January 2015

Facebook Twitter More...

From the Dean

Jay AkridgeI hope your 2015 is off to a good, if frigid, start!  State Climatologist and Agronomy Professor Dev Niyogi says we will see more typical temperatures the rest of this month, before turning colder than normal  again through March – but with less snow than we would ordinarily see.  At least some of his forecast is positive!

Next week we will celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our College’s Diversity Action Team in Agriculture (DATA) has developed and will sponsor, along with the College of Health and Human Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine, our Diversity Awareness Week.  This is the fourth year of this program and the DATA group has an exceptional set of activities planned. More information, including time and location for all activities, is discussed in detail later in InFocus, but a sampling includes a showing of the film Skin Deep on Tuesday, followed by a facilitated discussion led by Dr. Kip Williams, Purdue Professor of Psychology. On Friday, Purdue Police Chief John Cox will lead a panel discussion on police-community relations. I hope you will join us for as many of these activities as you can. A huge thanks to Dr. Pam Morris and the members of the DATA team for all the work they have done in planning this important week.

The celebration of Dr. King’s work and legacy is a good time to reflect on why the ideas of diversity and inclusiveness are so important to our College. Our College is changing: the gender and racial composition of our faculty, staff and student body is different than it was 10 years ago. We are hiring more women faculty and now more than 50% of our assistant professors are women, compared to 15% of our professors; dual career couples and single faculty and staff are much more common; more than 55% of our undergraduate students are now women; an increasing number of our students come to us without a ‘traditional’ agriculture background. Changes among our stakeholders are just as pervasive: 60% of Indiana citizens now live in urban areas; the demographic profile of our state is changing with the proportion of Hispanic Americans growing; agricultural production is concentrated among fewer, larger farmers. The problems we work on are increasingly complex, demanding a broader range of life, physical and social science and engineering disciplines to develop appropriate solutions. And, we must engage with the public we serve if we are to bring relevance to our solutions and help ensure those solutions can be implemented.

Changes in our College, our stakeholders, and our work all demand that we be even more respectful of the differences among our people, our roles, and our disciplines. These changes require us to be more open to and inclusive of those differences in our classrooms, in our offices and laboratories, and in our units. We have worked hard as a College to build a more diverse student body and workforce and more inclusive climate over the past five years. We have made changes in the way we recruit faculty, staff, and students; training and mentoring programs; raising awareness through activities such as Diversity Awareness Week and support for the LGBTQ Safe Zone Training; engagement in ADVANCE initiatives such as the Diversity Catalysts program; strengthening linkages between Extension specialists and educators; promoting multi-disciplinary research and Extension programming. I believe we have made progress in many key areas, but we have much more work to do to.

It is very easy to talk about how important it is to have a diverse and inclusive climate, to build a community where everyone is valued and respected. It is far more challenging to actually make it happen. The training, programs, and events are helpful but, in the end, it is how we as individuals in this College approach each and every interaction—with our colleagues, with our students, with our stakeholders—that truly defines who we are as a College. My challenge for each of us this year (me included) is to invest time in making ourselves more aware of the importance of diversity, to better understand the many voices that make up this College. My challenge for us is to think about what we say and how we say it—and ask ourselves if we are being respectful in our communications. My challenge for us is to take action when a colleague, student, or stakeholder is not being treated in a respectful way and to not let the comment or behavior pass without a response. 

This is a great College, made up of some truly amazing faculty, staff, and students. We will stay great only if every one of us makes a commitment to be respectful of our differences and more inclusive in our approach to all we do. Please join me in working even harder this year to make our College the place where all faculty, staff, and students want to be.

All the best,


Purdue Agriculture People


Ag Research Spotlight: Songlin Fei

Songlin FeiThe Ag Research Spotlight shines each month on an individual whose work reflects our commitment to the six strategic themes that guide Agricultural Research at Purdue. Our spotlight for November is on Songlin Fei, Forestry and Natural Resources, whose work underscores the theme, “Strengthening ecological and environmental integrity in agricultural landscapes.”

Full story: https://www2.ag.purdue.edu/arp/Pages/Spotlight-Fei.aspx#



Graduate Research Spotlight: Brittany Peterson 

Brittany PetersonThe Graduate Research Spotlight highlights graduate students and their work. This month’s spotlight is on Brittany Peterson, Entomology; advisor Michael Scharf.

