Latest News

Mark Brennan, Penn State UNESCO Chair Professor and professor of leadership and community development. Image: Penn State
July 7, 2015

An estimated 8 million children worldwide live in orphanages and similar institutions, children of whom an estimated 80 percent have living parents or families who could look after them with the right assistance. A newly announced research partnership between British author J.K. Rowling's nonprofit children's organization Lumos and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at National University of Ireland Galway -- and including Penn State's UNESCO Chair in Community, Leadership and Youth Development program -- aims to change that by transforming the lives of children living in orphanages.

Brian Rutkowski, a recent graduate in horticulture, poses by the River Seine in Paris, where he studied the similarities and differences between the food and agricultural systems of the United States and France. Image: Penn State
June 22, 2015

Two weeks in Paris might sound like a dream vacation, but for Brian Rutkowski, the trip was just one component of his ag business management class. Rutkowski, a recent graduate in horticulture, in the College of Agricultural Sciences, learned about the course when one of its professors visited his introductory horticulture class. He explained that the course focuses on the similarities and differences between the food and agricultural systems of the United States and France.

Olivia Murphy Sweet will conduct research on youth development programming in Belize this summer
June 8, 2015

Two Agricultural & Extension Education undergraduate students enrolled in the International Agriculture minor receive grant funding for research in Costa Rica and Belize.

June 1, 2015

Two graduate students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have been selected to attend the Future Leaders Forum, to be held as part of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development annual meeting, May 31-June 2 in Washington, D.C. Sarah Eissler, a master's degree candidate from West Chester, and Megan Wilkerson, a doctoral degree candidate and native of Savannah, Georgia, were among only 12 students selected to participate out of nearly 100 applicants from universities across the country. Both students are enrolled in the college's International Agriculture and Development, or INTAD, dual-title graduate degree program.

May 27, 2015

Two Penn State faculty members will travel to Paris to share research at a UNESCO forum titled “Youth and the Internet: Fighting Radicalization and Extremism” this summer. Mark A. Brennan, Penn State’s UNESCO chair and a professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Colleen Connolly-Ahern, an associate professor in the College of Communications, will participate in the conference, which runs June 16-17. Their research is focused on refugees and communication.

Image: Patrick Mansell
May 11, 2015

The Royal Society is a self-governing fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists, whose self-stated purpose is to recognize, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

Seeing is Belizing ... While in the Caribbean, Emily Spadaro studied large-animal and tropical veterinary practices as well as wildlife conservation and ecology. Image: Penn State
May 11, 2015

Emily Spadaro spent her summer caring for jaguars at a zoo, castrating pigs and a horse, and swimming in a waterfall. A senior majoring in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Spadaro completed a four-week study-abroad program in Belize that consisted of a course in large-animal and tropical veterinary practices for the first two weeks, and a wildlife conservation and ecology course for the last two weeks.

Penn State student and 2015 Rock Ethics Institute Stand Up Award recipient Carolyn McDonald, right, in Haiti. Image: Penn State
April 27, 2015

See something that’s wrong in the world? Do something about it and help others — that’s the common motto for this year’s Rock Ethics Institute Stand Up honorees. Penn State students Melissa McCleery, Carolyn McDonald and Parker Werns are being honored respectively for their work in helping to prevent sexual violence; poverty; and discrimination against the LGBT community.

Image: Penn State
April 17, 2015

A nonprofit venture to provide basic laboratory equipment to high school science students in West African countries won the $7,500 grand prize April 14 in the Ag Springboard student business pitch competition, sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Bridge the GapSci is the brainchild of five doctoral degree students, two of whom grew up in Ghana, who are aware of both the void of basic laboratory equipment for high school students in Africa – and the abundance of surplus and “gently used lab” equipment available in the United States.

March 27, 2015

The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences will collaborate with a nonprofit organization and college benefactors to create a center aimed at advancing agricultural science and technology in Ukraine. With $20,000 in seed funding from the Woskob New Century Fund, Penn State will work with CRDF Global to establish the Research and Education Center for Agricultural Technologies in Ukraine. CRDF Global, an independent nonprofit that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration, will lead the creation of the center, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

March 9, 2015

The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) administers a competitive fellowship program to nurture and to provide partial financial support to students attending both 1) the AIARD Annual Conference and 2) the annual Future Leaders Forum in Washington, D.C. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to students who have a sincere interest in international agriculture and rural development issues and their solutions. These fellowships are intended to enhance the students' understanding and appreciation of issues and opportunities in international agriculture and rural development. Applications are due April 19th.

During a recent visit to Honduras, principal investigator Janelle Larson, Penn State, posed with collaborators Arie Sanders (left), Zamorano, and Leif Jensen, Penn State.  Image: Horticulture Innovation Lab/Amanda Crump, UC Davis
February 25, 2015

Impoverished families in western Honduras stand to benefit from a new project aimed at improving access to that country's markets for high-value horticultural crops. Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received a nearly $1.4 million grant to perform a gender-based analysis of the Honduran horticultural value chain, with an eye toward reducing barriers to participation for women and other marginalized groups, while enhancing family income and nutrition.

February 16, 2015

A group of 12 Penn State students traveled to Thailand and Cambodia last winter to witness recent agricultural developments that could play a role in alleviating poverty and ending world hunger Through an embedded trip in a combined Horticulture and International Agriculture course in the College of Agricultural Sciences, students focused specifically on how operators of small farms in those countries balance the needs of producing food with the needs of their diverse environments.

February 9, 2015

In recent years, searching for renewable energy resources has become something of a treasure hunt. A group of Penn State students spent their spring break in Costa Rica learning about one of those “treasures” -- cow manure.

Nicole O'Block graduated from Penn State in 2012 with a degree in agricultural science and minors in international agriculture and leadership development. Image: Penn State
January 21, 2015

Rewind to the year 2008: Only a college freshman, Nicole O'Block sits nervously in anticipation of her first Ag LEAP (Learning Edge Academic Program) meeting, in which she enrolled on a whim. An associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences stood before the group and said, "Many people talk about college as being 'the best years of their life' -- I don't want that for you.'" O'Block's ears perked up, and she was immediately intrigued. He continued, "I want your time at Penn State to be the best years of your life so far -- and that each year after, it only will get better."

January 14, 2015

Faculty and staff traveling overseas on any University-related business are now covered under the travelers’ health and evacuation insurance plan Penn State has arranged. Beginning later this semester, University employees will be asked to register all University-related international travel in a Web-based system that the University Office of Global Programs hosts to provide safety support and accurate insurance enrollment verification. More information about this registration process will be announced this semester.

Since she was 10 years old, Arianna De Reus has been volunteering in developing countries, where she has seen how poverty affects national security. Image: Penn State
December 23, 2014

Arianna De Reus, a senior in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is moving ever closer toward her dream of working in national security. The Hollidaysburg native's next step in realizing that goal is a spring semester internship with the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

December 16, 2014

Environmental Resource Management major Kaitlyn Benson traveled to Costa Rica in high school around the time of the BP oil spill, and was motivated to make a difference.

Jonathan Frankman views his trip as one of the most fulfilling experiences of his life. Image: Penn State
December 9, 2014

Jonathan Frankman made the most of his recent trip to Southeast Asia. While studying abroad in Singapore, he earned credit for taking classes in immunology, genetics and pathology. He also found time to visit seven other countries over the span of just seven weeks.