October 2013

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From the Dean

jay akridgeAs all of you know, there is a huge national debate raging (the correct term) about undergraduate education. Opinions are everywhere on affordability, access, completion, value, relevance, structure, and even the need for a college education. As you also know, these issues are central to President Daniels’ agenda going forward. You have seen this in actions such as freezing undergraduate tuition for two years, lowering the price of meals in the residence halls, aggressively pursuing donor support for scholarships, and some of the Purdue Moves initiatives,  such as an aggressive effort to expand study abroad, supporting more engaging classroom experiences, and expanding residential housing options (tied to degree completion).

President Daniels speaks frequently on the need to make a Purdue undergraduate education accessible to any student who is ready for Purdue. He talks about making sure a Purdue education is the best value in the US. In response to the tsunami of distance education programs, he talks about passing the ‘Pajama Test’: while a Purdue education is supported by technology, it is a high-impact experience enhanced by direct meaningful interactions among faculty and students that can’t be accomplished solely through distance technology.

For a College that has long prided itself on the quality of the undergraduate experience, our president’s agenda is both an affirmation of what we do and a challenge to take the Purdue Agriculture experience to an even higher level. What does an even more engaging classroom experience look like for us, and what resources do we need to support it? I had an energizing conversation with Dr. Joan Fulton, Agricultural Economics, last week on how she has transformed one course she teaches so it is centered on highly engaging classroom assignments (as opposed to traditional lecture). Her passion was clear and I am very, very sure it was not lost on her (fortunate) students. I know these kinds of transformations are happening across the College and we need to both share them and find the resources to make more of them possible.

We hosted a record 132 firms and organizations at our Fall Career Fair, and more than 1,250 of our students participated. Employers consistently tell me about the professionalism and preparation of our students, and about the importance of the portfolios of out-of-classroom experiences they have accumulated while at Purdue. How do we refine and expand out-of-classroom, high-impact experiences for our students? Felix Arnold, the new Assistant Director for Transformational Education & Academic Excellence in the Office of Academic Programs, will be helping us explore this question.

Already we have a group of faculty and staff reviewing and revising our Leadership Development Certificate Program. We need to explore ways to engage even more students in undergraduate research. The Purdue Agricultural Center Experience (PACE) program, a partnership of the Office of Academic Programs and Ag Research at Purdue that provides students with summer research experiences at the Purdue Ag Centers, is a great example.  Our study abroad program leads the university (thanks to Kara Hartman and Linda Vallade), and we need to build on the momentum created by the Purdue Moves investment in this area to expand our program. The Student Farm will have a farm manager soon and we will be looking to expand engagement in the Full Circle Agriculture group, as well as hopefully a new major. We are very excited about Issues 360, an initiative currently in the pilot stage that will engage students in conversations dealing with contemporary and controversial issues across the agricultural, environmental, and food systems. There is much happening here in the College, and much more to do.

Last March, Dr. Dennis Buckmaster, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, took a half-time position as Assistant Dean and Associate Director of the Office of Academic Programs. Dennis’ primary responsibilities are to develop initiatives to advance and promote the enhancement of instruction, advising and mentoring at the undergraduate and graduate levels; coordinate efforts to promote and expand effective teaching and learning practices in the College; and lead efforts to promote recognition of excellence and improvement in teaching across the educational mission in the College. He is already making a difference for our students.

We need to aggressively explore and support technology use in the classroom and determine where we have distance learning opportunities to serve new and/or current audiences better. We will soon be rolling out a greenscreen space in Lilly Hall where faculty and students can make video clips to support classroom experiences and/or assignments.  What other resources are needed here? The task force that Dr. Jennifer Dennis is leading will help us address these questions.

Dr. Marcos Fernandez, the OAP Team, Agricultural Communications, and AgIT have done an exceptional job of framing our new recruiting campaign around the Experience Purdue Agriculture theme—if you have not checked out the web site, you should. Here is the link: https://ag.purdue.edu/experience/pages/index.html

Now, it is up to us to refine this idea of the Purdue Agriculture undergraduate experience in the context of changing student perspectives, evolving learning technologies, shifting employer demands, science that continues to move forward, and much more.  Something like this is not easy, given how much is already on the plates of the faculty and staff in this College, and we must continue to find resources to support these changes. I have no doubt that an undergraduate education in our College will look different 5 years from now than it does today, and that employers and graduate/professional schools will continue to seek out students graduating from our College as a result. My thanks to all of you who make our undergraduate program the exceptional offering that it is, and my thanks in advance for all you will do to make it even better.