Full story: https://ag.purdue.edu/arp/Pages/Graduate-Student-Spotlight.aspx#.VLPXftXF-8k




Distance Education seminar coming Jan. 16

Jennifer DennisDr. Jennifer Dennis, Director of Distance Education for the College of Agriculture, invites anyone interested in distance education to attend a special seminar on Friday, January 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the Deans Auditorium, room 241 Pfendler Hall. The seminar will be presented by Apollidon, an American Distance Education Consortium member (ADEC). ADEC is a non-profit distance education consortium composed of approximately 20 state universities and land-grant colleges, including Purdue University. The consortium was conceived and developed to promote the creation and provision of high-quality, economical distance education programs and services to diverse audiences, by the land-grant community of colleges and universities, through the most appropriate information technologies available.



Events set to commemorate Diversity Awareness Week in CoA

MLK weekThe Diversity Action Team in Agriculture (DATA) has organized four days of activities to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Awareness Week, January 20-23, 2015, sponsored by the Colleges of Agriculture, Health and Human Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine. Following the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday on Monday, January 19, faculty and staff are invited to participate in activities each day to educate and raise diversity awareness. Activities include a screening of the film "Skin Deep" and discussion on January 20; a guest panel from the National Diversity Council on January 21; the keynote address by Michael Fossberg on January 22; and a discussion on campus safety and community relations with Purdue Police Chief John Cox on Friday, January 23. DATA is also sponsoring a food drive during the week (information here).

More information: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2015/January/DiversityWeekActivities.pdf


A reminder about tracking civil rights and diversity training

And Justice for AllThe College of Agriculture is committed to making ongoing improvements to policies and practices to assure that race, ethnicity and gender are not barriers to success.  During our USDA Federal Civil Rights Compliance Audit in 2012 it was brought to our attention that we did not have a formal tracking system in place to verify that all faculty, staff and graduate students received appropriate training. In order to comply with this, individuals are required to receive training in civil rights (the regulations), diversity awareness or sexual harassment each year.Therefore, we created a system utilizing the Qualtrics survey tool to have individuals self-report completion of their training. Rather than mandate a specific training, we are asking you to comply by recording training you have been to already or attend any training that fits your needs and interests and enhances your knowledge/understanding of diversity, civil rights or sexual harassment. Please note that alll of the activities detailed above for Diversity Awareness Week are great opportunities to meet your yearly training requirement for Purdue Agriculture. 

Report training at:  https://ag.purdue.edu/civil_rights/Pages/report.aspx


ConnectionsNOW! highlights Purdue Ag alum's role in 'Unbroken' story

UnbrokenThe film 'Unbroken', which opened in theaters last month, chronicles the life of Louis Zamperini and highlights wartime hardships he faced along with Army Air Corps pilot and Purdue alumnus Russell Allen Phillips, BS '40. Theirs is a story of fortitude and survival over incredible odds against the backdrop of World War II. The movie is based on the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand. ConnectionsNOW! editor Tom Campbell got in touch with Phillips' daughter to get her thoughts on her father's portrayal in the movie and his life after the war.

Full story:http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/Connections/NOW/Pages/Unbroken_Phillips.aspx


Want to be part of the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry? Here's how

Purdue Ag Fish FryDanica Kirkpatrick, Engagement Program Manager for Purdue Agriculture, invites everyone in the Purdue Ag family to be a part of this year's Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry on Saturday, February 7 at the Blue Ribbon Pavilion, Indiana State Fairgrounds. You may exhibit your department or program along Purdue Agriculture Avenue, volunteer to help us serve the meals to over 1500 friends of Purdue Agriculture, or purchase tickets to join us as a guest.  Here are the details for participation. 

Exhibit on Purdue Agriculture Avenue
We invite you to exhibit on Purdue Agriculture Avenue, the newly expanded exhibit area, prior to and after the Fish Fry.  Doors will open at 10:00 a.m., allowing guests to network and visit the exhibits until lunch and the Fish Fry program begin at 11:30. The networking will resume on Purdue Agriculture Avenue after the program, from about 2:00 until 3:30 p.m.

Exhibitors get the chance to connect with our sponsors, department faculty, staff, and student organizations for a total of three hours. We encourage departments and organizations to use this as an opportunity to raise awareness of your programs and research, engage with alumni, and connect with industry partners in attendance. Here is a link to the forms that allow you to participate as an exhibitor at the Fish Fry: Purdue Agriculture Avenue Exhibit Space Request Form

Volunteer as a server
The Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry is somewhat famous for having the best service in town!  And it’s no surprise, because those in the Purdue Agriculture family rise to the occasion to show our guests a great time. Many people in the College have served for decades, and come back each year to serve as a tradition.They enjoy the camaraderie, networking and fun that is had by everyone who participates. Servers receive a free meal, get to enjoy the Fish Fry program, and are offered free transportation to and from the fairgrounds, if they wish. Below are links to the forms that allow you to register as a volunteer server.  Additional information is required for anyone who is not a Purdue employee, so please let us know if you need these additional forms for others you know would like to help.

