immunology and infectious disease, spent his first two years at Penn State Altoona before moving to the University Park campus. He and nine other students traveled to South Africa for six weeks in May and June of 2011.
International agriculture educator receives young professional award
June 13, 2012
Tom Gill, assistant director of international programs in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, recently was recognized for his outstanding efforts at inspiring students to explore international agriculture. Gill received the 2012 Young Professional Award from the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development. The organization bestows the honor annually to recognize early career contributions to achieving its goals and objectives.
Agriculture Secretary says story of agriculture needs to be shared
June 13, 2012
Even though one out of every 12 jobs in the U.S. is related to agriculture, there is still a disconnect between producers and consumers that needs to be bridged by sharing agriculture's story, according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
Penn State biomedical researchers receive Gates Foundation grant
May 30, 2012
Two researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have been awarded a grant through the Grand Challenges Explorations program, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Andrew Patterson, assistant professor of molecular toxicology, and Gary Perdew, John T. and Paige S. Smith Professor in Agricultural Sciences, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled "Modulation of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AHR) Activity for Establishing and Maintaining Gut Immune Function and Overall Intestinal Health."
Penn State graduate students to attend international ag forum
May 30, 2012
Three students from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have been selected for participation in the Future Leaders Forum, to be held as part of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development annual meeting on June 3 in Washington, D.C. Esha Zaveri and Shonel Sen, doctoral students in Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics, and Ariel Rivers, a first year dual-degree doctoral student in Entomology and International Agriculture and Development, were chosen to represent Penn State at the forum.
The Last Hunger Season
May 29, 2012
Today, Roger Thurow, senior fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, who was the keynote speaker at Penn State's Global Food Security Seminar in February, released his new book, The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change. It is an intimate portrait of the lives of four smallholder farmers in western Kenya as they work to move from subsistence farming to sustainable farming, from farming to live to farming to make a living. It is a narrative of struggle, resilience and, ultimately, success. It is a story of strong, empowered women striving to feed their families and provide the best education possible for their children. It is a book for our time, as the daily dramas of the farmers' lives unfold amid growing awareness that to feed the world's growing population, food production must double by 2050. If these farmers succeed, so might we all. The book is available for order today at
Obama outlines New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in remarks prior to G8 summit
May 29, 2012
President Obama spoke earlier this month at the Chicago Council for Global Affairs symposium on global hunger and food security about the launching of a New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition as part of his administration's Feed the Future initiative. The New Alliance will focus initially on Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania.
Penn State researcher receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant
May 23, 2012
A Penn State researcher has been chosen to receive a grant through the Grand Challenges Explorations program, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. David Hughes, assistant professor of entomology and biology, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled "Taking Out the Bodyguards: A Novel Solution to Ag Disease."
Vilsack: Ag research and education key to prosperity, security
May 23, 2012
Investment in agricultural research doesn't benefit just the 2 percent of the population involved in farming. It's a matter of national security, job creation, energy independence and human health. That's according to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who visited Penn State's University Park campus this week (May 16) to tour College of Agricultural Sciences research facilities and commemorate this year's 150th anniversaries of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Morrill Act of 1862, which created America's land-grant university system.
Researcher's contributions to soybean producers recognized
May 23, 2012
A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has been honored for his contributions in developing an online tool to forecast the emergence of threats to soybean crops. Scott Isard, professor of aerobiology, received the International Integrated Pest Management Award of Excellence. The award recognizes Isard's collaboration with international agencies, land grant universities and the soybean industry in developing the Soybean Rust Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education.
Program Announcement: Woskob International Research in Agriculture (WIRA) Faculty Development Program
May 11, 2012
The College of Agricultural Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) is pleased to announce an open competition for the Woskob International Research in Agriculture Scholar Program (WIRA) for the 2012-2013 academic year. This program is managed by the Office of International Programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Spanish Field Studies in Costa Rica class embraces social media to share experiences
May 9, 2012
Social media will play a role in helping students meet the goals of INTAG 197A, Spanish for Agriculture, including improving their Spanish speaking abilities and learning about the agriculture industry in tropical Costa Rica.
College of Agricultural Sciences, Ukrainian university renew historic partnership
May 4, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Twenty years after the signing of the first cooperative agreement between Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, the institutions have renewed their educational partnership.
College of Ag Sciences marking 2012 as 'Year of Global Food Security'
April 13, 2012
When 70 Fulbright scholars -- graduate students from around the world -- came to a food-security workshop at Penn State in late February, the four-day event kicked off a special year for the College of Agricultural Sciences. The college is marking 2012 as its "Year of Global Food Security." This observance coincides with July's 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which led to the creation of land-grant universities, such as Penn State.
Marilyn McPheron receives Spirit of Internationalization Award
March 26, 2012
Marilyn McPheron, former study abroad coordinator in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, who is now retired, recently was one of six to receive Spirit of Internationalization Awards from the University's Office of Global Programs.
Ag Science Magazine Blog: Fulbright Global Food Security Seminar -- Part Three
March 26, 2012
The last in a three part series on the Fulbright Global Food Security Seminar held at Penn State.
Ag Science Magazine Blog: Fulbright Global Food Security Seminar -- Part Two
March 15, 2012
On the evening of February 29, Fulbright students gathered at Old Main for a reception to meet and talk with colleagues from other universities before walking across campus for dinner at the Hintz Alumni Center. The evening would include opening remarks and a keynote address by Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Ag Science Magazine Blog: Fulbright Global Food Security Seminar -- Part One
March 15, 2012
On the evening of February 29, 2012, Fulbright students from across the country in the fields of agricultural and environmental sciences, biology and biomedical sciences, economics, engineering, and public health gathered in the rotunda of Old Main to begin four days of discussions and problem solving exercises related to food security challenges.
Penn State to host Fulbright global food security seminar
February 20, 2012
Penn State’s University Park campus was selected by the U.S. Department of State to host more than 70 Fulbright scholars from 40 developing countries for a four-day seminar Feb. 29 to March 4 that will focus on global food security. The Fulbright Global Food Security Seminar will bring together international graduate students in a wide variety of disciplines from plant sciences to public health. The seminar is a joint project of the College of Agricultural Sciences and the University Office of Global Programs (UOGP). Global Knowledge Initiatives (GKI), a nonprofit organization that seeks to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries, will join the collaboration to supervise the closing workshop and presentation contest.
Student Stories: Whirlwind African tour leaves CED major wanting more
February 3, 2012
Jacqueline Bates was happy as a Penn State economics major, but she couldn't help feeling like there was something missing in her academic life -- she wanted to find a way of applying her major in a more meaningful way. During a meeting with her Division of Undergraduate Studies adviser, she discovered the community, environment and development major. "I thought it was the perfect combination of my interests in economics, society and the environment," she said.
Agriculture students awarded for Milking the Rhino video
January 19, 2012
Three Penn State agriculture students were recognized for their research and design of a short video for the Milking the Rhino: Innovative Solutions Showcase at the University Park campus on November 16, 2011.