All the best,


Purdue Agriculture People


Graduate Research Spotlight: Jeffrey Michler

Jeffrey MichlerThe Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. This month’s spotlight is on Jeffrey Michler, Agricultural Economics; advisors Joseph Balagtas and Steven Wu.

Full story: https://ag.purdue.edu/arp/Pages/SpotlightMichler.aspx


Food Science welcomes new faculty member

KokiniDr. Jozef Kokini joined the Food Science department on October 1. Pending approval by the Board of Trustees, Dr. Kokini will be named to the new Scholle Endowed Chair in Food Processing. Dr. Kokini received his MS and PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie –Mellon University and his BS, also in chemical engineering, from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. He comes to Purdue from the University of Illinois, where he was the Eugene Bingham Professor of Food Engineering in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. During his tenure at Illinois, he also served as Associate Dean of Research and Director of the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. His research areas of interest include food materials science, linear and non-linear rheology; computational fluid dynamics, food nanotechnology and fabrication of nano-biosensors; phase behavior and compatibility of ingredients in food mixtures; food structure and texture especially during extrusion, mixing process and computational fluid dynamics.



ABE welcomes new faculty member

nadia gkritzaKonstantina “Nadia” Gkritza has joined the ABE department with a split appointment as Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and ABE. She earned her Diploma CE from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece; the MSCE from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; and the PhD from Purdue.  She came to Purdue from Iowa State University, where she was an assistant professor, associate director of the Mid-American Transportation Center, Region 7 University Transportation Center, and director of the Sustainable Transportation Systems Program in the Institute for Transportation.  




Purdue delegation celebrates Brazil partnership


Purdue VicosaDean Jay Akridge led a delegation of 16 College of Agriculture and Graduate School faculty and staff to the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) in Viçosa, Brazil on October 3 and 4.  (Purdue helped establish the land-grant mission at UFV in a 1958-1973 project funded in large part by USAID.  More than 60 Purdue faculty were involved in the project and spent extended time at Viçosa.   More than 90 graduate degrees were earned by Brazilians as part of the project.  The impact of Purdue was so profound there is even a street in Viçosa named ‘Purdue Avenue’!)  On October 3, the group met with faculty and toured facilities at Viçosa  to explore opportunities for research collaborations.  In addition, more than 200 Viçosa students attended a session on graduate study at Purdue.  On Friday October 4, Viçosa held “Purdue Day”—an event to commemorate, celebrate and strengthen the long partnership of the two universities.  Dean Akridge, Drs. Wally Tyner (AGEC), Bernie Engel (ABE), and Adriela Fernandez from International Programs in Agriculture presented talks at a symposium.  In the evening, some 25 UFV/Purdue alumni were recognized in the closing ceremony and dinner.  Dean Akridge said, “it was a very special evening for Purdue.  Many of these individuals we recognized made very moving comments about their graduate experience at Purdue and the Purdue faculty they worked with.”   


FNR professor quoted in USA Today article

ProkopyA study done by Linda Prokopy, FNR, was cited in an article in USA TODAY on how climate change is changing agriculture.  She surveyed more than 5,000 farmers across the Midwest on their beliefs on climate change and human responsibility for it.  The article is part of a USA TODAY series exploring how climate change is affecting Americans.

Full story: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/17/climate-change-agriculture-crops/2784561/

Emeritus professor profiled in Chronicle of Higher Ed

John ConnorJohn Connor, a retired agricultural economics professor, has created a new career as an expert on international price-fixing conspiracies. He authored a book called Global Price Fixing and he maintains a private database where he has recorded nearly 900 international price-fixing scandals. He consults for litigation against putative cartels and argues that the US has not done enough to protect consumers. He earned a lifetime achievement award from the American Antitrust Institute, a bipartisan center where he serves as a senior fellow. Dr. Connor was profiled in a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education. 