Volunteer Server Information

Sign up on this link as a Fish Fry Worker

Purchase tickets
If you would rather use the Fish Fry as a way to host industry friends, local alumni, or simply as a fun Saturday activity, order tickets at the link below. You may order individual tickets ($25 each), or tables of 10 ($250/table). Pre-paid parking permits are also available by using this form.

Purchase tickets and parking passes

Direct questions to Danica Kirkpatrick at 494-9113 or via email at danica@purdue.edu.


Purdue Parents Network a resource for Purdue employees with kids

kidsThe Purdue Parents Network (PPN) is a resource created by parents (and their concerned friends) for parents. The group's goal is to provide an avenue for parents within Purdue University to network, share information, and find support within the Purdue community. All Purdue employees with families (and those thinking of starting a family) are invited to join the Purdue Parent Network.

More information: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2014/October/PPN_InvitationToJoin.pdf



Training modules available for faculty and staff

Risk Management, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance and the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, announces the availability of the Risk Management Employment Claims Initiative education program. The program helps employees and supervisors understand employment-related issues such as discrimination, harassment, disability awareness and accommodations, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), overtime rates, and other university leave policies. Participants will complete four training modules and corresponding certification quizzes: 1) Equal Opportunity; 2) Americans with Disabilities Act; 3) Wage and Hour Issues for Employees and Supervisors; and 4) Family and Medical Leave Act and University Leave Policies.

The training modules and instructions for accessing the certification quizzes are located on the Purdue Employee Portal. Each training module is approximately 20 to 25 minutes long. Training on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Equal Opportunity will also fulfill College of Agriculture requirements for civil rights training as required by the USDA. All faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to complete these training modules. Faculty and staff participation in these training modules impacts the College's share of insurance costs.

Awards and Recognitions


Bernie DahlBernie Dahl, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, has been elected a 2015 Fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA). The intent of the award is to honor a faculty member‘s lifetime accomplishments in teaching, scholarship /creative activity and/or service. The accomplishments must add up to excellent endeavor sustained over an extended period of time that is truly inspiring and significant. Bernie is the only Purdue LA faculty member, past or present, to receive fellowship in CELA.   CELA is composed of nearly all the programs of higher learning in landscape architecture in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. There also are individual and institutional members from many other parts of the world who belong to the CELA family. Election as Fellow is one of the highest honors bestowed by the organization.


Darrell SchulzeDarrell Schulze, Agronomy, received the Soil Science Education Award from the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) at the organization's annual meeting in November 2014. The SSSA is an international scientific society whose more than 6,000 members are dedicated to advancing the field of soil science and fostering the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Founded in 1936, SSSA is also part of the Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies (ACSESS): a nonprofit organization providing management and administrative, support services to founding members, the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and SSSA.


Manpreet SinghManpreet Singh, Food Science, was appointed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) for the 2014-2016 term. Established in 1971, the 19-member NACMPI meets on food safety concerns and advises the Secretary of Agriculture on matters affecting federal and state inspection program activities. It also contributes to USDA's regulatory policy development. "The diverse perspectives on food safety that the advisory members bring are invaluable to our success in ensuring the safety of the foods we eat," said Vilsack. "I am firmly committed to aggressively decreasing the incidence of foodborne illnesses and these outstanding individuals will be instrumental in our work to protect the American people's food supply."



Minerva DorantesMinerva Dorantes, graduate research assistant in Agronomy, placed third in the oral competition at the 2014 Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Pedology Student Presentation Competition for her paper entitled “A Semi-Automated Model to Improve Positional Accuracy of Soil Survey Pedons of Indiana.”




Emily EricksonEmily Erickson, Biochemistry, is one of two Purdue seniors who are finalists for the Churchill Scholarship, a prestigious and nationally competitive program that funds the pursuit of a one-year graduate degree in science, engineering or mathematics at Churchill College within University of Cambridge in Great Britain. Emily and the other finalist, Steve Mussmann of the College of Science, have already published in their fields of expertise and show great promise to become leaders in their respective areas of breast cancer research and computer science. Emily has conducted research in Dr. Karen Plaut's laboratory, interned at Mayo Clinic and focused on breast cancer research at the National Institutes of Health.


