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Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
Recipients of the Penn State University Staff Council‘s annual staff recognition awards were celebrated at Schreyer House on Tuesday. USAC Chair JeanMarie Jacob and USAC Awards chair Megan Gilpin (rear) were joined by President Eric and Molly Barron (left) in honoring the award winners (l. to r.): Corinna Fisher (Staff Excellence), Kristy Bryan (Staff Morale) and Jamie Perryman (Staff Leadership).
May 24, 2018

“It was difficult to select just one winner in each category because each nominee brought such talent to Penn State," said USAC Awards Committee chair Megan Gilpin. "But Corinna Fisher, Jamie Perryman, and Kristy Bryan rose to the top.”

Three life stages of the mushroom phorid fly are shown: from bottom, pupa, larva and adult. This species is an "obligate fungal feeder," meaning it cannot feed or survive on anything other than the thread-like fungal mycelium found in mushroom compost. The flies are not known to be a health hazard to humans or carry any human or animal disease-causing organisms, but the sheer numbers of them and their ability to infiltrate homes are severely stressing out some southern Chester County residents.  
May 24, 2018

In an effort to ease the predicament of southern Chester County neighborhoods besieged by mushroom phorid flies, Penn State Extension will hire an entomologist to serve as a liaison between residents, the researchers trying to solve the fly problems, and mushroom farmers.

Jenneth Layaou, director of campus enrollment and retention in the Office for Undergraduate Education.
May 23, 2018

Four individuals have received the 2018 Dr. William Henson Diversity Achievement Award from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, an honor that recognizes distinctive and outstanding teaching, research, extension or creative work that advances diversity in the college.

Dianne Petrunak, academic adviser for the Department of Plant Science.
May 23, 2018

Dianne Petrunak, academic adviser for the Department of Plant Science, has received the Excellence in Academic Advising Award from the College of Agricultural Sciences for 2018.

Penn State has assembled an elite group of experts from Ohio State University, Kansas State University, University of Missouri and Louisiana State University, to form the Consortium for Ukraine's Rural and Agricultural Development, or CURAD. Shown, from left, are Oleksandr Labenko, Oleksandr Kovalchuk, 2018 Woskob International Research in Agriculture (WIRA) Scholars; Vlad Konovalchuk, Bridges; Willi Meyers, University of Missouri; Deanna Behring, Penn State; Lina Dotsenko, Bridges; Jim Dunn, Penn State; Yurij Bihun, consultant; Rick Roush, Penn State; George Woskob, philanthropist and local businessman; and Allan Lines, Ohio State. Not pictured: Mykel Taylor, Kansas State, and Jonathan Hubche, Louisiana State.
May 23, 2018

To help Ukraine realize its agricultural potential, Penn State has assembled an elite group of experts from Ohio State University, Kansas State University, University of Missouri and Louisiana State University, to form the Consortium for Ukraine's Rural and Agricultural Development, or CURAD.

Shown are two of the 15 Holsteins that were born at Penn State's Dairy Barns in 2017, the result of a research project to reintroduce valuable genetic variance to the breed.
May 21, 2018

The six bundles of Holstein joy born at the Penn State Dairy Barns in April of last year — the outcome of a research project to improve genetic diversity in the breed — have garnered a fan following.

Health and the Environment Seed Grant Program
May 21, 2018

Human Health and the Environment seed grants for 2018 have been awarded to eight interdisciplinary teams of Penn State researchers. The seed grants were funded through a collaboration of Penn State Institutes and the College of Medicine, which collectively contributed more than $400,000.

A series of interactive,     TED-talk-style City Lights events    will showcase Invent Penn State next month, as the annual series will visit Harrisburg; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh from June 18–21.
May 16, 2018

A series of interactive, TED-talk-style City Lights events will showcase Invent Penn State next month, as the annual series will visit Harrisburg; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh from June 18-21.

Only about the size of a sesame seed, the samurai wasp has been found in 10 states, including Pennsylvania. Co-evolved with the brown marmorated stink bug in China, Japan, the Koreas and Taiwan, the parasitoid wasp seems to offer the best chance to get invasive stink bug numbers under control.
May 16, 2018

Hillary Peterson is every brown marmorated stink bug's worst nightmare. The Penn State doctoral degree student does not intend to rest professionally until she and other entomologists devise a way to reduce burgeoning populations of the invasive insect, originally from Asia, which are damaging crops and aggravating people. The goal of their research is to develop biological controls to interfere with the pest's reproduction.