Read the full profile here: http://chronicle.com/article/An-Economist-Corners-the/141609/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en


Plant Sciences Town Hall meetings scheduled

plant sciencesAgriculture faculty, staff and students are invited to attend a town hall-style meeting to discuss the Plant Sciences Research and Education Pipeline and participate in working groups to provide input to the initiative. Sessions will be held on October 14 and 15 at the Beck Agricultural Center (shuttle service will be provided from campus). 

Click here for more information on the meetings, and to RSVP and request shuttle service: https://ag.purdue.edu/arp/Pages/plantsciences.aspx


Effective College Teaching workshop offered to faculty

College of Agriculture faculty are invited to attend a free workshop on Effective College Teaching presented by Richard M. Felder, North Carolina State University, and Rebecca Brent, President of Education Designs, Inc. Separately and together, Drs. Felder and Brent have presented more than 600 workshops and seminars on effective teaching, course design, mentoring and supporting new faculty members, and faculty development in STEM disciplines throughout the United States and around the world. Spaces will be filled on a first-come first-served basis. Tenure track faculty have priority, but interested graduate teaching assistants, post-docs, and visiting scholars are encouraged to join a wait list.

See the flyer for more information and how to register: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2013/October/EffectiveCollegeTeachingWorkshop.pdf


Health Care Plan information session scheduled

Agriculture faculty and staff are invited to a brown-bag lunch information session presented by Purdue Human Resources on changes in health care options coming for 2014. This presentation will be similar to the one done in July but will include some changes to the prescription drug coverage plan.  Anyone who attended the July session but would like a refresher on the options is encouraged to attend.  Please plan to join us on Monday, October 14 from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 pm in the Deans Auditorium, room 241 Pfendler Hall. The presentation will be streamed live at http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/lve2k.


TEAM Award nominations invited

Since 1995, Purdue Agriculture has recognized an outstanding collaborative effort within our programs and across the university. Nominations are invited for the 2014 Purdue Agriculture TEAM Award. The 2014 TEAM Award will be presented at a ceremony in May, and the winning team will be awarded $10,000 for program support. Nominations must be sent electronically to Becky Rice at rdr@purdue.edu by December 4, 2013.

TEAM Award guidelines and required nomination cover sheet: http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/dean/facultyinfo/Pages/TEAMAward.aspx

Awards and Recognitions


Jay AkridgeThe ADVANCE-Purdue Center for Faculty Success presented its inaugural E2 (Equity and Excellence) Award to Dean Jay Akridge and Dean Willie Reed, College of Veterinary Medicine, for their leadership and work towards building inclusive and supportive colleges for women and women of color STEM tenure track faculty. The E2 award recognizes outstanding individuals and/or initiatives  designed to increase the representation and success for women and women of color STEM tenure track faculty.Dean Akridge was cited for the multiple intitiatives within the College of Agriculture that produced a workable model for institutional transformation.


YDAE award winnersA research poster presented by YDAE graduate students Krystin Bodden and Bekah Nortrup and associate professor Levon Esters received the first runner-up award at the North Central meeting of the American Association for Agricultural Education. The poster was entitled “Influence of Short-Duration Career Exploration Sessions on Middle School Students’ Educational and Career Plans”.   


knoblochNeil Knobloch, YDAE, received the Distinguished Research Award from the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) during the 2013 North Central Regional Conference.  He was cited as a leader and respected scholar for his research in self-efficacy motivation and learner-centered teaching in agricultural education.




golden and russellBarbara Golden, Biochemistry, and Mark Russell, Animal Sciences, have been selected as ADVANCE Diversity Catalysts by the Purdue ADVANCE Project and the Center for Faculty Success. The ADVANCE Diversity Catalysts are high-impact, senior faculty who will engage the faculty and staff in conversations about diversity issues in their units and across campus.  Clint Chapple, Biochemistry, has also served as an ADVANCE Diversity Catalyst.


kershawJonathan Kershaw, a doctoral student in the laboratory of Kee-Hong Kim, Food Science, has been selected as a fellow of the Emerging Leaders in Science & Society (ELISS) sponsored by AAAS in Washington DC.  This year ELISS selected only 20 fellows from 4 partner universities (Purdue, Stanford, U Penn, and UW Seattle), and Jonathan is one of five students from Purdue.