Purdue Agriculture in the News


Public input sought for College of Agriculture strategic plan

Jason HendersonPurdue Extension will host 20 statewide community forums in January and February to aid the College of Agriculture in its strategic planning. Free and open to the public, the forums are intended to gather feedback to consider as the College creates its five-year strategic plan later this year. "These forums will allow people throughout Indiana to share their visions for Purdue Extension and the College of Agriculture and tell us what we're doing well, where we can improve and the initiatives in which we can help lead the way," said Jason Henderson, director of Purdue Extension and associate dean of the College of Agriculture. Those attending the forums will take part in small-group discussions about ways in which Purdue Extension and the college could further strengthen Indiana communities, families, leaders and businesses. Feedback will help determine strategies or activities to incorporate into a strategic plan.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q1/public-input-sought-for-purdue-college-of-ag-strategic-plan-.html



Purdue Extension sets 3rd annual Small Farm Conference

Small FarmsPurdue Extension's third annual Indiana Small Farm Conference in March will provide information to help owners of small farms better manage their operations and market their products. The conference will be held March 5-7 at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville, IN.The conference will provide education, a trade show, presentations on various topics relevant to small farms, and lunches made with food grown in Indiana, said Emily Toner, Purdue Extension urban agriculture educator in Marion County, an organizer of the meeting. The first day is an optional preconference with daylong sessions on how to make a small farm profitable, the growing hops industry and tours of food production operations.

Full story: https://extension.purdue.edu/Pages/article.aspx?intItemID=8123


Indiana expected to warm up soon in January, then get colder again

Brick sculptureAfter a bitter-cold start to the new year in Indiana, a gradual warming trend could begin in mid-January and offer some relief for the rest of the month before - you guessed it - temperatures dip again for a long spell. But the Indiana State Climate Office, based at Purdue, also expects a drier trend of below-normal precipitation through March, a contrast to last year's frequent snowstorms. "This is consistent with the original prognosis in the fall of a drier-than-normal winter overall in Indiana," Dev Niyogi, state climatologist, said. Following the early-January cold blast, temperatures are expected to return to normal starting about mid-month. After the brief warm-up, the outlook for February through March generally is for temperatures to be cooler than normal but precipitation drier than normal.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q1/indiana-expected-to-warm-up-soon-in-january,-then-get-colder-again.html


Communities to learn how to set up disaster preparedness group

COAD mapPurdue Extension is helping to provide training in January so that Indiana communities can organize to better prepare for and recover from disasters. The free, one-day training is designed to encourage communities to form a COAD, an acronym for community organization active in disaster. The training will be conducted by leaders of the umbrella Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, of which Purdue Extension is a member. "Communities that are organized to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster do so because they plan for disasters," said Abby Hostetler, an Extension Disaster Education Network communications specialist and adviser to COADs. "Experience shows that communities with a COAD recover more quickly than those that don't." The meetings are open to the public. Meetings were scheduled in northern and southern Indiana in an effort to make them accessible to those interested throughout the state.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q1/communities-to-learn-how-to-set-up-disaster-preparedness-group.html


Purdue researcher leading burn projects to regenerate oak forests

Prescribed burnsMichael Saunders, Forestry and Natural Resources, is leading two projects designed to foster the regeneration of oak forests and improve wildlife habitat by burning smaller trees and other inhibiting plants. He is directing a little-used practice in Indiana called "prescribed burning" - small, controlled fires to kill young trees and shrubs that cover the ground with shade and prevent oak seedlings from growing. "What we are doing is renewing the forest," Saunders said. "The burns will increase the resiliency of the forests, increase oak regeneration and provide better wildlife habitat." Burns will be conducted in 2015 as part of the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, a long-term study of forest management in Indiana and its effects on plants and animals. All told, there will be burns in about 200 acres at more than 15 sites.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q4/purdue-researcher-leading-burn-projects-to-regenerate-oak-forests.html


‘Doughnut Series’ brings traditional winter farm meetings to the Internet

Farm in winterStarting this month, Purdue Extension will offer a series of traditional winter farm meetings with a digital-age twist: Participants and presenters from throughout the state will be linked via the Internet. What organizers are calling the “Doughnut Series” of farm meetings begins Jan. 14 and runs every other Wednesday from 7:30-9 a.m. through March 25. “Winter has traditionally been the time for farmers across the Hoosier state to get together over coffee and talk about the major issues in agriculture,” said Roy Ballard, a Purdue Extension educator and series coordinator. “Today we can still conduct these meetings, but we also have the capability of tapping experts from Purdue and around the globe and ‘bringing’ them here to our meeting place, your office computer or even your phone.” There will be host locations in 19 counties. Farmers attending a meeting at any of the local sites will be able to chat with other participants and presenters statewide.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q1/doughnut-series-brings-traditional-winter-farm-meetings-to-the-internet.html


