IPIA Newsltter May 2019
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Purdue Agriculture students travel overseas

International Programs in Agriculture pursues a vision of promoting and supporting innovative and collaborative approaches to solving global grand challenges, maintaining a healthy and sustainable planet, and building global awareness and understanding. Our goal is to connect, collaborate and engage to make the world a better place.

At a time when Purdue is celebrating its 150th birthday, I thought it might be useful to take a look back into the historical record of international activities in the College of Agriculture. What I’ve discovered is that our vision has been global for a very long time — 110 years, at least. In the summer of 1910, Professor Alfred Wiancko, one of the first Purdue faculty members in what would later become the College of Agriculture, crossed the Atlantic to tour agricultural experiment stations in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Holland and England. As much as we might be amazed by Professor’s Wiancko’s early efforts to internationalize our work, I think it's likely he would be even more amazed by our international efforts today. These include a new initiative led by Paul Ebner (Animal Sciences) to create a Center of Excellence for Agriculture in Egypt, and a new fellowship program that will soon begin bringing up to 10 students a year from Brazil to pursue PhDs in participating departments in the college. This latter effort continues a legacy of collaboration between the College of Agriculture and Brazilian institutions that stretches back to the 1960s and ’70s.

Those collaborations began with the work of D. Woods Thomas, IPIA’s first director. As IPIA’s fifth director, I am especially eager to strengthen these existing partnerships and launch new ones. Exciting things are happening everywhere. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation we continue to improve market access and food security among smallholder farmers via the PICS project. With the support of the African Development Bank we’ve turned lessons from last fall’s Scale Up conference into a Scale Up Sourcebook. With the help of USAID and our strategic NGO partner Catholic Relief Services, we are helping to support the modernization of seed systems and promote the uptake of improved seed varieties. And with the dedicated efforts of numerous College of Agriculture faculty members and the support of our many friends and alumni, we continue to create and lead exciting, innovative and life-changing study abroad experiences for our students. This summer, as part of faculty led courses, College of Agriculture students will stamp their passports in seven countries, from Austria to Zambia.

For more than a century, our perspective has been global. Today, our international work is as important and impactful as it has ever been, and remains true to the college’s land-grant mission. This newsletter highlights some of our many efforts. Please join me in celebrating our global achievements, and help me to spread the word about our international impacts.
Dr. Jerry Shively Associate Dean and Director Dr. Jerry Shively
Associate Dean and Director


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Ending Global Hungar speaker presents Colloquium brings together different perspectives on ending hunger
At an Ending Global Hunger Colloquium April 10-11, individuals on the front line of fighting hunger, advocates of the global hunger agenda, and members of the Purdue community considered the state of the fight against global hunger and discussed lasting solutions toward ending it. The meeting, organized by the Purdue Center for Global Food Security in Discovery Park, was a signature event of Purdue University’s Giant Leaps Ideas Festival. Gebisa Ejeta, distinguished professor and director of the Purdue Center for Global Food Security, and Otto Doering, professor of agricultural economics, served as co-chairs.
Faculty represent Purdue around the world

Thirteen College of Agriculture faculty members have received Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) International Travel grants. The program covers part of travel costs for Purdue faculty members to participate in international research conferences. The recipients and the location of the conference they plan to attend are:


  • Jacob Ricker-Gilbert, agricultural economics – Abuja, Nigeria


  • Jen-YI Huang, food science – Melbourne, Australia
  • Meilin Ma, agricultural economics – Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
  • Shweta Singh, agricultural & biological engineering – Beijing, China
  • Kara, Stewart, animal science – Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
  • Cankui Zhang, agronomy – Nanjing, China


  • Yuan (Brad) Kim, animal sciences – Berlin, Germany
  • Ann Kirchmaier, biochemistry – Crete, Greece
  • Bhagyashree Katare, agricultural economics – Basel, Switzerland
  • Chunhua Zhang, botany and plant pathology – Cambridge, UK

North America

  • Gordon McNickle, botany and plant pathology – Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

South America
  • Songlin Fei, forestry and natural resources – Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
  • Kwamena Quagrainie, agricultural economics – Palmas (TO) Jaboticabal, Brazil
Faculty group pose outside temple: Photo courtesy Elizabeth Fields Faculty are key to study abroad opportunities
Photo courtesy Elizabeth Fields
Boilermakers will study around the world this summer on short-term, faculty-led programs and long-term research or internship or coursework-based programs. About 140 College of Agriculture undergraduates have chosen programs in Switzerland, Ecuador, China, Sweden, New Zealand, Italy, Zambia, Germany, Japan and Jamaica, among others.