rustJoe Rust, a senior in agribusiness management from Seymour, Indiana, was named Purdue’s 2013 Homecoming king on September 28. He and Homecoming queen Maureen Jones appeared at Homecoming festivities before and during the Homecoming football game. The Homecoming queen and king were chosen by online student voting and formal interviews by a judging panel composed of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders. (photo by Charles Jischke/ Purdue University)



iGEM logo​​​​​In the 2013 iGEM Regional Jamboree held on October 5 and 6, the Purdue iGEM Team placed third in all of North America. The team also received the "Best New Biobrick, Natural" award, and now advances to the international competition in November.


Three Purdue Landscape Architecture student projects received national design awards from the American Society of Landscape Architecture: Daniel Xu, junior, won an Award of Excellence in the Analysis and Planning category; Lana Merrill and Camille Mahan, both May 2013 graduates, were winners of an Award of Honor in the Analysis and Planning Category; and Taro Cai, also a May 2013 graduate, won an Award of Honor in the General Design Category.

Purdue Agriculture in the News


NIH grant could develop technology to help personalize leukemia treatments

taoPeople affected by leukemia and health care professionals who advocate for personalized medicine options could benefit from technology that is being developed with funding from a National Institutes of Health grant. Tymora Analytical Operations LLC, Purdue University and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have been awarded a one-year, $300,000 Phase I STTR grant from the NIH. The groups will develop technology that could pinpoint the proteins inside cells affected by the disease so treatments can be more targeted.  The principal investigator for the project is W. Andy Tao, associate professor of biochemistry. He also is chief scientific officer at Tymora Analytical Operations.

Full story:  http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/nih-grant-could-develop-technology-to-help-personalize-leukemia-treatments.html


Indiana fall weather absent a 'dominant driver' this year

fall leavesThe lack of a developing, dominant weather system coupled with erratic changes over the past year indicate that Indiana could be in for wide swings in weather in the early weeks of autumn, the State Climate Office says.  The October outlook is for above-normal temperatures with equal chances for above-normal, normal and below-normal precipitation. Weather beyond October is more difficult to assess because climatological systems such as El Niño and La Niña that would drive Indiana weather into November are still evolving. "This is a time when we should be cautious about looking too far into the future, especially when we don't have a dominant driver," said Dev Niyogi, state climatologist based at Purdue University.  The fall season will be influenced by multiple air masses, any of which could dominate at any time, Niyogi said.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/indiana-fall-weather-absent-a-dominant-driver-this-year.html


Purdue meeting to examine timely, costly issue of invasive species

garlic mustardInvasive species experts from academia, government, environmental groups and business will gather at Purdue for the Indiana Invasive Species Early Detection and Rapid Response Conference on October 29 to develop ways to better detect and control a problem that costs Indiana property owners and taxpayers millions of dollars a year. "This conference is a crucial first step toward establishing a comprehensive early detection and rapid response system in the state to address the growing threat invasive species pose to Indiana's economy, natural resources and citizens," said Steve Yaninek, head of the Entomology department and the university's representative to the Indiana Invasive Species Council. The Indiana Legislature created the council, which organized the conference, in 2009 to coordinate the state's efforts to address the problem of invasive species.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q3/purdue-meeting-to-examine-timely,-costly-issue-of-invasive-species.html  


Purdue study: Shale oil and gas a long-term boon to economy

oil rigThe increasing production of shale oil and gas should benefit the U.S. economy by raising the nation's gross domestic product by an average of 3.5 percent annually through 2035, according to a report by agricultural economists Farzad Taheripour and Wally Tyner, and postdoctoral associate Kemal Sarica. "The economic impact of shale oil and gas is clear: It is a game changer for the U.S. economy," said Wally Tyner. Shale oil and gas are found deep underground, below conventional oil and far below the water table. The oil and gas are produced by injecting chemicals, water and sand into the shale rock at high pressure, thereby fracturing the shale rock to release the oil and gas, which is then brought to the surface. The report summarizes two papers - one examining the shale oil and gas boom and the other analyzing potential ramifications of significant exports of natural gas – presented by the three researchers in July at the annual North American joint conference of the United States and International Associations for Energy Economics in Anchorage, Alaska. Paper summaries now have been made public.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/purdue-study-shale-oil-and-gas-a-long-term-boon-to-economy.html