From left to right: Derek Kreager, Erica Dowell, J.D. Daw, Laszlo Kulcsar, Wes Wright (Office of Senator Toomey), Evan Bradley, Susan McHale, Max Crowley, Michael Donovan, Taylor Scott, and Christian Connell
May 15, 2018

A group of Penn State researchers recently attended the Consortium of Social Science Association’s (COSSA) 2018 Science Policy Conference and Social Science Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

Heather Leach, spotted lanternfly extension associate.
May 15, 2018

Heather Leach has joined Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences as a spotted lanternfly extension associate.

There's still time to sign up for We Are Weekend (June 1-3), with plenty of events planned that'll inspire Penn State spirit. Read some highlights, and visit    alumni.psu.edu/WeAreWeekend   to register for the Alumni Association's premier summer event. 
May 15, 2018

Penn Staters are encouraged to return to University Park for a summer celebration. We Are Weekend is your opportunity to create lasting memories with family, friends and classmates during a Penn State comeback weekend June 1–3.

In a program called "Weaving Wisdom," senior volunteers used sweetgrass baskets and colorful West African kente cloth to talk with kids about culture, history, and art. Here, Grace Hampton, recently retired senior faculty mentor at Penn State, helps a young boy weave a bracelet based on the colors and patterns of kente cloth.
May 15, 2018

Art, culture, sport, and a new kind of volunteer bring old and young together to strengthen the social fabric.

Penn State Master Gardeners Alice Simmons and Steve Lentz monitor pollinator preference plants at John C. Rudy County Park in York County.
May 14, 2018

Penn State Extension Master Gardeners across the state are helping to restore bee populations through their Pollinator Preferences and Pollinator-Friendly Gardener Certification programs.

An Anopheles stephensi mosquito is obtaining a blood meal from a human host through its pointed proboscis. Note the droplet of blood being expelled from the abdomen after having engorged itself on its host’s blood. This mosquito is a known malarial vector with a distribution that ranges from Egypt all the way to China.
May 14, 2018

Typhoid Mary may have infected a hundred or more people, but asymptomatic carriers of malaria infect far more people every year. An international team of researchers is working toward a way to identify malaria patients including infected individuals who show no malaria symptoms.

Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture and extension tree-fruit specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
May 14, 2018

Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture and extension tree-fruit specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has received the 2018 American Society for Horticultural Science Outstanding Extension Educator Award.

May 14, 2018

The Big Ten Academic Alliance Department Executive Officers Program has gained five additional Fellows from the Penn State ranks. The BTAA is the academic consortium of the Big Ten universities. Through its leadership program, participants who have demonstrated leadership ability through University administrative assignments or through other significant leadership positions in public, private or professional organizations, are aided in further developing their leadership and managerial skills.

Catherine Cutter, professor of food science and assistant director of food safety and quality programs for Penn State Extension, talks to Armenien students. She believes internationalization of the state university extension system, which has been vital to establishing food safety in the United States, would greatly benefit the world.
May 14, 2018

The food-safety practices that Americans take for granted — such as washing hands with soap, refrigerating perishables, and not cutting raw meat and vegetables on the same surface without disinfection — may not be practiced widely in other places around the world,” said Cutter, professor of food science and Penn State Extension assistant director for food safety and quality programs. She and her colleagues in the College of Agricultural Sciences want to change that.

The bell tower of Old Main on the University Park campus.
May 10, 2018

The following is a list of academic promotions for tenured and tenure-line faculty members at Penn State, effective July 1.

Penn State's Forest Resources Alumni Group honored its 2018 outstanding alumni and an outstanding recent alumna. From left are Dave Gustafson, president of the Forest Resources Alumni Group; honorees William M. Healy, Howard G. Wurzbacher Jr., Devin A. DeMario, Steven A. Williams, and John E. McDonald; and Mike Messina, head and professor, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
May 10, 2018

Five alumni recently received 2018 Outstanding Alumni Awards from Penn State's Forest Resources Alumni Group. The purpose of these awards is to recognize outstanding graduates of the former School of Forest Resources and the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.