These College of Agriculture faculty are leading the following short-term courses this summer:

  • Ecuador: Environment and Culture in the Galapagos – Elizabeth Flaherty, Barny Dunning, Brandon Quinby
  • France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Romania: Economy, Agriculture and Environment Orient Express – Steven Hallett, David Umulis
  • Italy: An Italian Food Experience: Production, Preparation, Marketing – Michael Gunderson
  • Italy: Produzioni Animali: Exploring Animal Production in Italy – Elizabeth Karcher, Ashley York
  • Sweden: International Natural Resources – Tomas Hook, Douglass Jacobs, Patrick Zollner
  • United Kingdom: Forensic Science International: Comparing UK and US Forensic Practitioners – Trevor Stamper, Krystal Hans
  • Zambia: An International Service Learning Program – Kolapo Ajuwon
Faculty led five successful courses during spring break.

  • Costa Rica: Natural History in Costa Rica – Reuben Goforth, Barny Dunning, Julie Pluimer
  • Costa Rica: Agricultural, Environmental & Community Sustainability – Marcos Fernandez, Lori Hoagland, Amy Jones, Sean Dufault
  • Ireland: Agriculture in Ireland – Colleen Brady, Kara Hartman, Chloe Wires
  • Italy: Agriculture in Italy – Andrea Liceaga, Lisa Mauer
  • Vietnam: Food Security and Environmental Challenges in Vietnam – Elizabeth Karcher, Jacie Grant
Thanks to these faculty and staff members for their time and efforts — often behind the scenes — and for personally knowing, believing and passionately leading the transformational impact of study abroad.

“Many people told me to take advantage of the opportunities to travel while in college, as it becomes much harder once you have a job. I took that advice to heart and took full advantage of the study abroad opportunities.”

- Jacquelyn Brown ’17, who spent three of her four spring breaks abroad, in Ireland, Colombia and Cuba; one Maymester in Italy and Switzerland; and her senior fall semester in Hong Kong. She currently is living in Lilongwe, Malawi, for six months working with the International Development Division of Land O’Lakes.
Savanna Harrison, junior in animal sciences, who studied in Costa Rica over spring break 2019 “This trip was an incredible opportunity. I experienced a new culture, ate some delicious new food, and I crossed hiking through a rainforest off my bucket list.”

- Savanna Harrison, junior in animal sciences, who studied in Costa Rica over spring break 2019
student posed in front of mountain range Thompson Scholarship part of broader legacy
Photo courtesy Tony Hoch

Former Dean of Agriculture Bob Thompson calls expanding the opportunities and building enthusiasm among faculty and students for meaningful international experiences “his proudest contribution as dean at Purdue.” Read how his legacy lives on not only through the hundreds of study abroad opportunities offered through IPIA, but also through the Robert L. and Karen H. Thompson Scholarship to support students who participate in international study programs in agriculture. Meet two students who benefited from their generosity.
College of Agriculture leadership sit at table


Brazil and Purdue launch new graduate fellowship program in agriculture

A new partnership between the College of Agriculture and the Brazilian Ministry of Education through CAPES, a public foundation for the
development of graduate education in Brazil, will establish a new CAPES-Purdue Agriculture PhD Fellows program. The Brazilian government will finance up to 10 doctoral students in Purdue’s College of Agriculture each year, with the first cohort beginning in fall 2020.
Sustainable Development Solutions Network logo blue green on white background
Purdue joins UN collaboration

Purdue is sharing its expertise in sustainable development as part of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a United Nations initiative to bring together international scientific and technological expertise to address global challenges. The network supports implementation of Sustainable Development Goals to fight poverty with economic, environmental and governance tools. IPIA Director Jerry Shively serves as Purdue’s SDSN liaison.
Sourcebook cover green and white with yellow text New resource from Scale Up Conference

The Scale Up Sourcebook — a resource that began with a conference Purdue hosted in collaboration with the African Development Bank in September 2018 — was launched at a program in Washington, D.C. April 10. Suzanne Nielsen, professor of food science and Faculty Fellow for Global Affairs, and Jerry Shively, associate dean and director of IPIA, welcomed people to the launch event.