Ag women coming together for annual Midwest conference

Women in Ag logoThe annual Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference is set to meet the needs of women in all sectors of agriculture. The conference will be held Feb. 18-19 at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville. A preconference program will be held at 1 p.m. CST Feb. 17 at Fair Oaks Farms.  As part of the program, participants can register for a dairy adventure or pig adventure tour. "Our goal in planning the conference is always to make sure we are finding topics and speakers that are relevant to the needs of the women attending the conference," said conference co-chair Kelly Heckaman, Purdue Extension agriculture and natural resources educator in Kosciusko County. "This year we are focusing on telling the story of women in agriculture through our keynote speakers and in our breakout sessions. We realize that the upcoming year will require tougher financial management decisions, and we have sessions for that, too."

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q1/ag-women-coming-together-for-annual-midwest-conference.html


Agricultures Winter issue highlights programs helping Indiana

AgriculturesThe latest issue of Agricultures magazine highlights some programs that are helping Indiana communities become more economically resilient and discoveries that move Indiana forward in agriculture and life sciences. Included in the magazine are articles on research to improve the growth efficiency of animals and new approaches to treating human diseases; some of the research projects that have benefitted from AgSEED funds; support for small businesses; and the Plant Sciences Research and Education Pipeline.

Read more: https://ag.purdue.edu/agricultures/Pages/Winter2015/Table-of-Contents.aspx

University News

Center for Global Food Security to provide new round of grants for U.S. graduate students researching food security issues


U.S. students enrolled in an accredited U.S. graduate program can apply for international research grants of $15,000 to $40,000 through Purdue University's U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security program and funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Graduate Research Grant, which is funded by USAID, is designed to increase the number of future leaders who have the scientific background necessary to promote sustainable food systems around the world. Grants are available for U.S. graduate students conducting research on topics related to USAID's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. All topics related to food security and linked to research strategies of Feed the Future are eligible.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q1/purdue-center-for-global-food-security-to-provide-new-round-of-grants-for-u.s.-graduate-students-researching-food-security-issues.html


Several Purdue events planned to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

Several activities at Purdue University this month will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The 2015 celebration, with the theme The Fierce Urgency of Now, will begin Jan. 15 with Purdue Memorial Dining Services distributing free slices of birthday cake in the Purdue Memorial Union and Purdue residence halls. "We have put together a variety of programs that we think will help people learn more about and reflect on the life and urgency of Dr. King," said Renee Thomas, director of the BCC and co-chair of the Martin Luther King Planning Committee. "The offerings include lectures, service, learning opportunities, discussions and a film. We are excited that several academic colleges have also planned programs in tribute to Dr. King."

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q4/several-purdue-events-planned-to-celebrate-martin-luther-king-jr..html


David A. Reingold named Purdue liberal arts dean

David A. Reingold from Indiana University has been named the Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University. Reingold is professor and executive associate dean of IU’s School of Public & Environmental Affairs at the Bloomington campus. The appointment is effective March 1, 2015. ''David Reingold’s leadership will help Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts distinguish itself as an innovative leader in scholarship and educating students across the liberal arts disciplines,'' said Deba Dutta, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q4/david-a.-reingold-named-purdue-liberal-arts-dean.html

Human Resources encourages supervisors to use new employee orientation

The Office of the Vice President for Human Resources implemented University-wide orientation for new employees in 2012. The goal of this program is to support new staff members in assimilating quickly and successfully into the Purdue culture and to offer a foundation of knowledge regarding mission, organizational structure and functions. New employee orientation is offered weekly on Mondays. Supervisors should register new employees for orientation at the time an open position is filled. The success of this program depends on supervisors' registering employees to take part. Participation is highly encouraged, and feedback is welcome. To register for new employee orientation or new supervisor training, go to https://purdue.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0DIm9bes4Mx2gQs.Additional tools, including onboarding assistance, an agenda for orientation, parking information and upcoming dates and locations, are available online at www.purdue.edu/hr/careers/resources/employeeorientation.html. Questions about new employee orientation may be directed to Teresa Rohler at 49-41679 or teresar@purdue.edu.