New steering tech for heavy equipment saves fuel, ups efficiency

monika ivantysynovaResearchers led by Monika Ivantysynova, Maha Fluid Power Systems Professor  in Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, have shown how to reduce fuel consumption while improving the efficiency of hydraulic steering systems in heavy construction equipment. The new approach incorporates several innovations: It eliminates valves now needed to direct the flow of hydraulic fluid in steering systems and uses advanced algorithms and models to precisely control hydraulic pumps. New designs might also incorporate textured "microstructured" surfaces inside pumps to improve performance. "Fuel consumption of heavy off-road equipment accounts for a significant portion of total global fuel usage, so improving efficiency is very important," said Dr. Ivantysynova. "It's also important from a commercial business point of view because money saved on fuel improves a company's bottom line."

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q3/new-steering-tech-for-heavy-equipment-saves-fuel,-ups-efficiency.html


Purdue to host National Conference for Agribusiness

michael gundersonAgribusiness professionals will better understand what drives loyalty and buying decisions of commercial producers by attending the National Conference for Agribusiness presented by the Purdue Center for Food and Agricultural Business on Nov. 4-5 at Purdue University. Guest speakers will discuss information from the Large Commercial Producer Project, a nationwide survey of the buying behaviors of commercial farmers and ranchers. The Purdue Center for Food and Agricultural Business conducts the survey every five years. "The agenda is packed with interesting topics and sessions built around understanding large commercial agricultural producers' strategies, buying behaviors, information preferences and loyalty," said Michael Gunderson, associate professor and associate director of research at the Center for Food and Agricultural Business, the conference organizer.

Full story:http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q3/purdue-to-host-national-conference-for-agribusiness.html


Purdue study: Buses fueled by natural gas a better option now

city busThe local bus system could reduce its costs and emit significantly fewer pollutants by converting its fleet to one powered by natural gas, a cleaner fuel now in greater supply and more affordable, reports Wally Tyner, Agricultural Economics.  While the study was specific to the Greater Lafayette Public Transportation Corp., also known as CityBus, the approach of fueling buses with compressed natural gas, or CNG, could apply to similar municipal bus systems nationwide, said Tyner. "Because of the lower fuel price and pollution reduction, the CNG bus is considered to have good potential as an alternative vehicle used in the public fleet in the United States." Tyner writes in the report.  CityBus serves West Lafayette, including Purdue, and Lafayette. It has 72 buses and about 30,000 riders daily. The objective of the study was to help CityBus find the most effective way to reduce operating costs and make the fleet "greener."

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q3/purdue-study-buses-fueled-by-natural-gas-a-better-option-now.html

University News


HR announces new 2014 benefit session, plus online recorded sessions

Purdue faculty and staff turned out in big numbers for early 2014 medical plan information offerings from Human Resources. Because the early sessions were so popular, Human Resources has combined their content into a single presentation called "The Big Picture." Faculty and staff who attended the separate sessions -- "Is a High-Deductible Medical Plan Your Best Choice?" and "Health Care: Moving Forward in 2014" -- do not need to attend "The Big Picture," which will cover the same information that's been presented in the separate sessions.

More information: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2013/Q4/hr-announces-new-2014-benefit-session,-plus-online-recorded-sessions.html


Applications being sought for Butler Center Faculty Scholar Program

The Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence is now taking applications for its Spring 2014 Faculty Scholar Program. The award will support one Purdue tenure-track faculty member to plan for and carry out research on a topic that will further the mission and goals of the center. Applications are due Oct. 21. Details are available in a PDF file.


Report Hate and Bias

report hate cardPurdue University is a community where diversity is valued and incidents of hate and bias are not tolerated. Students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors who feel that they have been the victim of a bias related incident (or who have witnessed a bias related incident) are encouraged to report it online at www.purdue.edu/report-hate or to contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 765-494-1250. Your report can remain anonymous if you wish. Remember, if it is an emergency situation that requires immediate medical or emergency services attention, please call the Purdue University Police Department at 911 or 765-494-8221.