The Purdue conference focused on the scale up of agricultural technologies from research institutions into developing countries. As a follow-up, the Sourcebook launch included a panel discussion focused on what stakeholders have learned and what they must do differently to facilitate technology adoption, agricultural investment and inclusive impact at scale.

The Scale Up Sourcebook, co-written by Larry Cooley and Julie Howard, provides guidance, examples, and links to additional resources for stakeholders associated with scaling agricultural technologies and innovations to meet the needs of the world’s poor.
Paul Ebner, professor of animal sciences at Purdue, with Naglaa Abdallah, Chief or Party, Center of Excellence for Agriculture, at the project launch. USAID and Cairo University establish Center of Excellence for Agriculture with Purdue, UC Davis, Cornell and Michigan State

Purdue is one of four U.S. land-grant institutions participating in a new cooperative partnership between USAID and Cairo University to create a Center of Excellence for Agriculture in the Faculty of Agriculture at Cairo University. The center’s purpose will be to strengthen agriculture in the country by helping its universities equip Egyptian agriculture faculty and students as research scientists, employees, policymakers or innovators.

Paul Ebner, professor of animal sciences, leads Purdue’s involvement, which will focus on programs in instructional innovation and curriculum development. Kashchandra Raghothama, associate director of IPIA, is co-PI for the project and is providing programmatic and curricular support, and IPIA program assistant Trish Sipes is lending administrative support.

Members of the Purdue team include Haley Oliver, associate professor of food science; John Lumkes, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and assistant dean, Office of Academic Programs; Mohamed Seleem, professor of microbiology College of Veterinary Medicine; Krishna Nemali, assistant professor of controlled environment agriculture; Liz Karcher, assistant professor of animal sciences; and Ariana Torres, assistant professor of horticulture and landscape architecture.
Locals fill PICS grain bags PICS3 expanding, incorporating information and communication technology
Photo courtesy https://picsnetwork.org

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently funding a third, five-year phase of the Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS3) project. Building on previous successes, PICS3 seeks to increase the use of the hermetic storage technologies by 20 percent of grain stored on-farm in in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. From its initial use with cowpea, use of the PICS technology has expanded to include other crops such as maize, sorghum, wheat, rice, peanut and common bean. PICS3 is also testing different communication technologies, including mobile applications, to increase awareness and improve availability of PICS bags.
Graphic map of Orinoquía region Orinoquía region a living laboratory

The Purdue Orinoquía Initiative in Colombia, a science-driven approach to sustainable development of that region, offers exceptional opportunities to Purdue researchers, students and entrepreneurs. The initiative is one of several that have resulted from the Colombia Purdue Partnership, which also encompasses the Farmer to Farmer program and Cacao for Peace. In part as a result of the broader collaboration between Purdue and Colombia, Colombian students comprised the largest Latin American population at Purdue in 2018.
USWDP has impact in Afghanistan

The University Support and Workforce Development Project (USWDP), will wrap up in June having made significant progress in developing new, economy-relevant bachelor degree programs in food technology and agribusiness in Afghanistan. The project has included long- and short-term education for Afghan university faculty members, industry engagement, demand-driven curriculum development, online education and creation of public-private partnerships.

Purdue partnered with FHI360 on the project, which began in June 2014 with a five-year, $5 million award from USAID. IPIA has led the project with the oversight from PI Kevin McNamara, professor of agricultural economics, as well as provided logistical and administrative support.

Purdue provided technical support for policy, curriculum and syllabuses development, which included an industry assessment to inform 17 specialized courses that make up the curriculum. As a result of the project, the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education inaugurated a food technology department that in its first two years enrolled 16 male and 11 female bachelor’s degree students. Purdue also has facilitated internships for the food technology students.

A laboratory for food microbiology, food analysis and food processing is operational, and an optional online lecture series focuses on food safety, good agricultural practices, and good manufacturing practices for the food technology students and faculty.
Photo of Kevin McNamara Thanks and farewell, Kevin McNamara

Kevin McNamara, professor of agricultural economics and IPIA assistant director, is retiring June 30. He has been engaged in Afghanistan since 2002 as the PI for 12 projects totaling more than $35 million in value related to Afghanistan development. Under McNamara’s supervision, 22 Afghan university junior faculty have come to Purdue for graduate study in agricultural economics, agronomy, English, entomology, forestry, food science and horticulture. IPIA adds its thanks for his dedication and leadership.
Nexus alliance offers SWAT information

The Arequipa Nexus Institute for Food, Water, Energy and the Environment (Nexus Institute), a technical alliance of Purdue and the Universida Nacional de San Agustin in Arequipa, Peru, organized a March 21 workshop as part of its Sustainable Watershed Management project. “SWAT Application in the Arequipa Region” helped participants better understand the use and potential of soil and water assessment tools. Instructors included Jane Frankenberger, professor of agricultural and biological engineering; Laura Bowling, professor of agronomy; and Fariborz Daneshvar, ABE postdoc research associate.
IPIA Ambassadors student group photo


Students pose in the Dominican Republic
Multidisciplinary approach to improved water systems

Since 2012, College of Agriculture faculty and students have participated in the interdisciplinary, international, service-learning course Water Supply In Developing Countries. Their goal has been to develop water treatment systems for the Dominican Republic that are simple, affordable, sustainable, and accessible. Students have worked with Ken Foster, professor of agricultural economics, to design and implement business strategies for water commercialization. Revenues from these efforts ensure the financial sustainability of the water system and support other community/school needs.

Since 2012, 68 students have participated in the course. This includes College of Agriculture students from ABE, agricultural economics, food science, forestry and natural resources, as well as students from other colleges across campus.
IPIA staff member on trade mission to Mexico

Amanda Dickson, international extension specialist in IPIA, will join Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch on a trade mission to Mexico July 7-11. The trip focuses on agriculture and tourism, and involves officials from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana Office of Tourism Development and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Dickson, who speaks Spanish, is interested in forming international connections both within the delegation and with prospective partners in international extension in Mexico.
Dean’s Advisory Council chooses international focus

The College of Agriculture Deans Advisory Council often selects an area of focus for its semiannual meeting. For first time on April 12, council members chose to explore international activities in the College of Agriculture. After an overview by IPIA Director Jerry Shively, presentations focused on international research, international extension and international education, including brief remarks by study abroad students.
Karcher wins teaching awards

Elizabeth (Liz) Karcher, assistant professor of animal sciences, was recognized during the 2018-2019 academic year with the Purdue Exceptional Early Career Teaching award, College of Agriculture Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Early Career Teaching award and as a College of Agriculture PK-12 Emerging Leader. A strong advocate of international experiences for Purdue students, Karcher has developed two courses that offer these opportunities: Produzioni Animali: Exploring Animal Production in Italy; and Food Security and Environmental Challenges in Vietnam.
D. Woods Thomas’s daughter encourages award recipients

In the photo – Award recipients (from left) Jacie Grant, Kirsten Roe and Meagan Rathjen with Leslie and Clark Dale

At an awards ceremony March 25, Leslie Dale — the daughter of IPIA’s first director D. Woods Thomas — told the three graduate students who are receiving 2019 awards named in his memory that her father would be pleased to know his legacy continues to encourage students to solve issues in developing countries.

Jacie Grant, an MS student in animal science, will travel to Vietnam to assess and enhance the impact of a study abroad course on undergraduate participants. Meagan Rathjen, a PhD student in forestry and natural resources, will study stakeholder knowledge and perception of restoration work for improving water security in Bolivia. And Kirsten Roe, who is working on a PhD in forestry and natural resources and an MS in agricultural economics, will introduce aquaculture to rural/remote areas as sustainable food source in Guatemala.
IPIA’s mission is to leverage knowledge, resources and people to achieve positive global impacts. Learn more about IPIA and the services we offer to faculty and staff, international visitors, and graduate students.

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